Regular No Treble readers will instantly recognize the name “Vulfpeck”, thanks in large part to bassist Joe Dart, who first wowed us with the first video we shared of the group.
The studio musicians-turned-band has just released their third album, My First Car. As we mentioned in our exclusive track preview last week, the album’s name was inspired by Dart’s purchase of a Volvo 240GL.
Vulfpeck cofounder and band leader Jack Stratton said that “Dart showed up with a Volvo 240GL and we were like, ‘woah dude!’ And he was like, ‘Yeah, saw a picture of it on Craigslist and took a train to Minnesota.’ I talk about getting a SAAB or Volvo because Sweden is so funky, but Dart pulled the trigger — respect.”
The six tracks on the album pay homage to the old school, with some modern stuff thrown in too. The band once again turns in a version of “It Gets Funkier” – a track from Vulfpeck’s original EP release and one that offered up a different remix on Vulfpeck’s last release, Vollmilch.
Stratton admitted something about Vulfpeck’s origins that was a pretty big surprise to me in our recent exchange about the new record.
“The group was originally attracted to the studio because we’re all scared of playing live,” Stratton said. “I dropped a drum stick at Baldwin-Wallace College with my Dad’s klezmer band when I was ten, and I’ve never been the same. I wept onto the Donato’s Pizza backstage and literally ate my tears.”
Every time I talk with Stratton, he has something to say about Dart’s playing. It is clear Stratton is as big a fan as the rest of us.
“This record would be a great entry point for anyone who doesn’t know Dart,” Stratton shared. “I thought that lick he did on the first record (“It Gets Funkier”) was a Louis Johnson lick — I didn’t know. I asked, and Dart said he improvised it. I flipped out. Here’s this Volvo-driving cold-brewing GQ-looking bass prodigy, and now he has his own lick — where’s the Kool-Aid?”
Dart has mutual respect for his band mates as well.
“From the moment that I walked into the room and saw Stratton, Katzman, Goss, Dosik… the groove was just palpable,” the bassist said. “I think you can really feel that energy on this record.”
And finally, it wouldn’t be Vulfpeck without a great line from Stratton:
“We also experimented with slight changes in humidity between takes.”