EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH THE ROSHAMBEAUX
Atlanta's Roshambeaux are a two-piece semi-electronic outfit that rock the house like no two-piece semi-electronic outfit you've ever heard before.
Working overtime whenever they mount a stage, singer-guitarist Kyle Iconic and drummer J. Chastain trade off on keyboards while using their respective axes to trigger various loops and effects, raising a fiercely funk ruckus that has as much in common with acid rock and R&B as it does with EDM.
Iconic relates that he and Chastain were both engaged in various other creative endeavors when they were introduced by mutual friends roundabout 2010. "We both had other projects, but none of those projects were quite what we wanted to be doing," Iconic says.
"I was always fascinated by electronic music, but everyone else I knew seemed to want to be in a four-piece rock band. So I put that on the back burner, until I met J.He had the same basic ideas about electronic music that I did, so we said, 'Why not start a project that represents all of the things we want to do'"
It was a truly combustible pairing -- a guitar player with swing, swag, and a serious soul jones, a whiz-kid drummer and multi-instrumentalist who learned Deep Purple licks from his paternal grandmother, both of them yearning to cast off the shackles of the standard strings-and-drums rock band formula.
Through the years, they've been compared to the likes of Prince and Hendrix and Lenny Kravitz -- maybe because of guitarist Iconic's light-brown skin and mighty mountain of hair -- and to garage bands like the White Stripes and the Black Keys -- maybe because most rock writers can't count past two. But while those comparisons may be lazy, they're not entirely off-base; Roshambeaux bear some sonic resemblance to all of those esteemed outfits, plus a dozen or so more, all depending on the moment and the song.
Iconic and Chastain call what they do "Rock-tronic Motown," or some such thing, and that's about as close as anyone will come to pinning down their singular stew of swinging rock and heavy funk.
Says Iconic,"The reaction we get from people that we're most proud of is when someone comes up and says to one of us, 'I've never seen or heard anything like this. Where have you guys been?' We're trying to present familiar elements in ways that people haven't seen before.
"People when they hear us, they tend to compare us to something else they like. We don't really care, as long as they're having a good time."
Roshambeaux recently released their second full-length album, "After Math," the follow-up to their 2013 debut "Iilluminaughty." What happens next is anyone's guess.
"We might decide to release an ambient record, or another rock record," Iconic says. "We really don't have a plan. The one thing that has stayed constant is that we always do exactly what we want to do."
Roshambeaux will play Preservaiton Pub Friday, June 30th