5 Questions with Rags #48 - Steve Raskin of Fort Knox Five

I've written extensively about the effect Fort Knox Five has had on my listening habits. (Here and here and here and here.) One of my entry points into electronic music, FK5 remains a staple of my listening diet to this day. Their Funk the World series is an endless stream of funky greatness. Their albums and remixes are always relentlessly funky and instantly accessible. When I start to get sucked into the world of ultra-heavy, mostly-dark bass music, Fort Knox Five is right there to lighten things, splash some colour into my ears and get me back to the roots of Funk. In all this time pouring their music into my ears, writing about and even interview FK5, Steve Raskin has escaped me. I finally managed to catch up with him at home in DC during a brief break before he's back out into the world, back to my beloved Canadian West Coast - Including two HUGE shows in Vancouver on 4/14 with Shambhala vets Spiltmilk and Hoola at FIVESIXTY, then a funky-skunky 4/20 party in Victoria at Distrikt.

1. Do you remember the first album you bought with your own money?

The fist album I bought with my own money was the soundtrack to The Beatles' Yellow Submarine. I remember being fascinated with all the psychedelic imagery and singable songs that I still listen to.

2. If you could spend the day with anyone, living or dead, who would it be and what would you do?

I would have killed to have been able to spend a day with David Bowie. Pretty sure I would have just nodded my head and not said a word no matter what we were doing!

3. What's your most positive memory of a school teacher growing up?

My grandmother was an art teacher and convinced me at an early age that you can do art for a living… Blew my little mind!

Photo by  Oberto Photography . 

Photo by Oberto Photography

4. When is the last time you did something for the first time?

This year I tried Yoga for the first time. For real...

5. I always get a guest question from the last answerer, but today you get two! The first one is from Dan aka FxFarmer of Funkanomics... What means LOVE to you?

Love the wording of this question from one of the funkiest Germans I know….

LOVE - colours everything you do - the good and the bad - taking you to high highs and low lows - and always worth the journey

6. The second guest question is from the actual last answerer of the questions...Singer/songwriter/ruffian B.A. Johnston asks.... Which 80s wrestler best describes your sound?

Andre the Giant - because he’s larger than life!

Upon doing a bit more reading after his interview, I realized that Raskin is also part of THUNDERBALL! Don't know how that one slipped by me, but either way, listen to this fresh Thunderball track!

5 Questions with Rags 1 Year Anniversary Spectacular w/ Dan Bern!

Last month Dan Bern released, Hoody, the latest in a neverending string solid-to-classic records. (I am currently attempting to tackle all of said records in one massive review. I'm struggling. But keep an eye out for it soon. You can read my short review of Hoody for exclaim! here.) The album is further proof to my claim that Dan Bern is one of the greatest living songwriters. His albums have come to serve as marking points in my life. They always have something to give me, whether it be a nugget of wisdom to ponder, a few tears to clean out the ducts or a laugh to get me through a day. His music has been a constant source of inspiration, in fact, if you recall, Dan Bern is the main reason this 5 Questions exists as well as the first answerer of the questions. Doing this over the last year has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. With that in mind, I caught up with Bern last month at his stop here in Victoria and asked him if he'd be into coming back for Round 2 to ring in another year. Just like last time, we did it completely unprepared after the show. I wrote frantically as he answered the questions. The meat is here and the trimmings are in my mind. Don't worry about it. 5 wasn't enough, so we did 10. It's a special occasion. Enjoy.

*As this is the 1 Year Anniversary of the 5 Questions, I've taken a "Best of" approach for this Q&A Extravaganza and taken some of the best Guest Questions.

1. When is the last time you did something for the first time? (DJ Murge)

I don’t recall but I know the next thing I’m going to do for the first time is learn to ride a unicycle. I made a pact with a friend that I would learn. I really gotta get on that.

2. If you could spend a day with anyone living or dead who would it be and what would you do? (The Gaff)

I’d spend a day with my dad. Maybe we’d go to the movies. Or I’d spend the day with my family, just doing what we do.

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