G. Love on His Special Hot Sauce: "It's Going to Be Pretty Exciting and Pretty Spicy"
Nearly two decades later, the Philadelphia band is still kicking out its hip-hop, rock 'n' roll, funk, and blues with two shows at the Culture Room this month. New Times spoke with the cordial and enthusiastic G. Love, who waxed poetic about his influences and special sauces -- get your mind out of the gutter. You want to talk about those kind of sauces, flip a couple of pages back in the paper to Savage Love; we speak only of condiments here.
New Times: How did you get the name G. Love?
G. Love: When I was coming up, all the old blues and hip-hop guys like KRS-One and Guru had nicknames, so I started calling myself G. Love. When we put the band together, the drummer was like, I want to call the band Special Sauce. I said, "No it's got to be G. Love." So he said, "All right, it's G. Love & Special Sauce."
The first song many of us heard from you, "Blues Music," has a nostalgic sound. Now, it's been around long enough to have its own nostalgia.
It's cool. This is our 20th year being a band. It's been a crazy road. The catalyst for keeping things going is working on new material, new songs, new arrangements on the old tunes. We like to keep it fresh and keep our live sets spontaneous. Nowadays, since nobody is selling any records, it's a really liberating place in a way because you can be as raw and dirty in a studio as you want. You don't have to worry about the commercial aspects of getting on the radio. We're gearing up to make a new record in the spring, so we're looking forward to being creative, real, and honest using old-school-style recording.
Can you tell us more about the new album?
The last record was going back to my roots as a coffee-shop singer. It was cool to go back and reconnect with all those old blues. This next record is going to our more funky, hip-hop-oriented sounds. The new material is really cool and uplifting.
Are you going to play some of the new songs at your concerts in Fort Lauderdale?
Absolutely. Now's a really fun time for us to be doing shows and for fans to be seeing shows, because we're really mixing up the sets every night since we're not out promoting a new record. It's more of us digging deep into the catalog. Playing the hits but also trying out a lot of new material to see what's working. Playing live is a good way to see how certain arrangements can increase the power of the songs. It's an experimental time where anything goes.