Bam­boos test new shoots

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - LIVE ’N’ LOUD -

ANCE Fer­gu­son is con­sid­er­ing adopt­ing a 10th fam­ily mem­ber to help out on The Bam­boos’ next record – ec­cen­tric You Am I front­man Tim Rogers.

Gui­tarist and band leader Fer­gu­son formed the nine­piece soul-funk band in Mel­bourne in 2000.

Fer­gu­son says he and Rogers hit it off back-stage on a Big Day Out tour af­ter dis­cov­er­ing they shared a ‘‘rap­port of be­ing mu­sic nerds’’. Fer­gu­son in­vited Rogers to col­lab­o­rate on I Got Burned, a soul-in­fused track from The Bam­boos’ fifth record, Medicine Man.

‘‘It’s a lot of fun writ­ing mu­sic with the guy. He’s pretty much al­ready one of the fam­ily,’’ Fer­gu­son says.

‘‘We just did a tour with him and I want to write an al­bum to­gether. He’s a busy guy so re­al­is­ti­cally it wouldn’t hap­pen un­til the end of the year.’’

Fer­gu­son de­scribes his Bam­boos band­mates as a great bunch of peo­ple.

‘‘We have a great time to­gether. They are like my fam­ily. We are look­ing at ex­plor­ing psy­che­delic and rock sounds on the next record. I like to take the band on tan­gents and still make it sound like us,’’ he says.

Fer­gu­son en­listed the help of sev­eral guest vo­cal­ists to record more than half the tracks on Medicine Man, with the band’s res­i­dent singers, Kylie Auld­ist and Ella Thompson, tak­ing over vo­cal du­ties at live shows. It’s a task that re­quires them to take over vo­cal lines recorded by singers as di­verse as Rogers, Aloe Blacc, Me­gan Washington, Bobby Flynn and Daniel Mer­ri­weather.

‘‘It’s hard for a singer to do what they do – but to their credit they do own the songs,’’ Fer­gu­son says.

Aside from be­ing drawn to Rogers – in par­tic­u­lar for his abil­ity to cross gen­res so eas­ily – Fer­gu­son says he wants the band to stand its ground on the next record.

‘‘The Bam­boos are known for col­lab­o­ra­tions but I want to pull back on the next record,’’ he says.

‘‘I want to con­cen­trate on the band’s strength and sounds. I am not rul­ing col­lab­o­rat­ing out. I just want to start with the core band mem­bers.’’

Fer­gu­son copped flak from long-term Bam­boos’ fans for Medicine Man’s more com­mer­cial sound – some­thing he says came about by ac­ci­dent, not de­sign.

‘‘When I get in the stu­dio and write a song it comes from an hon­est and sin­cere place,’’ he says.

‘‘In terms of be­ing crit­i­cised for the com­mer­cial el­e­ment, it wasn’t in­ten­tional. I want to make mu­sic that means some­thing – for me it’s a per­sonal story – but what hap­pens down the track is of­ten out of my hands.’’

The Bam­boos and Benny & The Dukes play Live at Bond, at Bond Univer­sity’s ADCO Am­phithe­atre, on Sun­day at 3pm. En­try is free. The Bam­boos play the By­ron Bay Blues­fest on March 31 and April 1.

The Bam­boos’ gui­tarist and band leader, Lance Fer­gu­son.

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