There’s a pleasurable stench coming from the Indio area and it’s not the ‘funk’ you’re thinking of. What The Funk (Hip Funk All Stars) is a band that plays funky feeling music with a wide variety of genres including old school and hip-hop. Gabe Perez or Big Boss, as he is called by his band mates, describes their music as, “Live hip-hop funk that’s feel good music. Our goal is to get you off your feet and have a good time. Most of our funk members come from different styles but that doesn’t stop us from experimenting due to our love of music.”
WTF includes; Perez (Big Boss) on vocals/percussion, Steve Zepeda (Stevie Z) on bass/background vocals, Jaquin Rosales (Jack Rose) on drums/backup vocals, Mondo Rose on vocals/rhythm guitar, Juan Espino (Finggaz) keyboard/background vocals, Israel Andrade (Izroc) lead guitar and Hernan Hernandez (Double H) on percussion/drum program/background vocals.
Funk fans have responded positively to the more unconventional use of the name What The Funk. “People look at me different when I wear a WTF shirt,” declares Big Boss. Stevie Z jokes, “People say to me, “What the fuck?”, so I correct them and tell them it’s, “What The Funk”, get your mind out of the gutter.”
Some of their musical impulse is derived from the Sugarhill Gang, Gap Band, Parliament, The Pharcyde, The Ohio Players, Bootsy Collins, the Cancino brothers, Stevie Wonder and Herbie Hancock, Bob Marley & the Wailers, Sublime, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rage Against the Machine, and Jimi Hendrix.
WTF members have showed their skills in a legion of musical groups in the Coachella Valley. Stevie Z has been in the local bands Fuse, Rake Fishin’, Kura, Zinema and the Roads of Rome. Fingazz has performed with Icarus, Heat Wave, and Lo-Cali Grown, while Jack Rose has played in Grupo Safari, Montie Rose & Sons, Mysterio, Evident and The Ashram Housing Project.
Double H has performed in The Lodies and The F13. Big Boss has consistently provided his MC skills in numerous capacities. Izroc has played in Monstro X, Dead Beat Knicks and Evident.
WTF’s live show revolves around those attending to get up and dance. Gabe states, “Major emphasis. We love to see the crowd dance and interact with the band. That’s what inspires us to write good dance music.”
The song “Fallen Angel” is about the loss of a close friend of Big Boss. Recently, Rosales’ father and band mate passed away bringing new meaning to the song. Big Boss states, “The song was originally written for my best friend Hernan Marquez who was taken from us at an early age and with the recent passing of our band mate and friend Mondo Rose this song has an emotional impact on the band.”
“My pops Mondo Rose has been playing in bands from the age of 15. He was a musician who left a legacy in music as well as a family. Ever since I can remember I always saw my pops as a showman when he played,” shared Rosales.
WTF are grounded by their kin and the relationship they have with each other. “We are a family oriented band. As a band, we all get together with our families and have barbecues and other family functions.”
In laying out WTF’s future, Big Boss clarifies, “We plan to build a large fan base here in the Coachella Valley and to work with other bands both local and Cali-wide.”
When asked about what their legacy will be, Big Boss states, “To be a memorable and fun band.”
WTF have definitely accommodated the need for dance music in the Coachella Valley. WTF members are willing to perform in any venue and have no qualms playing on the same bill with other local bands or solo artists. In talking about the current desert music scene, Big Boss admits, “It’s alive, alive! Lots of great talent out there.”
WTF are in the process of entering the studio to record their first album. Find out more information on WTF and updates on the album release on Facebook and Reverbnation