Angelo Moore: Fishbone Soldier & Dr. Madd Vibe (Interview)
“I still feel that when you’re Black and you’re playing Rock and Roll and all these other styles of music it’s a lot harder for America to recognize you and appreciate you because it’s very linear in America. “
Angelo Moore is Fishbone’s prismatic frontman known for leading their Pentecost meets punk funk charge with his jaunty vocals, vibrant kinetics and a third stage role as a quirky instrumentalist. Twenty-five years of inimitable genre-smashing and exhilarating concerts secured the band’s place as innovators of the alternative rock scene. But their swarthy hue and inability to squeeze their expansive sonic palette into 3-minute radio commercials made them the bane of record label marketing departments. Last year the Laurence Fishburne-narrated documentary, “Everyday Sunshine: The Story Of Fishbone “ gave a candid abstract of the band’s nonstop musical adventures aided with Fat Albert type animation and personal video footage from their archives. And around the same time The Roots covered “Lyin Ass B*tch” after Michelle Bachmann appeared on the Jimmy Fallon show making Fishbone a Twitter trend and soon after the incident having their own appearance on the show. They are currently finishing their Adhesive Tour and the recently released Crazy Glue EP comes out on vinyl next month. Moore’s incessant stage-diving was halted earlier this year when he was hospitalized for a leg injury that morphed into a staph infection. He has temporarily lost his trademarked leaps but his funk frenzies are still intact. When his creativity in the band goes into overload he becomes his solo alter ego Dr. Madd Vibe. The Angelo Show is Dr. Madd Vibe’s 5th album of eccentric fun and the first video for “Optimistic Yes” is a post James Brown hustle of cheerful energy.
What did you think of the documentary and what impact has it had on the band?
I always describe it like this; it’s like an autopsy with all your guts and legs in different places. So if you really wanted to tell the story of Fishbone it would probably take like a little over a week. But the way that the filmmakers put it together they made a good story. I don’t get attached to it, I’ve seen it and I’m glad it’s out there. It’s turning a lot of people who really watch movies to Fishbone and the fact that we’ve been around and what we’re doing.
What do you remember most about making Chim Chim’s Badass Revenge?
I remember we were trying to get fired off of Sony because they wanted us to make radio music and we wanted just to not have that s–t to think about. We tried to make the music as radical as we possibly could. We had already tried selling out and it didn’t work. We already had tried changing lyrics for the sake of radio and we didn’t make it there anyway. I won’t be doing that s..t again.
How do you maintain after all these years without any major but much-deserved recognition?
I’m thankful that we have the respect that we’ve got and we appreciate it. I think it’s a lot better in Europe and Japan. You’ve heard the poem, “The Lifestyles of The Famous But Not Rich” well it’s still like that. I still feel that when you’re Black and you’re playing Rock and Roll and all these other styles of music it’s a lot harder for America to recognize you and appreciate you because it’s very linear in America.
What was it like to be on stage with Prince?
Oh yeah The White Room I had to wear ass pants he’s one of my favorite guys.
How’s the tour right now?
It’s going pretty good we’re almost like halfway through so we’ve been out a week and a half two weeks and we’re going to be finishing at the end of September and then we’re going to be home for about two weeks. And then we’re going to go to Europe for a make-up tour because the last one got cancelled because I had knee surgery I had broken cartilage. My knees have been through a lot so I had a torn ACL and that was about five years ago and the last one I had broken cartilage and I could barely do anything. So March 8th I went in for an operation and then two weeks later after that I got a staph infection so I had to get it operated on twice. And when I got out of there I had a cane I had to carry around so I won’t be doing a lot of the shit I use to do probably for a year. But the main thing is I can walk again and I have to think about how to walk and to dance because I can’t do a lot of moving because I’m still recuperating. I just keep my fingers crossed and try to stay positive.
When is the next Fishbone full-length album coming out?
I don’t know I’m waiting on my bandmembers to collaborate with me but it’s not happening.
Who would you like to work with at this point?
D’Angelo we’ve been trying to get him. I met him in L.A. a month or so ago but he’s got a lot of stuff going on.
So how’s Dr. Madd Vibe?
Dr. Madd Vibe is great! My solo record The Angelo Show is coming September 18th and I got that through Kickstarter and I have a video out for the song “Optimistic Yes.” I got a record company called MooreMapp Records and my business partner Keno Mapp has a poetry record and we are releasing a lot of solo artists.
So what’s the concept behind The Angelo Show?
You got Dr. Madd Vibe on his trip to Niggalonius and I got these characters the Caucasian Ghetto Flowers so Fishbone is stuck on this island and no one will help us so we have to help ourselves. And I have project coming up with Lady Hatchett.