Interview by Scott Preston
BoomBox is producer/DJ Russ Randolph and singer/songwriter/guitarist Zion Rock Godchaux. This pair of dynamic artists uses their rich musical history and their vision of music and popular culture to deliver a style of music distinctly different from anything heard or seen in music today. This signature sound and show brings live music to a new, elevated level.
BoomBox evolved through the common visualization of a pair of forward thinking artists from diverse musical backgrounds. Raised by supportive and musically inclined parents, both Godchaux and Randolph had an obsession with music at very young ages. Godchaux, who grew up with deeply embedded rock and roll roots, began playing drums at the age of two, and played guitar and wrote his own songs as a teen. During the 90s, Godchaux was a well-received touring DJ based out of the San Francisco area. Randolph began as a young drummer, but it’s what was happening behind the scenes that attracted him most. As much producers as they are musicians, its Randolph’s understanding of soundscape and Godchaux’s knack for songwriting that keeps BoomBox resonating at higher levels. (from thisisboombox.com)
Cincy Groove: How did you and Russ end up performing together?
Zion Godchaux: We met in Alabama when we were working on a record for The Heart of Gold Band called “At The Table” with my mom (Donna Jean Godchaux-McKay), my uncle and step dad. Russ was brought in as an engineer on the record. We obviously spent hours and hours in the studio working on this record. Finally it dawned on us that we could work pretty well together.
Cincy Groove: What does it mean to you to record and create music in Muscle Shoals?
Zion Godchaux: Muscle Shoals has a thing about it that tends to lend itself to a certain type of creativity. Specifically a funky, groovy, laid back approach to rhythm. I think thats the reason that the music that came out of there was so influential. To this day there are still a lot of great bands and musicians down there. We just love it. We are just trying to help turn some people on to that knowledge. Its a major part of our American musical heritage and a lot of people don’t know about Muscle Shoals. We love to talk about it and brag about it (laughing).
Cincy Groove: Who do you consider some of your musical influences?
Zion Godchaux: I pretty much listen to everything. I love reggae, jazz, rap groups like A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul. I was a DJ for a long time, so there is a lot of house music in there as well. Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, The Grateful Dead of course is a major influence. Pretty much all things funky and soulful.
Cincy Groove: Does BoomBox have plans for a new studio record?
Zion Godchaux: Yes, we actually have our latest album coming out on September 1 of this year. Its going to be called “Down River Electric”.
Cincy Groove: What do you like to do when your not performing?
Zion Godchaux: Well I’m always thinking about music. I pretty much survive on it. I of course do things like watch movies and just lay low.
Cincy Groove: When was the first time you played with your mom on stage?
Zion Godchaux: I think I was probably about 7 years old, I was up there playing drums. Of course I have sat in with The Heart of Gold Band. I was the rhythm guitarist for her band on a couple tours. We have had some really special times playing together up at Grateful Fest at Nelsons Ledges. She would get up and sing with BoomBox which was really a dream come true. I really had been dreaming about that forever, I said one day I’m going to have mom sit in with our band (laughing).
Upcoming BoomBox tour dates:
for complete show details and tour schedule visit BoomBox’s website – http://www.thisisboombox.com
3/19/08 The Coyotes Louisville, KY
3/20/08 Rex Theater Pittsburgh, PA
3/21/08 Jigsaw Saloon Parma, OH
3/22/08 Canal St Tavern Dayton, OH
3/26/08 Newbys Restaurant Memphis, TN
3/27/08 Exit/In Nashville, TN
3/28/08 Zydeco Birmingham, AL
4/2/08 Red Square Albany, NY
4/3/08 Knitting Factory New York, NY
4/5/08 Canal Club Richmond, VA
4/7/08 Rocktown Grill Harrisonburg, VA
4/9/08 Boone Saloon Boone, NC
4/10/08 The Pour House Music Raleigh, NC
4/11/08 Smith’s Olde Bar Atlanta, GA