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Spunk in the Trunk

Dabbling in everything from Rock and Metal to Funk and Soul, Spunky Dynamite's Adham Roshdy just might be Cairo's hardest working musician. We catch up with him to talk about Satanic rituals and find out just how spunky he is...

This week we wanted to interview funkmasters Spunky Dynamite, ahead of their big gig at Cairo Jazz Club, tomorrow 5th March, but apparently they all have day jobs. Apart from Adham Roshdy, of course. He’s a real rock star/freelance writer! Yeah, maaaan, rock on! \m/!!! We catch up with the frontman to talk Trojan Horses, killing kittens and Banana Day…

The rest of the band couldn’t make it. Introduce us to them.

We have Ramy Samir as our drummer, Ehab Badr is the bassist, Diaa Badr is our percussionist. Then we have Shappaul….

…Sean Paul?!

No, Shappaul… he’s our keyboardist. Then there’s Sherif Watson on guitar, and me, the vocalist.

Where did the name Spunky Dynamite come from?

We wanted something catchy and unpredictable. We wanted something do describe our explosive music, something to do with funk rock, something energetic, crazy and masculine.

What were other band name options?

Chuck a Spaz, Bullets in Jeans…

What the fuck, man?

You guys have dirty minds!

What kind of crazy stuff do you do?

Hahaha, well, something like your Harlem Shake! Each one of us has taken crazy, risky steps in their careers. Like a while back, the media and the police force were skeptical of goths and metalheads and stuff, saying they were Satan worshipers and arresting anyone they didn’t like the look of. At the time, I was singing with a heavy metal band, so I let my hair grow out…

Did you get arrested?

No… Back then, the Sawy Culture Wheel didn’t host anything heavy metal. They wanted to listen to a demo of Helium, the band I was in then, but we knew the scene wasn’t developed yet, and people were a bit scared of that kind of music. So the demo we sent was slow rock anthems, but when we went on stage, we totally rocked it out, playing seriously heavy stuff.

So you guys were did like a Trojan Horse kinda thing…

You could say that!

How do you synchronize all your schedules?

Well, the problem is not in performances, but rather in finding dates and times for rehearsals that everyone is free for.

What’s your day job?

I’m a freelance writer. I used to write for the Daily News Egypt.

How has the revolution affected the band scene, and Spunky Dynamite in particular?

When the revolution started, it really affected the underground music scene. Most of us, if not all, couldn’t find places to perform. When we finally found places who were willing to host live music again, they were paying peanuts. But we did it for the love of music. In fact, Cairo Jazz Club was the only venue which maintained its regular rate. The worst part is that things started going back to normal, and things were getting better, most venues were paying the same shitty money.

If you could throw dynamite at anybody, who would it be?

Mainstream artists, but I don’t really want to call them artists.

Give us an example.

Well, Sherine Wagdy is the only real artist I can think of. I’m not against mainstream, I’m against poor music and it’s all over the place.

What is poor music?

The business is bad, there are poor lyrics, lots of singers can’t actually sing and they handle the concept of romance in a very poor way…She screwed you, you screwed her, you can’t live without her…get over it! Or say it in a better way! And mainstream music is forced upon you, it’s everywhere….Boos el wawa, boos el wawa? What is that? It’s humiliating.

“Hello Spunky Dynamite, this is Melody, we want you to do a video clip and we’ll pay you a million pounds to dress in banana suits.” What do you say?

Banana suits? No. That’s humiliating.

That’s insulting to bananas, no?

Why would I wear a banana and sing? It doesn’t make sense! If you want me to wear a banana for Banana Day, okay…but it’s not Banana Day.

It’s never Banana Day. What fruit or vegetable would you be, if you had to choose?

Something healthy, an avocado maybe.

Which musicians do you admire in Egypt today?

There’s Amr Yehia, as a vocalist, he’s an amazing singer, and very supportive of the whole music scene…

It sounds like you’re in love…

He’s an amazing person.

Who else?

Ousso. He’s a great musician, and is involved in the creative and inspirational project, Nagham Masry. He created the SOS Music Festival a few years ago and it was the greatest thing to happen to the underground music scene. The SOS festival was a dream, there was nothing like it, and it gave the opportunity to musicians to perform originals, not covers. I respect Crash Boom Bang, too. They’re crazy, and don’t fake it. People imitated them and it wasn’t real. They’re great musicians, very crazy and fun.

What are Spunky Dynamite influences?

Well the genres are funk, blues and rock and the specific artists would be Richie Kotzen and Stevie Wonder. We all come from different musical backgrounds. When we got together, we wanted to create groovy, soulful music. We cover mainly Stevie Wonder and James Brown.

Do you do originals?

Yes, I’ve written one song and we’re working on more.

Who writes your lyrics?

I do. I come up with the backbone of the music and the lyrics, then we start shaping it together.

What comes first, music or lyrics?

With me, the music comes first. I believe that the music is more important than the lyrics… First comes grooves and riffs, then the vocal line and melody, and then the lyrics.

How come you have a beard but no moustache?

… It’s Pharaohnic.

Yeah man, bringing it back….If you could perform with anyone, alive or dead, who would it be?

Ray Charles.

What is your favourite movie?

The Game.

Colour?

Black!

Animal?

Wolves.

Sound?

Distortion.

If you had to kill either kittens or puppies, which would you choose?

 No, man…

There’s a knife to your neck, you have to choose: puppies, kittens, or one penguin?

Fine… Kittens.

What the fuck man! Kitten Killer! Do you have anything interesting coming up for us at Cairo Jazz?

Yes! This Tuesday we’re sharing the stage with Steven Yanni, a great fusion bassist. He’s funky and it’ll be a very new sound.

What is your favourite place to perform? (The answer is Cairo Jazz Club by the way)

Where else?

Do you have any pre-concert rituals?

Well, years ago I got vocal nodules, which come from over-working your vocal chords. It was scary for a while, I thought I was seriously ill but I found a great doctor who treated it with therapy. So now I drink warm or hot water before a concert and go ‘vvvvmmm… vvvmmm’ for a couple of hours before any gig to ease my throat. People make fun of me for doing it.

Have you ever considered removing your vocal chords all together?

No man, then I’d be the silent kitten killer.

NOW, THAT’S A BAND NAME!

Catch Adham Roshdy with his kick-ass band Spunky Dynamite live tomorrow, Tuesday 5th March, on the Cairo Jazz Club stage from 10PM. Get your reservation in quick using Tazkarty here. Keep up-to-date with Spunky Dynamite on their Facebook page here.