After a Tuba Skinny experience, you may well question if you have lived a former life in the 1920’s and 30s. Undeniable champions of lost songs and old sounds, this new Orleans band captures the traditions of such profound musical eras so authentically, it is impossible not to lose yourself to the swing.
Originally known as the “Dead Man Street Orchestra”, the group travelled riding freight trains and making music wherever they went. Given the former name it comes as no surprise that the individual’s members of Tuba Skinny met on the streets. They began busking together before heading out on the road around the United States. There is something to be said how the street performances invigorate their large live shows. Lucky for us, they have packed their bags full of old time blues/ragtime/traditional Jazz tunes, to tour our Australian shores for the fourth time.
How many members in Tuba Skinny and are all of you from the U.S.?
We are an 8 piece band, all from the U.S. Most of us reside in New Orleans currently.
With such a large band, how do you make the creative decisions?
The creative decision making process happens pretty naturally. Someone will bring a song to the table and then we’ll play it and throw out ideas as we feel them until we come to a place with it that we can all feel good about
What do you love most about touring as a larger act? What is the biggest challenge?
The best and most challenging aspects are pretty much one and the same.
It can be great to travel with a big group of friends who are like family and play music and eat together. The challenge can lie in trying to move as a large group or come to a consensus about everything.
After watching you on youtube it’s evident that the you all feel the music. What’s the most important goal of your collective career right now?
We’ve never really had a goal in mind in regards to playing music as a career. Our collective goal has always been to play music together to the best of our abilities.
After an extensive tour, what are some of the things the band members do to ground themselves?
I think we all have our own personal rituals to keep us grounded on tour. As a band, we just try to busk together as much as possible, esp. when playing a tour comprised of stage shows.
Playing on the street keeps us grounded.
How do audiences around the world react to your 20’s jazz tunes?
People seem to love it. Its very social music, dance music, music that people can feel and somehow relate to regardless of language differences.