Mojoflo brings a party with them, wherever they go. They were absolutely the perfect way to start off the main stage of the Nelsonville Music Festival on Friday – enthusiastically encouraging everyone to participate in their show (and getting tons of response), while bringing full energy to their entire set. I had the chance to sit down with them all backstage, before their show, and I didn’t want to stop talking with them. Here’s what we talked about:
Michelle/Clutch: When I found all of y’all originally, part of that was because I was interviewing Angela Perley of the Howlin’ Moons, who loves you guys…when I said “who are you excited about”, that’s coming to Nelsonville, she said “Mojoflo”.
Mojoflo: Aww, thanks Angela. We’re hometown homies.
M/C: You guys are getting ready to go on (to perform)…today’s the first full day. You guys are gonna kick off the first full day.
Walter (K): Yess. Woo! We can’t wait!
M/C: I’ve seen some of your performances online, but never in person. And I’m really excited about the energy you bring to the table, to the stage.
W: It’s really just a big table.
M/C: Right? I was talking with Genean (part of their support team) about how you keep your energy up.
W: Well the audience is always a big part of it. That’s a beautiful thing-the energy that goes back and forth, when you’re up there, playing. So that’s the biggest part that keeps you going. When you look out and everyone else is out there, having a good time.
Amber: I had a more practical answer, I was like “well, I made sure I got 8 hours of sleep, last night, (laughter) and I eat an apple a day, make sure I don’t eat like, a hamburger before stage.” But that was a way better answer!
W: Get more sleep, have lots of water…
George (Barrie): A lot of us went to Bonnaroo (music festival) a few years ago (in 2013). and one of the things…huge crowds…one of the things that all the bands did was something (with) crowd interaction-get them involved, hands up, clappin’ and stuff. But Amber actually came back and she’s developed a few things, from that inspiration.
A: It was my first big festival, so I was just ignorant to the whole festival world. I didn’t even know this (world) existed (at the time). So it was really, really cool to see that.
M/C: Forgive my ignorance, but is this the first festival you’ve performed (NMF)?
A: No, we’ve done lots of festivals, we just went to Bonnaroo as guests. It was my first time attending a big music festival. (We’ve performed at) All Good, Werk Out, Rootwire, Mad Tea Party Jam. We’ve been to a lot, over the past few years.
W: We go to Kentucky a lot. Moonshiner’s Ball, Harvest Fest, and all those down there.
A: Yeah, Terrapin Hill, PawPaw Festival.
W: Independence Fest last year with Juicy J.
A: Oh my gosh, yeah, we got snowed in. It was freezing cold.
G: I specifically remember that show because, well…we were one of the only live (instrument) bands. Everyone else was a DJ and rappers, and I pulled out my guitar…all of my strings were loose..
M/C: Oh no
G: And I’m tuning up, I’m cranking each tuner. I get this one in tune, get that one in tune. I’m all the way the way done, and my (guitar) neck is like (makes a sweeping curved gesture with his hand). And the neck snaps. And I just turned my back to the crowd. I had a backup guitar, but it was like, right before we were about to go on. It’s like you broke a bone, or something.
A: Which he has done before we went on tour once…speaking of that. He went snowboarding before one of our first big tours, we were gonna be gone for weeks.
G: I sent them a picture (laughter)
A: And he was like “guys, my wrist”
M/C: Oh no, your wrist! You couldn’t just “break a leg” and sit in a chair or anything.
G: I did the tour (it was a 5 week tour) and they didn’t put me in a full cast or anything. I had a removable splint or something.
M/C: So festivals like this one (Nelsonville)…what do you enjoy about what that brings to your band (vs. bar shows, or other environments)?
A: I love…it’s like a community thing. I was just telling someone on stage, “We know this family out there.” We were just sound checking, and we’ve known them since we started (performing as a band), and we knew them as a couple, and they have three kids now. It’s stuff like that that’s really cool. You just have people you’ve known for a long time, and have known you for a long time, and you’ve seen them from the beginning, and they’re just excited to grow with us. That happens a lot. We’ve been playing in Athens for several years. We’ve played at Jackie-O’s, and for Athens’/OU Halloween. We played at the (Stuart’s) Opera House, last summer…at festivals, it’s more of a community aspect, it’s not like at a bar…there’s still fun people at bars. But they could be strangers, every night…
W: A lot more people are here for music as opposed to (just) getting drunk. Club shows are great, but people go to a bar to get drunk, for the most part. The focus is more on the music, which is nice for us.
G: And when you get a lot of music lovers together, it’s a lot of good people.
W: Yes! I feel like I make a new friend at every single one (festival).
M/C: Is there anything you’d say is different about Nelsonville, over other festivals you’ve been a part of?
G: Some fests you might be out in the hills…this one’s kinda closer to Athens, Columbus, and it’s a family fest. Some fests might not be for kids, which is okay. But you know, we get people from Cleveland, Columbus, Athens, Cincy…all of the fan base is coming together.
M/C: Last question. Is there anything in all of the interviews that you’ve had that you wish people would just ask you, and they just don’t?
A: I like to talk anyways, so whatever questions people think to ask me, I think “that’s cool”. I guess “this” is a question I’ve never heard before.
G: Create your own question, huh? I see what you’re doing here, Michelle (laughing).
W: What is this, a Mad Lib?
M/C: I feel like often, people can research the basics (how did you meet, etc.), but there might be a purpose you’d like to share, little traditions that you love…
W: I guess that hasn’t come up before is “why are we doing this”? It’s good people…you meet a lot of good people everywhere you go, and you make connections.
A: I think every time I think about not doing it (performing, music), I just get really, really sad about the people I’m not gonna see anymore, and I ask myself if I’m ready for that. “Noooo”. I’m gonna piggyback on that. Piggyback, we also love to do piggyback rides. (more laughing)
M/C: If you want to share anything you have coming up, I’d love for people to know:
W: Be sure to check out our newest single. It’s called “Crazy 4 U”. It’s on YouTube, it’s our new video.
And see one of their past ComFest performances, here: https://youtu.be/oGt-qT42vbQ