Biscuits & Gravy: The swinging funkiness of roaring energy

My first encounter with Biscuits & Gravy was like traveling back in time to a Beatles or Rolling Stones concert, with swarms of groupies screaming and immolating their bodies to the rising gods of rock ‘n roll. This young, diversely vibrant group of seven from Boston blends into a sole volcanic ensemble on stage, bringing together a shared passion for music, groovy, deliciously funky tunes and a dazzling, galvanizing energy. Playing with multiple instruments ranging from bass to alto sax, and with enticing, warm vocals, Biscuits & Gravy  are able to set on fire any crowd . With an upcoming album (“Hello Weekend”) in the making, this high-powered, explosive group ignites the East coast scene and is getting ready to conquer it all.

Graziella Buontempo: Who are Biscuits & Gravy? How did you all meet?

Biscuits & Gravy: All members of B&G met and began playing while studying at Berklee College of Music. Everyone lives, eats and breathes music, performing with Biscuits and other groups as much as possible.

GB: How did you come up with this catchy yet unusual name?

B&G: At first, the name was a completely random name that came from David’s older brother Jon. It wasn’t something that we were going to keep but when playing one of our first shows, Dave asked the crowd if we should change our name. When people started chanting “Biscuits and Gravy,” we knew it was going to stick around.

GB: What influence does each of you have that the other ones don’t necessarily share and what are your common grounds?

B&G: Our backgrounds come from all over the place and we try and fuse them into a unique sound. Sam has a rock background, Mark has gospel, Ghost has jazz, Evan has R&B, and David dances to all the sounds combined.

GB: What comes first in your creative process: lyrics or the music?

B&G: It’s a mix really. There have been songs that the chords and form came first and lyrics were written afterwards, but there have been some where it’s the other way around. If it’s a good idea lyrically or in form, we usually pursue it.

GB: When you are in the studio recording, do you go mostly for feeling or perfection of the sound?

B&G: It was a mixture of both. The quality is extremely important but at the same time songs are about expressing one’s self and grabbing the emotion and feeling that comes with self expression. We take a mix, making sure to stay technically strong but always staying emotionally connected to the lyrical content.

GB: Where do you draw inspiration for your music?

B&G: Every day experiences, really. Whether it’s something that makes us extremely happy or just day to day issues, we draw inspiration from how we live. With our different backgrounds and experiences our songs can have a lot of different influences. At the end of the day, we make music that people living it up and working hard to get by will really understand.

(Click on the player below to listen to B&G’s first single “Serenade” from their upcoming LP “Hello Weekend!”)

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Zev: The alluring mystery of music with a soul

When I first met Zev (aka The Wolf of Wolf+Lamb), two years ago in Boston, I had no idea what he looked like. However, I did know that the sultry sexiness and warmth of his music (both solo and as one half of Wolf + Lamb) had made me dance more than once until the light of dawn. With punchy bass breakdowns, lulling erotic moans, Zev transforms any dancefloor (whether in Miami, London or Black Rock’s Playa) in a groovy, slo-mo wave reminiscent of old-school house, disco and even country music. His soulful, sunny tunes travel straight to one’s heart and propel us into a place where time does not exist, digging deep into sensual feelings of love and seduction.

Graziella Buontempo: Who is Zev?

Zev: An interesting way to begin an interview, a question so deep one must reach into the abyss of one’s self just to begin pondering the possibilities of an answer

GB: What music did you listen to growing up and what are you listening to right now?

Z: I grew up listening to ultra-orthodox, all-male, testosterone laden folk music. The music was generally praising god or kvetching about how our ancestors had it rough and everyone was trying to kill us. It was essentially poorly regurgitated non-jewish music twenty years late.

GB: You have recently moved from NYC to Miami. Has this shift had any influence or consequences on your production? How different is the club scene?

Z: This is an annual pilgrimage the Soul Clap boys, Gadi, Deniz and myself make to escape the plunging temperatures the east coast. With the sun shining every day, I suppose it effects our mood, which probably keeps our music upbeat and optimistic.

GB: What creative medium that you still haven’t pursued would you like to attain?

Z: Desert making. I’m not too bad at cooking most anything.. but deserts is where I fall short. A highly creative medium I have yet to master. I’ll give you a taste when I’m there.

GB: I know you are a big fan of DIY, what is the favorite thing you have ever created?

Z: I love the chandeliers at the Marcy in New York. They’re very simple and made from old film reels that we’re going to be thrown out.

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