GENRE: Disco Punk Brass Band
INFLUENCES: Gang of Four, David Bowie, Prince, Talking Heads, What Cheer? Brigade, !!!, Rebirth Brass Band; as well as genres like New Orleans second line, Balkan brass music, EDM, metal, hardcore, punk, funk and disco
ABOUT THE BAND:
Funkrust Brass Band is a 20-piece post-apocalyptic disco-punk brass band playing all original music with megaphone vocals, heavy tuba bass lines, thundering percussion and searing brass melodies. Their explosive live performances feature full band choreography, signature wasteland/glam uniforms and LED lighting effects. The band mixes post-punk, disco, EDM, metal, and funk with Balkan brass and New Orleans second line sounds, and filters that through the medium of a massive street brass band with a punk rock sensibility.
The BONES AND BURNING project:
This fall, the band is releasing Bones and Burning, a series of recordings and videos on a variety of analog and archaic formats, in line with its post-technological concept. The band recorded live to 8-track tape at The Dreamfield, an analog studio run by Michael Kammers, bandleader of the MK Groove Orchestra.
Two of these songs, "Terminus" and "Open House Fire," will be released as a limited edition color 7" vinyl single.
Funkrust will also release music videos for three of these songs, each featuring a different archaic format. WLND Brooklyn Public Access Internet will produce a video for "Open House Fire" using their VHS/green-screen treatment. Stop motion animator Stefan Zeniuk is creating a piece for "Uncanny Carnival."
Finally, noted director Iain Marcks is producing an epic short film, shot on analog film stock, based on the song "Terminus." Principal photography for that project was completed in three days in mid-August and was led by Marcks and award-winning Director of Photography Jendra Jarnagin. It featured the entire band as cast members in five locations, plus two dancers and a film crew of over twenty professionals.
The 7” vinyl single and 4-song digital EP will be released on November 8 in conjunction with an album release show at the Footlight Bar in Ridgewood, Queens. The vinyl and the digital album will be available for pre-order starting September 20.
The band was co-founded in 2014 by brass band scene veteran Phil Andrews and singer-songwriter Ellia Bisker. The real-life couple collaborates on each song, with Andrews composing the music and Bisker contributing lyrics. His past art and musical projects include the Rude Mechanical Orchestra, Apocalypse Five & Dime, Gay Panic and the Miss Rockaway Armada and he currently plays bass with the art-rock outfit Trouble with Kittens. Bisker become known on the NYC singer-songwriter scene with her band Sweet Soubrette, and is currently one-half of the popular goth-folk duo Charming Disaster.
The project was conceived as a brass band from a future dystopia, dedicated to bringing hope to the survivors: in this post-apocalyptic world, the only bands left are those that can play without electricity or sound equipment. The music of the apocalypse isn’t death metal—it’s brass. Each of the songs addresses that audience in a different way-- from the examination of loss and despair to the collective catharsis of high energy dance music.
The band formed in 2014, and since then has played a wide variety of venues, festivals and events throughout NYC and the East Coast. Some notable examples include appearances at the underground art party series Rubulad, immersive events at the McKittrick Hotel (home of the wildly popular Sleep No More), cultural institutions like the New York Botanical Garden, the huge EDM festival Mysteryland in Woodstock, NY, the annual Sinterklaas festival in Rhinebeck, NY, opening for World Inferno Friendship Society at the Mercury Lounge and the HONK brass band festivals in NYC, Providence, RI, and Austin, TX. Funkrust’s debut album, Dark City, was released in 2017, and the band will roll out an ambitious song and video cycle entitled Bones and Burning in the fall of 2019.
Bones and Burning features:
Phil Andrews (trumpet), Elizabeth Arce (trombone), Eva Arce (trumpet), Ellia Bisker (megaphone), Josh Bisker (percussion), Matthew Cain (sousaphone), Sherri Cohen (trombone), Anya Combs (alto saxophone), Devin Glenn (trumpet), Ryan Gochee (trombone), Allison Heim (bass drum), Nick Herman (percussion), Perrine Iannacchione (alto saxophone), Alex Jung (snare), John Lynd (sousaphone), Roo O'Donnell (snare), Andrew Schwartz (trumpet), Laurel Stinson (tenor saxophone)
Engineered & mixed by Michael Kammers at The Dreamfield
Mastered by Stefan Heger
Music by Phil Andrews
Lyrics by Ellia Bisker
Cover art by Heather Vaughan
Graphic design by Matthew Cain
December 7 - Sinterklaas Festival in Rhinebeck, NY
"It’s an upbeat album that is easy to sing along to, but more importantly it’s easy to dance to. The biggest problem the record has for the listener is that it makes it impossible to not want to catch Funkrust live and in person right away."
- rBeatz review of Dark City
"Funkrust Brass Band waste no time opening the album with their signature song, Funkrust. Catchy tuba bassline underpinning its rat-a-tat trombones, cinematically rising trumpets and undulating groove, this mashup of Balkan brass and American funk sounds like an even more epic version of iconic Brooklyn band Slavic Soul Party."
- New York Music Daily on Dark City
"Prior to hitting play limber up your hips, knees and most importantly ankles as Funkrust Brass Band take the listener on a journey that demands much of the lower joints in a roughly twenty five minute, seven track, release of unrelenting strutting dance."
- Emerging Indie Bands preview of Dark City
“The title track, and most distinctively chromatic, Balkan-flavored anthem from the debut album by New York’s largest and most explosive brass band.”
- New York Music Daily, naming “Dark City” one of the year’s 100 best songs