You may have seen a funk band live, and you may have seen people dressed in outrageous costumes before. Maybe you’ve even chatted with someone recently about the evolutionary debate between Bill Nye and Ken Ham. But the unique and unbridled experience of all of these things occurring on one stage simultaneously is an experience that can only be offered by Edmonton band Klusterfunk.
The 11-piece band can be best described as “music with a message”, as they tackle political and social issues with their one-of-a-kind blend of funk, hip-hop, and punk, challenging listeners to stop and think about the current state of the world.
“We’re goofy people, but at the same time we try to be socially conscious and aware of what’s happening. I think we feel like we have a duty to talk about the hard discussions,” said band leader Tim Wilson. “I would love it if (we) could reinvigorate a whole renaissance of socially conscious music.”
The group was formed last July and has since generated buzz by playing shows locally in a style that is certainly, well, a bit of a Klusterfunk. The band’s shows are high-energy, partially due to the sheer size of the group, however the atmosphere can also be attributed to the wide array of goofy costumes donned by the members.
On Feb. 25, Klusterfunk will play The Rec Room in celebration of the release their debut EP, Needs More Cowbell. The title’s SNL reference coincides with the band’s attention to pop-culture as well as their love for all things goofy.
“I wanted our first venture out into the world to be a little bit comical,” said Wilson. “We wanted to showcase the fact that these are serious songs by serious musicians, but at the end of the day we do want to make people laugh.”
Coordinating 11 people to come together and create music isn’t always easy, although Wilson says that the members have become very close since forming the group.
“It’s just like a family,” he said. “With 11 people (there are) a lot of perspectives and a lot of opinions, but I think we manage to synthesize it the best we can.”
When it comes to labelling the hot mess that is Klusterfunk, Wilson says the group tends to focus more on the message of their music and don’t label themselves as any particular genre.
“I think the best way to approach writing music is to not try to write a specific style,” he said. “In the songwriting process, I’m not really thinking about any specific genre — I’m thinking Klusterfunk.”
Wilson hopes that those who attend their shows will be left thinking about the issues that the band explores long after the music stops.
“I want people to come, laugh, mosh, but also think,” he said. “If somebody can leave (our) show tired but inspired, I think that’s a good show.”
At the end of the day, Klusterfunk is making music with one goal in mind: “to turn all the world’s bad feelin’s, into good feelin’s”.
“I want people to know that Klusterfunk is out there to change the world through our message and our music,” he said. “I want this music to get out there and change the way people think, act, and treat each other. I think if people give (us) a chance and come out to the show and get involved with the band, we can help them change their lives and they’ll have the power to change the world with us.”
And if there wasn’t enough reason already to see a Klusterfunk show, the band is also home to six current MacEwan students, as well as three alumni. Catch Klusterfunk and Carter & the Capitals at The Rec Room on Feb. 25 for a night jam-packed with MacEwan-made music.
Find the event on Facebook for all of the funky details.
Cover photo by Nick Laird Videography.