Fishbone promises to 'bring the ruckus'

Daily News correspondentAugust 16, 2012 

Fishbone

Formed by a group of junior high students in Los Angeles, Fishbone created a unique blend of ska, funk, reggae and punk, becoming a prominent part of a Southern California music scene that also included such luminaries as the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Jane's Addiction.

Now, 33 years, numerous lineup changes and seven studio albums later, the band's current iteration is playing two shows at Alyeska Resort.

That lineup includes bassist Norwood Fisher and Angelo Moore, the band's vocalist and saxophonist who goes by the stage name Dr. Madd Vibe. They're the only two members who have been with the group through the entirety of its existence.

"After we lost those guys, we put the band back together, and me and Angelo just wondered, 'what would 100 percent look like?' " Fisher told About.com, explaining the decision to recommit fully to the band.

The new lineup now features musicians like Rocky George (former lead guitarist of iconic punk outfit Suicidal Tendencies) and the returning "Dirty" Walter A. Kibby II, an original member who's back in the band to play trumpet and sing background vocals. The group released the "Crazy Glue" EP in late 2011.

Recently, though, Fishbone has struggled to regain the towering success that found Spike Lee directing music videos and the band performing on "Saturday Night Live" in the 1990s.

"I look at it like everybody's career goes on a curve. We're just going to ride this curve as gracefully as possible," Fisher told Guitar World. "There are a lot of obstacles out there for a band like Fishbone. In a way, we were our own obstacle."

The band original success included tracks such as "Party at Ground Zero" and albums like "The Reality of My Surroundings" that showcased the group's fun and exciting genre fusion, but strained relationships caused numerous members to leave.

Not only that, but the remaining members' shifting influences -- which by the mid to late 90s began including more heavy metal and hard-core punk -- found the band risking the loss of some of the audience that drove its popularity.

However, each release continued to find a warm reception from a die-hard fan base that happened to include Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Les Claypool from Primus and Gwen Stefani from No Doubt, who even collaborated with the band on the track "Everybody Is a Star" in 2000.

But even if the band isn't performing "SNL" these days, Fishbone continues the heavy touring schedule that has always been a hallmark of the group's career.

As evidenced by the high personnel turnover, that work schedule can often lead to frayed relationships, which the band's two constant members have admitted.

As Fisher told the website For the Love of Punk, "I can honestly say, that like any relationship, I understand that the time apart is quite precious, but I still fully enjoy when we get together to do the Fishbone thing and bring the special ruckus that only we bring."

Fishbone

When: 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Where: Alyeska Daylodge, Girdwood

Tickets: $15, alyeskaresort.com

Online: fishbone.net

Fishbone promises to 'bring the ruckus'

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