Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk will bring the funk to DeLuna Fest. / Special to GoPensacola.com
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Things are about to get just a little bit funky at the 2012 DeLuna Fest on Pensacola Beach. Why? Ivan Neville is headed to our shores with his band, Dumpstaphunk, quite arguably not just one of the best contemporary funk bands, but one of the best funk bands, period.
With the strength of the Neville family as the strong backbone of this band, bassists Tony Hall and Nick Daniels along with drumming phenom Nikki Glaspie help round out a sound that is unique to Dumpstaphunk. For a band created on a whim by Ivan Neville, Dumpstaphunk continues to amaze with its progressive funk and blend of the best of nostalgic funk.
Drummer Glaspie took the time to talk on the phone about how she ended up playing with Dumpstafunk, what young girls getting into drumming should remember and who she is excited about seeing at DeLuna Fest.
Q: You have played with such an impressive list of artists. How did you hook up with Ivan Neville and Dumpstaphunk?
A: Well, we met in like 2004. And I went down to [New Orleans] Jazz Fest to play to play with various bands. I went down there to play with the Sam Kininger Band. So I know a lot of those guys and a lot of his crew, it's very incestuous. We all play in each other's bands. So I went down to Jazz Fest and I eventually met Ivan and Ian and the rest of the cats. Actually, I met Tony in Boston. I used to play this club called Wally's Jazz Cafe, which was like a breeding ground for a bunch of talented musicians who play all over the world now. I mean, I can't even begin to name the list of artists that everyone in the club has played with now.
Basically, we just met playing music, you know? I quit my gig with Beyonce in April of the year before last and I was looking for a gig and they were looking for a drummer so they called me up and asked me if I wanted to play the gig. I said “yes,” and the rest is history!
Q: Considering your background growing up playing drums in the church, graduating from Berklee College of Music and playing at Wally's, would you consider playing with Dumpstaphunk as being closer to your roots as a drummer as opposed to, say, being on tour with Beyonce?
A: Definitely. Absolutely. I come from a funk mentality. And that's pretty much, playing in Wally's, that's what I learned. I learned how to be funky.
Q: So do you have any projects in the works outside of playing with Dumpstaphunk?
A: Yeah, actually I do. It's funny because I just got off the phone with the keyboard player — I'm starting this band. We haven't officially decided on the band name yet, but its a project with Nigel Hall, who plays in the Warren Haynes Band, and also Nick Castarino, who plays in the Jen Hartswick Band. And Nate Edgar from John Brown's Body. We're cooking up a couple little things, you know? It's going to happen for real, it's just a matter of finding time since we are all busy with other projects, so we have to find the time to get together and focus on that. But it will happen.
Q: I was looking at your impressive body of work and was wondering if, coming from such a heavily male-dominated scene as drumming, you had any words of advice for any girls picking up sticks for the first time.
A: I would just say to keep playing, you know? No matter what. No matter what people say, because you know they are going to talk about you, you know what I mean? They will think that you aren't good enough just because you are a girl, but I use that as fire and motivation to get better.
Q: Do you have any musicians in mind that you think these younger girls setting out should be listening to?
A: I would say just like, real musicians. Other than, like, pop artists. That's the thing — pop is great and everything, but it doesn't really ... pop nowadays is different than it was, you know, in the ’40s, when it all big bands. It was all real music. Nowadays, it's not what it should be. It's been so watered down for years and the suits got involved and it became all about making money. It's not really about the music, so that's why I say girls should definitely pay attention to other female musicians who are actually playing music.
Q: So what are you personally listening to these days?
A: Right now, it's kind of constant — I am always listening to Tower of Power. I am always playing that, it doesn't really matter what time of day, or it could be months and months — I am continuously playing Tower of Power. And Bootsy Collins. And also some random stuff as well, like I listen to a lot of the Foo Fighters. I also listen to some '80s music, like I just bought the soundtrack to “New Jack City” and there are a couple of songs on there that are pretty cool. But Tower of Power, they just have albums for days, so I could listen forever. And the new Dumpstaphunk album is coming out pretty soon. So there's a heads up for that. We are hoping for the next few months, as we slowly remix and master that. But the album itself in in the final stage of being mix and mastered and then implemented and distributed.
Q: Did you do any of the producing or arranging for the new album?
A: Yeah, one of my songs is on the album and I am also singing on the album, so it's a pretty good mix. I mean, I wrote that song years ago — I was on tour with Beyonce. It just came out. And I attribute that to what I was going through at the time and what the band was going through at the time, just like, growing pains. So that one will be on the album, it's called “Everybody Just Can't Get Along.”
Q: Okay, that song’s name says a lot. [laughs]
A: Yeah, pretty much. [laughs] You know, its just about like, how why can't we get along? We're all on the same planet, we all have the same issues that we have to deal with so why fight? You know what I mean? We should all just get along and try to figure this shit out together.
Q: Right?! Back to your favorite bands, though, are you going to try to catch the Foo Fighters at DeLuna Fest?
A: Yeah! I mean, I am not exactly sure yet when they are playing, but I am a huge Dave Grohl fan. I've never met him and I have been trying to find him. I found out one of my friends that went to school with me knows him, but we haven't been able to make a connection.
Q: Maybe magic will happen at DeLuna!
A: Yeah! I hope so, I hope so! I would love to just get in the room with him and just create. I can kind of gather by his songs and by his music how he thinks, musically, and that's exactly … I mean, I’m a drummer, too. He's a drummer at the end of the day. We have some similarities in that we play the guitar and drums also. I just really want to pick his brain! Tell him I am looking for him! [laughs]
Things are about to get just a little bit funky at the 2012 DeLuna Fest on Pensacola Beach. Ivan Neville is headed to our shores with his band, Dumpstaphunk, quite arguably not just one of the best
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