Brassy funk band Lucky Chops started in 2006, playing in subways. They became known for covering popular songs like “Hello” by Adele, the video of which went viral. Their covers manage to convey every instrument used in the original, even the vocals, with only brass instruments and percussion, adding a new flavor to the songs. In their original songs like “Temple of Boom,” they create epic brass jams that really shine. The intense timbre and smooth dynamics of the musicians will get you up on your feet and moving!
Formed in New York City, the band has since toured the globe. In addition to shows, they go to schools to provide music education for the younger generation. Lucky Chops, though only in their twenties themselves, are passionate about jazz, funk, and music in general and inspiring the younger generation. TUBE. recently chatted with Josh Holcomb, Lucky Chops’ trombonist about what it has been like achieving and growing notoriety as a primarily brass band. Holcomb was very personable, quirky, and fun.
TUBE: What’s been your all-time favorite venue to play and why?
Holcomb: We’ve been so fortunate to have had some amazing shows at incredible venues around the world but I think my favorite would have to be on top of an open roof double decker bus driving through the streets of Manhattan playing while dodging trees, street lights and other decapitating hazards. A one of a kind show!
What’s the craziest thing that’s ever happened to you on tour?
One time a very nice fan gave me a full-size adult Pikachu onesie, to this day I wear it to bed every night on tour, THANK YOU NATASHA!
When you ever have some down time, how do you each like to spend it?
We all have our unique tour rituals and routines, personally, I like to spend time reading, writing, listening to new music and walking around each city we’re visiting. (I also like to find Brazilian steakhouses on our days off!)
What did you guys want to be when you grew up?
Honestly, this is MORE than I ever wanted to be! I’ve always wanted to be a jazz trombone player, but I never imagined our career would’ve jump-started so quickly while we’re in our 20s. It’s really a dream come true : )
What are your hopes, dreams, and goals for the band in the future?
We want to further explore the possibilities on each of our instruments, experimenting with new stylistic fusions and creating new sounds. It’s our collective goal to inspire the next generation to want to play music and as a result, experience all the joy it can provide.
What fuels your creative drive as a band?
Knowing that what we’re doing is pretty unusual and unique really drives us because there are no predetermined rules or guidelines for us to follow. It’s very creatively stimulating!
Do you guys have other jobs, or are you all full-time musicians?
We’ve all chosen the path of the full-time musician! (for now)
Everyone has their own thoughts about success. What’s your definition of it–what’s it look like to you?
Hmm, I’ve learned that external success and internal success are very different things. I think the most important thing, regardless of how seemingly well you are doing, is to strive for your version of internal success. To feel truly proud and happy with what you’re doing is the ultimate payoff, no matter what that looks like to the rest of the world.
What’s been your biggest struggle you’ve had to overcome as a band?
The full time touring life is very, very fun but over time it is taxing on the body and mind. Getting through the first few tours was challenging as we all figured out our own balances for maintaining this new (crazy) lifestyle.
To end things on a lighter note, what are each of your favorite foods?
Hmm I’m going to say Indian for me, and I’m going to guess raw salmon for Josh Gawel, pizza for Daro, McDonald’s for Raphael, and sushi for Charles (guys how did I do?)
Lucky Chops is coming to San Francisco! They are playing February 27th and 28th at The Fillmore. Doors open at 7:00pm; both shows start at 8:00pm. Tickets are $39.50 plus surcharges. Learn more about the show here!
Words: Anouk Nexus.
Photos courtesy of Lucky Chops