GO AHEAD! TRY AND BOX EM' UP
It is truly difficult to pinpoint a genre of music to search on your favorite digital download app that would correctly file the many tracks Fishbone has dropped in almost four decades. So while you are trying to categorize this funky Ska- punky, progressive metal-hip-hop-R&B junkie music, these guys have been producing eclectic arrangements with "real-talk" flow along the storylines of Tupac and Public Enemy. Cathy gets the dirty low down from Angelo Moore about the foundation of the band and the inspirations that led to their sound.
by Cathy Rankin
March 30, 2018
Fishbone – the name alone evokes this response more often that not: OMG!!! I LOVE Fishbone!!!! That is the reaction I heard over and over when I told people I would be interviewing them. And of course, I fully agree – this was one of those interviews that made me giddy with excitement, because I am as big a fan as everyone else!
Fishbone is one of those bands that somehow has been adopted by the “in crowd” over the years as a cult favorite. It’s almost like a badge of honor when you wear a Fishbone T-shirt (as countless famous actors, musicians and others have worn in movies, TV shows and interviews!), as if to say “I’m not only cool, but I GET it!”. As I prepped for this interview, I thought about WHY this band has that sort of “I wear this concert shirt, therefore I’m cool” quality.
The answer came to me as I really dug into my research. First, it goes without saying, every single person in this band is ridiculously musically talented. They play multiple instruments, and we aren’t just talking guitar, we are talking trombones, trumpets, keyboards and more. But beyond that, they are not confined to one genre or style of music, in fact they very proficiently use and weave together ALL styles of music into a sound and style that you can’t adequately categorize. When you listen to a song like Everyday Sunshine vs. a song like Servitude (two of my favorites), you would swear you’re listening to two completely different bands. THAT’S the beauty of Fishbone!
But this music goes deeper than just incredible talent and production – this band has a unique story, and a unique place in pop culture. How often have you seen a lead singer who is African American, singing Jamaican Ska AND Heavy Metal/punk in one song or one show? Right. You don’t see it. But that’s exactly what Fishbone does – they break stereotypes and they throw them back in your face, no matter what race, religion or creed you are. Angelo Moore is nothing short of a force of nature, and his bandmates are complimenting storms of sight and sound themselves. These guys have been around since 1979, through many decades of turmoil, change and cultural evolution, but what’s stayed consistent is their energy and presence on stage, their message in the songs, and their no-holds-barred, no limits approach to not just playing great music, but in living a better life.
I could go on for days about how impressed I was with this band – my interview with Angelo was one of the most interesting, fascinating and fun interviews I’ve done. I could’ve rapped with him for hours about life, he’s just that kind of guy. Do yourself a favor and watch the full interview, because he talks about some very powerful subjects from the past, the present and the future, much of which is very relevant to things we are all going through today. I loved his candor, insight and humor about it all, but underneath it is a serious philosophy and mission – this guy won’t be put in a box – he answers to no one and includes everyone, what a brilliant concept.
We ran out of time which was unfortunate, because the great thing about this tour is that almost all the original members have returned, and I wish I could’ve interviewed them all. But, just know that when you go to this show, you are seeing the original Fishbone, and it is EPIC! Do not miss these guys, they are one-of-a-kind and I don’t know if or when we will ever see another band like them. Oh, and make sure you buy the T-shirt….