Written by Big Smile Staff

Posted Jun 23, 2007, by Mr. Ralston.

GOONDOCKS: Purveyors of Seattle's Funk

“Funk meets hip-hop meets wicked grooves meets Barbara Streisand, wait…I meant everything but the funk part” explains lyricist Chas “Cmez” Messmer of Goondocks’ music. Goondocks, having pulled the name from the cult classic movie, the Goonies, have been adding a little funk to the Seattle scene for the past few years. “We’re funk with fast talking,” says lyricist Jeremy “Jmic” Miller, “and hip-hop infused electro funk rock,” adds bassist John “O Mit” Mitten. They have influences across the board, from Atmosphere, Phil Spector, Stevie Wonder, 90’s acid house, Charles Mingus, and the Beastie Boys, and they’re clearly evident in their eclectic, yet funky, sound. Their live instrumentation, adding that extra boom bap that sets off their live shows, carries themes of robots, Seattle locations, breakups, and karate chops. But the refreshing part about Goondocks is that they lack a gimmick or theme (i.e. throwback 80’s, unique instruments, costumes). They play straight up, solid grooves that may in fact tickle your behind.

Goondocks formed at the University of Washington, namely within in the student film community. Cmez, also a filmmaker, remembers “…directing a short film that Jmic auditioned for and got the role. During production, Jmic let me listen to a short demo of him rapping, which led me to dust off my lyric book from high school.” Jmic adds, “Chas was filming a movie which required a rap song. I gave him a demo and he used it. Chas, being a rapper, thought it would be fun to collaborate on something.” From there, lyricists Cmez and Jmic have been the constant two in the band’s transformations. Now, with the addition of DJ/keyboardist Erik “EMC” Chillman, bassist O-Mit, drummer Sam “Suckaboo” Kirk, and horn player Brasswax, Goondocks are a solid core playing shows throughout the Seattle area.

While Seattle is known for the grunge scene of the 90’s and is “a little chalky with the mods and emo rockers” according to O-Mit, it has a scene other than the indie rock circles of nowadays. Erik Chillman notes that “Seattle is a great place to put a project together and put in a ton of work, especially in the winter.” Cmez continues, “there is a lot of great hip-hop work being done here, but it seems the industry only looks at Seattle for another rock group.”

As Goondocks recently released their latest funk installment titled, “International Metamorphis,” they hope to be on the road soon, rocking shows across the nation proving that other music styles are alive in the Seattle scene. And be careful- they may make you dance a little, too.

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