New Orleans-based prog-funk band Earphunk recorded its new album, “Sweet Nasty,” at one of Louisiana’s legendary studios, Bogalusa’s Studio in the Country.
Opened in 1973, Studio in the Country has played host to everyone from Maze to Marilyn Manson, Stevie Wonder to Soul Asylum.
The studio’s legacy and its proximity to New Orleans drew Earphunk to its woodsy location in Washington Parish.
“It’s just an hour from town, but it’s a different world,” Earphunk organist Christian Galle said last week from Athens, Georgia, where the band shared a bill with Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe at the Georgia Theatre.
Galle said Studio in the Country “cost more than some of the studios that were available, but with that extra cost you get extra quality. We are super-pleased.”
“Sweet Nasty” showcases Earpunk’s New Orleans funk-inspired instrumental skills and its rhythm-and-blues, prog-rock and jamming chops. While much of Earphunk’s music is instrumental, the quintet also features the occasional vocal take.
“Yeah, you can’t force anything,” Galle said of the band’s instrumental focus. “It has to be creative and the best quality it can be.”
All five members of Earphunk are from New Orleans. They began performing together while Galle attended Loyola and the others attended LSU. Since forming in 2009, they’ve had the same membership.
“That’s been one of our blessings, for sure,” Galle said.
Youth and a lack of commitments allowed Earphunk to devote itself to music.
“We dropped everything and hit the road,” Galle said. “We were OK with being broke for a while. But now we’re seeing returns, for sure.”
The returns include 573,000 downloads to date for Earphunk’s “Sweet Nasty” digital bundle, released in August via online publishing platform BitTorrent.
“We weren’t sure what to expect,” Galle said of BitTorrent. “But it surpassed our expectations. Knowing that many people downloaded the file is surreal.”
While BitTorrent is a free service, “Sweet Nasty” is also available through streaming music services and online and physical music retailers.
BitTorrent plus the band’s previous campaigns and grinding it out on the road are all contributing to Earphunk’s progress. It’s a kick for the band, too, that it’s shared stages with some of its music heroes, including Art Neville and George Porter Jr.
For a show at Florida’s Bear Creek Music and Art Festival, Porter, New Orleans’ funk bassist maestro, asked the Earphunk guys if he could jam with them. “That was fantastic,” Galle said.
And in April, Earphunk appeared on the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival’s Gentilly Stage.
“A huge dream come true,” Galle said.