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Weege (880 South) - conducted by Nima Fadavi  

Weege (880 South)

October 2006

What is there to say about 880 South that hasn't already been said? Their music is unique, original, and most of all, catchy. The melodies and lyrics hum in your head for days on in. The shows are packed with beautiful ladies, and loud drunk people that have nothing less than a good time (one of the only reasons I drive from Santa Cruz to go see them in San Jose). I remember when I used to play in a hip hop/reggae band, The Reefers, we were shown nothing but love from 880 South. There charm, goodwill, and talents will take their music to top. With a CD release coming up soon, recent sponsorship with Left Coast Boardwear, and a show at Slim's in San Francisco within a few weeks; I sat down with the front man, Luigi "Weege" Casaretto, to see what's been going on lately.

MVRemix: 880 South used to be called The Floppy Rods, why the name change and what's different about the band now?

Weege: Oh boy! This question again. Yes, the Floppy Rods is a funny name. It's memorable, we established ourselves as this wild funky groove rock band in the shadow of such bands as Red Hot Chili Peppers, Mr Bungle, Incubus(the early shit of course), Steely Dan even. And we really established a great sound that was a bit more jazzy funk rock. The truth is, Greg came up with the name and pretty much was the leader in this band. His concept, his idea, his name even. I mean yeah I wrote lyrics and Greg wrote music along with Steve and Aaron and sometimes we'd have a few other songs thrown in there by Scot Miller and even Jimmy Heeney. The bottom line is, even though 880 South is 4/5 of the Floppy Rods. We're a much different band. In this band I write music and lyrics, and it's just more directed toward my vocal style and songwriting. The band does however help me mold the music and create smooth transitions and a lot of that comes from our background in the Floppy Rods.

Besides the style of the music, basically 880 South represents an updated version of the Floppy Rods. The 4 of us have been through hell and back and we're still fighting to get ahead. We've matured in so many different ways. Our chemistry is off the charts right now and we're itching to release our debut CD. I tried to think about what in the world unifies the 4 of us, and it just so happened to be a freeway. All of our lives we have been up and down that parking lot they call 880 South. I didn't think of the name to piss of Santa Cruz people either. But that is pretty funny to hear. I don't get all the go home valley drama. I mean I do, but I don't feel insulted by that at all. If anything I feel the same way about San Jose. Half the people that live here are from a different state. I mean welcome to my home, but don't take the shit over. I don't even go to Santa Cruz that often to be honest, unless I'm supporting the Expendables or seeing Adin and Alyx or catching a killer show at the Catalyst. I love the beach and all, but we're more of lake fishing folks. Don't worry, we don't eat the fish around these lakes, [laughs].

MVRemix: Talk about the new CD you guy's have coming out.

Weege: Mind blowing, provocative, sexy, crazy, silly, touching, honest, rude, dirty, real, sweet, 15 tracks of pure implosional ear candy! It's gonna be great. You're just going to have to wait for the album release to get the skinny. Basically it's 11 new tracks and the 4 songs that were on the demo. However, we did decide to re-record Fast Lane and Baja. I felt those songs could use an overhaul. We spent a long time in the studio. Sometimes we'd even completely scrap an idea and start from scratch. That's how serious we are about this album. We didn't settle for less. You won't find any cameos or skits on this album. It's just us and it's personal, and it's intimate, and I feel for me the lyrics are like therapy and comedy. It's a good time and we had a good time recording these songs. This is my 3rd time in the studio with Aaron and I think we were practically reading each others minds.

We had so many ideas for album names. Appreciation is obviously a song, but it definitely represents what we have to say and how we feel after all of these years of having great loyal fans, great families who support us, great lovers, great friends, and great times! Another album name was gonna be Blood, Sweat, Beer, and Insults. Kind of sums the 4 of us up. We also considered going the self titled route. I'm not sure what our final decision is, you'll see in the coming month.

MVRemix: What were some of the group's influences for this album?

Weege: Shit...that's not a fair question. We have way too many influences. I'll think of the 4 of us and our favorite bands, how about that?

Aaron - Fishbone, Greg - Steely Dan, Steve - RHCP, Weege Sublime

I mean we listen to all kinds of great jams and great bands. We definitely all can agree on Led Zeppelin and we all enjoy each others music influences. But myself I'm into anything Queen, MC5, the Who, Greggory Isaacs, Buju Banton, Bob Marley, Yellowman, Atmosphere, People Under the Stairs. I can go on and on. Greg likes the whole Doobie Brothers family tree, Steely Dan, Michael McDonald, Incubus, Eagles. He's also got this weird affixiation with early 80s funk like Cameo and Gap Band. I admit that shit is on hit though. I personally dig Kool and the Gang. There I said it. Steve is way more into jazz I think than any of us, but he's also into 90s hip-hop like Tribe Called Quest and Outkast. Aaron also digs some jazzy shit that's a bit way out there for me but I definitely respect the musicianship that comes with jazz. Aaron also likes metal and hiphop like Del the Funky Homosapien, in fact that might be the only hiphop he really likes. He's definitely our heavy rock influence in the band. He listens to like Clutch and stuff, but you can almost guarantee to hear a Fishbone jam when he's crusin. We also belt out Van Halen songs every once in a blue moon. I said "Halen", not "Hagar". We all enjoy a good Mr Bungle and the Kids of Widney High and of course some good ole DeFront. Sometimes we'll even cheese out and listen to the corniest shit, we're not afraid to admit it. The 4 of us are into a lot of different stuff, but we meet in the middle somehow!

>> continued...

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"Another album name was gonna be Blood, Sweat, Beer, and Insults. Kind of sums the 4 of us up."