WRUV with The Slip/Benevento Russo Duo

Members of The Slip and The Benevento/Russo Duo got together at Higher Ground on August 13th to perform a special show in the Showcase Lounge. The Slip features the Barr brothers (Andrew and Brad) and Marc Friedman who formed their power trio in Boston 8 years ago.

Marco Benevento (keys) and Joe Russo (drums) make up the widely talked about Duo, and have been blowing audiences away since the beginning of 2005. Andrew and Marc of the Slip joined forces with Benevento from the Duo to put on a fun and interesting show at Higher Ground. WRUV interviewed this new, unnamed band to talk about this side project and their respective bands.

WRUV: What makes this side project work well and remain fun?

Andrew: I’m convinced this band is at its best when it doesn’t play much; we have more fun and make better music, if we only get together once in a while and play. It helps us to keep things open and free. We like to be completely improvisational, and playing more often might shift us into a more rehearsed mind set.

Marc: We usually like to get together every spring and fall for a short 3-4 show run.

WRUV: Why doesn’t this group have a name? Marc: We usually have many different musicians joining us on stage, which makes it hard to form a concrete name for the group, but now I think it’s getting to the point where we might want to come up with a name for this trio (Andrew, Marc, Benevento).

WRUV: What makes this group different from The Slip and the Duo? Marc: Absolutely everything is improv, we don’t have any songs written, and we never rehearse anything. We just get on stage and play what feels right, we play whatever we want.

Andrew: What makes this band so fun and relaxed is the fact that we don’t really rehearse, I feel so free when I play with this group. There’s no pressure to play a certain way, we just go with what makes us happy.

WRUV: How do you define your sound? Marc: It’s hard to fit us into a specific genre; we’ve never had a clear, concise category that we fit into. What we do is hard to define; it can go in different directions at any given time. We are a lyrically based band, so some people call us a rock band. Andrew: When we play live we try to open up all the categories that we’ve been put into, and play a more open style of music.

Marc: I like to look at us as a power trio. There is a lot of space on stage, we really like to explore and have our different personalities stand out.

WRUV: How do you hope to see your fan base grow in the next year? Marc: We’d like to get more attention in all the areas we play. With our next album coming out we would like to expand our fan base in all areas. We don’t want to remain small; we’d always love to sell out larger venues.

Andrew: We don’t always want to remain an underground band, our goal is to bring our music to a larger audience, and hopefully with each show we play and album we release we will be able to reach more and more people. WRUV: What makes Burlington stand out as a place to play music?

Marco: I love playing in Burlington, and it’s nice to check out the area before we play. The people that live hear love music, it’s a college town, and it’s a lot of fun to play here. I love Higher Ground too, it’s a great venue. Andrew: People come to hear you in Burlington, we have great crowds and that always brings us back. WRUV: Who would win a pie eating contest, The Slip or the Duo?

Andrew: That’s not really fair because Joe Russo (Duo) is a pie eating machine.

Marco: If we could eat cherry pie there is no way The Slip could beat us.

WRUV: What music are you guys listening to right now?

Marco: Death Cab for Cutie, Built to Spill, Stars, all the fucking cool Canadian bands, rock music.

Marc: Classical music, for some reason I’m on a weird classical kick.

The Benevento/Russo Duo will be back in town performing at Higher Ground on Thursday September 1st. View their latest news at www.organanddrums.com, and you can also check out their new album, Best Reason to Buy the Sun, on Ropeadope Records. The Slip will be back in town on Friday October 21st at Higher Ground. Check out their latest news at www.theslip.com.

This interview was brought to you by WRUV FM Burlington, 90.1 your better alternative.