Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Originally published in: Monday Magazine

Random thoughts: I was talking to a fellow freelancer from Australia today and I realized I've been neglecting ye ole blog. And I've also been mentioning some of my favourite articles at work lately, and this Fishbone one kept coming up. Then I realized, "Wait, I never posted that one to the blog!" So here it is, in all of it's random glory. I love how this piece turned into a recap of Angelo Moore's shitty cell phone reception.

Phonin’ in the Phoneyard
Playing cellular tag with Fishbone’s Angelo Moore

Cell phones: The bane of a music journalist’s existence. It’s not uncommon for cell phone interviews to break up or cut off, but talking to Fishbone singer/superfreak Angelo Moore as he winds through the streets of LA is like trying to converse with an angry wasp circling its nest.
“Hold on, maybe I’ll drive over to the other side of the hills so we won’t get cut off…” yells Moore as our connection is lost for the first time. Notice I said the first time.
Without going into extreme detail, let’s just say I was working the phone lines like a maniac trying to get enough information strung together from Moore to find out about their upcoming headlining gig at Victoria’s annual SkaFest. Like, for one, do the longtime genre-busters consider themselves a ska band?
“No, we got a lot more than ska, but people know us for our ska,” says Moore. “But people will see high energy, well-oiled, badass musicians… lots of funk, lots of soul, lots of rock, some gospel overtones, you’re gonna hear some punk rock, too. And of course you’re gonna hear a lot of ska.”
Formed in 1979, Fishbone became notorious in the ‘80s for their spastic fusion (even scoring a minor hit with “Bonin’ in the Boneyard”), but the ‘90s found them oddballs out with a sound entirely too challenging for its own good. By the time the new millennium rolled around, Moore and bassist Norwood Fisher were the only two original members left, and they struggled to keep the band afloat with an influx of new players.
“Those guys don’t want to do it no more, too bad for them,” stings Moore about his ex-bandmates. “We’ve got new guys that are happy to be here and they want to see Fishbone carry on, so that’s what makes us want to carry it on, too.”
One of the new guys Moore refers to is none other than guitar hero Rocky George, who joined the Fishbone ranks in 2003, and is best known for his finger-licking work in the legendary metal/punk group Suicidal Tendencies. I grew up on this guy’s raging, non-stop guitar solos, so I gotta ask what it’s like working with one of my boyhood idols.
“You say something about Rocky George?” shouts Moore, obviously unable to hear my crucial question. Then the phone dies again. Frantically, I scramble to get Moore back on the line but, as soon as I do, it immediately starts breaking up.
“Hold on, man, I got something else to say,” bellows Moore for the last time, over perpetual static. “I’ve got this new solo project. It’s called…” The line goes dead again.
Don’t you just love technology?

-Jason Schreurs

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