Gravity A gets funky in the Big Easy during Jazz Fest

Gravity A
Gravity A

Gravity A, a New Orleans funk band, has garnered quite a following in the Big Easy over the last few years. However, the meaning of the band’s name still remains a mystery to some of its most loyal followers.

“It’s a science fiction idea that if you move gravity from A to B, the particles of matter would follow,” Michael Fouquier, the band’s drummer, explained. “Kind of like music bringing people together. People have been coming to see us for the last eight years. It’s evolved into a family.”

The original members of Gravity A all grew up in the heart of funk central, New Orleans. Fouquier (drums) and Andrew Meehan (keyboard) grew up in the same neighborhood and even went to the same primary school. But their musical orbits didn’t overlap until 2004, when the band was created.

Gravity A’s only full-length album, “Naissance,” was released in 2007. It showcases three years’ worth of experimenting with funk and electronica concentrated into nine tracks, mastered by John Fischbach.

“The bass player liked to write pretty dark stuff, minor keys, as far as the mood goes,” Fouquier said. “The guitarist was brilliant, heavily jazz-influenced. It’s a great album, start to finish. We still play some songs from ‘Naissance,’ like ‘Watching Myself Walk’ and ‘Annie,’ but we play it differently than how we originally performed it.”

The original guitarist and bass player eventually left the band. They were replaced by Danny Abel (guitar) and Devin Kerrigan (bass), who helped morph the sound of Gravity A into something quite unique.

“The new bass player and guitarist have a different approach to music. We call it ‘NOLA funktronic,’” Fouquier said. “I like a lot of electronica. Within the last year, Danny has been writing some heavily electronica-influenced music.”

Gravity A’s new line-up released an EP last year called “Renegade Masters.” The intro of the title track resembles the backtrack on Tinie Tempah’s “Wonderman,” followed by a guitar riff that leads into a Bomfunk MC-style vocal loop. All three tracks of the EP are tastefully synthesized, overlaying real instruments on top to give it a fresh NOLA funktronic twist.

Along with their slightly different sound, the band is taking a more focused approach to their live performance.

“Now, we dig in, we rock out a lot harder than we used to,” Fouquier said. “Our shows are more energetic and intense, like Andrew will be playing three different keyboards in the same section of a song. It’s pretty impressive.”

Gravity A is also gearing up to launch a 30-day Kickstarter campaign to fund the completion of their second full-length album.

“We’re shooting for the summer. We’ve got a little more studio time, but the bulk of the work is post production, mixing and mastering. We do all of it ourselves,” Fouquier said.

Until then, check out “Naissance” and download the “Renegade Masters” EP for free on their website, GravityA.com.

Gravity A will also be performing in New Orleans at Fulton on Tap on April 26, Hi Ho Lounge on May 3, and The Dragon's Den on May 4.