We at AudioFuzz got to interview The Phryg, one of the very best of all funk bands, really worthy of comparisons with their hero, George Clinton. Also, check out the video for their song, “Hello Miss”.
1. You guys have a tremendous sound; jazzy, funky, pop. How did you arrive at such a great combo?
Our sound is a combination of our collective individual musical identities as well as our shared love for particular bands and genres. Collin holds a masters degree in classical guitar but previously played in a metal group. Bryan in addition to bass, plays trumpet and MCs in a hip-hop brass band. Chris is a keyboard wizard who leads his own piano rock trio and Mike can play just about any style of music put in front of him. We all love funk and any type of improvised music and all that combined creates the musical stew that is The Phryg.
2. I love the fact that you all have music degrees under your belt. Do you think an musical education is vital for your sound? Also, the fact the there is some teaching going on is just so cool. What is your opinion of the fact so many schools butcher the music and art budget and sacrifice those programs first of all?
I think our sound is definitely shaped by our music education but I wouldn’t go as far as saying it’s vital. I know plenty of musicians who studied at the highest level and were never able to apply those skills in todays musical landscape. I also know musicians who didn’t get formal training and went straight to work playing in clubs and have formed careers that way. I think having some sort of mentor or teacher in the early learning stages is crucial, especially today when the styles and platform for music is so varied. If a young person is given the right tools and confidence to explore their voice and interests, the possibilities are endless. As far as music programs being cut, that is very unfortunate. In times of peril it’s usually the first thing to go, but at the same time art is reflective of current events. So although it may be taken away from a kid’s daily school life, hopefully the art that emerges through the darkness will be bright enough to influence kids to take it upon themselves to do it on their own. Now, with the help of social media, at least there’s an easy avenue to find it.
3. Who are your main influences?
Parliament Funkadelic, Prince, Pink Floyd, Herbie Hancock, James Brown, Frank Zappa, Lettuce, Umphrey’s Mcgee, Primus.
4. Who writes most of the songs? How does the song writing process work?
Collin and myself (Bryan) write all of the songs. My writing process usually begins in my head with an idea or riff that I usually sing into my phone so I remember it. I’ll then develop/revise that idea at home by looping and layering parts and start piecing the form together. The lyrics and vocal part usually come at the end once I decide on the theme or topic of the song. The song will likely get revised even more once I bring it into the guys until we’re all happy with the end product.
5. Love the shirt. The Logo is really great. Who designed the logo? (oh, I wear an XXL).
We have a few logos, the older ones were designed by Collin’s cousin, Lexi Hart. The new art for the album is done by Michael Morgan.
6. I see you play Pittsburgh often? When are you playing the ‘Burgh again?
We played once in Pittsburgh last year on our way to a festival in Ohio. We had a blast and will hopefully be making it out there again this fall.
7. Anything you want to share with the readers?
Check out our music video for our single “Hello Miss” on youtube. It’s a love story about our band mascot little “Phrygie” who is a refrigerator from another galaxy. Also check out our new debut album on itunes/spotify!