Each Wednesday, Rocks Off arbitrarily appoints one lucky local performer or group "Artist of the Week," bestowing upon them all the fame and grandeur such a lofty title implies. Know a band or artist that isn't awful? Email their particulars to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Footpie is, quite possibly, the greatest all-white three-man reggae band from Alvin with some very definite Rage Against the Machine-ness of all time. We first met the Footpie guys, where everyone first meets them: In the bathroom of a bar.
Actually, that's romanticizing the story a bit. We first met Charlie Danford (guitar, vocals) at the bar in Pearland's Badfish Bar and Grill, where Footpie opened for Lil' Flip recently. (Let that sink in for a second.) A second member, Matt Metcalf, approached us in the bathroom a few minutes later for an only semi-awkward conversation.
We were a bit leery at first of engaging in the "Oh, you're from the Houston Press? I'm in a really awesome band" back-and-forth, but as soon as they mentioned that they were HPMA nominees, well, things changed.
We all high-fived and screamed with unchecked joy. We rode cotton-candy ponies in the parking lot and made jokes at the expense of the bands who weren't nominated. We talked about how since they're HPMA nominees and all, when their album comes out on Space City Records in early August, we wouldn't even bother to listen it, we'd just blindly write about how transcendent and earth-shattering it was.
And afterwards, we had them participate in a really glamorous interview where they talked about not having dreadlocks, snakes in the grass, Biggie Smalls and the suburbs.
Rocks Off: Okay, so you guys are a reggae band. Please explain how that happened.
Charlie Danford: A few years ago, Matt and I really got into reggae, and started to teach ourselves how to play. Being original artists - not a fuckin' cover band - it took some time to get it down. It also took some time to find a drummer. Footpie was officially formed when Daniel joined us in June of '09.
RO: Also, please explain why none of your members have dreadlocks?
CD: Besides not being Rasta? None of us really have the hair for that, nor are we trying to project that image.
RO: You guys have a song called "Snake In the Grass." Is that all about how the government is oppressive and we should all get up, stand up for our rights? Aren't you worried that the CIA is going to secretly assassinate you?
CD: Well the song is about watching who you trust - which definitely could be your oppressive government - because with people there is usually an agenda. Especially when they're organized. No, but like Biggie said, "You're nobody till somebody kills you."
RO: There are three of you in the group, but Charlie does double lifting (vocals and guitar). When you all get paid for shows, does he get more money? We've always been curious about that sort of thing.
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CD: Our roles in this group are all equally vital. Whatever we pull is equally divided up.
RO: Most of y'all's shows - or, a lot of the shows, anyway - take place outside of the Loop. Is there a big market for reggae bands in the suburbs? What the hell is going on in the suburbs that made them so funky and hip?
CD: There is a market for sure. Especially by the water. As for the suburbs, Footpie is what's going on... funky and hip.