Interview I Just Did
February 22 ,2008
Yo all thought you would dig this interview I just did:
When someone puts out an album like Lemonade that is so smooth and upbeat, you have to assume that life is just as sweet. How has life been recently for G. Love?
Life has been good for me. I’ve been really refocused musically the last 2 years. Really since my son has started going to school I have a lot more time to shed on my guitar and write songs. So for me it’s all about music and being a Dad.
You are one of the proudest Philadelphians out there. What is it about the city that makes you so proud? What about the city is reflected in your music?
Philly is the underdog city. I’ve always been an underdog–I still am. Philly is hard working. I’m hard working. Philly has a lot of dirt and a lot of rhythm and soul. I’m the same way. Like we say, “you can take the kid out of Philly, but you can’t take the Philly out of the kid”.
How did you find the G. Love sound?
My style is called the hip-hop blues. I grew up playing acoustic guitar since 8 and harmonica since 15. I was really into The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Neil Young and other folk-rock music and then I found the Delta Blues. When I discovered the music of John Hammond I found the sound I was looking for. The raw, acoustic, country blues. This music moved me from the first note. From there I shedded on all the old blues men’s records. Lightening Hopkins, Robert Johnson, Big Bill Broonzy and Mississippi Fred McDowell were some of my favorites. All the time I was jamming the blues in my room, I was jamming hip-hop with my boys. Eventually, when I was an 18-year-old street performer I started rapping the lyrics from “Paid in Full” by Eric B and Rakim over a shucking blues rhythm. That was my musical epiphany.
I wouldn’t call your sound hip-hop, although I have read that you were greatly influenced by people like Run-DMC and The Beastie Boys. What do you think about the evolution of hip-hop from then to now?
I still think the golden age of hip-hop was from 85-95. But then again there has been a lot of amazing hip-hop dropped since then. Hip-hop is now a quintessential part of modern Rock and Roll. I feel Hip-hop is probably still the most progressive music being made these days.
While most artists have to constantly reinvent themselves to keep up in the music industry, you have established a pretty safe niche for yourself. What is it about your music that you think keeps people coming back?
I feel like we reinvent ourselves with every record. For me, it’s just about following the songs that I write. I write what I feel at the moment I’m feeling it. The best songs stand the test of time, but you have to just constantly write and engage yourself with music. I put a lot of love and work into what I do as a player, singer and a writer. As a band we pride ourselves on throwing down every night. I guess it’s that constant need to prove yourself to yourself every night. Then, once you’re felling good, feeling the zone, you just ride it out. Music is all about tension and release. The friends and fans we have made across the world have given us legs. Anytime there has been doubts, it was always that love from the people that kept us going.
Recently, I have heard your music in several unexpected places, like on coke commercials, on CSI: NY, and several movies. How does it feel to see your music embraced on such a commercial scale?
Well some people think that that type of exposure is selling out but for me it’s a necessity. We don’t sell a lot of records, we don’t get a lot of radio and we don’t get any MTV spins so the question is how do you get yourself and your music out there. More and more, Internet and commercial exposure help to make people aware that we exist. One of my goals is to reach as many people with my music as I can. Anytime I can get my music on TV it’s a go for me. When I was a street musician, the furthest I thought I would get would be a writer of commercial jingles…so really, there is no shame in my game!
Aside from the documentary, I heard you came up with an idea for a cooking show that never got picked up, and you have a movie coming out called Rigged. What else is on the horizon for G. Love and Special Sauce?
Rigged is an Indie movie that might be hard to find, but its out. Right now we are just putting the finishing touches on our new record, tentatively titled “Super Hero Brother”. We will tour with Jack Johnson in Oz and Europe before our headlining tour in the USA with the John Butler Trio this summer. Also Check out Push Comes to Shove by John Hammond produced by me!
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