Yesterday at Telluride.com we interviewed with J.P. Miller, guitarist and vocalist for Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band, who have played at Telluride Blues & Brews and will return to Telluride this Thursday for a night of funky dance music at the historic Sheridan Opera House!
T.com: We’re excited to have you out here, I wanted to start ask you guys a few questions. We’re extremely pumped to have you back out here in Telluride!
J.P.: Cool, man, we’re excited to be back, our last show there got cancelled, the club we were supposed to play at closed down or stopped having live music…
T.com: Yeah that was a bummer. You guys played the Main stage at Blues & Brews.
J.P.: We had a great turnout at Telluride [Blues & Brews], it was awesome. We were really excited about that…
T.com: Yeah there’s nothing like playing Town Park, but I think you guys are going to blow up the late night scene, especially at the historic Opera House. That will be sweet. To start out, we’d all love to know where the band name comes from. It’s such a unique band name, really stands out, we’d love to hear the story!
J.P.: Well, I think the story for this month is… we’ve been a band for ten years, we can’t use the same story over and over again - that would be boring. So our whole band came from outer space. The Booty Mama, our band mascot, we take orders from Booty Mama through cats; we get our messages from cats. Basically we are here to improve things on earth, during the day we do the superhero thing, and then at night we recharge our energy by throwing funk shows. We feed off the energy of the people, we figured we’d pick funk music as our medium, as it’s high energy uplifting music… so that’s where that all started from.
T.com: That’s an awesome story… that’s probably the best answer I could have imagined. I was curious, how would you describe your band’s current sound? You’ve been touring for a decade, so obviously it’s evolved a bit. Tell me more about that.
J.P.: Well you know we’ve gone through a lot of member changes at this point, currently playing with only two original members of the band, only the bass player and myself. When the band first started off, it was a funk band with Josh Phillips, he was writing a lot of material and singing a lot. He had kind of a happy-go-lucky, poppy funk approach to the music. We split ways with him because he wanted to do more acoustic stuff and we wanted to get heavier. So he left the band… and we continued on our path, went through a bunch of different member changes. One year we had 13 different drummers, and we’ve finally settled in with this duo that we’ve been playing shows with for a long time, by the name of Uamirel, a drummer and a keyboardist. We’ve been playing shows with those guys… eventually they moved to Asheville and it happened, so that’s been the lineup we’ve been rocking for the last three years… we’ve been playing a little bit darker, a little bit heavier, more electronic and rock influenced now mixed in with our funk. It’s all still super danceable music. Now we have a bunch of synthesizers, drum pads, and crazy bass stuff on stage so we get a little bit heavier with that. We’ve also been incorporating some hip-hop into our sound.
T.com: Yeah I definitely noticed that. It’s a very cool sound.
J.P.: Kind of a cool transition.
T.com: Do you have any major influencing artists that you all really draw inspiration from these days?
J.P: We listen to lots of new music as well as lots of old music. As a whole, the band is definitely influenced by the Red Hot Chili Peppers and George Clinton and P. Funk. If you’re riding around in the van with us, you’ll hear anything from the Mars Volta to Beethoven. Everyone in the band is really open with new music coming out… there’s a lot of music going on right now that we’re digging on right now.
T.com: So which instrument do you play J.P., and are there any artists that you’re personally inspired by in your playing?
J.P.: My main influence is probably John Frusciante from the Red Hot Chili Peppers; also Slash from Guns ‘N’ Roses, Jimi Hendrix. I grew up listening to rock so even though we play funk I definitely shred up the guitar a little bit.
T.com: Yeah there’s definitely a lot of crossover between your influences and the funk genre you play with YMBFBB. We’re so excited to see you guys at the Opera House on Thursday night! It was a pleasure talking to you, we’ll see you in Telluride later this week!
Be sure to stay tuned for Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band’s new album to be released this summer. Their recently released album, “Doin’ It,” is available as a double LP on vinyl, CD, and digital downloads via their website.
Check out their official music video for “Lovin’” on YouTube and embedded below! YMBFBB is working on two more music videos by the same producer, coming soon. Tour dates are listed on their website here.