Chicago Funk Mafia: In-your-face, Free-your-ass Funk

Chicago Funk Mafia: In-your-face, Free-your-ass Funk

Venues & Businesses
Hangar 9

More Articles
Spread: Music-scene Alumni Return to Record a Live Album
Spread: Making a Nice Jam
Spread: Psychedelic Rockers Returns to the ‘Dale

Who: Chicago Funk Mafia / Mouth
What: funk
When: 2015-09-18
An up-and-coming band from Chicago is setting the stage for a funky mission: to let the good times r
Leah Williams
Video Comentary
See video

An up-and-coming band from Chicago is setting the stage for a funky mission: to let the good times roll.

The Chicago Funk Mafia invades the Hangar 9 with Mouth this Friday, September 18. The progressive-metal funk band promises to produce an intergalactic good time, delivering a party atmosphere that will set feet in motion and, they say, “free your ass.”

Started just a couple years ago, the Chicago Funk Mafia was formed after saxophonist Marty Gierczyk and others attempted to piece together a funk band to begin gigging around the city.

“We knew we wanted to create a funk band,” Gierczyk told Nightlife, “so we just began looking at the musicians we knew and who was available, and [after that] who we wanted to join in.”

The funky lineup includes Gierczyk, Christian Barnes on lead vocals, Dustin Borlack on drums, Max Cameron Mauer on keyboards, Mike Mongoven on guitar, Maurice Cade on trombone, Edwin Martinez on trumpet, and Jason Sleaze Segal on bass.

Gierczyk, Cade and Martinez make up the dynamite Made Men horn section, a combo that produces a powerful punch in the Mafia’s musicianship.

The Chicago Funk Mafia finds inspiration in many different places, some obvious (the Undercover Brother soundtrack, Chaka Khan, and David Bowie) and others (Pantera, Beethoven the film, and Captain Planet and Tennille). Gierczyk said much of the all-over-the-place list resembles the kind of carefree attitude adopted by the band. Just as the group invites audiences to break through party limitations and let the good times roll, the Chicago Funk Mafia also do not want to set boundaries on the kind of music they play.

“We like to say that we are a funk band, but that’s not all there is,” Gierczyk said. “We don’t like to pigeonhole ourselves as one specific type. We can come up with something completely different.”

They clearly have fun and work well together. Tracks like “#WookLove” drip with the sexy synchronicity one would expect in a tune professing admiration for a dirty, bath-skipping Wookie.

Whether it’s Mongoven’s explosive guitar work on the bridge or the brilliant brass in the Made Men section, the Chicago Funk Mafia’s songs all have a designated area in which the feet report to the dance floor. Even the slower-paced, doomed-love tune “La Tormenta” features dueling guitar and horn solos that build to a fitting climax with Barnes’s tortured vocals singing “I can’t bear to be here, can’t bear to be there, restless with worry and fear.”

Gierczyk said the Chicago Funk Mafia wants to begin a new touring schedule that will take the band for the first time outside the Midwest.

Gierczyk, who also performs in the psychedelic rock phenomenon Spread (a band that started in Southern Illinois before moving north), said the Chicago Funk Mafia is looking forward to returning to the ‘Dale this weekend.

“We’re really excited to come back to Carbondale,” Gierczyk said. “Last time we were there at the Hangar, we opened for Manic Squeeze, and we had a really good time. We can’t wait to do it again.”

For more information, search for the Chicago Funk Mafia on Facebook, and listen tracks from their debut EP on Sound Cloud.

who: Chicago Funk Mafia / Mouth

what: funk

where: Hangar 9


when: Friday, September 18