Tomorrow night Water Seed will be in their hometown New Orleans for one of the many U.S. dates they have on deck for the summer. Veterans to the game, they’ve played everywhere from the Essence Festival to a sold-out crowd that the Apollo Theater. We talked with their loyal leader Lou Hill. A man who appreciates the local cuisine of home, we went back and forth about their new album We Are Stars, playing among them in more ways than one and much more!
Kendra: When you set out and play a jazz fest, do you take the time to get to check out the other artists or are you too focused on your set?
Lou Hill: It all depends. If we have time to check out other acts we definitely make our way over to their set. When we performed at the Richmond Jazz Fest we got a chance to see a few amazing performers. Babyface, Cameo, Fred Wesley just to mention a few. We actually got a chance to talk to a few as well. They were all very nice. It’s truly a humbling experience.
If we are on tour we really don’t get a lot of time to do anything. It’s usually van, hotel, stage, eat and sleep. Not always in that order.
Kendra: Your latest album has a universal appeal on a grand scale. We Are Stars makes me think of the cosmos, so with that…if given the chance, how many of you do you think would take the chance to be the first artist to play a show on Mars? Hey, it could happen.
Lou: I don’t know about Mars, but I think that we would be more than open to playing on Jupiter and Saturn. Imagine the vibration of Water Seed Funk terraforming those planets. That would be a funky race of creatures.
Kendra: People often don’t like to play favorites but if you had to pick a personal fav off We Are Stars, which would it be and why is it the one closest to your heart?
Lou: I’m going to have to stick with the norm. I can’t pick just one. We really think about each album as it’s own body of work. It’s a chapter in the book that is Water Seed. You can’t pull a page of a book and think that it wouldn’t affect the energy of the entire book. Maybe that page introduces the protagonist. I can’t just pick one. I know that our fans create their own playlist from our catalog, but that’s for them to do. They can create their own Water Seed story. It’s our job to be truth to our story.
Kendra: You’ve been praised by a number of people, including Tisha Campbell who most should know from Martin. This, of course, made us wish we could travel back in time, sadly that isn’t on the table BUT if it was, which ’90s sitcom do you think Water Seed would be perfect guest starring on as a house band?
Lou: Wow. That’s a good one. So many great shows back then. Hmm, there are so many. Though most of us still watch Martin on a weekly basis I think I will say New York Undercover. I used to love the way they presented music on their show. Maybe one of us could play the bad guy or something as well. You know Nino Brown style.
Kendra: Speaking of Tisha, you’ll be at her Xen Lounge in July. You also have some other dates that month out west. How does the west coast often treat you?
Lou: The west is always great to us. We aren’t out there enough, though. We are always met with lots of love and support. The coast is beautiful as well. We can’t wait to perform for Tisha again by the way.
Kendra: Will you be adding to that list of dates?
Lou: Yeah we are adding every day. Right now we are hitting about 38 cities in the states. We have just started locking in Texas and Colorado. Touring is always amazing. It’s when you see the fans and get to feel their energy. The stage brushes off all the road worries.
Kendra: Other than touring and the new album, anything else on the books you can talk about coming up?
Lou: We have a lot of new stuff up our sleeves. This album took about three years from beginning of production to the end of marketing and promo. The whole time we have been creating and growing, so we have a ton of new stuff brewing. Of course, that’s about all I can say right now.
Kendra: So we know you’re about the music, but we want to switch your focus to art for a second. If you had to choose an art piece that best represents your sound, what would it be?
Lou: That’s an easy one. I can’t say for all of our music, but for this album, it’s this piece by Kadir Nelson.