Rubblebucket Orchestra

In case you haven’t heard ‘em yet, Rubblebucket Orchestra aren’t the straight-forward funk ensemble that their name might suggest. Instead they are a vivid ten-piece afrobeat/rock band led by trumpeter Alex Toth and fronted by the alluring vocals of Kalmia Traver; both members of reggae band John Brown’s Body.   There is something behind their sneaky beats and Femi Kuti meets Bjork atmosphere that is begging to be discovered in the ears of the listeners. Having only been kicking it since 2007, the Rubblebucket secret is getting spread steadily on the east coast, Mellisa Brodeuer recently spit a few questions Kalmia’s way.

What was the very first album you ever bought?

My Ace of Base tape. Then my first CD was Highlights From The Phantom of the Opera. I was kind of behind some of my other elementary school buddies who had CD players and Madonna CDs. My first cool album that I’m actually proud of was probably The Miseducation of Lauren Hill (but I think it was actually my sister’s).
What is one of your favorite bands to see live now?

:I love Giant Panda Guerilla dub Squad. I could listen to them all day and night. I love big wild bands like Nomo and Antibalas. I also love to see/hear a Boston-based band called Cuddle Magic.
What is the most frustrating thing about being in a band?

Nothing really… I love it. Being in a band is like having your family around you all the time. For some people that might not be a good thing but for me it generally is.

What is your favorite city to play?

It depends on the season… winter touring in the northern half of this country can be brutal, even in amazing cities like Madison, WI, Boulder, CO and of course Burlington, VT! The past few times that I have visited Fort Collins, CO I have felt so at home, and so appreciated by the audience. However, NYC might get the pick just for the pure thrill.
Are you guys concerned with your health while on the road, if yes what are you doing to stay healthy?

It is so difficult to keep my body feeling good on the road… a constant struggle. I try to always eat good food, and we make a lot of simple healthy band meals. Recently, partway through a 34-hour drive from Denver to Boston, via Chicago I made a commitment to run laps around every single rest area we stopped at. I followed through. It felt soooo right. I’m going to do that more often from now on.
What are some other creative outlets you have other than music?

I like to make art and graphics. I do lots of the Rubblebucket posters, and I did the album artwork for Rose’s dream. I make so many beaded bracelets, I just can’t stop. I give them to people I love.
What are some of your favorite publications?

I like the BBC, National Geographic, Utne Reader, Cabinet! I just discovered Make Magazine which seems amazing. A longtime friend of my family’s, Sam Bartlett, makes an awesome zine called Stuntology and Tuneology. Also, I think that the fact Rubblebucket has a couple of Nylon enthusiasts speaks well of the band.

What do you think is special and unique about your band?

Nine geeky minds having fun and being rock stars.
In ten years I want…….

to have made a thousand bajillion beaded bracelets.

2 a.m. means A. time to party or B. time to sleep?


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