The Gene Dudley Group Interview!
We were very lucky to sneak in a quick interview with Gene Dudley of The Gene Dudley Group before he takes to the stage at our 5th Birthday Party on May 22nd! With an new album out this summer, the former Black Country boy chats about the London live scene, influences and turning up the heat.
Your sound is impossibly tropical for someone who lives in the UK, what’s your creative process for achieving this?
Thank you! There’s a lot of turning the heating up full in my studio to set a tropical vibe. I’ve always loved music that had horns on it – reggae bits, soul bits and a few years ago I decided to stop messing about and learn horns so I could make tracks of my own with them. It’s been a bit of a non stop tropical Fest for me since then.
How has your sound progressed from the first GDG album to the second and what influenced the shift?
Having had a couple of years of playing the first album live – it’s really given some nice perspective on making new tunes. Certain tunes live just feel really good to play – so there’s been a lot of going back home and thinking -‘be nice to have a few more tunes like that to play’.
Also this record has some vocals on it. We did a tour backing Myron & E last year. That gave a real nice taste of playing this kinda music live with vocals and how fun that is. And then at a similar time I had a flukey meet up with an amazing vocalist (and Dj) named Anne Frankenstein. So the new album features vocals by both of those.
You’re a very driven musician who clearly has a huge love for music! Who have been your biggest influences overall?
It’s hard to say cause my taste and collection is all over the place and I’ve always been inspired more by particular tunes than particular artists. But i love things that are funky but not too slick and professional, and I love dub mixes, and horns – so those things combined are the general make up of what I’m trying to do when making music.
Do you look forward to ‘homecoming’ shows in the Midlands and how does the live scene compare to the scene in London?
Actually this is the first time The Gene Dudley Group has played Birmingham – so I can’t wait. The live scene in London is amazing. I’m not sure if I would even be aware of that if I wasn’t on Wah Wah 45s as they are a live scene within themselves in a way. Some of the best gigs I’ve ever played have been Wah wah gigs, and some of the most amazing gig hook ups else where have been through them so it’s a lucky situation.
How does playing live with a band compare to recording solo? Do you have a preference?
They’re two completely different beasts. I record solo by accident in a way. Recording and making tracks is just what I like doing to relax. It’s what I do every evening instead of watching TV or whatever. And then every few months or so I have a listen through some stuff and go ‘oh I’ve nearly made an album again’. It’s almost an accident. As much as I’d love to be really organised and get a band together and rehearse and then go in a big studio and record – it just doesn’t seem to suit my personality. It would never get done if I had to work that way.
But then when It comes to live you have to work backwards and find people to play with. I have to say I’ve been so lucky – I’ve met incredible musicians and made amazing friends out of doing this band. Musicians that bring things live that I could never have dream of on record.
Where else can people catch you this summer?
Lot’s of exciting gigs coming up over the Summer. Very much looking forward to being back up in Brum for Mostly Jazz Festival on July 11th! And eyes out for new album Zambidoose in July!
You can see The Gene Dudley Group live over the summer here –