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A Dirty Dozen with PHRANQUE GALLO from KARABAS BARABAS – March 2020

| 20 March 2020 | Reply


According to a recent press release: “Psychedelic Alt-Rock trio KARABAS BARABAS have released their newest, Degenerate National Anthem, recorded by Steve Albini. Blending rock, country, Russian dinner music, new wave, punk, and jazz with some Roy Orbison vibes thrown in, the Brooklyn based threesome delivers their most polished and politically antagonistic album to date, instigating more imaginative discussion than anything offered by the mainstream. The degenerate stories each have their own vibe but tie together by their overall absurdity.” We get singer Phranque to discuss new music, influences, and much more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets the band put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

Well it kinda ruins the easter egg if you tell where it is, but we put one on side B of the vinyl, its not on the digital or cassette versions… There’s also a few hidden messages on the vinyl itself. As far as a hidden nugget, we sing about Toucan Sam in Microwave’s which is a reoccurring reference that we also used on “In Waves” the first track off our debut Return of the Sexy Demon which we also made with Steve Albini.  Speaking of Albini, “Microwaves” is our homage to Shellac of North America.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

When we came out of the dark matter we had totally absorbed all the music of Woodstock ’94 and from that plus the training of the great architect Jacques Lemaire we based our life philosophy.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

Primus and Ween are high on the list, but Shellac has been an inspiration as of late after spending time working with Steve Albini and Bob Weston.

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

Primus, Ween, Pink Floyd, Nirvana, and System of a Down.

5. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

Taylor Swift, her grace and courage is inspiring.. also her Grammy bots keep trying to secure our vote on Facebook come Grammy season. After they ask me how I’ll be voting in the pop category, they tell me they worked on the new Taylor Swift album, then the profiles are deleted a week or two later. I’ve reported this to the Grammys to no avail. We figure enough is enough, if we make a pop song with her then maybe the bots will leave us alone.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

We cover a wide range of genres and topics so we usually say if you enjoy South Park you’ll probably like our music. We get a lot of Mike Patton / Mr. Bungle references which are quite flattering, Tenacious D is a little belittling not to say we wouldn’t love to play a tour with Jack and Kyle (take us with you)… the worst we get is Flight Of The Concords that’s where we draw the line.

7. What’s the best thing about being a musician?

Seeing new places and meeting new people keep the job fun.  Being able to fully express yourself and make the art you want, then having strangers relate to it is one of the best feeling in the world.

8. When the band are all hanging out together, who cooks; who gets the drinks in; and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

Phranque is always on some strange diet so he’s always cooking, Josh is usually on drinks and Andrew on the acoustic.

9. When was the last time you were star struck and who was it?

Ken Daneyko – when Phranque told him that we made a song about his Stanley Cup winning coach the great Jacques Lemaire and the ’95 team.

10. If you weren’t a musician, what would be your dream job?

Wall Street Douche or Playing in the NHL.

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over”, even if it didn’t change your current situation?

All of our album art and video’s are consistently banned from digital advertising because freedom of speech is dead in modern culture. We should just use solid color albums like Weezer so Facebook and Instagram stops considering us subversive political propagandists and Geffen will finally sign us.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

Dark Side of the Moon – Its a perfect record, would just wanna be an intern the control room.





Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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