Music Interview: Funking a Monster Guerilla

By Chris Courtice

The term ‘Jack of all trades’ gets thrown around all too often these days. Some people consider it a description of someone who has many talents across many media, others might put this label on a person who has an innate ability to pick up a job or skill without difficulty. Lately, it seems to be an expression used to glorify someone who is extraordinarily shitty at many things, albeit equally spread throughout. This ideal has managed to dominate the music industry for a long time. Many bands ‘transcending genres’ are in fact using these simple buzz words to cover up for their clumsily combined musical style, inevitably producing a plethora of melodic garbage. Guerrilla Funk Monster is not one of these bands.

Don’t let the name fool you, these guys definitely do not stick to funk exclusively. Instead they’re true masters of eclecticism, having managed to efficiently and pleasantly combine more genres than most people care to listen to. Funk may be a strong influence, but intermingled throughout their melodies are pop, punk, jazz and reggae, to name a few. Some may say this sort of melting pot will cause a watering down effect on their music. GFM bass player James Musulak disagrees.

“We’ve played shows with reggae bands, and we’ve played shows with metal bands,” he explains. “We have about four hours of material, so we can always choose about an hour that fits the audience.”

The bassist brings up a good point. By expanding the band’s repertoire, they expand their audience and possible fan base. Not only an interesting theory, it has worked in practice with Guerrilla Funk Monster. The band has gathered quite a following across the country with extensive touring up until June 2004, when they played their last live show and released their newest album, Bomb. After a noticeably long hiatus, the GFM crew is ready to get back to the music and start playing some shows.

“Everyone is pretty busy,” Musulak explains. “We all have other things going on.”

Musulak is speaking of the hectic schedule the GFM boys share. Whether they have full time jobs or are going to post-secondary, each member has something managing to suck up possible jam time. This hasn’t, however, stopped them from being musically productive.

“We’ve got a bunch of new material,” Musulak discloses. “We’re working towards recording soon.”

Working towards their third full length after the first musical voyage, Triptophonic, and their sophomore masterpiece Bomb, GFM is in good form. Their record label, Absurd Machine, which members of the band work for, has been gaining influence and broadening not only their horizons but those of many other up and comers such as Dr. Rage & the Uppercuts and Greg Gardner, who GFM will be playing with when they come through Calgary. Musulak and his cohorts’ sound is definitely a unique audio experience, so if you like pop, punk, jazz, reggae, or anything in between, you’ll probably enjoy the majestic monster of Guerilla Funk.

Leave a comment