Broken Tongues……Denver Group with flair.
Floating around the Denver scene I came across this fun group.They list themselves as Alternative/Hip Hop/Jazz/Funk/Progressive.
Their new album Crooked Skyline is available from their website, but I asked them to give me a moment of their time to introduce you to them.
How did you get started, little history bio basically?
Greensleeves: Greensleeves and Zach are brothers who formed the band in 2007 right before they moved back to Denver, Colorado from Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Their previous band was breaking up and the brothers decided to take the opportunity to move in a new creative direction. Then in 2008, Loose Change and Greensleeves, both Smoky Hill High grads, met through mutual friends and shared common interests in music. Greens was an engineer at CCM Studios and Loose Change came in to record an initial version of a song he’d just written called “Sunrises” (a current version is on “Crooked Skyline”). The two really vibed so Greensleeves proposed having LC join the group. The three began writing and performing around Denver, but after a couple of shows in early 2009, the three of them realized that they needed to add live instruments to take it to the next level. So they took out some craigslist adds in the Denver area seeking Bass and Drums. Both, Erin and Donny responded and auditioned. The rhythm section, with Zach on guitar, Erin on bass and Donny on drums, formed a nice pocket while Greens and LC scratched and rhymed over vamps. We knew we had something going so the five of us started jamming together regularly. Meanwhile, CC and Zach were working together downtown for a media/music/production firm. They too saw common ground in their musical interests and goals, so Zach invited CC to audition. She killed it and we added her shortly thereafter. Thus, six members. We’ve now been together as a six-piece for just under two years and we just released our debut album titled, Crooked Skyline, which was engineered by Greensleeves at CCM Studios. Be sure to give it a listen, it’s very dynamic and unique. We are very proud of it.
What or who inspired you?
Greens: I would say that we are inspired by lots of things in general, whether it be an emotion that needs appreciation, a situation that deserves attention or just about anything that’s relevant and provokes interesting thoughts. As six members our musical interests and motivations certainly differ, yet keeping an open mind to anything I think is what really helps us find new paths and approaches to song-writing and performing and being people. That’s why we love live-hip-hop as the nucleus of it all, bc it allows us to explore and mix anything we want. I also try to make it a point to find inspiration and motivation in things that are otherwise disagreeable to my opinion of that thing. Whether it be a song or artist I don’t necessarily care for or a crappy weather-day, I think it’s more about being aware of the inspiration that’s always present than dictating where it is and isn’t. I seem to get a lot of random, yet good ideas while doing manual labor too… so does that make it mindless, or mindful work then? haha
Loose Change: My inspirations are very rooted in hiphop culture from the bboys to the graffiti writers. Being friends with some of the best around (RTD, DF Crew, ATT) only makes me want to excel in my area. I’d like to think my style is a melting pot. Inspiration is so hard to pinpoint it could be listening to music and having a great idea or it could be dunking your fries in some ketchup and something just happens to pop up. Everything and nothing is inspiration. I tend to like looking for the dark irony in situations, ’cause, tell ya the truth, I usually like to use the sadness or doubt I might have to express how I feel.
What instruments do you play and who manufactured them?
Loose Change: MC
Greensleeves: MC, Turntables (Technics 1210s & Pioneer DJM 400, Serato), MPD 32 (Akai digital sampler w/ Reason), Macbook Pro, Percussion (shakers, etc)
Christie “CC” Chambers: Vocals, Percussion (djembe, shakers and tambourine)
Zach Warkentin: Guitar (PRS McCarty hard-tail, Vox Tonelab SE, Fender Deluxe amp/speaker)
Erin Angel: Bass, Keys (Fender Jazz Bass, M-Audio Axiom 49 with a Macbook Pro and Logic Mainstage)
Donny Broussard: Drums (Pacific Drums)
What do you listen too?
Greens: Well, we listen to a lot of things! My brother and I grew up on classic rock, funk, jazz, hip-hop, rap, old soul and RnB, metal, comedy albums and everything in between. Remember the Adam Sandler albums? Or when Metallica made great music? Classics! CC grew up on the rock n roll, folk and jam bands,Donny grew up on Bourbon Street, so he’s got that cajun in him, and Ian’s always had a pension for lyrical MCs and hip-hop culture. Personally, I’ve been getting into a lot of the collage-artists and dub-step lately like Bass Nectar, Bonobo, Wax Tailor and Pretty Lights, while I’ve always admired artists like Pink Floyd, Stevie Wonder, EWF, George Clinton and P Funk, The Roots, John Scofield, Beastie Boys, Atmosphere and the whole Rhymesayers crew, Quannum Projects crew like Blackalicious and Latyrx, Common, RJD2, Beck, J5 and Ozomatli, Cut Chemist, DJ Shadow, Greyboy, Kid Koala, QBert, BK-One… I also really get down to that 90s hip-hop like Big-L, Wu-Tang, Tribe, Lost Boys, Brand Nubian and De La Soul… the list could go on for a while. Hell, as an audio engineer I have country clients, tejano bands and gangster rappers too! We all love music and I think there’s appealing qualities in any of its forms. So long as there’s soul in it, I suppose. I also listen to a lot of KUVO and enjoy the big bands, jazz, and afro-cuban styles. My brother Zach certainly listens to a lot of that and Im sure he’d throw out a few names like Wes Montgomery, Brad Mehldau, Rafael Sadiq, Roy Hargrove, Coltrane and Miles, as well as Mars Volta, Radiohead, Rage Against the Machine, etc.
LC: As far as certain artists go I would say people like brother Ali, buck 65, living legends, visionaries, I’m really in to that northwest style like sand people, classified, sweatshop union just to name a few. I love the innovators like Wu-tang, or tribe and de la soul there are so many I could write a full page. People always say I like everything when speaking about genres of music. Well I don’t. I can’t stand country music. I also have a strong dislike for techno or house. It’s weird but I got a strange love for 80’s music, maybe because it was primarily up beat even when the content was not.
What makes you happy? or sad?
Successful performances and making awesome music makes us happy while loading and unloading gear makes us sad…
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Greens: I like just being active in life. I hate being stagnant and inactive. I need to be doing something whether it be a project or just a leisure sport. I love snowboarding and volleyball, drinking good beer, working on musical side-projects and practicing instruments. Smoke ‘n a pancake, bowling, air hockey, bocci ball and corn hole make for entertaining drinking w friends…
LC: In my spare time I love to keep active play bball, hit The gym, write pretty much whatever makes me happy besides making music.
If you could do anything you wanted what would it be?
Greens: Have a lengthy career making music! No delusions of grandeur or fame, just money to live and do what I do best. I’d also love to tour the world and play sold out shows to people with different native languages. Like, being really popular in obscure countries. That’d be pretty rad.
LC: If I could do anything I want it would most likely be traveling around the world playing music, also owning a clothing store (community service apparel). I would love to have multiple stores all over the country and the world to spread a vision my partners and I have been working very hard on.
Anything else you think people don’t already know about you that you want to share?
Our new album, Crooked Skyline, is ON SALE NOW at our website (www.BrokenTongues.com) and it’s the best live-hip-hop since the Roots! Also, Erin Angel and Greensleeves have a music side-project under the name PRESTOdigitist. We have 3 new eps coming out in the spring of 2012 featuring all sorts of styles ranging from Pretty Lights and RJD2, to Lady Gaga (the good shit) and Jay-Z. We also lease and sell exclusive beats and instrumentals regularly in pretty much any genre.
Also, Loose Change owns a really dope boutique clothing store in Denver, off Broadway, called Community Service Apparel. They offer limited edition clothing and great deals on urban gear other stores will not have. Links to all are below. Oh yea, and we have really good night vision and acute hearing.
Check them out!!! Thanks again for your time all.