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Blue Millennium Talks About Groovin'
By Ben Ohmart
(more articles from this author)
2001-02-08
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Blue2k, the 11 piece groove ensemble, contains enough funk and jazz men to sink a Harlem club. Here's what Dave Glassco had to say about his band.

Ready for Radio (MP3)
www.blue2k.com

[Ben] Since BM began, you've had 63 musicians who have played in the band?? Where are they all going?

[Dave] Good question, I was amazed when I tallied it up. Because of the size of our group (11 pieces), we get a little more turnover the normal, especially in the horn section. Some have left voluntarily, others have been asked to leave. It is important in such a large group to make sure that friction is kept to a minimum, while insuring that we have the best people we can find. The funniest loss was a sax player who walked the gig ten minutes before show time because 'he just couldn't work' with our trumpet sub for the night. Oh, and backup singers making passes at the married men in the group get the boot too.

[Ben] Great website. Clean, and provides a good service between you and the fans. Who maintains it? How often is it updated?

[Dave] Thanks, I do the website myself. In fact, because of the band's need for a website, I had to learn HTML and all. That led to my current job at a web company, CDstreet.com. I try to keep it updated, but over the last year have been making the move to a more automated site, with more multimedia content. This transition is almost complete. We don't see ourselves touring extensively, so we want a great web presence to help build a fan community. We are going to be adding more and more to the site this year.

[Ben] Apart from giving people a chance not only to buy the new cd (Vintage Hi-Fi) but HEAR it first, you've also got a vast 'bootleg' collection of mp3s up. What's the deal with that?

[Dave] Once again, because of the logistics of the band, most people will not get a chance to see us perform live. I think we have a fun live show, and wanted to share that. I have always been a bootleg fan, it is a way to hear the band at its most basic level, warts and all. I have a Sting bootleg where there are numerous times the band completely screws up. Somehow that is reassuring to me.

As far as giving away tracks from our studio work, we feel that giving people the opportunity to hear us is more important than sales right now.

[Ben] By the way, that tip jar (toss in e-$ just like you'd throw a buck into a guitar case in a subway) from CDstreet.com is a weird idea. You get many tips?

[Dave] None so far. I haven't given up on the idea yet, but I think it will be more valuable if and when there is an easier method for small transactions on the web. Right now one must go through the whole credit card thing, and people must not want the hassle. It needs to be as easy as tossing change in a guitar case.

[Ben] The cast of your characters who play through the new cd is pretty amazing and epic. Do you ever feel like you're getting lost in a crowd? Is there a central core to the band that's been with B2K since Day 1?

[Dave] I think things got out hand on the last CD. We had this group of songs that had been played by an assortment of players live, and we had trouble in the studio finding the right blend. I like the final material, but know what you mean. In fact we found ourselves liking some of the demos better than the final product. We have started on our third collection, and I think you will see we have learned our lesson.

There is a core to the band in the rhythm section. Our vocalist Andrew Boutot, bassist Michael Hynes, and myself on keys have been with the group from the beginning, and I think shape the sound of the band the most. Our new members drummer Phil Bass and guitarist Al Garcia are a great fit for the band, and I think will be with us quite awhile. The horn section is never the same show to show, but we have such great players it doesn't matter. Our biggest problem is finding consistent backup singers.

[Ben] What is music to you guys?

[Dave] I suppose it means different things to each us. I can only really speak for myself, but I find that the biggest rush for me is seeing the song from creation to completion. I love working in the studio with talented musicians. We have a great time, and because of the mutual respect can poke fun and tease without there being problems. For others in the group, live performance is where it is at. Andrew was born to be a singer and perform, and I suspect he enjoys it much more than studio work.

Ultimately for me music is about time, and how you are moving through it. Music is one of a hand full of art forms that evolves over time. Hence the groove being the most important foundation of what you are doing. This may seem a little abstract, but it is why music is so powerful and influence the mood of the listener.

[Ben] What is life?

[Dave] It is the relationships you have, and the love you share with those around you.

[Ben] Since we're paused from the music a moment, are there any songs that sorta mystify audiences that you'd like to clear up right here? A lyric, a song's origin, etc?

[Dave] I think the song that throws our audience for the biggest loop is 'Mama Saw a UFO'. Its a slow country-ish ballad, about as far away from our normal stuff as you can get, but a great song. It tells the story of a young man whose mother's tales of seeing a UFO are greeted with skepticism in their town.

The funny thing is it is not a joke. The song will be on our upcoming CD.

[Ben] How many of you Really play golf? Does Putt-Putt count?

[Dave] Sorry, Putt-Putt doesn't count. Many of our current and former members play, although the outings are not really about the golf. Andrew indeed has the lowest handicap, but his Christmas gift this year was 'Dave Pelz's Short Game Bible'. I am hoping it will have a positive affect on my game.

[Ben] If you could write your Own compliment, what would you want? For instance, would you like to be called James Brown's younger brother or something?

[Dave] I would want us to be known as a tight, groovy band with talented musicians and songs that go a little beyond the standard pop formula (geez, I guess what band wouldn't want that compliment?) I hate giving names but the most common description seems to be that the band floats somewhere in between Al Green and Steely Dan.

[Ben] Where can we see you soon? How many will be up on stage This time?

[Dave] We are on maternity leave until late this spring. Andrew's wife Amanda has just given birth to their daughter Georgia, and the everyone is doing great. We are going to use the break to rehearse and record our next album. We will continue to play with the eleven piece group, but have discussed doing some stripped down shows with just the rhythm section.

[Ben] Give some advice to the little man. If you wanna make it in music today, you....?

[Dave] First, decide if you want a jam band, or a real band. A real band rehearses (a lot), shows up on time, and finds the best players for the group (not your buddy who kind of knows bass). Jam bands are great, and you can have a lot of fun, but they seldom mature into real bands. You will play many crappy gigs before you play a cool one. But remember, all gigs can lead to something else. We did a gig at ranch once that I was dreading, but it turned out a major booking agent was there which lead to some of the best gigs I have ever done. Also, and this is getting clichéd, utilize the web.

[Ben] What do the Blue want to accomplish in the next couple years?

[Dave] We are excited about the future again. 2000 was a tough transition for us, but we have worked out some personality conflicts and reworked our lineup. We look to keep recording, playing live, and really building a web presence. There are so many opportunities for bands that fall outside the current narrow field of pop music to find an audience on the web (like this interview). With streaming and web technology maturing, we plan to have a great site where fans from all over the world can keep up with us. That is what excites me the most, here we are recording these songs in our home studio, and we can share these with world. It is a great time to be a musician.

Blue Millennium is:
Phil Bass - drums
Andrew Boutot - lead vocals
Joey Collarusso - tenor sax
Sabrina Cummings - vocals
Al Garcia - guitar
David Glassco - keyboards
Michael Hynes - bass
Pat Murray - trumpet
Steve Samuel - percussion
Greg Wilson - alto sax

Related MusicDish e-Journal Articles:
» Blue Millennium - Vintage Hi-Fi - Satellite Studio (2000-08-20)


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