The 23rd March saw the Montréal-based octet, Busty and the Bass, return with two new singles, Clouds [feat. Amber Navran] and the emotional gospel ballad Summer. Moonchild singer Amber Navran lent her unmistakable croon to Clouds and their last single out in February had the unmistakable sounds of George Clinton. It was high time The Fountain caught up with Busty and the Bass to discuss their plans for the rest of the year.

TF: Your single Baggy Eyed Dopeman was released in February, what kind of reception has it had?

It’s been cool — we’ve been waiting to release this music for a while and it’s nice to share what we’ve been working on. We were happy to get a shout-out from Billboard when we released it and we’ve added it to our live set recently which has been fun.

TF: How would you sum the track up in one sentence?

Catchy and trippy post-funk journey into my friend Kevin’s ironic but friendly brain.

TF: What was it like to work with George Clinton on this track?

It’s crazy to have such a legend appear on one of our tracks. He’s got a strong presence and it adds a lot. Getting the first bounce of the track with his vocals on it was surreal. The funny thing is we haven’t met him in person yet! Hopefully sometime. We’ve seen some instagram videos of him painting to the song but that’s about it.

TF: Who do you look to and idolise when it comes to influences?

As a band we listen to tons of different music. We have huge respect for the jazz tradition, and all the styles of Black American Music that came from that. As a band with a horn section, Earth Wind & Fire is a big deal to us. I think Live at Velfarre is one of the best live records ever. We’ve actually been working with Verdine White (the bass player from EWF) on this new album which has been cool. Personally I’ve been listening a lot to a techno group called Kiasmos and Miss Anthropocene, the latest album by Grimes.

TF: You’ve also just released two more singles, Clouds & Summer, taken from your forthcoming LP. These tracks differ a lot from Baggy Eyed Dopeman – what track do you prefer the most and why?

That’s a tough question! I think if you asked everyone in the band you’d get a lot of different answers. We all idolize George Clinton, and Clouds features Amber Navran of the band Moonchild, which we all love and have been listening to for years. Personally my favorite might be Summer. I love a good piano ballad–as a pianist I suppose I could be biased–but getting to know this song in a few different contexts has been really cool. We made a completely different version than the single for our music video: it was recorded all in one day in the same church we filmed the video in. And now we have a completely different version we play live. I think it’s a testament to a song that it can be approached in so many different ways and still stand up.

TF: What is your plan for the remainder of the year?

Everything has been kind of thrown off by the coronavirus crisis to be honest. We actually flew to LA for a show two weeks ago only to have it cancelled the next day. Right now we’re scattered in various places in Canada and the US just waiting it out. We had some cool plans for this summer but everything’s a bit up in the air right now. I hope it’s not too long before we can play a live show again. This situation is so difficult because it’s taken away our ability to feel community and gather in groups with the people we love. But obviously public health needs to come first. So we’re just waiting it out, hopefully using this as a chance to write new music and do some personal reflection. Baggy Eyed Dopeman is part of a larger collection of music though, and we’ll release more songs at some point soon, so stay tuned.