The Road to CukoRakko: A.C. DeMoss of Mother Funk May 11, 2016 08:57
Our latest segment, "The Road to CukoRakko," consists of a series of interviews leading up to CukoRakko Music & Arts Festival this weekend at Horse Pens 40 in Steele, AL. We recently caught up with A.C. DeMoss (guitar/vocals) of Mother Funk, one of Tuscaloosa's favorite young bands which has recently relocated to Nashville.
The four members of Mother Funk met in Tuscaloosa, AL and released their debut album, Coastal, in February 2014. After graduating college, they moved to Nashville, TN to continue writing & recording while still playing shows across the U.S. Mother Funk has been featured on the same bills as acts such as moe., Dispatch, Moon Taxi, The Revivalists, and Zoogma; playing venues such as Riverwalk Amphitheater, Costa Greekfest, Lake Martin Amphitheater.
The band recently released a self-titled live album in April 2016 and has been traveling to many different cities the past few months including Athens, New Orleans, Sewannee, Nashville, & Atlanta. Mother Funk is scheduled to headline this year’s CukoRakko Music and Arts Festival on May 13th in Steele, AL.
Interview by Jordan Kirkland: Live & Listen
Mother Funk has been going strong for six years now. You have been able to reach audiences far beyond the initial Tuscaloosa market at this point. How has the band's approach evolved since finishing school and entering "the real world"?
A.C.: Once I graduated from college about a year ago, we parted from our former bass player, Davis Hudson, who’s now in San Fransisco. This led to each member taking on a lot more responsibility in regards to our sound. It's been a real eye opener for every band member’s talents. Since our music has become bigger than our initial college cover band days, it’s given us a great opportunity to grow up as a band. And there’s not a better place to do it than here in good ole Nashville, TN!
As Mother Funk continues to grow and play to new markets, the opportunity to perform and build your following only increases. How has the band's schedule shaped up thus far in 2016?
A.C.: Our schedule has been perfect so far, man. We’ve taken some time off to really grow as musicians, honing our songwriting & recording craft, and all of us moving to Nashville has really helped shape what we want to be and sound like. We love to play live, but we realized that we need to get back to the basics and develop what we want to be, if we’re really going to do this ‘band’ thing. Not to say that playing in places like Athens, GA and other venues around the southeast haven’t been fun this year—let’s just say we’re stoked for what’s in store for the festival goers at Cuko.
Listen to Mother Funk's self-titled live album here:
Mother Funk began working on it's second full length album in Nashville last year. How far along are you guys in the recording process? Have you taken a different approach than that of your previous album, Coastal?
A.C.: We’re proud of Coastal for what it is, ya know? We recorded it in three days. It was the first time we had ever stepped into a studio, and we learned a lot during that process. One thing we learned: three days in the studio is not the right approach. Mother Funk’s been on somewhat of a hiatus this past year to focus on what we want out of the band, and it has been very good for us. Each member brings a lot of creativity and ideas to the table, which is great for the Mother Funk/jam band sound. Now, we’re starting to take a ‘pocket rock’ approach to our new sound; recording demos as much as possible and working with some really talented people up here in Nashville. You can expect to hear some great work from the members of Mother Funk in the coming months.
Every band has their own unique way of putting together a setlist. What does the process entail for you guys as you prepare for each show?
A.C.: Back in the college days, we used to be the band that would play in the background, but now we’re putting a whole lot more thought into providing a show for the audience. We want their undivided attention on the band on stage rocking their face off, rather than the beer in their hand. When we put together our setlist, our intention is to make that show memorable to everyone listening. We want people walking out of the festival thinking “I have never seen a band like that before—where are they playing next?”
We're coming up on CukoRakko, one of Alabama's young, growing music festivals. Horse Pens 40 is without a doubt one of the most amazing locations in the state. What does it mean to you guys to join the CukoRakko family?
A.C.: We are freaking pumped! Living up here in Tennessee, you can get homesick being away from the great state of Alabama for so long. We can already tell Cuko is an up and coming festival and are extremely excited to be part of it.
CukoRakko will give you guys an opportunity to play in front of many music fans who might be seeing Mother Funk for the first time. How would you best describe what the crowd at Horse Pens can expect from you guys?
A.C: We’re taking the same approach live as we are for our new material. Our new pocket rock sound has really hit home for us and the crowd over these past few shows. Since we’re kind of a ‘new’ band now, Cuko can expect a show that they’ve never heard before. Even the old Mother Funk fans will be surprised.