Ocean Beach, CA.: Have seen so much, have seen so many bands but when I entered a club in San Diego and saw these guys on stage I was blown away! Fucking hell! These guys have been amazing combining own stuf with cover versions of Michael Jackson and Rage against the machine! So we really have to introduce this band and I talked to the guitarist Russel …
Interview: D. Rowehl / pic by courtesy of THE ROUTINE
entertaim.net: Hi Russel, great show in San Diego. And by the way …. Congrats for your album „Black Tropics“. I guess it’s more a promo-CD. How was the feedback so far?
Russel: Black Tropics is our 2nd EP, we had enough material to do a full album, but our sound changed so much between our first EP „Welcome“ to our second „Black Tropics“ that we thought we thought we were better off doing a shorter length. Although we are currently in the works of writing a full length album now that we have dialed in our sound a little more. The next release is going to really be a blend of our rocky, funky, groovy styles. We have been dialing in a very cool unique sound.
entertaim.net: Even if you play a crossover-mix with influences of Reggae, Rock, Soul you really sound really heavy on stage! Where are your musical roots?
Russel: Think less Reggae, more Afro-beat. We all love Reggae, but we try to keep the one drop out of The Routine because we are edgier and nastier. Afro-beat/Afro-Funk, that is the worldly undertone and vibe you hear in our music. Otherwise we all love classic soul, funk, and rhythm n‘ blues. Although every band member brings their own musical root to the table. And we love to take everything to the limit. Every night, every sound, every note and beat we give everything we can. Every time we come off the stage we know that we left a piece of our soul behind for the crowd, no matter how big or small.
entertaim.net: What are your next steps? A new album, a video?
Russel: The full length album is in the writing process. Otherwise we have a few ideas for music videos in the works. And also we want to start a series of comedic type skits because we all have a ridiculous sense of humor and so many jokes; we would love our fans to be able to see that side of us. Otherwise we want to expand our touring market. Every year we add a few more states to our tour schedule. So hopefully soon that develops into touring Europe … and our favorite country in the world .. Japan!
entertaim.net: What can you tell up about the San Diego music scene? Are there good venues for live music?
Russel: The San Diego music scene certainly does exist but would not be considered ‚thriving‘. The city has been good to us, in 2015 we were voted San Diego’s best Rock band. And we have so many great fans who come support us every night. But we still have a hard time passing a certain threshold of ticket sails and believe it or not, we sometimes have a hard time getting on the bills and festivals that we want. We love San Diego, it’s our home … and the venues and promoters who we work with are great. But we feel a stronger connection with our loyal fans than anything else. We love leaving California though. Our sound is so distinctly west coast and we go from funky Afro grooves to rocking breaks, people freak out when we play in other cities and states. That’s why Europe is calling us! People just need to know who we are.
entertaim.net: What’s the biggest challenge for you being a musician?
Russel: I think the challenges change constantly. Sometimes it’s financial struggles, sometimes we play empty shows and sometimes we have rough nights, we’re human. But the truth is in realizing that the biggest challenge is internal. We always feel like we should be doing bigger shows, writing better songs, sell more tickets… But we already give so much, and sacrifice so much from our personal lives that sometimes we have to sit back and not be hard on our selves. That crosses over into your personal life as well. You always feel like you should be making more money, working harder, eating better, exercising more. But all you can do is do your best. So the biggest challenge of being a musician is to just take it easy on yourself. And realize that if you are putting in the work every day, and constantly analyzing and growing your music than you are doing enough. Love yourself, love what you do, and honor your hard work!
entertaim.net: Thank you very much!
Russel: Much love from The Routine. 5 funky flamingos trying to make it in this crazy world.