Zion Godchaux of BoomBox Talks City Bisco, New Music, and the Transformation of His Band

BoomBox

City Bisco is in full swing, and tonight kicks off the first of two nights at the fresh Ford Amphitheater in historic Coney Island. Following two intimate shows last night and the previous night at Irving Plaza, the Disco Biscuits will be joined for their final two shows by a host of talented performers from across the globe. Perhaps the most anticipated support set will be delivered tonight by Alabama’s celebrated livetronica duo, BoomBox.

Originally formed by Zion Godchaux and Russ Randolph back in 2004, BoomBox has built a sterling reputation in the jamtronica community as one of the Southeast’s most respected outfits. Just last year in 2016 Russ announced his departure from BoomBox to pursue a solo musical career, performing his last BoomBox show on New Year’s at the Gothic Theatre in Colorado. To the relief of longtime BoomBox fans, Zion decided to keep the project alive by inviting DJ Harry to replace Russ and tour across the country with the transformed band in 2017.

Tonight, Zion and Harry will take their biggest stage to date with a direct support set for the highly anticipated first night of City Bisco at Coney Island. Ahead of this landmark performance for BoomBox we caught up with Zion to discuss the transformation of BoomBox, new music in the works, and their plans for tonight’s show. For more information on City Bisco, follow this link, and make sure to stay on top of everything BoomBox by following them on Facebook.

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Sound Fix: Hey Zion – happy we could catch up before your performance at City Bisco tonight. Is this your first time performing at a City Bisco? Tell us what we can expect from your set at Coney Island.

Zion Godchaux: Yeah we’re exited to be on this! It will be our first time performing City Bisco. As far as what to expect, well, 60 minutes of Harry and I on stage doing our best to groove the place out. We’ll be playing BoomBox tracks both old and new. Beyond that, I never know what to expect so your guess is as good as mine! We like to make our decisions in the moment whenever and wherever possible.

SF: Your longtime collaborator and counterpart in BoomBox, Russ Randolph, performed his last set with you on New Year’s Eve in 2016 at the Gothic Theatre in Denver. How has the transition been this year to your band’s new form?

ZG: To be honest, it was kinda terrifying going into the transition. You never know how the fans are going to react. You don’t know if the flow is going to be right, or the chemistry on stage is going to be right. Rehearsal is one thing, but the stage is something all together different for me at least. So diving head first into a 3 week run was going to be a test, no getting around it. But between Harry’s experience and the dopeness of our fans, we were able to keep the plane in the air so to speak. As soon as the first beat dropped in Omaha, Nebraska, I knew we were going to be fine.

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SF: What ways, if any, has your sound evolved or change since Russ’s departure?

ZG: Harry brings a lot of snap to his mixes, and he’s definitely feeling it up there. The mixes are smooth – sometimes not drawn out as long – but other times we’ll do the opposite and really stretch the song out. I’ve gone through and done a lot of remixes of our older songs to keep them fresh and hitting.

SF: You’ve released two new singles this year, “Laid Back and Loaded” and “Right Around Two.” Tell us about these two projects and how they differ from your previous catalogue.

ZG: “Right around 2 ” was a classic Boombox track that had never seen a studio, so I had to give that song some love. Fortunately I was able to to get my mom in to cut the vocal hook which came out really nice. “Laid Back and Loaded” is just a next level BoomBox track. It pretty much does the most damage live from most of our music.

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SF: Do you have plans to follow up on your 2016 EP Bits & Pieces with a full length album in 2017 or 2018? If so – with what label, and where do you plan to record the record?

ZG: I’m in the middle of recording a full length right now. Heath Bennett, our sound engineer, just moved a few miles away from me near Muscle Shoals. We both have studios so we go back and forth between his place and mine. I want to tell what it’s going to be called but I think I’m going to have to hold off. It will be out early next year!

SF: Looking back at the summer – what was your most memorable performance or musical moment?

ZG: That would have to be late night at High Sierra Music Festival a few months back – it was our best set yet I think. It was just one of those nights when everything comes together for a special moment in time where even your wrong notes feel right – a fire at will type of situation. I kept waiting for some gear to fail or something because it was too good to be true – but it never did! Everything worked all the way through.

SF: Finally – what can we expect from BoomBox in 2018? Any specific goals or aspirations for the new year?

ZG: I’m about writing songs. I just want to write good songs. That’s it. And play Europe – that’s my main goal. New Years is at the Gothic again in Colorado! (tickets)

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Sam Hutchinson

Sam Hutchinson, aka "Hutch," is the original founder of Sound-Fix.com, which launched in early 2015 from the ashes of his previous publication, paradisebeats.com. For the past 6 years, Hutch has developed and grown Sound Fix with a group of friends and contributors to where it is today. He's currently enrolled in Berklee College of Music's Master's Certification program, and majored in Writing at Hamilton College, the birthplace of Sound Fix. Feel free to message Hutch at sam@sound-fix.com with any requests, questions, or samples pieces!

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