TEN: Each Friday Innocent Words brings you 10 questions with up and coming bands. Check it and out and remember, you heard about them here first!
Hometown: Currently live in Las Vegas, Grew Up in New Orleans and Las Vegas
Origin of Band Name: The Witnesses was the name of my Father’s band beginning in the 50’s
Members and Instruments:
Louis Prima Jr – Vocals, Trumpet
Leslie Spencer – Vocals
Marco Palos – Sax
A.D. Adams – Drums
Ryan McKay – Guitar
Gregg Fox – Piano, Organ
Ted Schumacher – Trumpet
Philip Clevinger – Trombone
Steve Pandis – Bass, Flugelhorn
(Joining the band this month – William Pattinson – Bari Sax)
Short Bio: Louis Prima Jr. and the Witnesses (louisprimajr.com) are bringing Prima music into the 21st century. Not content to sit on the legacy they so passionately protect, LPJ and the band are taking a page from his father’s playbook, by wailing Prima Swing like it’s 2014.
Less concerned about reliving the past than about creating a future for it, Louis Prima Jr and the Witnesses bring new energy and a current attitude to the masses with The Wildest Show this side of the 1960’s. Since their breakout performance at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival (aka Jazz Fest), #TeamPrima has performed everywhere from Seattle to Palermo, from small clubs to performing arts centers, from casino showrooms to music festivals, and from Access Hollywood Live to PBS.
LPJ and the Band are currently touring in support of their second Warrior Records/Universal Music Distribution (warriorrecords.com) release, BLOW – a collection of original music (save for a couple of surprises) as eclectic and unique as each member of this powerhouse band. Building off of the success of their critically acclaimed debut CD Return of the Wildest!, the band has brought together many years of diverse musical tastes into their second offering. From the first thunderous stomps of the title track, it is evident that this isn’t your daddy’s swing music, but a raucous roller coaster ride of tail-shakin’, foot-stampin’, horn-driven smiles.
If you’ve seen them in concert, you’ll know a bit about what to expect from the musical minds of the Witnesses. As energetic and over-the-top as their live shows, BLOW continues the ever-changing musical journey that Prima Sr. began in the 30s. “With the band’s collective talents and diverse musical tastes, we wind up with a sound unique to this band, while staying true to the boisterous Prima style,” says Louis. “We didn’t set out to simply write music we thought the fans wanted to hear. We wanted to challenge ourselves musically and also challenge the listener. You can’t fool the fans by trying to force the word ‘daddy-o’ into every song. If music does not come honestly from your soul, it will ultimately be short lived.”
Recorded at Capitol Records in Studio B, where Prima Sr. recorded his hits of the 50s and 60s, the seriousness of this music is masked only by the obvious fun that was had making it. It’s been 50 years since legendary Prima music shook the walls of Capitol. A new legend is being born, and it will BLOW you away!
What Are Your Influences/Sound and Why: Besides my father (naturally) because I’ve been listening to him since I was in the womb. It is happy music, makes your foot tap, puts a smile on your face. But I am a rocker at heart. My major influences are bands such as AC/DC, Aerosmith and the likes. That is what keeps our music boisterous and fun.
Songwriting Style: Hard to describe this band. It is part Louis Prima, Swing, Rock, Funk Soul, a bit of Gospel. I really don’t think you can stick it in a genre right now. Give it a year and they’ll come up with one for us!
Favorite Place To Play: New Orleans, they love music and the people LOVE to have a good time. But back east as well, they appreciate my father’s contribution to our culture. And they love how we respectfully are moving Prima into the 21st century.
What’s Your Funniest or Worst Tour Story: With this group, everything is funny. There are too many to choose from honestly. We all truly get along and have the greatest time on the road. BUT, earlier this month I was the first Grand Marshal for the second largest Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans. The Krewe of Thoth. They built us a float with a sound system. We played, threw stuff, and partied for 5 hours for an estimated 1.2 million people. One of the greatest most indescribable experiences of our lives. Going to be tough to top that one. Funniest though? Has to be listening to the wrong live version of New York New York, then trying to go on stage and perform. Sorry Frank….
Future plans: Continue to tour, record, and make people happy, one show at a time. We can’t wait for the world to hear what our diverse musical tastes and talents have come up with. I think everyone will be quite surprised, and very pleased.
Where Can We Hear Your Music: www.louisprimajr.com is all you need!!