Your new favorite band that you haven’t heard of yet: After Funk

Janelle Harb

Features Layout Editor

after-funk-1

After Funk is a powerful quartet from Toronto, Canada that have slowly been taking over the funk music scene.  The band consists of Yanick Allwood, vocals and keyboard, Jamie Rosenberg, drums, Phil Tessis, guitar, and Justin Bontje, bass.  Onstage they are oftentimes joined by horns and other unique instruments to complete their extraordinary sound.  The band has distinguished themselves into a genre of their own, mixing funk, jazz, and electronica, along with degrees of pop to ensure a catchy, feel-good melody on loop in your mind for days.  Two members of the band, Jamie Rosenberg and Justin Bontje discussed their current tour and recent album release with The Griffin.

Janelle Harb: How has the tour been so far?

Jaime Rosenberg: The tour has been great.  We have been seeing a lot of familiar faces and meeting lots of new people as well.  We have been getting really great responses from audiences which feels really great too.  We went to check out Zach Deputy on our day off in New Hampshire and had a whole bunch of friends there and saw a few people rocking our merch which was really cool!  Zach came through our show in Hartford and sat in earlier that week and he had Yanick [vocals and keyboardist] up to play a couple songs with him which was really cool.  

JH: What has the response been to the new record?

JR: The response to the new record has been very positive so far.  We really tried to focus on our songwriting for this record and have had a bunch of people comment that they sing along way more with this one than the last one.  

Justin Bontje: The new record shaped up to be pretty close to how we wanted it to sound. There is definitely more chemistry building and you can hear it. We have been touring very extensively for the past year and having multiple shows a week really helps you grow as a band. We recorded most of the album whenever we could fit time in between our tour dates and every time we went in the studio we were riding different vibes from different experiences we had at shows on the road. Also, the starting and ending tracks “Elephant Walk” and “Sweet Taste” were recorded earlier on in the spring of 2015 which kind of completes the set where the middle are more raw and natural to our musical chemistry.

JH: How did you develop such a unique sound? What or who have been your inspirations?

JR: Everybody comes from a different place musically even though we do share a love for the same music.  Yanick is the primary writer and he comes from a classical and gospel background which really influences his songwriting in terms of harmony and song structure.  

JH: Being from Toronto, have you been to Buffalo often? What was your favorite thing to do?

JR: I have had a bunch of fun nights in Buffalo!  I saw the Leafs play against the Sabres as a kid and have been to several great concerts since then.  

JH: What was it like going through the process of having your record funded through Indiegogo?

JR: It really helped us so much to be able to put this record out and to create our music videos as well.  We were overwhelmed by the support from our fans and are so grateful!  

JH: All of your music is free to download, why does your band decide to do this instead of having fans pay?

JR: We give fans the option to pay for music but really want everyone to be able to check it out, even if they don’t want to pay for it.  We have found that by doing this we get people coming to our shows and buying physical CDs and other merch.

JH: And finally, what would you say to aspiring musicians?

JR: Keep working hard and don’t get discouraged.  Life is full of ups and downs and being in a touring band we see this first hand.  To be successful at anything it takes a ton of hard work and perseverance.  If this is something that you truly love and want to do, then work hard and do it.
After Funk will be playing the Tralf Music Hall on November 25th at 7:30PM in Buffalo, NY.

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