Alexis & the Samurai

00:00 April 27, 2014

 Where Y'at: What was your first Jazz Fest experience as a performer?

Alexis Marceaux: We first played under the name Alexis Marceaux in 2010.

Sam Craft: Last year [2013] we played our first Jazz Fest as Alexis and the Samurai.

WYAT: What will we see from Alexis and the Samurai at Jazz Fest?

Craft:Alexis and the Samurai is really a duo, though for something like Jazz Fest we bring in a lot of extra people, lot of our musician colleagues that we play with all the time, we bring in what we call our festival set-up. We bring in horns and singers and percussion and a lot of things to spice it up. Like to bring in some of our colleagues, make it sound like it does when we record. When we play live, there are two of us, and while we keep the intensity there, when we do Jazz Fest, with their brilliant sound engineering, we feel like we owe it to the audience. We want to bring a really dynamite show. Bring all the tambourines and shakers, to make it a really memorable day.  Alexis and the Samurai — Samurai is ambiguously plural on purpose; we like to mix it up, bring up guests, not just a duo. There’s this availability for it to be any combination of people...a collective.  

WYAT: What is playing on the Lagniappe Stage like?

Craft: We love that stage, the environment of that stage is amazing, very floral, kinda like an amphitheater. It lends itself to the intimate intensity of what we’re trying to do. Intimate, but not that small though – we bring in all our guests and play to several hundred people, or whoever can fit in there. Ever year we’ve gotten on the Lagniappe Stage, and it does us really well.

Marceaux:The sound is always amazing, if it rains people are there, if it’s not raining people are there. 

WYAT: What will the Festival lineup be?

Craft: Our festival setup has been a 5 piece in addition to us, so we’re looking at a couple of horns, a cello, and a couple of singers.  Any rock community in New Orleans is not terribly big. 

Marceaux:[We’re] brainstorming, we’ll definitely have surprises.

Craft:Jazz fest is a special occasion, like to reward the audience for being there. 

WYAT: Is anyone from Sweet Crude playing? 

Craft: Yes, we play with them all the time, musical trust there, members of Sweet Crude, and members of other projects we work with.

On their most recent album:

Marceaux:Whatever we wrote was new, morphing it all into one thing, pulling from our culture.

Craft: Our surroundings.

Marceaux:Not even trying to pull from our culture, it just comes out, cause of how we were raised.

WYAT: Will the album be out for Jazz Fest?

Marceaux:Our full album, Orange Moon, which was released under Alexis Marceaux, is being remastered, and we’re re-releasing it. [We’re] also working on our new LP, and a live 5-track album from Chickie Wah Wah. [We’re] excited about dropping three things at once. 

WYAT: How have you all grown since last year’s Jazz Fest?

Marceaux:The residency at Chickie Wah Wah makes us feel really comfortable with what we do and with our writing. It really opened up that part of our brain. Writing songs every week makes us feel good in our own skin. The set last year was unbelievable: great audience, a great time. We've played these songs through and through, for almost a year.

Craft: [We’ve] written a lot as well. The set will be very different from last year; we’ve gotten a lot of writing done, experiment with songs at Chickie Wah Wah..

Marceaux:Which we have definitely done.

Craft:There will be a lot of new material and, as Alexis said, we’re more comfortable. What we do on stage is dizzying, cause we play a lot of instruments at once, and no matter how many times you do that, it requires a lot of concentration. And so that has become more and more second nature, we feel more comfortable doing the crazy instrumental acrobatics that we do

Marceaux:And not only have we done the residency, but we’ve toured and played in a lot of great places and all around feel more comfortable in our musical skin.  

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