“SWEAT is a powerhouse of funk and fusion. We wanted to create a dance party record front to back.”
Hot, sweaty dance floors with feet stomping and every body moving. Grooves for days. Monster horns, crushing percussion and shredding psych-rock guitars.
These are among the elements that make up the Five Alarm Funkexperience. The Vancouver-based band is eight men strong and over a decade deep into a career that has seen it release five acclaimed albums and burn up stages across the country on six national tours. And this vehicle isn’t about to slow down. In fact, Five Alarm Funk is just picking up steam. Set to release their 6th studio album, Sweat, on March 3, 2017, Sweat gets right to the roots of what Five Alarm Funk is all about. Epic, intense arrangements, heavy groove and a ton of fun.
Don’t be fooled by the name: there’s more to Five Alarm Funk than, well, funk. Just ask drummer Tayo Branston, who says that, although they are rooted in the style that gives the outfit its name, he and his bandmates thrive on being able to transcend that genre by seamlessly mixing in elements of Gypsy rock, Latin music, ska, and even prog-metal. “I would say that it’s intense, passionate, and fun, genre-spanning music that really anybody can get onboard with,” Tayo says. “It’s got such an array of different sounds, and you can tell that each player has his own individual take and input into each track.”
Need proof? Take a listen to any of Five Alarm Funk’s studio albums, which include Anything Is Possible (winner of Instrumental Album of the Year at the 2011 Western Canadian Music Awards), Rock the Sky (which was nominated for Instrumental Recording of the Year at the 2013 WCMAs and Instrumental Album of the Year at that year’s Juno Awards) and their 5th studio album, Abandon Earth (winner of Instrumental Recording of the Year at the 2015 WCMAs).
In 2016, Abandon Earth’s, single Robot was nominated for a Leo Award for music video of the year. The band also released their first live album/DVD ‘LIVE’ In The Moment in 2016 and toured across Canada and the USA in support.
Five Alarm Funk hit the studio last winter with Producer Ben Kaplan (Mother Mother, Biffy Clyro) to create their new album, Sweat. The album features 12 of the funkiest tracks the band has ever written. Tayo shares; “Ben is not only an amazing producer and engineer, but a great friend and family member of FAF. His style and input are incredible. I love walking into the studio, sitting in the captain’s chair, and getting run over by a freight train of sound.”
With the new album in hand, FAF has big plans to take on the entire planet. “Sweat embodies over a decade of dedication and determination. It defines Five Alarm Funk’s spirit to perform and relentless push. We’ve done cross stage backslides in Taiwan on it, seen it drip from the rafters in Saskatoon, and have crowdsurfed waves of it Coast to Coast. We live it, breathe it and love it. SWEAT!”
Five Alarm Funk is:
Gabe Boothroyd, guitar
Oliver Gibson, guitar
Jason Smith, bass
Tayo Branston, drums/vocals
Tom Towers, congas
Carl Julig, timbales
Eli Bennett, saxophone
Kent Wallace, trumpet