The New Groovement works to run its business like a well-oiled machine. A well-oiled funk machine, to be specific.
The Victoria-based band formed in 2012 when drummer Reuven Sussman put the call out for musicians who wanted to get together and drop some funky soul.
“Really, the original plan was to get a lot of redundancy in the group,” Sussman says over the phone from Washington DC. “I just thought the more people we have, the more shows we can play without everybody there. And then everybody just stuck around and pretty much came to all the shows, and so we ended up with an 11-piece band.”
The New Groovement is a finely balanced labour of love, as many of the band’s members juggle professional careers as well as their music.
“We have a couple of guys in the band who are really into the administrative stuff,” says bassman Tejas Collison, “and they can really take charge, and they know how to make everything run smoothly. There’s a decent amount of logistics involved and there’s a lot of democratic voting on which gigs we can make.”
Sussman is one of those guys. For more than a year now, the drummer has been living up to his Groovement reputation working in DC as a research manager for the American Council For An Energy Efficient Economy.
Sussman still manages the band’s affairs from afar while the minister of timbales Geoff Mason covers other duties whenever necessary. But with March break upon us—and with many of The New Groovement members working as teachers—Sussman decided to fly back for the band’s first tour outside the borders of its home province.
“It’s a bit daunting,” Sussman says, “the idea of having that many people in a car-driving 4,000 kilometers, playing a show every single night for nine nights straight. I hope we’re not sick of each other when the whole thing is done.”
It certainly sounds like a funky clown car nightmare until Sussman corrects himself and adds that Victoria hip-hop crew Illvis Freshly has generously donated its touring van to expand the caravan and provide some leg room. In fact, Illvis Freshly front man Danimal House, a man known for his big personality, has been a long standing member of The New Groovement, and he’s known to always bring a big dose of whiplash rhymes to the whole funky affair.
Mon., Mar. 20 & Tues., Mar. 21st
Blues On Whyte
Wed., Mar. 22
The Black Dog