Interview with Phunky Drakes

Mathias Haegglund spoke with Phunky Drakes about the future, the new album and finding the magic...

Interview with Phunky Drakes Bastards of Funk

Tell us who are Phunky Drakes and how did you end up with the name "Phunky Drakes"?
Daniel: Today, Phunky Drakes consists of mainly three people, Daniel, Malte, and our new member and singer Marit. There is no special thought or meaning behind the name Phunky Drakes. To come up with a group name like ours usually happens after a beer (or two?), and this is exactly what happened. We concluded during this beer session that the music we make is kind of funky, hence the word "phunky" (but with a twist!), and "drakes" came from an idea Malte got from some comic book. We've stuck with it ever since.

Your first album "After School Special" was a huge success in media and on radio, how does the plans for you upcoming album look ? Is the new album going to be even bigger?
Malte: No, not really. Since our first album was such a success and has been played on the radio we feel that having tracks played on the radio is not the most important thing this time. The first single (out now!) will be a radio hit, mainly due to the fact that it is kind of special. For the new album we definitely left out the disco elements.

Which is your favourite tune on the "After School Special" album and also why?
Daniel: I really like "A Place", firstly because it is a great production and secondly because it features Marit Ilis on vocals. The magic she brings into the track really is something special. With her soft and kind of childish vocal touch, she manages to make the track stand out from the rest. "So good" is also a track that I personally enjoy listening to now and then. It has an uplifting sound which is perfect to start off your party!

Malte: I would say "So Good" and "For Your Soul". Mainly due to the excellent production and cool feeling. Every time I listen to them I feel like "Did we really do this one? Can we really make music as good as this?"

The vocals on such tracks as "Love" & "A place" on the "After School Special" album are very good, is it hard to find that magic blend between vocals and lyrics that just click like they do in these two tracks?
Malte: Yeah. It truly is. We fail a lot of times when it comes to vocals. Probably because we can't sing! But when it do click you just know it instantly.

Phunky Drakes have played Hultsfred Music Festival and Arvika Festival, does those gigs in anyway bring out elements that a "normal" club gig wouldn't, in the sense of stage presence, energy etc.?
Daniel: It is always nice to play at big events like those, since they also give us the opportunity to meet other producers and dj:s in a relaxed environment to have a good chat. The whole festival thing is a nice complement to club gigs. On the other hand, a club gig really can be special as well, with a tight atmosphere, great people and that special club-feel you can't really get at a bigger event.

Malte: Playing at big events also gives us the opportunity to bring a band. I think that's cool.

Which is the BEST memory you have from a DJ/live gig?
Daniel: I have to say when we played at Hultsfred for the first time year 2k. To play at a big event like this was incredible for us. The crowd was wonderful, the atmosphere was just right considering we were playing early in the afternoon. And I can swear that, by the end of the gig, it really felt like we had just started playing. It really was that much fun. But as the saying goes: Time flies.....

Malte: Yeah! That was our first real big gig as phunky drakes. Amazing. They really loved us...

What is more important to you, when it comes to skills and DJing? Ability to please the crowd or music choice?
Daniel: I think that we have always tried to give a good show at most of our live-gigs. When we DJ we feel that the music choice is more important than the skills delivering it. As long as the crowd is pleased, we're pleased!

Malte: Yeah, and we are trying to put up a good show even when we are DJ-ing.

What do you have planned for the summer/autumn of 2004, where can we hear you playing? Any large events/clubs planned? When is the new album released?
Daniel: The main event for us this summer will of course be the Sun Dance Music Festival in Tallinn. It is going to be real fun to play at this festival, and hopefully for people to listen to as well! Other than that we really haven't anything more planned, since a lot of work has to be done this summer to finish our next album due this autumn.

Please list your favourite all time top 5 tracks that have changed you and your music?
1. Kenny Bobien - Rise Above The Storm
2. Moodyman - People
3. Roy Davis Jr. - Gabrielle
4. Dax Riders - People
5. Phunky Drakes - Guilty

Mathias Haegglund Code Collector, Globetrotter, and Occasional Gamer.