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 Home is where I want to be
Home is where I want to be
2001 - Tom Tom Club moves on from Talking Heads to share PDF Print E-mail

The Good, The Bad, and The Funky House of Blues in Chicago. October 15, 2000 By Andy Argyrakis

Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth may not be talking their heads off anymore, but they're still stirring up great music as The Tom Tom Club. The former Talking Heads members are back in action with their beloved band The Tom Tom Club, who just released their first album in over 8 years called The Good the Bad and the Funky. "We really focused on the organic process of song writing for this album," says bass player and vocalist Weymouth. "We didn't think about what songs would translate well on stage, just the fact that we would please everyone from our friends, to the kids in our neighborhood, to each of the group members."

The title pinpoints the disc's vibrant funk and soul arrangements, while the lyrics tell basic stories of the positives and negatives of everyday life. However, the group's energy can best be transformed in their live performances, such as their recent stop at the House of Blues in Chicago. "The image this band wants to portray is one that brings sheer essence of joy to its listeners," Weymouth says of The Tom Tom Club's live shows. "We're very happy to play for each audience and are thankful that the public has embraced us, our albums, and concerts."

At that particular show, the band sampled songs off the new album, like the energetic "Time to Bounce," the satirical "Happiness Can't Buy Money," and the fast paced "Soul Fire." The band got the crowd dancing to "Who Feelin' It" and also dabbled into their spiritual side on "Holy Water." "That song is meant to convey a message to society that if children are loved, nurtured, and cared about they will turn out fine," Weymouth reflects. "Holy Water is symbolic of those other kids that don't have get that attention. If they were only given that boost from those around them, they would turn out fine too." The band also touches on other hopeful themes throughout the new album, and their entire songbook for that matter.

However, it was 1981's "Genius of Love" that earned the band their largest helping of commercial success. The track was sampled by diva Mariah Carey a few years ago on her hit single "Fantasy." The band has also been sampled by the likes of reggae star Ziggy Marley to rapper Coolio. "We feel the need to keep making music which has the ability to be sampled by other artists," Weymouth adds. "We like the sense of community it brings about and it's a great feeling knowing that one of your songs has helped another artist progress in their art form." Another Tom Tom Club highlight on the tour is their finale tune "Take Me to the River," an Al Green penned track that also made a triumphant appearance on the Talking Heads' "Stop Making Sense" audio and video recordings. However, don't expect The Tom Tom Club's show to be a flashback to the days with their former band. They steer clear of all the Talking Heads' other songs, establishing themselves by making high quality music in their present configuration.

As for a Talking Heads reunion, Frantz and Weymouth aren't counting on it. In fact, their mid 90's collaboration with the other former members, minus lead singer David Byrne, was probably the closet thing fans would ever see. The event sparked controversy with Byrne, who quickly took his ex-bandmates to court for calling the group a name that bears similarity to their previous band. In the meantime, the Tom Tom Club is the next best thing and their set list will make fans of both groups fall in love with each and every new song. "The reason we're not doing the Talking Heads songs is because they are all so old," Weymouth says. "Those songs are a lot of fun, by we're really focused on going forward. We have a big enough repertoire on our own and we play songs from most of our discs. Plus most of the Talking Heads songs are a different style than The Tom Tom Club's songs, so they just won't fit the set.".



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