Exclusive Interview With Toronto Funk Band Numb Tongues

Hey, Numb Tongues! Congratulations on the release of "Naive". What a funky and raw sounding you have throughout this track! Is this a sound that was crafted over time, or comes naturally to you as an artist?

The funky raw sound is something we've developed over time but now it's like second nature to us. We've always been attracted to funky music but it took Tristan joining and our former bassist leaving the band for us to really be able to kick it up a notch and fully embrace our funky side. We've found that funk has always worked to our advantage because it's always been about the groove and that groove gives a character that allows us to be our true authentic selves.

How do you feel with how "Naive" was executed in the end? Did your initial vision for the track remain constant throughout the creative stage, up until recording?

It turned out 1000x better than we ever could've expected. We initially wrote the track with our former bassist who left the band shortly before we decided to record. He was never into slapping his bass though, so when our guitarist Tristan decided he'd play bass on the track and insisted on slapping, it was if we'd found the final piece to the puzzle, especially given the way the main riff locks with Corey's drumming. Given the unorthodox decision for us to record as a three-piece without a permanent bassist, we gave ourselves freedom to try some cool things in the studio. One of those things was adding some synths that Jonah programmed on his laptop, which we think helped add to the energy of the recording. We also used some analog gear emulators to mix and master the song to add depth and character to the audio. A lot had to fall into place in order for this track to be recorded and released the way it was and we're beyond thrilled that it's been getting the reception it's gotten thus far, because we knew we had something special when Corey first came up with the initial drumbeat.

What do you believe is the most integral aspect of your music? What sort of elements to your music do you personally think elevates it to that next level of alternative rock?

To be honest, nowadays, rock and roll, alternative rock and punk music have become really stale and boring and most of it just sounds the same. We always say that rock and roll could use a lot more funk. We also take a lot of inspiration from jazz, hip hop, reggae, and post-hardcore. It gives us a wide sonic palette that allows us the freedom to do whatever we want musically, and thankfully we're all very technically proficient on our instruments. Too many people take themselves way too seriously but we've been known to have a quirky character that helps give our music a sense of fun. We take what we do very seriously but we don't want to make music that makes people sad, even if we're talking about the dark subject matter. Take “Naive” for example, a song Jonah wrote the lyrics to after a girlfriend had cheated on him. He really strives for honesty, authenticity and vivid imagery in his lyrics. We love making people want to dance and mosh like there's no tomorrow and we hope that reflects in the energy we bring to the music.

What sets "Naive" apart from the other tracks you've released? Do you think you're advancing the sound of Numb Tongues with every release, or do you stay familiar with the soundings similar in "Naive"?

This is by far the best sounding track we've released thus far. This single almost serves as a reintroduction for us and truly the first real statement that this lineup of the band has made thus far. We definitely have a lot of different sides to our sound but this was the first time we were truly able to capture the funk-groove element of it. Every song we release going forward will only continue to sound better from here.

Are you planning on performing anywhere in the near future? How do you feel about live performances in general?

Without live shows, we would cease to exist as a band. Along with our quirky character, we've also been known for bringing intense energy to our performances. Jonah wears onesies whenever we play live, which really helps let people in the audience let their guard down, because if he's willing to make a goof of himself on stage, then everyone should be willing to also. We also recently started occasionally playing with a DJ live, which has helped add a whole new layer of possibilities to our sound. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for the next single we release because he's featured on it. Our goal with our recordings is to be able to translate the energy we bring to our live shows. We've been playing in Toronto for quite some time but our goal for 2020 is to start playing out of town (from Ontario and beyond). Our dream is to open for bands like PUP and illScarlett, and in an ideal world for bands like RHCP, Incubus, Smashing Pumpkins, Rage Against the Machine, Busty and the Bass, Billy Talent and Lawrence.