“It’s like herding cats” joked The Russ Liquid Test’s songwriter, producer as well as brass specialist Russell Scott. Rounding up the other two bandmates: drummer Deven Trusclair and guitarist Andrew Block, with different post-show agendas, seemed like a small price to pay for our off-beaten track conversation. Russ relaxed on the green room’s comfy couch surrounded by blonde babes, vying for his attention, giving Borgore a run for his money. Scott entertained the idea of conducting our interview in that space, encouraging said ladies to chip in as they feel fit; its mini-fridge was barren except for a broken seal water bottle and ripe strawberries. Strongly against this idea, I suggested we congregate around the plush salmon seating directly outside. We waited patiently for a $35 bottle of Jameson to arrive.
What were you are JmaC’s intentions behind Manic Focus’ three-stop The Just Like You Tour?
Russ: That was a solo tour, and I just did it with JmaC. The intention behind that was to play some of my more electronic music—that’s not the band’s stuff, have a bunch of fun with my homie JmaC and make money in order to pay my bills.
How does your newest single, “Name It,” reconnect the sounds of today with the sounds of yesterday?
R: It’s electronic music that has organic instruments in it, utilizing scales that were derived 5,000 years ago in a cave somewhere in the Middle East of America like Detroit.
Deven: I’ve got Lauryn Hill on my shirt.
Who invited Russ Liquid to perform at The Big Weekend? What captivated ya’ll to say yes?
R: We just kind of showed up. That’s how we’ve made our careers: by being musical bullies.
It’s a hard world. No one’s gonna do that for you. You’ve got to stake your claim. We really like the promoters. They are awesome people. We’ve done other shows with Silver Wrapper. We’ve done North Coast [Music Festival] which is really dope, and we love Chicago a lot.
Where in New Orleans can you get your beignet on while listening to epic jazz music?
Andrew: There’s only one place to get beignets, and it’s Café du Monde.
R: And they don’t really have good music out front. Every once in a while, this dude tries to play the saxophone. You want to be in the French Quarter. Frenchman Street’s where you want to catch all the good music. Blue Nile is a cool club. It’s where Andrew’s played a lot.
Andrew: Nicholas Payton is a trumpet player.
R: He’s actually one of my big inspirations when I started getting into the trumpet. Russell Batiste, every once in a while, plays out there; he’s the man.
R: They can expect to have the most amazing time, transcend the bullshit of everyday life. We’re basically going to be a shower for your soul.
Which piece on your forthcoming extended play highlights Russ Liquid’s progression since last year’s World Gone Crazy EP the most?
R: Well here’s the thing, with all the releases that we’ve done, we’re not just one thing. We’re trying with each release to show a different facet of ourselves, and so this last release is more on the experimental electronic side of things. ProbCause is talking about how crazy the world is on the title track for ‘World Gone Crazy.’ We wanted to bring awareness to that but also have lighter music on there to balance it out. We wanted to show that the two can exist.
Are there any pitfalls to being a genre-bending band?
R: That’s the cool thing about it. It’s a reverse pitfall. It works in our benefit because there’s something for everybody. You might not like one thing, but there’s another thing you’re going to like. There’s a congruency between it all that makes it accessible. We tend to be a gateway drug for people that don’t want to hear straight electronic music or don’t want to hear a fucking jam band. The cool thing about our fans is they expect that in a show. They’re not expecting to hear just one tempo or style of music for the whole night. They want to hear us play trap one minute and the next minute funky music.
When can All Good Records’ buffs expect the label to return in full force?
R: All Good Records is no more. There hasn’t really been a public statement about that, which I disagree with; it leaves fans hanging. As far as we know, it’s no longer. It’s really sad because it was a really amazing thing.
Not only does Andrew Block play guitar with us, but he’s also an amazing engineer. He has a studio in New Orleans called Neutral Sound Studio which has been really influential in giving the scene a place to record music. All of our tracks were recorded there. It’s a huge, integral part of what we’re doing. There are other recording studios in New Orleans, but they’re either not very good or too expensive.
There’s not someone representing the people that actually make New Orleans, New Orleans. Along with that, he’s going to be developing a record label that we’ll hopefully be releasing our music through. Michael McDonald‘s recorded at that spot. Zak Starkey’s done sessions there, Ringo Starr’s son. There’s been some high-end clientele going through there. It’s pretty dope. Get the word out. It’s $1 million per hour unless you know us. Then, you get the homie rate.