THIS IS CROYDON FEST INTERVIEW w/ KING DJANGO
Our first ever SKA FESTIVAL, dubbed THIS IS CROYDON FEST, is coming to the brewery on APRIL 28th!
To get you all ready to skank your heart out that afternoon, we have been rolling out interviews with some of the bands, week by week.
This week we have the one and only KING DJANGO! Get to know the king below, and if you haven’t, GRAB YOUR ADVANCED TICKETS FOR THE FESTIVAL BY CLICKING HERE!
-To start, for those who may not know, could you introduce yourself, the other members of the band, and give a brief bio of King Django?
I’m King Django, been playing ska, rocksteady, reggae and a whole lot of other kinds of music for quite some time now.
I started out as a 2-Tone and Jamaican music fan and started the first NYC Ska/Reggae fanzine, which was called Rude Awakening, before somehow becoming a musician myself.
My first recording was on the first Moon Records compilation way back in the day with a band called Too True. After that, I became the trombonist and second vocalist of NYC band The Boilers, then formed Skinnerbox, started the Stubborn Records label, and later formed Stubborn All-Stars. Then I put together what was to become Version City Studio.
I’m very excited to be bringing a very talented new lineup of the King Django band with me to play a selection of tunes that I wrote through these various projects.
Ben Cureton on drums, Tim Zelinski on bass, Mike Benson on Sax, and Rob George (Bigger Thomas, HCS) and Dave Segal on guitars.
-We absolutely love your Instagram page (@Djangios), but we gotta ask, what’s with all of the different, and delicious, pictures of food on your account?
Everybody loves food photos! I think we all know you get the most likes for pictures of your lunch. I cook most of my own meals, and if they look really good, I like to share!
In the spring I like to start up my veggie garden and share colorful photos of the earth’s bounty!
-Unfortunately, we missed you a few months ago at a show we had booked at the brewery due to an illness. What can fans who have been anticipating your performance at NCBC since then expect from your set at THIS IS CROYDON FEST on April 28th?
That was the worst, we were rehearsing really steadily and then I came down with laryngitis just in time to ruin the gig for me. That turned into a nasty bronchitis and I was out of commission for a while. The band and I were really disappointed. We’re coming through this time with a load of traditional ska styles, some rhythm & blues, soul, rock reggae and maximum rub-a-dub!
-You are well known and respected as a mentor to younger musicians. How did this dedication to spreading your love of music to other generations develop, and what do you think drives it in you?
I was really lucky to have some great mentors myself. Through the fanzine, I was able to meet and talk to a lot of the people I really looked up to in ska and reggae music. Rob Hingley of the Toasters was very much a mentor to me in terms of the business of making and selling records, and was always very gracious and forthcoming. I also had the great fortune of living in New York at the time that a lot of the older generation of Jamaican musicians were still around and living in the area, and having access to members of the Skatalites was definitely invaluable. They loved the idea that younger people had picked up on this music, loved it and were really trying to understand it and learn it properly, and some of them loved to share their knowledge and experience. Roland Alphonso and Laurel Aitken both specifically encouraged me (and my peers in general) to carry it on and “spread it around!”
-If you have had the pleasure of trying Neshaminy Creek beers before, what is your favorite? If you haven’t had the chance yet, what is your favorite beer style?
I have some food allergies, so I stick to the darkest of beers, Schwarzbier, Stouts and Porters are my jams!
Thanks to the King for his time! Check a video of his band jamming out live below! See you April 28th!