1. Growing Up
I grew up in the country and my parents banned us from having a TV in the house (referred to as the plug-in drug). My father was a jazz drummer and I recall, when I was about three, my father’s blue drum kit was set up in the lounge room and I had a good crack on it. Thankfully my parents had good taste in music, I thank them for that and I think it is one of the main reasons I do music full-time currently. The artists I got exposed to as a kid were Herbie Hancock, Stevie Wonder, Bob Marley, Chick Corea, Frank Zappa, JJ Cale, Steely Dan and Airto Moreira. The ’70s remains the richest time for music for me personally. It’s when the music came first, and the video clip second.
The list of all-time personal favourites covers Bob Marley, Fela Kuti, James Brown, Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie, Led Zeppelin, Jill Scott, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, The Police, St. Germain, Basement Jaxx, Groove Armada, Beastie Boys… Anything with a funky beat. For me, the bassline has to be rolling!
3. Your Band
La Fiesta has been rocking consistently since 2003. I had been DJing since ’96 and started the band to bring a live element to my show – now the band comes in up to an eight-player format. We have a core of musicians we use; we are more of a collective these days. It allows us to really tailor our show for any specific event needs. Our current roster of vocalists includes Chris Luder, Chloe West, Reigan Derry, Michelle Martinez and Roxane LeBrasse. On the brass side we have Johnny G on trumpet and Mark Matthews on sax; percussion is Vincent Sebastian and Cameron Douglas on kit. Over the years we have got together a fun, energetic team that all share the Fiestaology concept – to break the rules and play anything that gets the crowd fired up. We have set pieces, sure, but that freedom of expression makes every Fiesta show unique and exciting. We love what we do onstage and it always shows.
4. The Music You Make
We are working on some new studio projects currently – Justin Shave is our co-producer at Uncanny Valley Studios. It’s all about the house music for us! Regarding the live show, you can expect 100 per cent pure house music magic. We are really looking forward to smashing the Cruise NYE event out of the park, with views like those – it’s going to be the hottest party on the strip!
5. Music, Right Here, Right Now
Right now I think the scene is a bit depleted; I think DJs and musicians should stick to their guns and not just play the biggest hit of the week just like every other bar in the city – it’s no good for the diversity of the scene. Lead from the front and others will follow.
La Fiesta Sound System play Destination NYE at Cruise Bar on Tuesday December 31.