Jam Luckhurst speaks to – THE BRAND NEW HEAVIES

Inspired by James Brown and leaking happiness from their songs including ‘Sunlight’ and ‘Turn The Music Up’ the Brand New Heavies new album ‘Forward’ takes you back to the 90’s with instrumental funk and jazz. This album invites everyone to dance, from house-addicted teens to jazz loving oldies’ and it can’t be faulted for the oncoming summer BBQ soundtrack. ‘Forward’ sums up everything the band believe in, charming listeners with their uplifting and optimistic music that speaks nothing but pure joy and ecstasy!

Jam: So, you were really well known in the 90’s so how come you decided to ‘reinvent’ yourselves now?

Andrew: Well, we never stopped but when you’re out of the limelight, away from TV and radio people think you’ve dried out.

Jam: Well you were still releasing albums, because you released one in 2006 and 2009 didn’t you?

Andrew: We’ve basically been touring, writing, touring and writing and we do roughly 30-40 shows a year around the world! From Japan to Eastern Europe to America, South America as well, we’re playing all the time!

Jam: Where would you say, have you had your best tour yet?

Andrew: America, we’ve sold the most records there and we’ve got very loyal fans who follow us, we love America!

Jam: Overall, what artists have inspired your work?

Andrew: We’re all loyal fans to James Brown.

Jam: Oh yes! Because that’s how you got your new name isn’t it?

Andrew: It was, it was. He released an album and re named himself the minister of the super new heavy funk and we updated that and named ourselves the brand new heavy funk, but took the funk off. Our music is inspired by everything, from hip-hop to house music and jazz is a big influence, that’s how we learnt how to play our instruments.

Jam: Have you always wanted to produce music with a hint of hip-hop because you collaborated with The Pharcydes didn’t you?!

Simon: We produced a whole hip-hop album called The Heavy Rhyme Experience, we collaborated with about 10 different people on that. What we did was play all the instruments live as opposed to using samples, and we were one of the first people to do so. We also got ourselves on Yo! MTV Raps in 1992 and it was the only major television hip-hop outlet at the time, which was really cool.

Jam: Moving from the 90’s, where your genre of music was adored by everyone, how do you want to influence the teenage-pop loving people of today?

Andrew: All we want to do is make all our loyal fans happy by still producing the music we did back then, but we also want to bring new people in, we’re big fans of disco/house music so we want to invite people to listen to the same music we were producing years ago.

Simon: Well we still see a lot of young people at our gigs, and luckily some radio stations are still playing funk and jazz music, like Earth Wind And Fire, and other bands less well known, the music that makes you feel good. For example, when Nile Rodgers created sheet, New York was a hell pit man. Basically, all his songs were like.. well that song (sings) “Happy Days are here, good times” are all about forgetting your chores and having a good time.

Jam: So that’s the happiness you want to pass on to people through your music?

Andrew: Yes, we’ve been told our music is very ‘optimistic’ and ‘uplifting’ and I think that’s what connected us to the 90’s, the whole house thing was about feeling good and feeling up, and that relates to our music, we just want to make people dance and smile on the dance floor!

Jam: So, have you got any festivals lined up?

Andrew: We’re playing at Love Supreme and Victorious festival.

Jam: Leading on from that, what does the future hold for you?

Andrew: Changing nappies for me! I’ve just had a little boy called Roman.

Jam: How very rock n’ roll!

Andrew: We just want to carry on making music, and enjoying the privilege to do so as we’ve been together for 25 years! We’re so lucky that our fans still invested in money to see us play!

Jam: Thank you very much!

Catch The Brand New Heavies at Love Supreme on the 7th July, and Victorious festival on the 24-25 July. Pre order their new album ‘Forward’ on Amazon now!