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LAist Interview: Soulive's Eric Krasno

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With a new album on the way, No Place Like Soul due out July 31, and an upcoming gig here in Los Angeles at the UCLA JazzRaggae Festival this Sunday it seemed like as good a time as ever to catch up with one-third, sorry one quarter (the band just added a vocalist) of Soulive, Eric Krasno. The guitarist gives the inside scoop on the new album, his love of LA, and his budding career as a hip-hop producer where he’s recently worked with the likes of Talib Kweli, 50 Cent and Justin Timberlake.

When you and the Evans brothers first got together to form Soulive what were you setting out to do?

When we first got together, we didn’t say let’s do this or let’s try and do this. There was just this unspoken thing, that we already kind of knew that we wanted to do a modernized soul/jazz instrumental type of album. Neal and Alan plugged in and they had some tunes and I had some tunes. The more we played together, the more we knew where we wanted to go with the music. We wanted to fill in all these different influences, over the years we have threw in all the hip-hop stuff, and I mean we’ve gone everywhere with it. We’ve messed with dub, hip-hop, rock. As long as its soulful music we want to do it.

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Originally, was Neal (the band’s organist) playing bass out of necessity, did you not have a bass player or was that something you guys wanted to do from the start?

That’s how it started, him and his brother were playing together and I think a bass player didn’t show up and he went with it, and that was just what he’s done ever since. When I heard him play bass and the way him and Alan connected I was amazed.

What do you think has been the secret to Soulive’s success?

I think it’s what we do with our live shows. We always bring energy to our live shows that our fans can appreciate. We are also trying to change what we do. We’ve been criticized a lot for changing our sound but in the end of it all, that’s what makes us happy. That’s really what helps us stay into this thing and stay fresh and stay excited.