MicLordz & Sauce Funky is an interesting name for a very interesting band that melds rock ‘n’ roll, funk and hip hop. The result is a unique sound that that has drawn comparisons to such mega bands as Rage Against The Machine meets Red Hot Chili Peppers. The band’s newest disc, My World, has recently been released and they have just finished off an extremely successful tour with (hed) PE. I was able to catch up with bassist John “Roge” Rodgers to discuss the band, the new record and the origin of the mighty unusual name. Here is how the conversation went.
This is an interesting band name. What is the story behind it?
John: The group was, once upon a time, a two man hip-hop group with a DJ. This group was known as The Miclordz. Five years ago, when a live band was added to the element and the DJ removed, it was decided a new moniker needed to be established to differentiate between the old structure and the new sound. The logic we used that led to us decide on “Sauce Funky” is about as fuzzy and unclear as the brown bottles of beer we were ferociously consuming on the night we chose this name. All we knew the next morning was that our new name was Miclordz & Sauce Funky.
Now that your new CD, My World, has been released how do you feel about it and are you satisfied with the outcome?
John: It’s still very early to say. It has been available for less than a month. Having said that, our fans seem to enjoy it, and the response thus far has been incredible, especially in regards to the title track/video, “My World”. We are all very proud of the album internally. As far as we’re concerned, it contains probably the best songs we’ve ever written. We also tried some new, slightly-experimental sounds and songs on this album and for that reason as well I feel this is our best release.
Are there any tracks on the disc that are personal favorites or that have good stories behind them?
John: “My World” is a group favorite. It really tells the story of our group and lets you know where we are in our careers. Personally, “Ready For War” is my favorite. It holds a special spot I think for all of us. It’s a very aggressive, loud song; very in-your- face. For two months, we toured with Twiztid and opened with that song. Every single show we would run out there and play that song as hard and as loud as we could, knowing that we had to win the crowd over right off the bat. In that situation, if five guys from Canada were ever “Ready For War”, it was us, for damn sure.
What is the writing process like for you guys?
John: Very collective. Generally, the music is written first. Drums, bass and guitars are all written at the same time, by the respective player. It generally starts with a riff or bass line, and then we jam it, see where it goes, take the best parts, and run with it. Once we have a working structure, our vocalists will come in and listen, at which point they offer their ideas and critiques. After that, lyrics and hooks/melodies are written, and the instrumentalists will have a chance to offer ideas and opinions as well. The process is lengthy but I prefer it this way, as we truly write these songs as a group. It’d probably be faster having one or two guys write everything but that’s just not how we roll.
You guys just finished a run with (Hed) PE. How did that go? Were the crowds receptive of your music?
John: (Hed) PE is unreal. Like, they are incredibly tight and talented, not to mention nice as hell and very wise. Being on the road with them was great. Their fans are very warm, and very open to different sounds. You watch a (hed) PE show and you’re going to get hardcore, punk rock, hip-hop, metal, reggae, and more. (hed) PE will play songs in every one of those genres, every show. Right off the bat, you know that their fans have an ear for diversity. Throw a rock/funk/hip-hop group like us in the mix, and it gels very, very nicely.
When you are on the road for a while I am sure you see and experience many different things you might not even have known existed. Are there any stories that stand out in your mind as being exceptionally strange or odd?
John: I didn’t know what a frost plug was, and also didn’t know that when it becomes blown, you’re van dies.
When you are out on the road anything can happen and often does. Can you think of any disastrous events that happened while out on tour? How did you solve the problem?
John: Asking me or anyone in our band for an account of a “disastrous event” on tour is like going to a huge grocery store and asking “Do you have any vegetables?”. There’s just so many. One time in Edmonton we were driving to our second show of the day, and our trailer was literally ripped from the back of our van as Matte drove over a curb. Like, we heard a noise, turned around and saw us driving away from our trailer full of gear. On a busy street. This problem, like many, was solved with a little help from some friends. We made the show.
Check out the song: “My World”
Any rituals before you hit the stage? If so what are they?
John: Shots of Lions blood. It’s expensive as hell; don’t even ask where we get it…but seriously, not really. A fist-pound from each band member usually suffices. We have certain rules that we abide by before hitting stage though. One is “be sober”. Some bands can drink all day and then just go out there and play like gods. We learned long ago that we aren’t that kind of band. We suck when we’re under the influence, and we know it. And it’s good to know that! We want to be the best we can. So we just don’t try to drink and play. We keep our celebrations for after the show.
You guys offer up a wide range of sounds on this album, who are the biggest influences on your playing?
John: Obvious influences on our sound would be bands like Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rage Against The Machine. More surprising influences would be groups like Iron Maiden, Snoop Dogg, Metallica, George Clinton, Ice Cube, Neil Young, Misfits, Primus…we’re an eclectic bunch. Five very diverse musical backgrounds lead to diverse influences.
What’s next for MicLordz & Sauce Funky?
John: In December we’ll be writing a lot of new music. Christmas time is generally a bit of a vacation period as well, so we’ll be taking a few weeks off and then preparing to kick some real ass in 2012. We just had the best year of our career, and we fully intend to top it.