Ivan Neville Participates With HeadCount
Ivan Neville has music in his blood. The Dumpstaphunk frontman is the son of New Orleans legend Aaron Neville, and a nephew to the rest of the famed Neville Brothers. He has played with a diverse range of artists, from the Rolling Stones, Bonnie Raitt and Robbie Robertson to Paula Abdul, Don Henley and the Spin Doctors. He currently tours with his own group, Dumpstaphunk. The band, which plays some of the filthiest and funkiest grooves you’ll ever hear, should probably be in the running for most appropriately named group of all-time.
Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk will be joining fellow New Orleans musician Anders Osborne for the HeadCount Participation Tour, a four night run through the Northeast from November 2 – 5. This unique pre-election concert series is presented by Magic Hat as part of their longstanding partnership with HeadCount. The tour aims to get music fans excited about democracy, with the additional goal of raising awareness about the problems facing New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. Along the way, Dumpstaphunk and Osborne will be joined by a slew of special guests including Keller Williams, Amy Helm, Luther Dickinson, John Kadlecik and more artists who have not yet been announced. Jambands.com sat down with Ivan to talk about the upcoming tour, collaborating with Flea, The New Orleans Saints and more.
If you’d like to attend the Participation Party in NYC, you can enter to win a free trip to the show and $1,000 in cash at MagicHat.Net.
Dumpstaphunk and Anders Osborne are playing a few shows as part of HeadCount’s Participation Tour. What is the Participation Tour and how did you guys end up getting involved?
Well basically, first of all any time you get a chance to play—you know, no matter what—you play. And especially with our fans, and then in conjunction with Anders on the field as well, that just makes it all the more special. And now you add in the fact that now it’s also to promote voter registration and things of that nature, it’s obviously a slam dunk. It’s a great reason to be out there playing.
So how does a tour like this help raise awareness about voting and about New Orleans in general?
Well you’ve got guys like Anders and our band who are kind of making noise about the city and out sharing the New Orleans vibe all over the place, and as performers and songwriters you have a chance to say things sometimes. So, we say things in our music, and also you get a chance to be a little vocal, not only in the songs, but we get to say a little something extra by participating in something of this nature.
And promoting is using your voice. You got a voice, use it. And we’re blessed to get to do that. You know what I’m saying? We get to use our voice. So basically, it’s promoting the fact that—everybody, use your voice. You got one, use it. Don’t stop complaining, use your voice. You know what I’m saying?
Definitely. So, I’ve seen Dumpstaphunk playing at a bunch of, what could be described as Jamband-oriented festivals over the last few years. Do you think that you guys and other New Orleans acts in general have gotten a lot of love on that scene?
Oh yeah yeah yeah, absolutely. That scene has given us a big audience. When you have people who are music lovers, you gotta dig that. You know what I’m saying? People appreciate music, they appreciate all genres of music, it’s kinda cool to get to be a part of that scene. So, we love the fact that we’re welcome to many of these festivals, along with a lot of other New Orleans bands. We get to share what we do, so it’s a blessing.
Is it different playing for crowds outside of New Orleans?
I guess so, yeah I guess so. When you play in New Orleans, people know what to expect to a degree. So I guess that factor is in there, when you play outside of New Orleans. A lot of people don’t know what to expect sometimes. So, it’s more a treat to them or more of a surprise and whatnot. In New Orleans they kind of know what to expect, but it’s still a blast either way.
So I know that when you guys first started Dumpstaphunk full time, you had to abandon some other projects. Do you think the band has been able to come into its own since then? How are things different now since you all first started out?
We have, yes. We have evolved in many different ways. We have, over the past year and a half to up to two years or something, we have had a new member, another drummer that came into the picture. We started out with a guy named Raymond Weber and now we have a young lady by the name of Nikki Glaspie, she’s a member of the band and she’s been with us coming up on two years. So that’s changed some of the dynamics of what we do. And also, we’ve evolved as far as our music. I mean, we hung on as a funk band, and we’re all definitely funky. But we’re all influenced by many other different genres and music, so recently been merging a lot of other new styles into our thing—not intentionally, but it just kind of happens, you know?
We’re also working on a record that we’re hoping to release by the beginning of next year. We’ve been working on it for a while actually, we’ve been working on it for quite a while. We’ve been doing it like piecemeal. We’d go into the studio for a few days here and there, when we’re off the road, and we write some songs and record some songs, and then we leave it at that and then we come back a month later and we got two or three days off and go back into the studio. So we’ve done this off and on since—I mean we started this project in December of last year and we’ve done a little bit here and a little bit there. We’ve probably actually recorded probably three weeks worth of stuff in about a seven to eight month time period. So, we’ve been in the studio probably actually three to four weeks total in that period of time, it’s just not been in a row. And this is how we’ve been making this record. And we’ve been going into the studio—some of the stuff we write on the spot, some stuff we had an idea and then turn it into what it can become, Dumpsta mode. And it’s mostly different from some of the stuff we’ve done, so I hope people dig it.