Twooda Funkit are a little different than the average local band. Where songs are usually performed as they are written and band members generally have one task to carry out, Twooda Funkit switches things up and aims for efforts of improvisation and flexibility. Meet jazz/funk/groove-inspired outfit Twooda Funkit, the moniker of keyboardist Jack Toforo and drummer Nate Campbell.
When I was in a band in high school (aptly called Mourning Wood), my inspiration was Tom Morello. Big riffs, big fuzz, all the time. Other bands paid undeniable homage to the Red Hot Chili Peppers, or Blink 182, but in all reality, we were all pretty awful. We played roller rink battle of the bands, school functions, and even had a garage show once or twice. But nothing serious ever amounted from it, and it was increasingly frustrating that nobody appreciated my fat licks.
When you’re fifteen, and a musician, there isn’t much you can do. You can poorly emulate your heros, but that is about it.
Which is cool, because not much is expected from young musicians. Play at your school and local community centre. Have a hilarious band name. Worship one band intensely and steal as much as you can from them. From my experience, that is all the high school scene has to offer. And we were ok with that.Â This model works, because everyone that is apart of it can relate. They can create this youthful rockstar identity within the microcosm of the school social environment. For many, this validation is enough.Â However, this scene is hardly bliss forÂ Ladner, BC’s Small Town GhostsÂ Rodin Wong, Daphne Chung, Angus Lam, Eunice Leung, and Sonali da Silva.
Instead, they set their sights on a far grander musical idealism that envelopes pop and jazz music far more mature than most high school bands. Though they admittedly draw inspiration from local acts Hey Ocean! and 2011 Y57 Battle of the Bands winner Jasper Sloan Yip, Small Town Ghosts understand there is more to music than imitation.
Essentially started on a whim, though with due inspiration from past Battle of the Bands winnersÂ Hello, Sir, Small Town Ghosts threw together what they knew, pooled their talents, and busted out a few of quick recordings to apply for the August event. For them, this was more than a chance to play with their heros, or a chance to win an incredible media package, but an opportunity to prove themselves as the legitimate artists that can contend with the best. Essentially, this show was the yard stick by which Small Town Ghosts would measure themselves. Which if you don’t remember the lineup, was a pretty tall task.
Though it is nearly indisputable that they played well enough to make a run as a band, this wasn’t enough for the group. As a collective, the band has been writing, rewriting and tightening songs to strengthen their presence. For these kids, thriving in their own scene is hardly an accomplishment; true merit is unveiled against the best. Of course, as Rodin Wang suggests, it’s only worth it if the music is good. As a team, Small Town GhostsÂ adamantly exercises disdain for the mainstream pop landscape,Â Â disapproving of it’s hyperbolic simplicity. For them, the real challenge is creating masterfully orchestrated songs that tantalize them compositionally, while retaining the sensibilities of their local idols.
Of course, this means waiting an excruciatingly long time for the band to approve of themselves.
But given the potential that was apparent on that late August night, they can take as long as they need.
Photo from the Small Town Ghosts Facebook Page