Brooklyn's Rubblebucket sports an overflowing bucketful of influences, with horn-laden dance material meeting indie rock whimsy. The 8-piece act -- which made its Bonnaroo debut in 2012, aided by surprise guest Foster the People -- is piloted by vocalist/saxophonist Kalmia Traver and songwriter/trumpeter Alex Toth. Its revisionist version of "Michelle" recently made Paste Magazine's list of Best Beatles Covers of All Time.
"We were playing a small 'American festival' in New Jersey. It was a campground festival with a mix of hippies and Bruce Springsteen-loving types. At the time, we had a couple vegans in the band, including our guitar player. Backstage, they did not have any vegan food. But what they did have was 10 different choices of flavored vodkas. So instead of eating food, our guitar player grabbed a plate of tortilla chips and tons of vodka. By the time we hit the stage, he was blackout drunk.
"The venue had three HD cameras and was doing a full-on filming with a super-fancy soundboard recording of the gig. At first we thought the guitar player being drunk was pretty funny. But quickly into the gig we realized he just couldn't play his parts. And that wasn't funny. The guitar parts are crucial to polyrhythmic, super-locked, funky music. We didn't have that on this night. There was one song where he started everything, and he couldn't play the part at all.
"At one point he left the stage and disappeared. Then he'd periodically come back. If you watch the video, there's a lot of footage of him sitting onstage smoking cigarettes.
"He had a microphone as well, and he kept talking nonsense to the crowd. Words that didn't go together. I've never experienced any drunkenness that extreme before. It was pretty debaucherous."
— Alex Toth, Rubblebucket