Wednesday, March 28, 2012

'Funkoars won't pull punches'

Kate Kingsmill March 29, 2012 THE CANBERRA TIMES
The Funkoars have no plans for getting any legal advice. If Vincent D'Onofrio finds out that they are using his face to promote their latest tour, they will ''just send Vincent grovelling emails telling him how great he is'', MC Sesta says.

Such is this Adelaide hip-hop band's respect for the Law and Order actor that on their latest album, 2011's The Quickening, they named one of the tracks Being Vincent D'Onofrio. ''If it was up to us we would have named the album that, but we thought we'd call our tour that, and that gave us the chance to superimpose Vincent D'Onofrio's face onto all of our faces on the tour posters. Personally it's my favourite tour poster, and most people can't even pronounce it so it's a win-win situation.''

 Sesta is clearly unconcerned with any legal ramifications from the band's use of the actor's likeness. ''If anything does arise from it, well, we'd just be flattered that he even knows about it, so that's cool. He seems like a pretty laid-back guy.''

Which is just how the Funkoars roll. Like on a recent tour of far north Queensland when their rental car broke down in the middle of nowhere, and they were stranded for hours together in the melting Queensland heat. ''It was alright at first,'' Sesta says. ''We laughed and saw the brighter side of it. But then an hour later we were sitting in the car, just not speaking to each other. But then we made some videos and acted like dickheads. So we survived.''

The Funkoars have carved a successful career out of acting like that. Their lyrical content runs the gamut from booze-fuelled shenanigans to gambling failures and back again because, Sesta says: ''They're easy things to undertake. It's the only thing we really know anything about. So you may as well just get intricate within the things that you know a lot about, rather than trying to act clever like everybody else. Just talk really skilfully about one or two things in particular and just shut your mouth about the other things. It just so happened that we know a lot about rude things, things that make us laugh.''

But there is a little-known serious side to the band. MC Trials is, Sesta says, ''a hard worker who spends a lot of time making beats. That's where he shines, when he gets together with someone in the studio''. Trials has produced albums for Vents, Hilltops and another old mate, Drapht. ''We were friends with Drapht from the beginning and I think now everyone's stepped up their game and getting a lot more professional, we're all reaping the benefits of these long-term relationships and knowing and working with these people for so long.''

Last year the Funkoars signed to the Hilltop Hoods' fledgling record label, Golden Era, a move which was ''kind of just inevitable, really'', Sesta says. ''We've always had a pretty close relationship with them, we've always done music together, we're just a big circle of friends. So it's their fault. They're going to make a record label, we're going to join up whether they like it or not. We've kicked in the door and we're sitting on the couch eating all their Doritos.''

But seriously, he says, ''they look after us and while there's the inevitable business side of things, it's as much as humanly possible still a friendship-based thing. We have a healthy friendship behind it all which is a luxury that almost nobody gets to have. So we're pretty lucky in that way''.

The Funkoars
WITH: Raw City Rukus, Old School Al and Mattrix
WHEN: Tomorrow
WHERE: The Greenroom @ The Tradies Club
TICKETS: $25 + BF from Moshtix

■ Kate Kingsmill is a music lover, writer and radio broadcaster


Ruby said...

These guys do sound pretty interesting. Not so sure about their music, though. Not really my style.

vikeau said...

Did a little legal research. Not sure of the law in Australia but here in the US the Funkoars wouldn't have to worry(too much). They could get away with arguing that use of VDO's likeness is satire or parody. As long as they're not selling the posters and just promoting thier tour- at least in the US they should be okay. Now as any lawyer would do this opinion comes with a disclaimer and is not intended to be legal advice. In other words, Funkoars if you rely on this opinion you're truly nuts. Disclaimer made.

Karen said...

being from Adelaide I should go see these lads but Im not really nto that kind of music but old now!! lol but if I see any of their VDO posters about I'll grab one