If you want a music education, tune in to musician and producer Brian Hardgroove’s Fuse Box radio show, from 10 am to noon on Saturdays on KBAC 98.1 FM. If you want to experience one of the best concerts of our time, be sure to catch Public Enemy, for which Hardgroove plays bass. If you want to hear what Hardgroove is up to lately musically, check out the debut of his new band, OverShine, at the Pumpkin Festival.
SFR: How do you pick and choose what bands you produce?
BH: Choosing the band is not that difficult. If a band has talent and something to say…it’s not a hard choice for me. I’ve always liked groups that had interesting and useful things to say.
What was the genesis of OverShine?
Well, before Public Enemy…I’ve always had a different band I was involved in, and I always loved the trio. I was looking for an opportunity to do a trio. Larry Mitchell…,who was living here five years before I lived here, and I always talked about doing something. I did this [Bootsy Collins] James Brown tribute tour, and I met Erik Hargrove, who played drums…and he and I really hit it off. So I put together a band to open the show playing James Brown instrumentals, and that’s how I got to know Erik and play with him. We…reconnected [with Larry], started recording, and it’s taking off.
You’ve been in Santa Fe for three years; has it been a good creative environment?
It’s been interesting; I’m not used to the pace. I’m used to things getting done a lot quicker, but I’d really like to see the music scene get more vibrant. Right now it’s a little slower than it should be.
You connect a lot of musical dots on your radio show. Is that planned out or is it organic?
There’s usually a connection between the things I like, simply because I only play things I like, so there has to be some reason why I like those things…during the course of the show…I’ll find that connection and I’ll make it simple enough so that people can get it.
I read in The Authorized Story of Public Enemy that you never really liked rap music.
I was not a big fan of rap, although I used to hear Run DMC from my house. They would do their thing in Jamaica Park and I could hear it from my bedroom, and I liked that because I liked “Walk This Way,” and because they were really good and they were neighborhood guys. LL Cool J, I loved him, always have, because he’s really good, and there are a few others. But generally the genre got really boring, really quick…But Public Enemy is not a rap group to me, Public Enemy is a powerful musical force. I would have joined Public Enemy if they were a country band.
You don’t have any musical lines in the sand?
No and I’m not a Democrat or Republican either.
But you’re political.
Republicans and Democrats, they don’t necessarily represent politics; they represent personal interests. Where there’s extremism on both sides is what’s wrong with America…because people are trying to survive and live and just be, and you have knee-jerk reactions on both sides about ridiculous things.
There are compelling arguments that the divisiveness stems from racism, because some people can’t handle having a black president.
Of course there are people who have a problem with President Obama being black. For most of my adult life, most of my friends had a problem with the president being white. Racism has been an issue in America for all of our lifetimes [but]…where the real difference is, is between the haves and have-nots. The have-nots have always been pitted against somebody…Everybody’s got that in their history, either as victimizer or victim; it’s part of human nature.
So it’s more about power.
It’s power…and when we see that, we’ll give it less power, and then we’ll see some options. Hopefully.