The Warsaw Poland Brothers and Sirus B Posse are playing a couple Maui shows together this weekend. Anybody can interview them and then write a story, but this week I was feeling especially lazy so I had them interview each other. Enjoy!
I used to play with Kate in a funk band in Eugene, Oregon. She’s been playing with Warsaw Poland Brothers for four years although they’ve been together for a while. I’ve known them for years and saw them play recently in Berkeley.
I think they’re based out of Southern California. As far as genres go, they’re all across the board. They play everything from rockin’ ska to reggae and Irish drinking songs. I know when they play their week of Oahu shows, they do entire gigs of Irish songs at the pubs there.
The core members are brothers who play drums, guitar and sing, with Kate playing trumpet, keyboards and bass—and they all switch instruments. They’re always doing crazy stuff.
Jeff’s questions for Kate Presley of Warsaw Poland Brothers:
You’re sponsored by Jagermeister. How did that happen?
One of our former managers, who’s now touring with Louis XIV, showed our tour schedule to Jagermeister representatives, who decided we should get on. And their sales have increased by 20 percent in that market of where we’re playing, along with the Toasters, who are also sponsored by them. It’s been a big boost for us.
How many shows per year do you play and in what states?
We tour nationally, like, 300 days a year, and from Colorado to Hawai’i on a regular basis.
What are some of your biggest influences, musically?
[Actually answered by Chris Poland of Warsaw Poland Brothers]: All Jamaican styles—from rock-steady to dancehall, Celtic music, bluegrass, jazz, and West Coast punk. We listen to Desmond Tucker, Madness, the Pogues, Bad Religion and AFI. Basically, we’re mods who know how to rock.
KATE ON WHAT SHE KNOWS OF SIRUS B POSSE:
Jeff and I have been musician friends for years and years. His band is kinda like soul and funky music with a little reggae. That’s what we used to play together, and he continued on with that on Maui.
Kate’s questions for Jeff:
How has living in the islands changed your playing?
I was always a big reggae fan. But when you live on an island, you begin to understand the relevance of playing dub stuff. The reggae always goes over well here—it’s hit-or-miss with some crowds on the mainland. But everybody in the band is into rare jazz and funk, so we mix it in to keep the energy level high.
How often can you play on Maui? Can you play more than a couple times a month?
You can play every night of the week if you want. But we space out shows to keep it fresh. We generally do Charley’s, Ale House, and Life’s a Beach or Casanova, once a month each.
What are the logistics of getting gear and where do you find rehearsal space?
We have our own PA and gear—which is tricky for mainland bands, which is why you’ll be borrowing ours. We rehearse in the Pauwela Cannery and we all live upcountry so that’s pretty convenient.
Do musicians come and go frequently?
It’s true people don’t always live here long but we’ve had the same core members for two years now, and we’re stronger than ever as a unit. We’re also good friends and don’t have any plans for disbanding. Plus, we have a website—www.sirusb.com—a new CD, Jumpstart the Revolution, and our music is featured on a new Jaws surf DVD called Ten Years Later. MTW