What loves cannabis, has trumpet and layered instrumentation and brings plenty of flow? Flow Tribe out of New Orleans is known for keeping the beat funky, getting your feet moving and advocating for everyone’s favorite plant. CULTURE had a few words with K.C. O’Rorke, who handles vocals and trumpet for Flow Tribe, about how the band gets down and spreads the good word.
How did you start making music?
We started back in high school in our bass player Chad Penot’s backyard. Every day we would get together and jam until one day we realized we had something unique we were cooking up. After graduation, everyone went their separate ways. Some went to college; Chad went into the fire academy; Russell served in the military. After Katrina, everyone ended up back at home in New Orleans, and we started playing together again. Here we are 12 years later. We play over 150 festival and club dates a year across the country and get to make music every day.
Do you have anything exciting in the works that you want to announce?
We just released our new album, Boss, produced by legendary hip hop producer Mannie Fresh. Also, our new studio just opened in New Orleans called Downman Sounds. We are excited about the studio, which is going to be used for both audio recording and as a soundstage for video production.
How would you describe your sound?
We call it backbone-cracking music—basically a rhythm-centric ride through funk, soul, rock, and all branches of the groove family tree. Our members come from diverse musical backgrounds, and that shows in our sound.
How do you feel about the funk scene in New Orleans and at large? What are some of your favorite things about the genre?
I think funk is more of a feeling than a style of music. It’s an approach or an attitude to approaching a performance. That being said, I think as long as there are people trying to cut loose it will always exist.
How do you feel about cannabis legalization so far? What could be done better, or differently?
Would love to see it legalized tomorrow, honestly. There is enough data out there with Colorado and Oregon to have no doubts about the positive aspects of legalization. Education on increased tax revenues and the ridiculous jailing for minor possession which ruins lives is helping the fight for legalization.
How has cannabis affected your life and/or creative process?
Cannabis has always helped me to get out of my own way. It makes me less self-conscious and willing to take risks musically that I might not have.
How do you advocate for cannabis?
Last year we teamed up with fellow New Orleans musicians, spearheaded by CommonSense Nola, to get minor cannabis possession essentially decriminalized in Orleans Parish. It was a great day! You can learn more about CommonSense Nola at http://commonsensenola.org.
Have you ever worked cannabis into your music as a theme? If so, how?
There are numerous references and songs throughout our catalogue in honor of cannabis. I’m not going to tell you where they are though, you have to listen and find them for yourself..
What is your favorite strain or cannabis product?
Hard to choose! There are so many different uses for different situations. Personally I’ve always been a fan of the Jack Herer sativa.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Check out the music video for the song “You Know What It’s About” off our latest record Boss here. And catch us live when we are in your neck of the woods. Follow www.flowtribe.com for all our tour dates and other info on the band.