We Want The Funk
Written by Maria Serra on October 26, 2017
Kent, Ohio is home to The Kent Stage, Black Squirrel Radio, of course, and absolutely no sunny, tropical islands. This didn’t stop lead singer Matthew Roads from forming the now nationally touring band Tropidelic.
While here, the group produced their own EP, “Rebirth of the Dope” and distributed over 10,000 copies. Shortly after the release of their second EP “Tree City Exodus”, the group started to base itself out of Cleveland. Before they knew it, they were playing sets at Warped Tour and other notable music festivals.
Matthew travels alongside his friends James Begin (vocals/trombone), Derek McBryde (trumpet), Bobby Chronic (guitar), Darrick Willis (percussion), and “Pags” (bass).
With influences from bands like Slightly Stoopid, Pepper, and The Dirty Heads, Tropidelic is far from your average rock band. They describe themselves as reggae, rock, hip-hop, etc. but no single genre can encompass their sound fully.
James noted that identifying under one genre is not important. He said, “The strongest element of our music is funk as a feeling. You’re gonna wanna dance.”
An exciting year lies ahead for the guys of Tropidelic. They scored opening shows for the Omaha rock band, 311, famous for songs like “Beautiful Disaster” and “Down”. Most importantly, Tropidelic is releasing a new album entitled “Heavy is the Head” from LAW Records featuring two of their singles, “Hey Now” and “Dollar Saved”.
Both singles have a distinct mixture of musical persuasions. Reggae, jazz, rock, and funk vibes are all present. The videos feature the guys’ wacky and creative personalities. Additionally, viewers get to see close-ups of James rapping!
Music has a lot to do with the people who write. For the writers of Tropidelic, James and Matthew, they never classify their style as deliberate. James said, “I find myself writing about my day to day and external things.” The new record is different in the way that all members had an opportunity to explore internal reflection a little more.
Black Squirrel Radio got a little bit of insight into tracks on the album that have not been released! James discussed one of his favorite songs called “Lorain, Lorain.” “We’ve never written anything like it before,” he said. This song features more experimental elements and even includes a tuba! James compared it to the sound of The Beatles.
Tropidelic values everyone who they have met or will meet on tours to come. After shows, they “want to meet fans, kiss some babies, and take some pictures.” As far as the band’s future, James explained: “Everyone is supposed to be here. That feeling just makes sense.”
“Heavy is the Head” is now available for pre-order on iTunes and the full album will be available on Apple Music and Spotify Nov. 10. For tour dates, merch, and all things Tropidelic, you can check out Tropidelic.com.