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Tuesday, 13 March 2012 15:29

'Our lives, our home, our musical community' An interview with Jeff Raines of Galactic

'Our lives, our home, our musical community' An interview with Jeff Raines of Galactic / David Lee
Written by Joe Duepner

Before kicking off the West coast leg of Galactic's latest tour guitarist Jeff Raines shed some light on what it's like to have been "touched by Treme."

Joe Duepner: Hey how's it going?

Jeff Raines: Good, we're home for about a week here. A little break between the East and the West. As you know St. Louis is the Gateway to the West so we'll be starting there on Wednesday. Go out through the mountain states and then the rest of the coast.

How was Mardi Gras this year?

Mardi Gras was the kick-off of our tour. We released our new record "Carnivale Electricos" the day of Mardi Gras actually.

"Carnivale Electricos" is Brazillian themed. Have you guys ever been down to Carnival in Brazil?

No. As much as we would love to have done first-hand research for the record we did not make it down there. There's the distance and time and you have to wait for the carnival to come by so logistically lining those all up can be difficult. So we drew upon our deep knowledge of New Orleans Mardi Gras and we got the Brazilian carnival side vicariously through the guest artists and friends here in New Orleans. Friends like Casa Samba and Al "Carnival Time" Johnson.

The one time we had a gig in Brazil it didn't work out. After playing our show in Argentina we all gathered in the lobby of our hotel and piled into a shuttle van. Somewhere along the ride from the hotel to the airport Stan realized his backpack was missing. Of course in his backpack was his passport and his work visa. So there went Brazil. So that's why to this day we've never performed in Brazil. That was a bad day.

How do you feel about the way the HBO show "Treme" depicts the current New Orleans music scene?

It's good, it's the best thing anyone's ever made about New Orleans in television or film. Hands down. Anything that's been made prior has been cheesy and silly. "Treme" has broken that losing streak. David Simon knows what he's doing and he's made a great show about New Orleans. It's as close as you can get on television.

Do you have any character you especially relate to on the show?

Well you know the trombone player. We always laugh about him. We're usually watching it on the bus with Corey "Bo Money" Henry, who's a trombone player from the sixth ward, from the Treme, played in all kinds of bands. We're always laughing at him like "That's you bro, they're telling your story on HBO." We have an expression down here "touched by Treme." You know, it's our lives, our home, our musical community. For us it's kind of a strange blending of the real world and the television world.

If you had to recommend where to eat in New Orleans, what would you choose?

Oh man there's so much food. It's so hard to pick. One of the things that I love that is not a quintessential staple is some of the Vietnamese food. There's nothing like a Vietnamese poorboy. It's a Vietnamese New Orleans thing. And the french bread it comes on, you can only get the best french bread in New Orleans and France. It makes the sandwich so much better.

88.1 KDHX welcomes Galactic to the Pageant on March 14.

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