Spoonfed Tribe | Interview | Wakarusa 2014
GW: So who all are you playing with this weekend?
Chaddy: We’re just kinda cruising around. We’ve got some buddies here. A couple of the Spoonfed guys are doing their vacation and we had the weekend off so we thought we’d come up and be a part of the magical festival here.
GW: Have you guys ever been to this festival?
Matt: Oh year. This is our 5th or 6th year – we’ve played here almost every year since they moved it up to the mountain. Last night we sat in with Wookiefoot and Nahko. By the weekend’s end we’ll be getting with Mike Dillon Band and perhaps Andy Frasco. They’re good buds of ours.
Chaddy: It’s kind of one of those deals where you’re walking down the lane and you see your buddy that’s in whatever band and that’s how these things happen here at the festival. You’re carrying around a drum and they’re like ‘Hey come out and jam!’ You never can tell what’s going to happen.
GW: Yeah – a very collaborative effort out here, I feel. So there’s been a lot of talk this weekend about a band’s ability to help change the world and help a social effort. What do you guys do to help make the world a better place with your music?
Matt: I think that’s absolutely true and possible. That’s a huge part of what music does; we’re out here to heal and uplift. You have DJs that’ll bring the heat and pump people up, and people like Nahko and Wookiefoot are really conscious…
Chaddy: …loving sensation I guess you could say. And of course, as we all know, music does different things for different people; regardless of the lyrics or the vibe; however it makes you feel inside, I think music has a pathway to get in your soul and do things that a lot of other things don’t really do.
David: Music evokes emotion and emotion is what usually drives people to have motion in their lives.
Chaddy: Sort of a never-ending relation.
GW: So when you guys started being musicians, is that something you always felt you had in you or did somebody introduce you to music and all of a sudden you thought ‘Oh my god! That’s for me.’
Matt: I always felt I had it in me, but when I was 6 or so my cousin was a drummer and gave me my first pair of sticks. And it was all done right there. And we’re brothers *points to Chaddy* - we’re the two drummers of Spoonfed and I have 8 years on him. As he was growing up he was always sitting behind the kit.
Chaddy: I’d sneak into his room while he was at school and break all of his drumsticks for him. *laughs*
David: Yeah, my mom kind of saw it in me when I was young. She would do little things like buy a tape recorder with a Sesame Street play-along and leave it in my room, and I would just go crazy with it and end up recording my own loops. I didn’t know what I was doing, I was just having fun. My mom was a big part of my life to encourage me to be who I was, which she saw from the beginning.
GW: Since ya’ll started out with music as children do you work with children to encourage that in them?
David: Yeah, I work with this nonprofit that’s an organic garden called Promise of Peace Garden in Dallas that post-traumatic stress kids who live in the ghettos [work at]; their home environment isn’t so hot…there’s always fighting and guns going off. We get their hands in the dirt and get them growing some vegetables. It changes their outlook.
Matt: We have a lot of opportunities through friends back home where we bring out drums and stuff, and let the kids play. That was heartwarming for me because I love seeing kids play music. I love seeing them want to learn and I love seeing them strive for it. Some of these schools don’t even have music programs, you know? So this is like ‘Wow!’ to them.
GW: So what instruments do you really want to play that you don’t know how to play?
Chaddy: I’d like to learn how to play the Bavarian Cheese Whistle. [Editor’s note: I had no idea what this was until I googled it…]
Matt: You know, I’m really interested in the bassoon. I think there’s a good market out there for it these days…you don’t hear it every day.
GW: Is that something you feel like you could work into your sets?
Chaddy: Absolutely. There’s a little bassoon in some of our older albums. That was Jeff Barnes from Brave Combo.
David: This is going to sound crazy, but I recently got into jug band music. So, a jug.
GW: A question I really like asking people is: What is the best sandwich.
Chaddy: Ooh! Did we mention our last name is Cocuzza?
Matt: How long do we have here?
Chaddy: Okay. Here’s what you want to do. You want to get a nice bread; not to soft, a little bit hard but not too crazy toasted.
Matt: A little crunchy on the outside.
Chaddy: Now what you’re going to want to do is take your provolone cheese. You’re gonna put that on the bottom layer, and you’re going to put a nice mozzarella on top of that. Then you’re going to take your gobbagold(sorry, I have no idea what they said here!), hard salami and some Black Forest ham – all Boar’s Head meat. Then we’re gonna take a little mixture of spicy brown mustard, mayonnaise, oil and vinegar; we’re gonna throw some hot peppers on that.
Matt: Tomato, onion.
Chaddy: Depending on your mood you can throw some pepperoncinis on there – who’s counting? We are sandwich coinsurers. Actually, Matt and I have been discussing opening a sandwich shop back in our hometown. Something along the lines of Go F- Yourself Sandwiches or Forget About It…something like that?
David: I like all of that, but there’s this spread that I’ve found that’s a feta cheese pepper spread. And then a little bit of that Italian mix…Italian seasoning.
GW: Do you guys prefer toasted sandwiches?
Matt: I was going to bring that up. On the sandwich we were going to make what we’re going to do is leave it open. Then we’re going to toast it. You don’t want to over-toast; meat warm, cheese a little melted.
Chaddy: The reason you do that is you don’t want your lettuce, tomato, onion warm.
GW: No. Warm lettuce is gross.
David: You can go ahead and hold the lettuce on my salad.
GW: Now that we got the food question out of the way. What are you guys planning with the band in the upcoming year or so?
Matt: Well, we have a tour coming up with Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band. In the next month or so we’re going to head up to Tulsa (Oklahoma) for the Center of the Universe Festival.
David: I think it’s their second year to do this. Last year they had about 80,000 people and this year I think they’re expecting about 100,000. It’s a pretty cool festival.
Matt: We’re also doing the Green Eggs and Jam festival coming up. Then a Midwest tour in September bringing us through Colorado and back through Texas. And a few of us perform in a new band called the End of the World Parade which is a 30-member, full-contact, psychedelic marching band with aerials, fireworks, mannequin parts. That’s something we started up several years ago; we only did a few shows but things really popped off. There’s so many members in that band that play with other bands that it’s hard for the planets to align. We’ve got a real nice lineup and a lot of dedicated folks getting involved. So that’s something we’re going to pursue in the next year; hopefully we’ll be back here at Wakarusa with that.
Chaddy: We want to debut that out here, festival-wise. I think this would be the perfect grounds.
GW: Besides the scheduling issue, is it difficult to work with so many people?
Chaddy: It is. It’s a challenge to organize. Not everybody that has been involved can make a gig, but we have such a pool of performers and musicians that it’s different every time. But there is a pretty solid core. We have yet to take it on the road and we’ll see what happens in the future…but it’s something we’d like to do.
GW: So do you guys mostly jam or do you have composed pieces?
Matt: Several originals. We might throw in a few tricks you might have heard before.
Chaddy: A lot of it has to do with filling up our bus and putting a bunch of crazy circus people in there. You drive up to some pub that doesn’t even know you’re going to show up and do some guerilla-style performances. You know, we’ll have a guy come in and set up an aerial thing, we’ll get up on a pool tables swinging lights around. We just get really interactive about it – breaking that 4th wall. People may not like it, they may feel uncomfortable.
GW: So I guess you all feel like there’s a big place for interactive performances?
Matt: Absolutely. When we first started in Spoonfed Tribe we did a lot of street performance with our drums and stuff. That was kind of my favorite type of performance – where the audience doesn’t know they’re about to be an audience. I think that’s a purist reaction – that’s one of the greatest parts about what we do. That’s one of the reasons we started the End of the World Parade. You have 30 plus people wandering into a space that was not intended and just see what happens.
GW: There was a press conference yesterday and somebody mentioned you should have performances in front of strangers vs. professionals. It allows you to criticize yourself less. Plus it can expand a person’s view of music. Have there ever been people who came up to you and said ‘Man, I just never thought I’d like this music.’ Or has that ever happened with you guys? What types of music did you think you would never like?
David: Electronica music. When I was going to school I wanted to hear people play in a band. And I still, deep down inside, love a band. I love being in a band, watching bands…but what surprised me when I first started listening to electronica music is I actually liked it.
Chaddy: Spacebar jam.
Matt: I love it all. You know, I have my favorites but I can get turned onto anything.
Chaddy: I never thought I’d be such a Neal Sedaka fan until I found some of my parents’ 8-tracks.
GW: So what about older musicians? Who are some you really look up to?
David: Mike Dillon. I used to watch Mike Dillon when I was going to the University of North Texas. I was there to play chess and meet my friends every so often; and I hear this band: Mike Dillon in the next room with the Hairy Apes. He’s a multi-instrumentalist; I went from being totally focused on the trumpet to knowing that it’s okay to explore outside my main instrument. And that’s what I wanted to do for the rest of my life since I watched Mike Dillon. And then I went to my first festival and I was like…that’s what I want to do.
Matt: Yeah, he was in a band called Billy Goat back in the day. We weren’t even old enough to get into clubs, but there was this place down the street from our house called Hippie’s Mistake and we heard this band playing, it was the first time I’d ever heard live music in our town, and me and our singer, Egg, had to go check that out. We were blown away. From that point on it was like…this is what I have to do. I’m going to follow this.
Chaddy: When I was going through musical puberty I was in a band called Basilica Sam, it turned into a band called Hippogaroo…it had a bunch of weird names…going through that I was listening to a lot of King Crimson, YES, early 70’s Genesis, Peter Gabriel..and that stuff just blew my mind. It was the first time I ever smoked a joint. And then you have your Pink Floyd and Led Zepplins and stuff…you have to give it to that stuff too.
Matt: There’s so much out there we’re never going to get through it all.