With six years off the road and nearly a dozen years since its last studio album, many had given up the Greyboy Allstars for dead. But bassist Chris Stillwell says the group “never really left” and hopes its 2007 album, “What Happened to Television?” and its reactivated touring will reassure fans the San Diego band is still very much alive and well.
“Everybody had their own thing going, their own projects,” says Stillwell, 41, who co-founded the Allstars whose funky blend of soul and jazz is considered a progenitor of the acid jazz movement — in 1993. “But we all stayed in contact and did small, little two-day tour type of things. It was never over.”
The tide changed in early 2007, Stillwell says, when the group made a collective decision that “we weren’t going to do any more shows until we do another record (and) have something to offer people that have been with us for a number of years.”
The Allstars’ plan for “What Happened to Television?” was to go into the studio for 10-11 days without any material written and just create ideas on the floor.
“We probably ended up getting a song a day,” Stillwell recalls. “Sometimes, we’d get a couple ideas going.
“There were only a few little things that didn’t come to fruition, but all the other ideas sort of saw their way through, and a few things got left by the way and are still on tape.”
Which means we probably won’t have to wait another dozen years for the next album, which Stillwell says the group could start recording this spring.
“We’re kinda thinking of doing something a little different the next time,” he says, “and have everyone come in with five songs written on their own and then we’ll sort of bounce them back and forth and has them out. And maybe the next record after that we’ll all switch instruments and see how that sounds.
“If on every record, we maybe try a little different strategy, it’ll keep us fresh and excited and wanting to do another one.”
The Greyboy Allstars perform Sunday (Jan. 20) at the Magic Bag, 22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20. Call (248) 544-3030 or visit www.themagicbag.com.
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