Culture Cry Wolf talk about Dia de los Muertos and tomorrow's show at the Fine Line
Mike Daly (guitar/lead vocals): All the songs we want to be different, but we try to have an underlying thing that is somewhat cohesive.
Botzy (MC): There was a point in time where Mike brought so many different ideas to the table that we had a whiteboard with, not finished songs, just chunks of songs, and we would literally be like, "Does that fit with this?" and we'd try it, and sometimes it would work and sometimes not. I think our creation process has been far more spontaneous and dynamic since one.
Mike: A lot of live hip-hop bands cater to the MC, where it is more or less a jam band of musicians that basically caters to whatever fits for the MC. We've always been, from day one, a band that writes songs. We try to write a song that'd be good enough on it's own, and then Botzy writes and adjusts to that song.
Botzy: I'm still there every step of the way in it's creation, but I think the best way to sum it up is that typical live-band hip-hop acts, the band adjusts to the rapper. But with Culture Cry Wolf, since the get-go, I adjust to the band. I don't tell them to go at a slower tempo, cuz some songs, you wouldn't be able to achieve the feel of that song.
Mike: It makes it more difficult for you and for us in general because it makes it a more lengthy process to write a song. It's been a learning curve. But it works.
Jaime (percussion): All of our focus as musicians are towards this one band. None of us write music for anyone else, we all just bring stuff to the table for us.
Frankie (drums): Everyone can get what they want out of this band because it's so diverse.
Gimme Noise: How did the hip-hop element get introduced to the sound?
Mike: Botzy came and jammed with us one night and that became Culture Cry Wolf. I'd always wanted to work with an MC. The problem was the ones I would meet before I met Botzy were really stuck with what they were used to with their material and didn't want to expand.
Botzy: There are songs where I sit down to write and think to myself, "This is not meant to be rapped over". Then there are other songs where it's almost right in your pocket. It's a challenge no matter what.
Mike: When Jaime joined the band, he added a lot of interesting elements of percussion and stuff that reach into a whole other area of latin rock that we weren't even doing in the first year and a half of the band. Jaime brings a lot of Cuban and Southern American influences.
Jaime: Adapting to that style has been the most challenging thing. In latin music, there are certain structures that you're going to follow, but it all gets thrown together when we play.
Gimme Noise: What's the response been to your video for "Sweet Marie", which is set in a strip club?
Botzy: I think we were all kind of a little nervous about it. We kind of teeter-tottered the line of a Spyder Baby Raw Dogg video... For the most part it's been pretty positive. Plus, we've already doubled, if not tripled, the amount of views we got in the first 24 hours. The song is for the ladies, the video is for the fellas. [laughs]
Mike: There's two ways to look at it. In the video, I mean, yeah, there's naked women in it, but it's playing on the irony of an I Love Lucy episode, where there's conflict and resolution, and the song itself is a very 60's feel, but with a modern perspective. Picking the singles is tough because of the diversity of the songs themselves. That's why "Day of the Dead" was a good first one for us, that's kind of us at the core.
Jaime: We're trying to cover all the aspects of what Culture Cry is. The next video ["Guest List"], even the song, is going to be pretty much completely opposite of what we just released.
11/5/2011 - Culture Cry Wolf will be performing at the Fine Line Music Cafe for their CD release with 9Tomorrows, Sheeped, Audio Perm and special guests. 18+, $8 adv, $10 door, 8 pm.