Booty back to Boone
The Booty is back. The Big Booty. One might even say the Big Fat Booty.
Yo Mama's Big Fat Booty Band, Boone-bred and Asheville-based, returns to Boone, booty intact, with its sequins and "new funk" blasting from its amplifiers.
"These days it seems like it's kind of hard, with everybody doing different styles of music and mixing different genres together, it seems like a lot of bands are having an identity crisis, trying to figure out what kind of music they're playing," guitarist J.P. Miller said.
But not Booty.
"We've always been heavily influenced by funk ... it's not quite the funk of the old day," he said. "It's mixed in with some elements of newer stuff."
Think jazz, hip hop and reggae that won't quit. "It's just the new generation of funk and its offshoots," Miller said.
And it's not just that beat that will make your "booty" shake.
"It's an attitude," he said. "It's a lifestyle ... we're already feeling the funk before we start playing the instruments ... that kind of translates to what we wear on stage."
Think glitter. Think sequins. Think a whole lot of Vegas-style sparkle.
"We have a variety of different clothing that's scattered all throughout our vehicle, different crazy, shiny, sparkly, sequined clothing," he said. "People, a lot of times, will give us stuff around the road ... our bass player has gone through about a dozen sets of wings over the past years."
Wigs. Wings. Glitter. Glitter. Glitter.
"I like my leather pants," he laughed. "And I have been sporting a disco ball cowboy hat for a few years."
That hat is so popular he sold the original to a fan a few years ago. "I used the money to buy a couple more," he said.
While their attitudes and sounds might be funky, their radio, shockingly, isn't.
"For a funk band, nobody would expect us to listen to a bunch of metal," he said, but, while it's not their opening line, Booty is made up of closet metalheads. Think Slayer and Mega Death.
"I think it's funny that a funk band pulls up to a gig flashing Metallica," Miller said.
And Miller can joke about the band that's been his life for the past couple of years. That shared sense of humor is part of how the group connects in the first place. "We'll be in some random city sitting on a bus or sitting back in the greenroom just cracking up on jokes," he said.
And they have a lot of time for jokes. With a hectic tour schedule that just sent them to Alaska, the group knows how to keep busy. Think national tours and festivals, and not just Boone's Music on the Mountaintop (a Booty favorite). The band has played for Jam Cruise, literally a "floating festival," and had dates in Oregon, California and Colorado.
The group started in Boone in 2002, and, while they're now Asheville-based, they'll never forget the town that taught them to jam.
"It was an awesome place for us," Miller said. "Boone gave us a place to settle down and take all of our outside influences and melt them into one. It's kind of like a nice little cooking pot, taking all our different ingredients and throwing them in and letting them simmer while we got all our stuff together."
According to Miller, Booty is the reason town ordinances changed to disallow fliers on telephone poles.
"We started putting fliers up with booties all over them," he laughed. "They [town officials] didn't really like seeing that."
With a new album on the way (Doing it Hard), Booty's come a long way from its Appalachian State roots and can't wait to expose a new generation of happy Appies to the funk.
The crew plays Legends at ASU on Oct. 7 at 9 p.m. For a preview, check out http://www.bootyband.com. Local jammers The Native Sway open the show. For information on tickets, check out legends.appstate.edu.