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Funk on, Jackfruit

Vancouver-based funky foursome sure to strike a chord with fans of the defunct Slow Nerve Action

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A name like Jackfruit is practically begging to be Googled. Apparently, it's the national fruit of Bangladesh and tastes like an unripe banana. According to Berry, it just smells terrible - though that isn't why they decided to name their band after the odd produce item.

"I moved in with the keyboard player when I moved down to Vancouver," he recalled. "...At that time, we still didn't have any money, so we were standing in line for the food bank, and one of the things our friend got was this can of young, green jackfruit. And the company was called Cock On The Mountaintop, and it was just a big rooster on top of a mountain, and it was like, 'what the hell is that?' We were just laughing our asses off and thought it was funny. I think when we left that house, the only thing left in the cupboard was the can of young, green jackfruit."

Reluctantly, they opened the can, only to discover that the mysterious fruit was stinky, yet quite tasty.

"People used to bring them to our shows, these really tiny jackfruits, and we were like, 'Don't bring them!' because you put them on the stage and no one wants to come near us!"

And that's a real problem for these party all-stars. While the songs on their album Conversations With Robots are fantastically funky, incorporating an awesome range of styles and genres into an infectiously quirky melting pot, legend precedes these guys - it's all about the live show for these musicians. Or "circus madness," as Berry likes to describe it.

"We're all fairly energetic on stage, so it's a lot of fun to watch," he explained. "... It's just power the whole way through."

But with such an eclectic musical mix, newcomers to the Jackfruit scene may be slightly shocked.

"I think people are usually really kind of stand back and wonder what the hell it is, and then there's the other set that just dances its ass off the whole time."

As soon as someone breaks the ice and steps onto the dance floor, and the drinks start flowing, more people from the first group join the party.

After a fairly steady summer of gigs and making musical connections with a few new groups on the city scene, like Go Ghetto Tiger, the band took a bit of time to travel and relax with family.

"It is tough now that we're a little bit older. I've got a little four year old and Sean's a new dad, and day jobs come in and mortgages - it's a little harder. But we still write and practice all the time and play as much as we can."

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