Imagine a song that begins with a single riff, which has the potential to go in any direction.
A strong brass section overwhelms you, amongst a collective of guitars, drums and percussion instruments.
Without a single lyric, the music immerses your mind in an action sequence that could easily belong in a Quentin Tarantino or a 1970’s gangster film.
This is the captivating sound of The Budos Band.
“We write the songs together, there is not really a set formula. Once we have the riff, which serves as the anchor, we start writing melodies and all of these ideas get kicked around. The riff then evolves and gets harmonized”, Electric Guitarist Tommy Brenneck says.
Tommy Brenneck is one of the founding members of the Staten Island afro-funk ensemble.
The initial members of The Budos Band met during an after school jazz ensemble.
“The band was started by myself, the base player (Daniel Foder), our drummer (Brian Profilio) and Damos our percussion player (Dame Rodriguez), after we finished high school.”
“We initially began as a band called Dirt Rifle and the Funky Bullets. We made a series of records that we gave to (our now record label) Daptone Records. Dirt Rifle eventually evolved into the Budos Band, after we found horn players and got interested in Afro beats.”
The Budos Band consists of nine members, sometimes up to thirteen, if there are special guests on the record.
There is also an age gap, spanning a decade, between the youngest and oldest member of the band.
“There is a real collective sound and a lot of personality within the group. I work amongst 8 other guys to make something cohesive. Sometimes, I have to sacrifice something for the better of the group.”
Since their debut in 2005, The Budos Band have released three albums and an EP.
Following the release of their last self-titled album (The Budos Band III), the instrumental ensemble went a four year hiatus.
However, in November of last year, the Budos Band returned to the music scene with their latest record Burnt Offering.
“We hit a few unexpected bumps in the road, while writing the album. We became stronger because of it and ultimately produced a record that we are all proud of”, Tommy Brenneck reflects.
Burnt Offering is a considerable departure from the bands initial combination of Latin Soul and Jazz.
“The sound on the album is a bit more grittier and distorted, to our previous work.”
Brenneck emphasises that the Budos Band haven’t abandoned their afro-funk roots but are instead incorporating sounds reminiscent of musicians who inspire them.
“The album is still in line with our previous work. The funk, soulful stuff is still there underneath. Afro-beats are part of our make up but we are past that now. We are now trying to embrace the music that we grew up on, rather than the music we got turned onto when we began the band.”
“Each of us grew up with different types of music, heavy metal, grunge, rock, you name it.”
Next month, The Budos Band will be touring Australia on their Burnt Offering Tour.
The Budos Band guitarist Tommy Brenneck says the group are excited to return to Australia, after a brief visit last year.
“We have only been to Australia once and that was for a single show in Sydney. We were playing the new record at that time, which was a lot of new music that no one had ever heard of before. This time it’s different. Our fans are more familiar with the sound of our latest record.”
The instrumental ensemble will begin their Australian leg of the Burnt Offering Tour with an appearance at the Perth Music Festival, followed by performances in Melbourne and Sydney.
“A little more than half of the show is new songs. We play almost the whole new record. We also play a couple of songs off previous records and some cover songs. As a band, we aim to mix it up. It’s all about what the audience is into.”
The international following that The Budos Band has gained over the years amazes Tommy Brenneck.
Brenneck says he is extremely grateful of the bands following and the amount of support they receive from fans around the world.
“It’s incredible that we have fans from different countries that listen to and appreciate our music. One of our strongest fan bases overseas is in Australia. We can’t wait to return but are not overly excited about the flight ahead.”
See The Budos Band at the Corner Hotel on Thursday February 19 with the Seven Ups and the Melbourne Zoo on Friday February 20, as part of the Twilights Concert Series.
Burnt Offering is available now through Daptone Records.