Bamboos aim to keep growing
LANCE Ferguson is determined The Bamboos won’t become a genre-driven band. As the only founding member of the retro-funksoul-flavoured nine-piece, Ferguson says it is easy to become pigeon-holed into a genre of music. ‘‘I want to be open-minded and bring in other influences,’’ he says. ‘‘Then I like to draw on those influences and funnel them into our sound.’’ The band’s fifth album Medicine Man was released earlier this month. He says he wants the The Bamboos to be known for the music they create, not the genre that music is associated with. ‘‘I have always been someone who likes to aim as high as I can. I have always measured myself against the best out there,’’ he says. ‘‘My favourite bands – Radiohead would be the greatest example – are known for being themselves. People don’t talk about genres. They are their own genre.’’ Megan Washington, Tim Rogers and Aloe Blacc were some of the guest vocalists who appeared on Medicine Man. ‘‘I first met Meg years ago when she was doing her initial demos. I was struck by her voice and her vibe. We did a cover of a Kings of Leon song, and later she blew up to be massive,’’ Ferguson says. ‘‘I met Tim when I was touring Big Day Out with (Megan’s) band. We hit it off and were hanging out backstage. We talked about doing a collaboration.’’ Although the guest artists can’t make it to every live Bamboos show, Ferguson says the regular vocalists – Kylie Auldist and Ella Thompson – do a great job of rendering songs other people recorded. ‘‘It’s not easy for any vocalist to do it when they are feeling like everyone wants to be hearing Tim Rogers,’’ he says. ‘‘Kylie is a wonderful vocalists. She knows the personality of the track and she has a knack of pulling people in.’’ Ferguson says the band, having been around for more than 10 years, are comfortable in their own shoes. ‘‘We are relaxed about being ourselves and having fun on stage,’’ he says.
The Bamboos play The Great Northern, in Byron Bay, tonight (with Axolotl) and The Hi-Fi, in Brisbane, on Saturday (with guests).
Bamboos singer Lance Ferguson.