Monday, December 13, 2010 , Updated 10:12 a.m., December 14, 2010
UPDATED: Deep Ellum band Fever in the Funkhouse
so close to surpasses $15,000 fundraising goal
The money will be used to promote their new – and first-ever! – album.
DEEP ELLUM UPDATE: Fever in the Funkhouse officially hit their goal of $15,000 Monday afternoon. The fundraising efforts seemed to spike after the article was posted on PegNews Monday morning, with almost 20 new backers joining within an eight hour period. Read the article below for Fever in the Funkhouse's story.
After more than a decade of restructuring, Dallas band Fever in the Funkhouse has completed its first official album and has settled in with a talented lineup of musicians from all over North Texas. The band has been a big player in the Deep Ellum music scene for more than 10 years, and with the release of the new record, Fever is reaching out to fans and family for support.
The new LP includes old and new songs. To promote the album and gather money for its release, the band has created the Kickstarter page with a goal of $15,000, due by midnight tonight. At the time this story was posted, the band had raised $14,405.
But here's the catch: If the band doesn't meet the $15,000 goal by midnight, all the money is refunded to fans. However, band members are confident. Some are even using the success of their other bands to help Fever's fundraising effort. “I have gained a certain amount of attention and wisdom from my experiences with Polyphonic Spree and Tripping Daisy that I have brought into Fever,” said band member Bryan Wakeland.
The band's members have fluctuated throughout the years, and the current line-up of members just became official last year.
Fever in the Funkhouse’s sound is a mixture of funk and rock with a southern twist, and consists of Bryan Wakeland (Polyphonic Spree/Tripping Daisy), Kenny Withrow (New Bohemians), Dave Prez, Ruth Margraff, and Nikos Brisco (Café Antarsia Ensemble). Producer David Castell mixed the record. If the Kickstarter project is successful, the band plans to host a concert in 2011 to honor the donors. The money will be used towards a publicist, a marketing team, merchandise, and tours.
We talked more with Fever in the Funkhouse about their past, the project, future plans, and everything in between.
PegNews: Were you nervous about not meeting your goal?
Nikos Brisco: The pressure is on big time, however, being an artist creating original work always comes with some struggle. And as enjoyable as it is to perform and write music for our fans, there is always a business side than cannot be neglected, and the funding gives us hope and privilege to take and create opportunities.
“Time We’ve Got To Change”
Is it possible for the band to release this album if the $15,000 goal is not met?
NB: We spent a good amount of time last year between Dallas and Austin recording this music, and no matter what happens with our Kickstarter campaign, we will make sure our fans and efforts are rewarded with a release of this new CD.
What are some of the main influences of the new record?
NB: I would have to say our main influence is our fans and loyal friends; without them it would be hard to keep going. On the level of pure musical inspiration, we still draw influence and guidance for the past Deep Ellum scene, the other bands, and musicians that were around with us back in the day. We will never lose our Texas soul and the vibe of the people in Dallas.
Has it been tough to juggle your other bands and this band?
NB: We all have different projects, but Fever is the front runner. I am enjoying balancing my efforts and styles with my other band Café Antarsia Ensemble a Greek/Balkan/Gypsy inspired project, but rock 'n' roll is my first and true love, and Fever is the machine for that!
Bryan Wakeland: Fever is not a side project!
What can fans expect from the new album?
NB: This new album brings together some of the best musicians from Dallas, all of us entwined through the heyday of Deep Ellum. We tackle some new songs and polished off a few of the Fever classics and have brought them to life in 2011. We are all better musicians and have grown as people as well as artists. There is nice level of maturity and confidence on the album, stage, and in the songs that we could not have had, say, 20 years ago.
What can fans expect from Fever in the Funkhouse in the near future? Any tours lined up?
NB: The future for Fever will be efforts to break us into the national market. We are currently speaking with record labels, agents, and media companies to help us break into the mainstream. We will continue to build our home base in Texas, however the long term goal is to expand our fan base and reach out to new fans in new states and show them what all the buzz in Texas is about.
Bryan, when you became a part of Fever in the Funkhouse, what made you want to become involved?
BW: I am a founding member of Fever, and our recent activity has allowed me to return to a smaller ensemble and jam with close friends. I dig playing many styles of music, and Polyphonic offered a different experience from Fever, and I value them both greatly.
These days, we know the Deep Ellum music scene has been struggling. Some great efforts have been made to help out, but what are your thoughts on it, both now and for the future?
NB: We hope Dallas does not forget or erase the rich history of Deep Ellum and will continue to rebuild and uphold the scene and vibe that put us on the map. I think original live music is essential to the overall artistic psyche of Dallas and its people. I see Jeff Liles, who had great responsibility in building the first traces of the Grand Idea, that Deep Ellum would eventually become now doing his magic in Oak Cliff with the Kessler Theater, and I think that also bodes well for Deep Ellum.