Artist of the day: Florida Night Heat
Andre Jones (a.k.a. Black Viking God), Jensen Kistler (a.k.a. Pocketchomper) and Chris Wood (a.k.a. DJ Mes) of Florida Night Heat play an instrumental, aggressive, atmospheric style of indie rock -- “it’s psychedelic rock that’s grimy … and a little Southern,” said Wood -- but they're all about entertaining the good people.
“I’m from the days when you earned your money on stage,” Jones said. Ideas for future performances include donning a “panoramic Hannah Montana banana hammock” and rehearsing “Pips-esque” moves. “I’m trying to get into shape,” he added.
Florida Night Heat performs at 9 p.m. Friday at New World Brewery, alongside November Foxtrot Whiskey and Peter Baldwin.
After the jump, get Julie Garisto's full profile on a band that tries to bring a little James Brown and a little A-Ha into every performance ...
Feel the Heat: Tampa’s Florida Night Heat are Andre Jones, a.k.a. Black Viking God, on bass; Jensen Kistler, a.k.a. Pocketchomper, guitar; and Chris Wood, a.k.a. DJ Mes of Crate Brothers fame, on drums.
So fresh and so green: Wood and Jones are newly self-taught. They played their first jam in spring 2009 and officially started booking gigs with Kistler in the fall.
A fine bromance: The threesome joke around and act like best friends, complementing each other musically as well as connecting with one another personally. Wood and Jones are school pals from Virginia, where they both grew up. Jones moved to Tampa a year ago — his first anniversary living here was this past week, on Jan. 26. Kistler, the most experienced of the three, moved to Tampa from Jacksonville. He now works at Cafe Hey in downtown Tampa (with Wood). “Not to sound selfish, but we get together and we get stoked on ourselves,” Kistler said.
'Angry Shoegaze’: In J-ville, Kistler played in a band called Chinese Horses, a band Wood jokingly describes as “angry shoegaze,” a blend that bleeds into Florida Night Heat’s sound. In addition, Kistler is a big fan of Explosions in the Sky, and his guitar sparks a certain similar aggressive, atmospheric pow that raises the temperature. For now, “it’s psychedelic rock that’s grimy … and a little Southern,” said Wood.
No static at all: “The one band the three of us agree on is Steely Dan,” Wood said.
’80s cover: Take on Heat, a riff on A-Ha’s biggest hit, Take on Me.
The beats: Wood brings his love of hip-hop beats and groovy repetitions to the mix. “In James Brown’s Funky Drummer is probably the most sampled break — by Public Enemy, Madonna, Sinead O’Connor. But what James Brown does is introduce a solo, but then (he) tells the drummer not to do anything different. The rest are just going to drop out. And that invented rap beats right there.”
The panache: Jones, a lifetime music lover and all-around clever dude, emphasizes the importance of the band’s showmanship. “I’m from the days when you earned your money on stage,” Jones said. According to the bassist, ideas for future performances include donning a “panoramic Hannah Montana banana hammock” and rehearsing “Pips-esque” moves. “I’m trying to get into shape,” he added.
Instrumental only: How does Florida Night Heat keep the crowd’s attention with vocals-free instrumental rock? “Award-winning banter,” Wood and Kistler responded in near-perfect unison.
Fun comes first: The band has said in the past that it wants people to enjoy them, not support them. “We know people have 80 other bands they want to see,” Wood said. “We don’t want to be an obligation. We want people to come out and have fun.”
SXSW-bound: Florida Night Heat plans to play the South by Southwest Music Festival this year, tagging along with fellow Brokenmold artists and local official entrants Nervous Turkey and Jim Morey Band.
Hear them: Friday at 9 p.m. with November Foxtrot Whiskey and Peter Baldwin at New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. (813) 248-4969.
-- Julie Garisto, tbt*