Interview with Ian Neville from Dumpstaphunk!
20 February 2017
Dumpstaphunk debut at Bluesfest 2017, bringing an all star band . Ian Neville, band founder brings the funky guitar riffs to the Dumpstaphunk groove. He is the son of Art “Papa Funk” Neville—the keyboardist who founded the Meters and the Neville Brother - Ian was born funky. We chat to Ian about performing at Bluesfest in 2017 as well as his family history and what to expect from their performances.
We’re extremely excited to have Dumpstaphunk at Bluesfest 2017, have you heard much about the festival and Byron Bay? Any bands/acts you’re hoping to check out while you are at the festival?
I would like to catch some Eric Gales and some Roy Ayers.
Ian you’ve grown up heavily influenced by funk music, especially considering your roots: with your Dad ‘Poppa Funk’ Art Neville, of Meters and the Neville Brothers. Was performing, writing and recording always going to be part of your career and life?
I’ve definitely always enjoyed the different aspects of writing, performing, and recording music and I’ve ended up being lucky enough to have music as a main component of my life.
Some of the days in the studio recording our new material were a great example of why it’s so cool getting to create music, whether we’re are working from a band member’s idea or a sound check groove, we as a band end up creating a kind of funk that is like a direct translation of all our musical influences fused together.
With yourself and Ivan Neville, you come from a musical background. How did Dumpstaphunk begin and can you explain the relationship both personally and professionally between band members? Most of the band member have at some point played with the Neville Brothers?
Yes most of the band has played in the Neville Brothers band at some point in life. The four guys in the band now that have always been in the band, and are the same ones that all played with the Neville Brothers + way too many other people to list.
The first Dumpsta gig was at the New Orleans Jazz Fest and at the time it was an Ivan Neville’s gig. Ivan called everybody together initially for that gig and after a few more gigs and some slight adjustments, we’ve had the same core the whole time. Except drummers (currently drummer number three) - our boy Raymond Weber was the original drummer and still performs with us from time to time. Then another virtual family member Nikki Glaspie held it down for several years and now our young fellow New Orleans native Alvin Ford Jr. is crushing it on the drums for us.
Being in a band sometimes is like being married to a few other people at the same time, basically we’re all like family so you can imagine all the great (sometimes gory) details of that.
You’ve worked with Troy Andrews on Dirty Word and performed together a bunch of times. Trombone Shorty & Orleans Ave are regulars at Bluesfest since 2011 and you’re both performing at Bluesfest 2017, in fact on the same night. Can we expect any super jam funk magic to happen between both bands?
Anytime a bunch of New Orleans artists are together in that type setting some sort of jam, sit in is likely if at all possible.
Can you talk a bit about the new live album?
The live record is compiled from some of the best and coolest shows and guest sit ins throughout the years and many road adventures of Dumpstaphunk. It’s not all the time that the best nights and random guest sit ins get recorded, so its great that we captured enough of those moments to put this together.
You guys have kicked it onstage at the New Orleans Jazz Festival many times since 2003, and it’s been quoted that Dumpstaphunk goes down in history for “ the baddest bass jams ever at Jazz Fest" , we’re hoping to break that record at Bluesfest 2017. You think it’s possible?
We will definitely bring that same New Orleans fire and spirit with us all the way down there to the 2017 Bluesfest. And yes it’s it totally possible when you roll with two of the baddest bass players on the planet!!
I would imagine that your jams are largely free-style and you go where the audience takes you. What can festival goers expect this Easter at Bluesfest?
We have a few songs that are way more freelance than the rest. Depending on how much time we get to play will determine how of those songs we do or don’t get into.
Dumpstaphunk are performing exclusively at Bluesfest 2017 Thursday 13, Friday 14th, Sunday 16th and Monday 17th April.
Here’s their new single ‘Justice’ featuring Trombone Shorty!