Q: How did the band form?
A: The drummer (Bob Payne) and I started the band. I met him when we were really young. He lived in Seven Valleys. I lived in Glen Rock. We went through a bunch of members in high school. Then, we added a guitar player named (Bill Feltcher) when I was a sophomore or junior in high school. There were four of us at that time. We all moved to New Orleans when I started college (at Loyola University New Orleans). So, we played down there as 27 Lights. We put together a horn line to play with. We went to South By Southwest (music festival). Shortly thereafter, we parted ways with (the lead singer) and started just playing with the horn line and a few other singers.
Q: Did you find inspiration in New Orleans?
A: When we went down there, we were a reggae band. In New Orleans, we added horns, and we started playing more funk-inspired stuff and more instrumental (music) and more jazz. Once we finished in New Orleans, we all wanted to kind of save up money and go on tour. We all decided to move back up into the area. We started rehearsing again in our childhood rehearsal space "¦ last year. I met our new front guy, who is an emcee named E-Dubble. He goes by E-Dubble and we are 27 Lights, his backing band. We play all his music and new, original music we're writing with him.
Q: Do you think playing different genres gives you an advantage?
A: Every time you try something new, you gain something and you also might expose something about yourself. It's always super exciting starting new projects and getting involved with new people. Meeting (E-Dubble) has been a really big ... moment for us. We had decided that we didn't want to play reggae. Musically, we were kind of ready to move on. The music (E-Dubble) writes is "¦ almost like indie rock meets hip-hop. We're playing a lot in Baltimore now, and we're setting up a tour to go all the way down to South by Southwest "¦ next month.
Q: What's your game plan for South by Southwest?
A: E-Dubble is on the official South by Southwest bill. It will be at a specific venue. It's more like South by Southwest takes over the city and there (are) showcases at specific venues that they choose. Certain ones are official, and certain ones are unofficial. (It's our) first official one. The first time we went with "¦ the reggae band, it was unofficial, but we did really well.
Q: How did you connect with E-Dubble?
A: We were trying everything (to find a new lead singer). We had everything from a stupid Craigslist ad to "¦ a flier at the supermarket. We were really starting to get "¦ discouraged. I started working at Guitar Center just because "¦ I wanted to work around music. E-Dubble walks in the door, trying to sell some gear. I didn't think he should sell it. That was kind of like our jumping off point. It was a one-in-a-million kind of thing.
Q: What else is on tap for 2014?
A: We actually have a music video that we're working on ... for a song that we collaborated on. Its' still in production. We'll have that music video coming out (at) the beginning of February.
About the band
Members: Core members are Vince Winik, bass; Bob Payne, drums; and Bill Fletcher, guitar. The group works with various artists and is now backing rapper E-Dubble.