An Interview with Reggie Pace of NO BS! Brass and More
I recently had the opportunity to meet up with local musician Reginald Pace, co-founder of NO BS! Brass and a fellow who is involved in a staggering number of creative projects. He was kind enough to meet me at Kuba Kuba, a favorite that I was SURE I’d reviewed before, but guess I haven’t. It’s awesome. You should go there.
Back to Reggie. I first got the idea to interview Reggie when I saw NO BS! Brass play at Gallery 5‘s Halloween bash last year. They absolutely rocked my face off. I mean, I was so impressed I couldn’t stand it. I talked about them for days. I told my mom about them. I was like a little geek fan girl all over again. It was great. It had been a long time since I’d gotten jazzed over a local band.
So I contacted the band, and Reggie wrote back. Right away. That was back in NOVEMBER, but we finally met up and he told me all about the band, his projects, and more, so here you go, Richmond – the sweetest guy in Richmond showbiz:
From the time Reggie was a small child, he has loved music. He wasn’t like most kids, who jump on a musical bandwagon and later discover what their taste is really all about. He started off seeing the beauty and complexity in movie themes, and Merry Melodies songs. He discovered Hip Hop when he was in middle school, and his own style became a wonderful, crazy combination of Hip Hop, Funk, Prog Rock, Jazz, Metal, and movie soundtracks. This style carries over into NO BS! Brass, a band he started with co-founder Lance Koehler in 2006.
NO BS! Brass is a 10-piece band made up of a group of friends who have a love for music. Many of the members have conservatory experience, and the entire group practices one time per week. That’s dedication. The members knew each other through school – Reggie graduated from VCU in 2005 and went on to teach trombone, tuba, and trumpet at Richmond Music Center. He still does that, in addition to directing the University of Richmond’s Pep Band, all the while keeping up with his independent musical endeavours.
In addition to NO BS! Brass, Reggie is involved in at least 5 other bands. Glows in the Dark specializes in jazzy, experimental movie music. The guitar player, Scott Burton, writes whole suites of music for movies he likes. That’s Reggie’s kind of collaborator. They play once per month at Commercial Taphouse – the next show is on September 19th. Fight the Big Bull is an indie-ish Jazz/Southern Rock 8-piece that has a wild sound. Fight The Big Bull will be playing September 17, 18 and 19 at Hayti Heritage Center in Durham, NC.
That’s not all. The Big Payback is a James Brown tribute band that plays all over the East Coast. The Trio of Justice is a roots experimental band that, to my chagrin, played just days before this post will go live. Finally, ETAKA is an electronic/drum/trombone duo Reggie’s in as well. There might be more. There probably ARE more.
But what about NO BS! Brass? Many of the other 9 members of the band have multiple projects going on at one time. Lance runs Minimum Wage Studios, Taylor is a doctoral candidate, and Bryan is a professor at VCU. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There is only so much information you can squeeze out of an hour long conversation, even when the interviewee is as easygoing and forthcoming as Reggie.
Despite the crazy schedules, the multiple projects, the crappy economy, the hot hot weather, NO BS! Brass practices every week. They manage to bring a lively, honest party attitude to every show and they are, to quote Harry Kollatz, “sheer musical joy.” Reggie says that they have fun playing together – that they are a bunch of nerdy music school people – and that they take that nerdy music school stuff and make it danceable – and therefore accessible. Their music is about 95% original, and the covers they do choose to play are an absolute delight to the audience. Put it this way, I didn’t expect to hear Led Zeppelin, but I was sure glad when I did.
A new, self-titled album will be released at a two-day event at Balliceaux, one of the band’s favorite places to play. It’s their third studio album, and the CD Release Party promises to be an amazing time. It’s October 1st and 2nd, at The Camel. Tell your friends.
If you want to see the band play before that, you can head on over to Balliceaux this Thursday, August 26th. That’s another favorite venue of the band’s. They also love playing outdoors (you might have seen them at Best Friend’s Day this past weekend) and they like playing Gallery 5, which is where I first saw them. They are super good about posting their news on the NO BS! Brass blog, so bookmark that thing and get ready to rock out.