Folks may want to keep an eye out for smoke on the inlet this evening as Greenville-based rockers Burning Nova will attempt to set Murrells Inlet's Hot Fish Club aflame with some hot blues guitar licks and an upbeat reggae rock vibe.
Beginning tonight the band will kick off a 20-date tour of S.C., which includes stops in Anderson, Charleston, Spartanburg. and likely another trip back to the area somewhere in between.
ListenUp spoke recently with Burning Nova bassist, Robbie Boggs, about the upcoming shows, working out of Edwin McCain's studio in Greenville and the band's killer cover of Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean"
Here's what he had to say:
What do you have in store for this upcoming tour?
Yeah, we actually only have one friday off the rest of the year and that's New Year's. We're actually just really happy to have a busy schedule right now, we just got a new manager, and he's had some good success booking shows.
Tell me about playing in Myrtle Beach. What's your experience been like with the scene here versus what it's like back in Greenville?
Yeah we've been doing 3-night runs in towns all over the southeast and we've played there quite a bit.
As far as coming to the beach, we've had a lot of success playing places like the Hot Fish Club, Spud's, Drink! and some others. What really draws us to the coast is that our music is a nice blend of rock with Reggae and Rasta vibes and we really like to come there because it feels like that sound just fits there and is received a little better sometimes than it does when we play at home in Greenville.
Do you feel like you've been pretty well received everywhere you've gone around this region?
Well, you know. You run into some more empty nights once in awhile doing shows toward the beginning of the week, but with us we're still out there giving 100 percent no matter what the crowd or situation.
We played this little dive in Murrells Inlet not too long ago, but still we were giving it our best, and the next thing you know the bass player from George Clinton's P-Funk band was there and came up and asked if he could sit in, with us. It was crazy and probably one of the most memorable moments for me, so you know it just goes to show that you never know who's watching or when someone famous like that might be in the crowd.
It's been a journey, but we love doing it.
What's up with Burning Nova now? Are you guys working on a new album?
We're mainly just working on new material as we go. We'd like to get 16-17 songs in place to do another full-length release — which would be our third. We've been recording at a studio up here in Greenville that Edwin McCain is co-owner of and have gotten to know him a little bit in doing that.
Have you ever played with Edwin?
We haven't yet, but it's definitely something we'd like to do in the future is get him up here at The Handlebar. But you know, it's tough to schedule something with him since he's traveling all over the country and we've mostly been focused on the Southeast just playing Georgia, N.C., S.C., Florida, etc.
For folks who might not have heard you play before, how would you describe Burning Nova's sound?
Our sound is like your 90s rock — and by that I mean everything from Incubus to the Red Hot Chili Peppers. But we also are influenced by folks like Allman Brothers, Bob Marley and Sublime. Our guitarist is a heavy blues freak, so you hear a lot of blues licks coming from him but probably the easiest way to describe it in a short form is: rock with a reggae twist.
Whatever you call it, we're just into doing whatever will make people move.
Your rock meets reggae vibe is similar to a lot of jam bands out there, do you consider yourselves a jam band and is that improvisation aspect a big part of what yo do?
We're really more of a power trio, with only three instruments: guitar, bass and drums. We focus more on orchestrated jams than the free-for-all improvisation of it. You know, our singer all he does is sing and so we try not to just jam out and leave him without anything to do up there. I think that's kinda the thing that separates us from being a strong jam-based band.
What can folks expect from your live show at Hot Fish Club tonight?
To hear everything from Michael jackson to the Allman Brothers and lots our own stuff as well, and basically just to not stop moving the entire show.
I heard that you guys do a pretty killer cover of "Billie Jean" by MJ…how did that come about?
Well we started playing together in Clemson and playing that sort of college crowd you end up playing more covers than originals. Some folks just started telling us that with the way our singer is, we should try to do some MJ. Once I played that bassline [for Billie Jean] I just figured we had to do it and now we've incorporated it into our live show. It's become our staple song and one that gets everyone moving, every time regardless or age, color, whatever.
What's next for Burning Nova? Where do you see yourselves going over the next year or so?
We' re actually looking to do some dates out on west coast. We're gonna hit Texas and we've got some friends out in Denver we're gonna play with and we just want to become more of a nationwide band and get more radio play.
We've had some really good success on the radio around here with our single "Nuclear Octopus" and we'd love to see that take off more. It's got this Dancehall kinda beat and a nice Latin drop that comes out of nowhere, and the lyrics are just about the girls that are always coming out to our shows and dancing. It's kinda comparing the way they shake their hips to the arms on an octopus and that's kinda what it's based on. It's just an ode to all the girls that come out and support us every night.
For more on Burning Nova, check them out at http://www.burningnova.net