Fishbone to bring funk, ska, rock to townWritten by Vicki L. Kroll | | email@example.com
“Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone” is a star-studded documentary that shows how the innovative L.A. rockers have influenced many and continue to create.
Narrated by actor Laurence Fishburne, the film features fans Gwen Stefani, Ice-T, Branford Marsalis, George Clinton, Flea of The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Les Claypool of Primus and more.
“Honestly, I couldn’t tell if the documentary was good or bad when I saw the first cut; I didn’t know the entertainment value. I knew that it was honest,” said Fishbone bass player John Norwood Fisher.
“The entertainment value of it I wouldn’t realize until we started going to screenings and seeing and feeling the audiences’ vibe with it and going on a journey.”Released in 2010, the movie chronicles how the group came together in 1979 and by the mid-1980s dazzled with its eclectic fusion of music.
“Punk rock, new wave, hip-hop and techno — all that stuff was just forming. The ska music out of England was just happening. Reggae was just taking on really in a big way in the United States. All this was happening at the same time,” Fisher said.
And Fishbone added funk, rock and soul to all of that for a fun, frenetic sound that sometimes has a sense of humor or tackles social issues.
“We want to express life and the celebration of it as well as like, hey, we view issues personally and in the big scheme of things like society as a whole,” Fisher said during a call from his home in Santa Monica, Calif. “You can dance to it or you could choose to escape or really listen to what we’re saying and feel it, you know, there’s passion, anger, laughter.”
Spike Lee directed the video for Fishbone’s 1991 hit, “Sunless Saturday.” “Everyday Sunshine” also charted that year.
“The fact that we were all blacks didn’t — that wasn’t special to us, that we were black guys playing hard rock, or playing rock ‘n’ roll in the basic sense or venturing into punk rock,” Norwood said. “Us mixing up all the styles of music just came natural.”
Fishbone — Fisher, singer and sax man Angelo Moore, trumpeter Walter A. Kibby II, drummer John Steward, guitarist Rocky George, keyboardist Dre Gipson, trombonist Jay Armant — will play Sept. 14 at Mickey Finn’s Pub at 9 p.m. with openers Downtown Brown, Gold and The Grubs. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 day of the show.
In 2011, the band released an EP, “Crazy Glue.”
“It’s the band Fishbone looking inward,” Fisher joked about the title track.
For better or worse, he and original members Moore and Kibby have stuck together.
“At a certain point, you become self-aware and you go, ‘Oh my god, there’s this impact that we’re having.’ And you read your own press and people make a big deal about you being an all-black band doing what you do,” Fisher said.
“There’s a part of me that, like, you know, this is a legacy that must carry on and actually continue to create a future because as long as we’re doing what we’re doing, I believe that we create the possibility that other people can do similar things or even unsimilar things but maybe further out. We took it to one level, and somebody else can come along and take it to another level.”