We finished the “Mars” album cycle summer ‘13. It was pretty rough. A break was very much welcomed. Jay and I went to Asheville, NC for the month of August. Our friends at Moog kindly loaned us a bunch of synths and we got to work on music.
I wrote “Moonstruck”. During that time I got a call from @Luakabop’s Yale Evelev. We met at Central Park when Sinkane played with Femi Kuti earlier that summer. They wanted to talk to me about a new project: being Musical Director of The Atomic Bomb! Band. Performing William Onyeabor’s music live for the first time ever with @moneymarkofficial, @DamonAlbarnand @davidbyrneofficial.
Before Byrne would sign on he wanted to talk to me on the phone. He wanted to feel me out. I made sure I was prepared.
This is the same time @jonnypartysjoined the band. Jonny changed everything for Sinkane. When we started rehearsing with Atomic Bomb! He and I had one goal: to be so good that we scared people. We logged 100 hours of rehearsal. Dissecting the songs and rebuilding them with a bit of a modern edge. All while writing and recording “Mean Love”. AB! was supposed to be a 6 show commitment. What came to be was 2 years of relentless touring. Sometimes both bands playing the same festival on the same day. I also performed on stage with every single one of my idols: Pharaoh Sanders, Lijadu Sisters, Joshua Redman, Charles Lloyd, Amadou & Mariam, @Jamie_Lidell, Mohatella Queens, @alexishotchip , @museumofloveband, Green Gartside of Scritti Politti, Byrne, Albarn, Money Mark. The list goes on. I even went to Nigeria and met Willy. That and the Lijadu Sisters are stories of themselves. It was insane.
This project also taught me a very important lesson: don’t be an asshole. When collaborating with people you must understand that everyone is working for the same purpose: Greatness. Sometimes you don’t get what you want. And, ultimately, if everyone respects each other, you will achieve something much greater than you ever imagined. Yale and Eric are some of the most passionate people in the music industry. Without them I would be much less. #hardcoretourstories