Our Founder, Fê Paronetto, recently went to a Sofar Sounds event, hosted at a super cool spot in Bushwick, called Honey’s. There, she saw a fantastic show by The Big Takeover Band and understood “why” they are taking over New York City!
If you’ve never heard of Sofar Sounds, they host the most exclusive, secret and intimate music gigs in over 300 cites all over the Globe!
“Bringing the magic back to live music. Amazing artists in intimate spaces, performing stripped-back sets to carefully curated audiences. Sit down, settle in and just listen. You’re gonna love it.”
This event is BYOB (bring.your.own.bottle), so you can bring your own Booze! So feel free to bring Wine, Beer, or whatever makes you happy!
During the night at Honey’s, three bands performed for around 25 minutes each. The place is amazing, with an additional space containing a tasting room with wine barrels by Enlightenment Wines. That’s where the event was hosted. Super cool!
At this last event that Fê went, the last band was The Big Takeover Band! She fell completely in love with their music, the style, the vibe and decided to interview them!
Nee Nee Rushie – Vocals | Rob Kissner – Bass | Kerry Shaw – Guitar | Andy Vogt – Trombone | Chas Montrose – Sax | Batu Attila – Drums.
So, take a look below to see what they are all about:
1) Let’s start with how the band started. Being from the Hudson Valley, how did the band come about?
When I moved to New York from Jamaica to go to college, I met Rob Kissner (bass) and Sam Tritto (original drummer) in New Paltz. We became friendly and realized we had a common love for Jamaican music.
We eventually formed a reggae band with the best guitar player in town (Jonny Monster) and Sam’s cousin, Andrew Vogt (trombone). Andrew soon brought Chas Montrose (sax) on board. They were old buddies who grew up together.
We started playing out and writing songs and people really enjoyed them. We have had some line-up changes along the way, but we have never stopped. That was back in 2007.
2) Was there any local inspiration when you guys started?
New Paltz, where we met and started playing gigs, has a very rich music scene. There is always something interesting music-wise happening there.
When we started out, there were many bands that played to very excited people. So we were inspired not only by our peers that were creating independent and good music, but by the people who were so open and excited to hear and see independent artists.
3) The music is very unique, mixing a quite a few different genres. Which bands are the ones you most enjoy and also gather inspiration from?
We gather inspiration from most styles of Jamaican music. We look up to bands and artists from the 60’s and 70’s. And some current artists with the old soul: The Skatalites, The Specials, The Slackers, Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings, Phyllis Dillon, Gregory Isaacs. Too many to mention, really.
4) Before writing a song, is there any ritual or maybe a place you go to be in silence? What are some things that people don’t really know about this creative process and how much work is put in it that you could share?
We always have something conceptualized before we meet and flush it out. It starts with a chord progression or a bass line. I put a vocal melody and lyrics on top of it and the rest of the band works their magic. No special place, no rituals. It comes to us and we play it.
5) You’ve played in over 700 show, throughout the past 10 years, which is simply amazing! I don’t believe that there is only 1 highlight in that timeline, so what were the most memorable moments or experiences that you guys had? Which show (or shows), would you love going back in time and experiencing again?
We love playing festivals in the summer time. That’s our favorite. This year we played Mountain Jam and we loved it. We enjoyed every festival that we have played!
Whenever we get the opportunity to open for a band that we look up to, we enjoy the hell out of it and always wish we can do it again.
We have shared the stage with many people we look up to like: Beres Hammond, Culture, The Wailers, The Skatalites, The Slackers, Eek-a-Mouse…
6) What’s the most exciting part of a show and of performing? The very beginning before going on stage? The middle when you see the crowd vibing with your song? The end, when you have massive applauses? Or another pivotal moment?
I personally don’t enjoy the time before going on stage. Anytime that is spent not on stage or waiting to be on stage, is not fun for me.
The best part is the entire experience of being on stage from beginning to end. I love to sing, so if I’m singing, I’m happy. When I look out and see happy people, it makes it even better.
7) You are going on a new tour now to promote the “Silly Girl” album! What is the itinerary? What are you most looking forward too and what are some cool things you want to take from this tour?
We are going to VA, NC, LA, TX, CO, CA and WA and we’re really look forward to it all! It will be amazing since we are going to get to see a lot of the country! We want to see the Grand Canyon, the desert and some wild horses.
A few other fun questions regarding the Hudson Valley region:
8) What are your top 5 picks in the area of places to go and activities to do? In other words, here would you take your friends and family to explore away from the touristy scene?
We are so lucky to live in such a unique area of the country and love it here! We would recommend walking over the Hudson River (Walkway Over The Hudson), swimming in a water hole (so many all over!), hiking (countless hiking trails), visiting a farm for picking fruits or veggies, visiting a distillery, brewery or cidery.
9) Which are the best spots in New York (5 boroughs) to listen to the best music and upcoming bands?
We don’t get the time to listen to upcoming bands, unless we catch them before or after our set. Manhattan and Brooklyn never fails to have an eye catching act. We’ve seen some great bands at Rockwood Music Hall and The Shrine in Harlem.
Thank you Nee Nee (and band!) for participating in this interview! We are happy to show the world a bit of your story and fantastic work!
Here are 3 video clips of musics we love:
You can purchase their albums, if you enjoyed the videos!
And, if you want to check them out or go to a show, take a look at their website to follow where they’ll be live next! As we mentioned, they are literally taking over New York City.
Photo Credits: Courtesy of The Big Takeover Band, Matthew Conde and Arius Photography
*Last Update on March/2020.*