The SESSH plays in Avon Friday night
Vail, CO Colorado
There’s a new band in town focused on the funk. The SESSH is a side project for three local musicians –collaboration between bass player and singer Cristian Basso, guitarist and singer Trevor Jones and drummer and singer Roy Burki. The band is performing a free show at Finnegan’s Wake in Avon Friday night and Basso took the time to answer a few questions for the Vail Daily.
1. Vail Daily: You describe your sound as “heavy funk-livetronica oriented repertoire.” What does that mean?
Cristian Basso: It’s easier to encapsulate The SESSH’s music in one word: Funktronica. We all have a deep admiration for the funk. The funk is spiritual to us. We admire it, we respect it and need to express our own funky souls. We are entering a new dynasty of Funk and The SESSH is part of it. The SESSH uses cutting edge technology to create new sounds that we combine with vintage tones to deliver our blend of freshness. Livetronica is a genre that has been used to describe this type of use of music because it packs a strong groove intended to keep the audience moving and uses futuristic sounds to do this. At this point, a lot of our arrangements are instrumental, up beat and very dance oriented.
2. VD: Do you guys play all covers, all original music, or a combination of the two?
CB: The majority of our music is original. We’ve been having a blast fusing our sounds and arrangement ideas for songs together. The SESSH has been putting together numerous arrangements for live performance with the intent that “if the music feels right and makes you move” we’ll take it and expand upon that goodness. In addition, we perform a few covers stemming from the pioneers of funk like Funkadelic, Sly Stone, James Brown and the Meters. These bands are musically inspirational to us.
3. VD: How did you guys meet and start playing together?
CB: Roy Burki and I met many moons ago when we both performed and recorded with Little Hercules. Roy has always been a talented digital artist, I knew he’d be the right guy for the SESSH. He’s a monster on the kit and has one of the biggest hearts in the business. Roy’s ability to execute creative ideas both digitally and manually creates so many opportunities for infectious rhythms to be pursued in this project. Trevor and I met a couple summers ago through a mutual friend. It’s a plus for us both to have a mutual admiration of the music of New Orleans. Trevor’s band, Frogs Gone Fishin, had me sit in with them a couple times and I got to know them better as musicians and I always had a blast playing. The SESSH officially got together to jam for the first time this past summer as a result of all the above and a mutual desire to produce something different than what we have been hearing throughout the national touring circuit. As musicians we need to keep it fresh too.
4. VD: What can people expect from your show at Finnegan’s Wake tonight?
CB: The SESSH is going to lay it down. We perform each show as if it is our last. We plan to give the audience everything that we have to offer. If it’s anything like last gig, it’s going to be a throw down and a great musical escape. We do this because we have a good time doing it.
5. VD: Tell me about your perfect audience.
CB: One that shows up to the show! The band feeds off of the energy of the audience as much as the audience feeds off the bands’ energy. This relationship is an intricate balance. You know it’s a good relationship when everyone in the room is moving to the music, smiles are abundant, the band is going to new places and a cold beverage is not too far away.
6. VD: How did you guys come up with the name The SESSH? What does it mean?
CB: I was brainstorming band names in the car one day with my wife. She blurted it out and I dug it. It made sense in many different ways. At the time, I was doing a lot of sessions with Royal Peeps in California and New Orleans. In addition, everyone in what is now The SESSH was also busy with their ‘main’ gigs. Every time we were able to steal some time together, it turned out to be an inspiring ‘session’ of music. Roy and Trevor dug the concept too. Thus, now we have The SESSH.
7. VD: What do you think about the local music scene? Has it evolved over the past year? For better or worse?
CB: The support for performance art in the valley has always been strong. We all live together in this musical universe. People love and need music in their lives. It was sad to see some of our national venues disappear from the valley. However, with the return of State Bridge next summer, the community is again poised to support gathering together for the sake of art. With this outdoor venue returning to our community, it pulls us back up on our summer-feet. Nationally it puts the valley back on the map as a stop for national touring artists.
As a community, I believe that we need the local arts to be pushing new boundaries while having the local venues supporting that exploration of the creative process. We are in a unique position as a resort community because thousands of people come into our towns annually from all over the globe wanting to be entertained. Because the arts are a vital part of any healthy, thriving community, it’s important for us to show support for artists wanting to express themselves in different ways. I’ve been traveling across the country this past year recording a record and I’ve keep myself grounded locally with our music community by supporting the sounds of artists like Frogs Gone Fishin’, The MTHDS and Tony G. These artists all have unique styles and know the value of giving back to the community. That’s infectious for everyone.
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