When drummer Nikki Glaspie was offered the opportunity to join Dumpstaphunk in 2011, she couldn’t resist.
After all, Dumpstaphunk was one of her favorite bands.
“Any musician in their right mind would jump at the opportunity to play with two of the baddest bass players ever – Tony Hall and Nick Daniels III – and then you add Ivan Neville and Ian Neville to that, and it’s unbelievable,” she said.
Even after landing a gig as Beyonce’s drummer, which many would consider a dream job, Glaspie still had her eye on Dumpstaphunk.
“I was a huge fan,” Glaspie said. “When I joined the band, I told Ian that, and he was like ‘Shut up. Whatever. You’re not a fan.’ I was like ‘Dude, how many shows have you played in New York that I’ve been to?’ He stood there and thought about it for a second, and he was like ‘I guess…all of them.’”
Ivan Neville said Glaspie brought a youth and energy to the band’s dynamic that was just as valuable as her tremendous skills as a drummer.
“She’s Ian’s age, which is cool,” Ivan Neville said. “It was a cool thing to have a multi-generational band. You’ve got people who grew up in the computer age in the band with people who grew up in the 70s.”
Now, as Glaspie leaves Dumpstaphunk after about three years to pursue her band The Nth Power full time, Neville said he sees a parallel between the two bands, especially during the initial startup phase.
“It was one of those things where we saw she was wanting to book more shows with Nth Power,” he said. “Dumpstaphunk is our main thing and our baby that we started from the ground up, and it was getting to the point where she needed to devote more time to her thing, her baby. We wish her the absolute best. We love Nikki and we love the time that we spent playing with her.”
Glaspie said The Nth Power, which she formed with Nigel Hall, Nick Cassarino, Nate Edgar, and Weedie Braimah, formed almost by itself for a late-night show after Jazz Fest 2012.
“It was just a put-together band,” she said. “We played at the Maple Leaf, at like three in the morning, and when we did a sound check, we all just kind of looked at each other like ‘Whoa, that was crazy. What’s going on?’ By the end of the night, we were like ‘This is a band. We have to do something.’”
From there, the pieces started falling into place. More gigs followed, and a certain vibe began to evolve that has permeated all aspects of The Nth Power.
At the core of that vibe is a deviously simple concept – the healing power of love.
“Our music is more than just music,” Glaspie said. “We’re on a mission to try to help people, and heal the world, and make people feel better about themselves, and just let them know that they are loved. There’s so much hate in the world. We feel that we can use this platform to make the world a better place.”
The band’s message of love isn’t restricted by politics, religious beliefs, or any other boundaries. Glaspie said it’s all about the love, and that is something that everyone can relate to.
“As individuals, all five of us have different beliefs, but we still believe one thing, which is love,” she said. “I’d say that there is only one true opinion of love, and it’s that we all need it.”
The Nth Power is solidifying their approach to spreading love through music in the recording studio now as they work on an album Glaspie said should be out in March of 2015.
The band’s next hometown show will be on October 23 at the Maison on Frenchmen Street. Until then, they’ll be spreading their message of love across America and all the way down to Australia for the Caloundra Music Festival.
Dumpstaphunk will return to town for a Black & Gold kickoff party at Tipitina’s on September 20 with new drummer Alvin Ford, Jr.