Frieda's Boss

Frieda's Boss: And You Are?

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Artist: Frieda's Boss

Artist: Frieda's Boss
Title: And You Are?

Introducing the debut ep '...and you are?' by Frieda's Boss But wait, I've jumped ahead... let's start at the beginning: Frieda's Boss begun life as a 3 piece with rhythm section featuring Dman on bass and backing vocals, Maximus on drums and Freight Train on Keyboards and lead vocals. Dman and 'Train had played in a number reggae and r'n'b outfits during the nineties in sunny Perth, the most isolated capital city on the face of the planet. A town where Train could and did lay claim to being a full time musician and in so doing kept the rigorous regimen that came to be accepted among this rare breed: up at the crack of noon, do stuff, play music, hit the hay, repeat...alot. Room mate, gainfully employed contributor to society, blues guitarist and Dutchman (but in a good way) Dman answered the call to duty when the bass man in Train's band became unavailable. Tired of trying to revive and inspire an ex-metal bassist who, due to circumstances beyond your control, felt compelled to hock everything including his bass strap on a weekly basis required Train and co to gaffa-tape his bass to his body, the decision was made to... not tell him where the next gig was...ever again! Locked in a room with Bob Marley's Legend album for 3 days with no sustenance or explanation offered to his former employers, Dman emerged, at last, a reggae bass player. Bo! Fast forward 10 years and Train has since moved cross country to the sub-tropical, eastern metropolis of Sydney with the law of diminishing returns hot on his trail. It looked all over for Train as he clocked up year after year of gainful employment with only and handful of gigs and a musical directorship at pentecostal Church to punctuate the vast and convoluted Dickensian sentence that was the working man's life in gridlock city New South Wales. A reunion of sorts followed as Dman, seeking to avoid extradition on a number of trumped up parking tickets charges, settled in Sydney town, bass in hand. Somehow, they both got hired for gigs in the same band and were introduced to the surly but industrious Sting/Copeland worshiper and rhythmic magician behind the drums, Maximus. All good things come to an end and so do mediocre things and with that, the soon to be Frieda's Boss pioneers met a certain Steve Shaw who, for won't of a more accurate term, sponsored the trio by providing top end studio space replete with mixing desk, psychadelic lighting and a sea of sofas lapping at the stands of their fold back speakers. Nice. Covering magic from artists such as Damien Marley, Steel Pulse, UB40, the Wailers and Jacob Miller, Frieda's Boss auditioned a host of musicians from a variety of backgrounds and eventually settled on the current line-up featuring: Dman: Bass, guitars, backing vocals, piss-taking, representing the Netherlands Maximus: Drums, cowbell, more cowbell, pushing buttons, representing Australia Freight Train: Lead vocals, keyboards, songwriting, indecipherable, stirring the pot, representing Jamaica Cisco: an array of guitars, irreverent vocal outbursts, stylish...maybe, representing Spain Vstylee: Vocals, pointing, stunning footwear, used to be famous, representing Australia/ Russia Tamlin T Kirk: Guitar (just the one), vocals, new guy trying to fit in, producer, mixer, representing... um... tbc Stanwah: Trumpets, frequent flyer miles, snide remarks where appropriate, representing Germany/Australia Ok, so... Introducing the debut ep '...and you are?' by Frieda's Boss Track 1 Before you walk away Cathartic, like awesome, is a word that is overused these days but having said that, I did expunge latent feelings of guilt and morbid, "sliding doors" curiosity while penning the lyrics to "Before walk away". Curiosity, because I wanted to play out the scenario that may well have taken place had I stayed on the path I was headed down as a youth with ambitions to "run tings" coupled with a typical boyhood penchant for guns and old testament justice. Guilt because I carried around with me a measure of regret that I hadn't done more for my brother once legitimately established in accepted social circles, whatever that was at the time. A semi autobiographical, cautionary tale is how I would describe "Before you walk away". Scenarios based on situations in which I found myself within spitting distance were sharpened and lent colour and license in order to complete the didactic extrapolations. It's a tragedy with biblical undertones drawn from the last letter my own father wrote to me which closed: remember son, As you sow, so also shall you reap. From there a chorus was born and with it verses chronicling the wide path to destruction, grief and a coronial footnote. The musical genesis of this track spans almost 2 decades, a love of South African township rhythms and a musical stubbornness that surely must have infuriated Dman and Maximus (bassist and drummer respectively), members of the Frieda's Boss rhythm section. As a younger man, I became enamoured with the seamless melodic sojourns of the fretless bass. Remembering a bass line I had written that deliberately spanned a range of 10 notes to show off the uniqueness of the fretless, I set about grafting it into the fabric of the chorus as we arrived at the relative major. Add tasty harmonious chants from Vstylee to the urgent, staccato main line and a polar opposite of the darker, minor key narrative of the verse had found it's muse. Someone told me that it is essential to establish the mood or tone of the song without delay and we tried to do this by having Dman mimic an arrhythmic heartbeat on the bass. Falling in line are the kick and guitar sounds with the hope being that the listener would experience a feeling of foreboding as one would when vision of a small, peaceful village is juxtaposed against a mismatched musical backdrop featuring minor chords and disjointed syncopation. This track was certainly the most challenging from a vocal standpoint, both performance and arrangement-wise. Sad to say, that the chorus challenged my upper range and Vstylee and I spent hours working through phrasing and long minutes glaring at the piano. Years earlier I had played with a draft of this song and a good friend listened to it and simply said, 'you've got a good voice and it sounds great when you put your self into it. This just sounds too ...bleccch, (vanilla)'. That hurt, but it was true. Hard to swallow, Now it felt like I had bitten of more than I could chew to raas! "Before you walk away": a confession to and an admonition from my father! Track 2 No Such Dub Track 3 No Such Thing I was taught about racial stereotypes from an early age. My mother and I moved to England while the (in)famous "Love thy neighbour" aired on primetime television, a show in which blacks were openly referred to as sambos and nig-nogs etc. For these and other reasons we eventually moved to Western Australia where, for the next few years and beyond, I was the only West Indian anyone in my district had ever encountered. I was watched closely so that stereotypes, myths and theories could beconfirmed or exploded. Fast forward to the 90s and I found myself playing keyboards in a reggae band and it was in this environment that, in many minds, the idea of a typical Jamaican crystalised: yardees on the scene had long dreadlocks, smoked ganja, said "yah man", smoked, sang, smoked and that was it. The assumption was that Jamaicans were all the spitting image of the Wailers. Interestingly, when I told people that I was Jamaican, they would fix me with a quizzical stare broken by phrases such as, "you don't have long dreadlocks", "why don't you smoke pot?" and "Oh, say something Jamaican, like yuh mon". No doubt, some of these descriptions accurately portray some of the Jamaican people some of the time but I thinks that's as far as it goes. I felt compelled to let people know that there was "no such thing as a typical Jamaican, they only exist on the screen". 'No Such Thing' is another song that started f

1.1 Before You Walk Away
1.2 No Such Dub
1.3 No Such Thing
1.4 Easy to Say
1.5 Good Eno' (Yuh Look Good Oonuh)
1.6 Lack of Trust

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