Daniel Foder, Forceful Minimalism With The Budos Band

By Jimmy Leslie ,

THE BUDOS BAND’S THIRD EFFORT IS THE STATEN ISLAND AFRO-FUNK ensemble’s darkest. “A lot of my listening palette is classic rock and heavy metal, so I bring that element,” says Daniel Foder, who anchors the horn-heavy instrumental group.

What music inspired you the most when you started playing?

My older brother was a bass player, and the music he listened to—Thin Lizzy, Alice Cooper, Black Sabbath, and especially Iron Maiden—made a big impression on me. My dad was a trumpet player, and my mom dug soul music. The afro-funk influence comes from listening to Fela Kuti, James Brown, and Ethiopian funk.

How did you develop your approach to bass in the Budos Band?

Tom Brenneck and I write our own bass and guitar parts, and a lot of our songs are built from there. With nine guys in the band, you have to play minimally, yet forcefully; you don’t want to get in the way, but you also want to be heard. We either play our lines in unison, or he’ll play a 5th above me, like he does in “Raja Haje.” It makes the song sound heavier, and gives the horns a huge foundation.

The closing song on III, “Rippirt Yad,” sounds like a demented version of “Day Tripper” by the Beatles.

That’s exactly what it is. We slowed the tempo and reworked it in a minor mode. I love Paul McCartney’s bass playing, especially on the early Beatles material. It’s become a Budos Band tradition to include one cover on each release, and that seemed like a good way to end this one.

Gabriel Roth—the bass player from the Dap-Kings, and the head of Daptone records—was the chief engineer on Budos III. What did he bring to the table?

He likes to track live and work fast; we cut III in 48 hours. We assign names that help us remember the tunes, but he likes to change them to names like “River Serpentine” that sound cool and look good on the back of the CD.

The Budos Band, Budos Band III [Daptone, 2010]

Bass ’67 Gibson EB-0, ’68 Harmony H27 hollowbody
Rig Early ’70s Fender Bassman 100 head, two vintage Ampeg SVT 8x10 cabinets