Want to get to know one of the funkiest up-and-coming bands touring the nation? Robbie Wulfsohn, vocalist of Ripe, gives us the inside scoop on all things Ripe.
Zieley: You've had a number of new singles, 21 performances on the West coast alone, and a YouTube video with over 56,000 views of a performance of your song "Talk To The Moon" -- it wouldn't be an exaggeration to say 2015 was a big year. What's been your favorite project this past year?
Robbie Wulfsohn (RW): If we're talking from a year ago today it would have to be the tour with G. Love & Special Sauce we just finished up. It was the most involved touring any of us had been a part of in our lives, half of us hadn't even seen the western half of the country. It was just an incredible experience.
Z: What was your favorite part about being on the road with G. Love & Special Sauce?
RW: Honestly, it's about the people. We were lucky enough to explore half the country in a month-long adrenaline rush, and meet some people that we hope will be a part of our extended family for the rest of our lives.
Z: Did you have a favorite venue on this tour?
RW: Every single place was new, and so every place is going to have a pretty special spot in our hearts. If we have to pick favorites, it's probably a dead heat between the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco or the House of Blues in Chicago.
Z: Why were these two your favorite?
RW: They're both classic old rooms, beautifully finished, and they've hosted some of our favorite artists for historic shows. Our fans also showed up early and ready to party, which is definitely a recipe for us having a blast at the show.
Z: You really accomplished a lot in the last year; what's next for you?
RW: We have some East Coast dates with G. Love that we were added to last minute and some festivals through the summer. We've also learned that huge opportunities can come down the pipeline on a moment's notice, so we might not even know what our next move is till it happens. We also have a lot of writing already done, and I'd say recording an album is certainly visible on the horizon.
Z: Are you planning on coming out with a new single soon?
RW: Absolutely, we have one already recorded and being mixed, and another that we're scheduling to record in the next few months. That's all I'm allowed to say about them right now, but we're really happy with the results and are excited to show you all.
Z: What inspired these two singles?
RW: The two songs are both kind of collages of moments that have happened to the band throughout the last few years. It's fun to take everything that's happened to us and synthesize it into music that makes our friends dance.
Z: How would you describe your style of music to someone who hasn't listened to you before?
RW: Analog Dance Music. Funk, if they want a genre to compare it to, but more than anything else we're trying to get people moving.
Z: How has your style developed over time?
RW: We've grown a lot more comfortable with each other in the writing and performing process. I think in general growing up involves a lot of learning to trust yourself and the things you love. We've been allowing ourselves to have more fun/get a little weirder both in the practice room and on the stage, and we think the results are better than anything we've done yet.
Z: We'd like you guys to take us back a little to the beginning. How did Ripe get started?
RW: So the first members of Ripe met at a house party at the beginning of freshman year of college. It was an impromptu jam session that turned into the first written Ripe song, "4 on the 10," which turned into a discussion about forming a band and continuing to make music together. Everyone after that initial talk was a close friend that we wanted to make a part of the musical family. We've had a few member changes, but we have a deep love for everyone that's helped make this possible along the way.
Z: What got you interested in music?
RW: You would get seven incredibly lengthy and completely different answers depending on who in the band you asked. Some of us had music through our school, some were involved in choirs when we were younger; Tory and Sampson have been in bands forever in and around New York City. The uniting factor is that music has been a part of all of our lives for as long as most of us can remember.
Z: Where do you find new inspiration?
RW: Pretty much anywhere. We're both culture junkies and constantly traveling, so it can be anything from writing a song in the aftermath of a brutal recovery day in Davidson, NC to Calvin (trombone) warming up for a month watching videos of classic boxing matches. There's no telling how inspiration will manifest, but it's fun to trace things back to their source after the music exists.
Z: If you could work with one person in the music industry, who would it be and why?
RW: I'm sure you'd get another case of seven different answers. I'm going to put my vote in for Quincy Jones. But I also would probably change my mind if you asked me again.
Z: What's the best advice you've ever gotten?
RW: Everything in moderation, including moderation.
Z: What song has been your favorite to create?
RW: The one we're writing right now!
Tickets can be found at www.RipeTheBand.com.
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