SONNY KNIGHT & THE LAKERS INTERVIEW

*Answers from Eric Floss, the drummer*

 

How has the reaction to your latest CD been? 

 

Great!  I think there is a certain stigma with live records... that they're some how inferior or something.  Sure, some of them are, but the good ones to me are better than good studio albums.  The record has done better at radio than any of us could have hoped, and I think it's serving its purpose of highlighting the group's greatest asset... the live show.  Listen to this record, and you'll have a very good idea of what to expect from a Sonny Knight And The Lakers show.   


Who are your musical and non-musical influences?


Well, I think the interesting thing here is that this has changed already in a short period of time.  Before we cut the first album, we were way into James Brown and all the obscure acts of the 60s that followed his lead.  We were also heavily influenced by all the local soul acts of the 60s and early 70s... The Amazers and Maurice McKinnies are both local acts we still cover to this day.  After that record came out, I think we started getting more into the stuff recorded in Alabama and Memphis... Otis, Wilson, Aretha, etc.  Then that has lead into really digging into some of those song writers... specifically Dan Penn.  Now I think we're thinking a lot less about soul music and just more about good songs.  Sonny and I both love gospel music.  I haven't spent much time with it over the last couple years though... not like I used to.  Lately, I'm digging way back into it, though!  Some of the guys are way off into the country thing right now too.  I think it's cool.  Bringing those things together has helped us write much more "soulful" music as of late.  The next record will sound radically different as a result of that.  


Non-musical influences is a great question.  I know for me, I'm a little bit of an outdoorsman (not as much as I'd like to be these days with all the touring),and I think that industry is full of very exciting companies doing amazing things.  So many of those brands are able to connect with their customers in a very real and meaningful way.  Sure, you're just buying a pair of shoes or a jacket, but somehow it says something about who you are in a non-superficial way.  I think anyone who can make that sort of connection with their customers (AKA Fans) is worth looking at for inspiration.  Icelantic skis and Patagonia both come to mind instantly.  Also, I'm very inspired by the business side of James Brown.  He was a genius.  


What inspires you to do what you do? 


Sonny.  Watching him get up there night after night and lay it all out on the stage is the single most inspiring thing I've ever seen.  

What was the first LP/tape/CD you bought with your own money? 

I'm pretty sure it was Oasis' What's The Story Morning Glory.  I think I was in fifth grade. 


What has been your most memorable moment in your music career so far?  


It'd probably be the first soul revue concert I produced here in town.  It was a celebration of the Twin Cities Funk & Soul compilation I released on my label, Secret Stash Records.  The club could only give me like a $1,000 or $1,500 guarantee, but the show cost me way more than that to produce.  I tried to get more and they said this wasn't part of their mission programming and that basically I was lucky to get what I was getting.  Clearly they didn't believe in the project.  Anyhow, right up until showtime I was absolutely terrified that we'd only sell a couple hundred tickets and I would lose thousands of dollars and let down all of the great people that signed on to the project.  Presales weren't great.   Anyhow, I was backstage feeling all shitty about how it might turn out when my wife showed up and told me that the line was all the way down the street.  The room capped out at 650 and it wound up selling out before any of the music even started.  They turned away hundreds of people that night.  We went on and performed something like 22 songs with a rotating cast of singers and musicians.  All told I think there were like 24 musicians involved in that production.  It was the first time I ever worked with Sonny and was the spark that of created this fire.  Had we not produced that event, and had it not done as well as it did, I don't think we'd be doing this Sonny Knight And The Lakers Thing.  


If your city were a song it would be..


Having a Party by Sam Cooke.  This is a welcoming town and we love radio.  KFAI, The Current, KMOJ, KBEM... those are all non-commercial local stations that each kick lots of ass.  


Can you talk about a fan encounter that completely took you by surprise?


I recently asked a landscaper for a quote to install some sod.  He said, "sure, I'll draw up today, but I only accept payment in the form of Juicy Lucys."  For those who don't know, our song Juicy Lucy is actually about a type of hamburger that was created here in Minneapolis.  


What embarrassing songs might I find on your MP3 player? 


I get some version of this question a lot.  If it's in my collection, I'm not embarrassed by it.  In most cases of "guilty pleasure of music," people feel that connection to a song or artist for sentimental reasons.  I play with guys who dig some music I HATE.  Nine out of ten times, it's because I wasn't there when that stuff was going on.  So.. all that said, I probably have some things that may surprise some people.   Two of my favorite bands are Tool and Meshugga.  I have most of their records on my iPhone.  Oh, also, I haven't removed that fucking U2 record from my iPhone, but I've never listened to it.  Those guys make shit music.  


What does the next 6 months look like for you?  


We'll be touring hard again for a few weeks in September and again in November.  We're almost ready to do in and cut the next studio record, too. I can't wait for that.  


What can people expect to see at your live performances? 


Non-stop music. You paid to see a show, not watch 8 dudes play grab ass in between songs.  The show has a flow to it that includes high highs and low lows, but it never stops.  You're going to see 8 people work as hard as they possibly can for you.  There isn't a single night that I'm not completely exhausted after playing a show.  If you're willing to pay to see our show, then we're going to give you everything we've got.  


The show has changed a lot in the past 6 months, too... mostly because we're adding new material.  We used to have trouble figuring out how to make mid-tmepo numbers work.  I think we've got it dialed in now, so the show is even more dynamic than it once was.  Also, Sonny has been destroying ballads lately.  Of course we're still playing the fast hard hitting stuff, but I think overall the show is just more diverse and dynamic than it used to be.


Sonny Knight And The Lakers - Do It Live

 

Het getuigt van lef van Sonny Knight And The Lakers om als tweede album gelijk een live album te maken.

Na het beluisteren van het album is het gelijk duidelijk , wat een geweldig live album is dit. Het album is vorig jaar   december opgenomen in de Dakota Jazz Club in hun woonplaats  Minneapolis. We horen de band moddervette funk en heerlijke soul grooves spelen. 

Het album geeft de luisteraar echt het gevoel aanwezig en onderdeel te zijn van de show. Zanger Sonny Knight is in topvorm, maar zeker net zo belangrijk is de bijdrage van zijn band The Lakers die de zanger de ruimte geven om te excelleren. Met ' Do It Live ' heeft Sonny knight And The Lakers een visitekaartje afgegeven. Mocht je ooit in de gelegenheid zijn de band live te zien aarzel dan geen moment. Je zult er zeker geen spijt van krijgen.