Q&A Scene: Lake Minnetonka

Tell us about your new single/ album/ tour?
‘Clipnosis’ is the new single from my Jazz Fusion project Lake Minnetonka. I recorded it in Minneapolis last year with a bunch of Prince ex-band members. We did at Dr Fink’s studio, he was in the Revolution and continues playing with Prince after they disbanded right up until 1990. Fink engineered the session and also played keys. I also had Sonny Thompson on bass, from the 90s era New Power Generation, and Eric Leeds, who played sax with Prince on and off from 1986 to 2003. He wrote some of the hippest funk horn riffs, like Rockhard in a Funky Place and Madhouse 6. And a local Minneapolis drummer who really gets around all the funk groups is Petar Janjic, who really slayed it in the studio. We’re launching ‘Clipnosis’ at the Toff in Town on Tuesday June 7 as part of a month-long Royal Funk Residency. At the last show of the residency we’re a launching a second single, August, which was recorded here with the regular Lake Minnetonka rhythm and horn section. Robofunk beats and a bebop top.

How would you describe your sound in food form and why?

[pullquote]Our scene is anywhere the lights are dim and the backbeat is strong. Smoke and neon is a bonus. [/pullquote]Our music would be the contents of the fridge from 9 1/2 weeks because you get the urge to smear it all over your body and have Kim Basinger lick it off (or young Mickey Rourke, the choice is yours. Hey, why not take both?).

Which of your songs resonate most strongly and why?
It’s hard to say, being mostly an instrumental band, I reckon people really get(t) off on our version of ‘Mutiny’, originally by the Family. It’s got such a killer hornline, it’s simple but it’ll make your head bob. I look out into the audience and they’re doing that fonk smirk. In terms of our original stuff, our new single ‘Clipnosis’ has been going off live recently, and it’s got a big drum solo in the middle which usually melts a few faces in the crowd. St John’s Ambulance, standing by!

Tell us a quick, on the road, anecdote.

Once upon a time I was in Seattle, where they have actual costumed vigilantes who roam the streets trying to help people and break up fights and things. They’re called the Rain City Superhero Movement. I thought this was so fucking cool, and I contacted them through facebook and ended up being invited to go on ‘patrol’ with Phoenix Jones (who is their leader) and a few others. While I and about 6 of these badasses were roaming around Belltown, I mentioned I was in town hanging out with Amanda Palmer’s tour party, and Phoenix wanted to come to the show and bring his wife ‘Purple Reign’. So I got them tickets, and I got to introduce Phoenix Jones and Purple Reign to Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman backstage after the show, and it was Neil’s birthday so we all had cake. Surreal.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
Funk of all types, from Minneapolis, or New Orleans, and I especially like New Wave and Mutant Disco bands like Kid Creole and the Coconuts, Talking Heads, the Lounge Lizards, and contemporary guys like NO ZU. I’m also listening to jazz constantly and trying to merge the sophistication of that language into heavy groovin’ funk bangers. Thelonious Monk, Medeski Martin & Wood, and John Scofield would be a few of my favs.

Which song do you wish you wrote?

So many, but today let’s go with Tightrope by Janelle Monae. So much vibe, so little time.

What’s next for you?

We’re working on an album, which we’ll press to 12-inch vinyl. It’s gonna be plusher than plush. We’re very community minded, and want to continue to make connections across the whole funk scene. Bands need to support each other, not be in competition. I like the whole P-Funk mentality of a collective. 30/70 are doing it right now, and it’s a happening thang. So Royal Funk events will continue, you’ll see us again soon!

What’s your scene?

Our scene is anywhere the lights are dim and the backbeat is strong. Smoke and neon is a bonus.

About the Royal Funk Residency

First came the Royal Funk Party. Then the Royal Funk Fes- tival. Now, in June at the Toff in Town, Lake Minnetonka and friends are throwing a huge celebration of Minneapo- lis-style funk, launching 2 new singles and partying like it’s you-know-what during a very purple Royal Funk Residency!
Lake Minnetonka Adam keyboard sml


Having thrown some great Prince parties over the years at LuWow, Purple Emerald, and Housecall at Toff (when Dr. Fink came to town), we were excited to celebrate Prince’s birthday in style this year as part of our resi- dency. Before we could announce our plans, we got the terrible news that he had left us. Rather than cancelling the event, we’ve reworked it into a party to celebrate his life, his music, and the music he has inspired in others.

Supporting Lake Minnetonka will be the outstanding new Minneapolis-style local funk band, 777-93-11, as well as MzRizk on decks, plus special guest vocalists Chelsea Wilson, Chantal Mitvalsky, Henry Manetta and more.

Lake Minnetonka will be playing covers by Prince and associated artists, as well as launching a sin- gle called ‘Clipnosis’, recorded in Minneapolis with Matt ‘Dr’ Fink (The Revolution), Sonny Thompson (NPG) and long time Prince saxophonist, Eric Leeds.

First Stop:
Second Stop:
Tuesday 14th June – FUNK YOUR WAY
Whether you like your funk infused with a little pop, soul, electro or jazz, we have you covered. DXHeaven (solo) is supporting, along with a DJ set from NO ZU. Guest vo- calists include Jude Perl and Carla Troiano (Mayfield).

Final Destination:
Tuesday 28th June –
With help from Papa G and the Starcats, guest vo- calist Shannen Wick (Fulton Street) and Sex On Toast DJs, Lake Minnetonka will launch their single ‘August’, the A-side to ‘Clipnosis’.

Expect prizes and surprises every week, dress to impress or amuse, and get ready for some sleazy, synthy Minne- apolis level FUNK.

Royal Funk residency
Tuesday 7th, 14th and 28th of June
Second Floor Curtin House
252 Swanston Street, Melbourne
$10+bf pre-sale or $15 entry on the door

Toff In Town
For more information go to :

About Mandy Hall 838 Articles
Mandy is a music photographer & writer. She runs Mandy Hall Media, which includes Photography, Social Media marketing, PR & Graphic Design for the music industry. She is also a web developer - she created and supports this website.

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