INTERVIEW: BoomBox @ SnowBall 2012

Continuing on with our recap and coverage of this year’s excellent SnowBall Music Festival in Vail, here’s my final interview from the festival when I sat down with Zion Godchaux and Russ Randolph of Boombox. They rocked the Groove Tent at 4:15pm on the last day of the festival…

LMB: How do you guys like being out in CO for Snowball?
ZG: It feels really good.
RR: This is awesome. It’s a very unique experience actually.

LMB: I know a lot of festivals don’t really happen in the winter, is that throwing you off?
ZG: The size of it is.
RR: Yea, just the sheer amount of what is actually outside. We’ve done things in like Copper Mountain where it’s very closed, everyone’s very close to their rooms. You don’t have to go that far. But these people have actually been weathering storms for a while out here. This is awesome.

LMB: Is there anyone in particular you’re looking forward to seeing here?
RR: We’ll check out TV on the Radio. I’ve ever seen those guys live.

LMB: Where do you think BoomBox stands out from other instrumental/electronic hybrid acts?
RR: I think that we’re more Rock ‘n’ Roll.
ZG: Yea.
RR: We think of ourselves as a Rock band, first and foremost, that happens to use electronic devices to create our music. We’re writing dance music. But, we’re writing songs… traditional rock songs and stuff like that. I think that’s the major thing that sets us apart.
ZG: But at the same time the other thing that sets us apart, ironically, is just the straight up house connection that we have. We’re more house. I consider us more house than most of the electronic acts. They play different types of genres. We’re real rooted in house. But at the same time house falls into a sub-category of our Rock ‘n’ Roll approach.
RR: But our approach to tracks and the way we transition more tracks is the way a house DJ would so we definitely built our foundation the way a house DJ would.

LMB: You guys have a remix to “Visiting Day” on the “Widespread Dirty Side Down Remixes” album. Can we expect anything like that from you guys in the future?
RR: Possibly, if the right one comes along. We tried to do one with Beats Antique with their last album but the schedules just didn’t work out. We’re always down. If there’s a track that we feel good about, and we can do something with, we’re always down to try something.

LMB: Do you feel influenced by the scene around you or do you feel more like you influence the scene?
RR: I think we’re influenced by everything around us.
ZG: Life.
RR: We don’t necessarily pay attention to other artists. We’re not catching up with the scene every second, “this artist did this… they did this,” so we don’t base our decisions against what everybody else does. But, we’re definitely influenced by what’s going on around us.

LMB: What do you like to listen to on your own?
ZG: It just depends on the evening. It could be all types of stuff. We love all types of music: old—every kind of music. Just to pin it down we listen to Jazz, Blues—
RR: We listen to a lot of [Grateful] Dead.
ZG: Funk.
RR: We listen to a lot of just… funky old funk records and stuff like that. We don’t listen to a lot of modern stuff necessarily. It’s mostly the older kind of classics or the masters, or what we consider the masters… that kind of stuff.

LMB: What can your fans expect when your next album hits the market?
RR: It’s gonna be an evolution. It’s gonna be different. But, it’s still songs written by us. It’s still from our brains and our world. It’s just a different evolution of that. We’ve got some new toys, we’ve got new noise makers. There’s a lot of new stuff in our world that we’re exploring and figuring out so I think this new record is gonna reflect that.
ZG: We’re hoping that it exceeds people’s expectations. That’s the goal.
RR: The cool thing about this one is that this one is gonna be, I think, more similar to our first album, “Visions of Backbeat”, in that we are the final step, we’re doing everything ourselves. We’ve got other people recording in studio with us, maybe some other guest artists, that kind of thing at the very end but the thing that you hear came from us. We made the final moves on that, the final mix is in, it’s from our world. We feel good about that. I think the fans will maybe, get a more clear picture of what we’re trying to create.

LMB: Do you find yourselves changing instrumentation a lot or sticking to certain conventions in production and on stage?
RR: We’re both drummers so… that’s our natural tendency to go for a percussion kind of thing. But, we’ll grab and play anything—keyboard, different guitars, everything—anything that sounds cool that you can mic, we’re gonna try and do something with it that you can at least explore.

LMB: Is it pretty much a non-stop grind for you guys or do you find time for yourselves outside of BoomBox?
ZG: We have some time off here and there. I’ve got a three and a half year old son so when I get home I’m hanging out with him, taking him places.
RR: I like repair/restore vintage watches, stuff like that. We’ve got to a point in our touring and with the schedule now where we do have a home off. We tour like half the year and another half we’re at home. Traveling, for it to make sense, where you’re not just home for a couple days… if we’re out for like three weeks maybe four weeks at least we’re home for two or three weeks before we go back out. So yea, we have some time at home. We don’t have as much time to hang out here [at SnowBall] as we’d like.
ZG: But I mean, it’s what we love to do so it’s not really a grind. We don’t think of it like that. We’re so blessed to be able to do what we love to do… we get really really tired.

LMB: On the topic of touring, do you guys have any favorite venues to play at?
ZG: Lately it’s been the National for me.
RR: The National in Richmond, Virginia is a good one. It depends. There’s a lot of cool big venues like the National but we were at the Knotty Pine in Victor, Idaho across [the border] from Jackson [Hole, Wyoming] last night. It’s a small place, there’s a restaurant… a lot of things that would normally not add up to the coolest venue but… I had a great time last night.
ZG: Yea, it can happen anywhere.
RR: We played a place in Eureka: The Red Fox… a small little place… but, so cool.

LMB: So finally is there anything that you’d like to say to your fans?
RR: Thank you for supporting and coming to get down.
ZG: Yea, thanks.

Thanks to Zion Godchaux and Russ Randolph for hanging out and chatting with us…