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Culture Prophet are one of the few Upstate bands that really need no introduction, so I’m just going to give you the facts. 1. They’re playing this Friday at The Radio Room in Greenville 2. Original drummer Sean Neuse is playing with them for this show and they are concentrating on early material3.Vampire Pimp is opening with a DJ set 4.It’s going to be ridiculously fun. We caught up with lead singer Michael Barksdale to talk about the upcoming show, the past and the future of the band and imparting wisdom to other musicians.
Wes Gilliam: The them of this Friday’s show is “taking it back to 2006″, if you had to dissect it for the reader, what would you say the difference in Culture Prophet sans 2006 is musically with say, 2011 ?
Michael Barksdale: I would say its not as much musically as it is energy. The beginning of Culture Prophet started in Punk roots with electronic idea being the second to the Punk idea. Musically though I would say just this, in the beginning of this project I was trying to mix New Wave, Goth, and Hip Hop. You can take what you want from that.
WG: For those that don’t know, drummer Kirby Bauman moved to Chicago a few months back, how did the idea come about of doing a show with the original line-up ?
MB: I always try to do a Leo party every year and I’m pretty sure I have always had one annually for the last five years so I wasn’t going to let this year be an exception. Kirby will return for a show or two, and there may be a tour in the works for me and her, but me and de noisey haven’t gotten nasty in sometime and I 100% feel like the time is very much needed.
WG: For the show on New Years last year you had a really extravagant light-show, any more surprises up your sleeve for this one?
MB: This show wont be any of that. Just pure energy just like the old days. If your not coming to sweat your ass off and have a great time don’t come! We plan on rocking the shit out of The Radio Room just like we used to do, and we surely will succeed!
WG: Are there any concrete plans for Culture Prophet after this show? I know your other band Our Western sky is planning on releasing a new album relatively soon and I’m assuming that’s going to be a priority.
MB: The next line of business is the full length which is about 70% done. So expect that coming soon
WG: We’ve talked a bit in the past about the state of Electronic music, what are your thoughts on the current state of the genre(s)? Anything out there really on your radar that you’ve got your eye on for the future?
MB: I personally feel like the genre has gone to complete shit! Ive have been trying to find good stuff in the E lectronic field for a while now and finding nothing that is good. There are a couple of exceptions like: Boys noize, Gesaffelstein, etc. I think the only good that is currently coming from the electronic scene other than bands that have elements of Electronica are Proto-Industrial bands obviously taking much inspiration from bands like Nitzer Ebb, Front 242 and the like. Which is all the roots of what we all do to begin with. These bands just have those influences more obvious which I personally like.
WG: At this point I feel like you’ve established yourself as an elder statesman of the local scene, if there was someone reading this just starting out what kind of advice would you give them?
MB:Never give up, always have new material, never be in this for the money, always love what your doing or dont do it, never be your band mates bitch unless thats just what your are, don’t steal from your influences just get inspiration
WG: Culture Prophet has always been the one act in the Upstate scene that’s been able to get the people moving and dancing, any secrets of the trade you can impart to us ?
MB: If you are into your music as much as you want people to be they will feel that. There is no way to fake this, you either feel it or you dont. If you in fact do really feel what you are doing people will know and they will pick up on the fact that its doing something to you and they will join you. Obviously if you have taste you will feel what you are doing and those people wont be able to help themselves but to be a part of whatever you are doing. In CP the music pumps me up genuinely and there is no way i can help that. People can sense realism when its right in there face and they cant help but react as long as the songs are good and you create an environment for them to get loose in they will do whatever you want.
As a side note people shouldn’t put too much thought into the idea of what makes a good time, There is a big difference between going to watch a band and going to be a part of that band and thats the thing that CP always has at the show. The audience isn’t playing an instrument, singing, or anything like that but without the energy of everyone of them there wouldn’t be a show. I think every musician should remember that! It is indeed about you performing but it should mainly be about you entertaining an audience and if that isnt what you are trying to do then you will fail miserably. You should make yourself feel good while making every single person experiencing the show feel good.
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