Funktapuss makes it funky
By: Jane Ellis, July 29, 2011
courtesy Funktapuss - Funktapuss makes it funky from the big stage to intimate venues Cape-wide.
Say the name, "Funktapuss" five times fast and you'll pretty much get what the band is all about.
This five-piece funk band hails right here from good ol' Cape Cod. Performing with love and passion for the music, they have the ability to funkify the crowd and keep them dancing all night long.
With Ryan Tivey on sax and keys, Brian Van Derbeek ("Beek") on bass, Latez Crawley as lead vocalist, Tom Davis on guitar, and Chris Santos on drums, Funktapuss plays a wide array of funk tunes drawing from their main influences: Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan, and Tower of Power.
Playing gigs all over the Cape—including special performances at the Naukabout Festival on August 6 and Pops By the Sea on August 7—Funktapuss is becoming one of the area’s most sought-after bands. Be sure to check them out at their Sunday FunkJam Open Mic, every week at the House of Bud’s in Hyannis!
InsideOUT: How did you get started with music?
Latez: I have a musical family. My dad did the music thing, but my mother was my biggest influence. She is an awesome vocalist, and had me singing behind her since I was about 5 years old. I sang with my aunt's church choirs and in school while growing up.
Ryan: Actually, I got started doing the instrumental band thing in the public schools. That's where I met Beek and Brian Monroe, taking advanced music classes in high school. I worked at Harry's and played with both Beek and Brian there on jam night. Harry's is definitely where I got my start, no doubt about it, doing the jams and seeing all the musicians. I saw live shows seven nights a week for almost ten years. It kinda opened up my musical world.
Tom: I remember my dad showed me a Moody Blues concert on PBS. I saw their guitar player playing this red Gibson 335. He was rocking out and everyone in the crowd was loving him. How could people be freaking out over something you can't physically touch? I thought, “that's awesome, I want to do that!” I think that's how I got into music, being a shy kid
I/O: What are you currently working on?
Latez: Currently we perform four originals. We have a lot of songs in the making and are working on more currently, but we want our product to be perfected before we release it. I am a stickler about that, wanting to have a finished product. That's what a recording, is perfecting a moment, as opposed to performing, which is creating a moment.
I/O: Do you stick to a set list or do you feel out the crowd?
Tom: (laughs) We don't sit down long enough before a gig for a set list. We have been playing long enough together to know how we start out. We have what I like to call jumping points at parts of the night where we know which songs go here, the song that follows is this song, etc. It’s all about the placement and feeling the energy of the crowd.
I/O: How do you see the future of Funktapuss?
Ryan: I like to say that we’ll play all parts of the Cape before we branch out and start hustling off Cape. Eventually, slowly, we’ll grow like a virus, and then—outbreak!
I/O: What would you recommend to other local bands wanting to start up?
Ryan: (laughing) Stay off our turf! No, not really. Just play often and have an open mind. Bring your band to open mike nights just like the one we host at the House of Bud’s. It will help you get your chops up and hone in your own sound. Don't be afraid to play songs not in your genre, take it and make it your own.