The Daily Reveille seized the opportunity to chat with Sidecar Tommy, drummer and producer of Beats Antique, a few hours before the group hit the Voodoo stage.
The band, made up of Sidecar Tommy and band mates Zoe Jakes and David Satori, originated in 2007.
Beats Antique is known for their mix of different genres and their unique live performances, which combine samples and heavy percussions with performance art and Tribal Fusion dance.
The Daily Reveille: How would you describe your style and sound?
Sidecar Tommy: Our style is what you would find looking through an encyclopedia. Sound is whatever comes out of looking through an encyclopedia. A mixture of electronic music from around the world mixed with music from America.
TDR: Y'all will be performing on The Pepsi Stage in a few hours. How are you feeling leading up to the performance?
ST: I'm excited. I love New Orleans. I love Voodoo, it's a special one. I like the whole thing where the time leading up to it is putting all the pieces together and getting all the ducks in a row. Making sure I'm ready. Making sure my resting face is a smile and not a grimace.
TDR: How did Beats Antique form?
ST: We started when Zoe got an opportunity to produce a record of music that she would dance to. She hit me and David up to help her with that and that became what Beats Antique is. Once we started to DJ, we decided that since we're live musicians, we should play our instruments and make a whole performance out of it.
TDR: You recently released a new album, "Shadowbox." Let's talk about that.
ST: "Shadowbox" went back to our roots in some ways. We recorded things over a two-year period and then as the time went on, we figured out our collaborations and who we wanted to be involved. We recorded in Moscow, London, Tel Aviv, New Orleans and Oakland. We did a song with New Orleans' Preservation Hall Jazz Band.
TDR: You have released 10 albums to date. Which is your favorite?
ST: It's always the newest one, so right now, "Shadowbox" is my favorite. It's all about the "now" feeling.
TDR: I see that y'all have a store front. Can you tell me about that?
ST: Our studio is in Berkeley, California and it's in a building that has served as a studio since the '50s. It's always had a store front attached to it. We used to use it as a storage room, but we created an indoor/outdoor world that looks like you're sitting on your front porch. It's made from reclaimed wood and has vines hanging down. It's a place where we sell our merch, have a monthly party and have friends over.
TDR: You guys donated money to The Honeybee Conservancy, a non-profit dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of bees. Why are you so passionate about this?
ST: The whole bee phenomenon is pretty crazy. I think we forget how important bees are. The song that we wrote is kind of like, like I never knew what a killer bee was. Do they actually kill anyone? This reminds me of the discrimination and judgment we have going on in our world right now. When you call someone something enough, they become that. This is calling for a halt to bullying and racial profiling. It applies to everybody, not just one sub genre of thinkers. It's talking about something without really talking about it. We figured it would be cool to donate money to the bees because who's doing that? We should do it. It's also an opportunity to raise awareness. Bees are great but people are really important and we need to take care of each other.
TDR: Y'all are currently on tour. What's that experience like?
ST: Basically everyone gets into the submarine of hell and you just sweat for 35 days straight. But at the same time, it's an incredible experience. We get to get on our bus, bounce around across the country and play for people every night who want to come see us. That's a very important thing. It's really grueling and difficult and kind of a test to see if you can do it. But every night you get the reward of having thousands of people come to your shows. It's a really beautiful feeling.