Nunchuck! Brings Psychedelic Punk Rock to Suwannee

The 7th annual Aura Music and Arts Festival is less than two weeks away and we couldn’t be more excited to show the Spirit of Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, Florida some New York love! The Disco Biscuits and Thievery Corporation will headline this festival, one that many say is their favorite all year. In addition to a stacked lineup of various talented artists, one that we’re particularly intrigued by is Nunchuck!

Nunchuck! is a new project consisting of bassist  Chuck Jones and drummer Scotty Zwang of Dopapod, guitarist Craig Brodhead of Turkuaz, and renowned percussionist Mike Dillon. The collaboration was formed specifically for Aura and despite what the name suggests, it’s not a Chuck Jones led group or even solely his brain child. (Nor is it affiliated with Lotus’ Mike Greenfield’s side project bearing the same name.)

Chuck Jones and Scotty Zwang of Dopapod.
Chuck Jones and Scotty Zwang of Dopapod.

Jones explained the selection of the other band members. He and Brodhead have become close friends as they both live in Hartford, Connecticut and are geographically displaced from the rest of their band members. Brodhead’s main project Turkuaz is also on Aura’s lineup. Mike Dillon – a member of Critters Buggin and Les Claypool’s Fancy Band  – has past experience playing with Dopapod and even opened for them last year at this festival. The Mike Dillon band is on Aura’s schedule for Friday.

Craig Brodhead
Craig Brodhead of Turkuaz

The four of them together make Nunchuck! – a “psychedelic punk rock” band that is sure to be something unique.

“The entire set list that we’re figuring out is all our favorite punk songs from the 70s, 80s and 90s,” said Jones. “All of us – myself, Scotty, Mike and Craig –part of our musical background has been inspired by heavier artists and genres so it will be nice for us to be able to experiment with that a little bit.”

Jones said their own creative palate is where the “psychedelic” portion comes in.

“That really means that we’re going to have not enough music to fill the slot, so we’ll be making lots of noise,” he said. “It’s going to be loud, aggressive and upbeat – so it will be fun!”

Mike Dillon.
Mike Dillon.

According to Jones, the project was developed after Zwang expressed interest in participating in Aura, even though Dopapod is (sadly) not on this year’s lineup. With attendance around 5,000 guests in some of the most picturesque scenery, Aura offers something other festivals cannot.

“I love Suwanee so anything down there is a good time. I really think they do a nice job working with artists that are true to the festival circuit. Sometimes large ones pull in big names that they know will bring in a lot of people but they kind of lose its – I think the only way to describe it is ‘music festival vibe.’ Only people who’ve been to smaller ones and medium ones will know what that is exactly – the community vibe sort of thing.”

Nunchuck! is playing on Friday, March 4, from 8 to 9:15 p.m. in the Vibe Tent. Also playing at this time is Particle to which Jones sends a friendly challenge:

“I can guarantee with 100 percent certainty that Particle will be tighter and well-rehearsed, but…I don’t know if they’ll have as much fun as we are.”

In addition to The Disco Biscuits and Thievery Corporation, Nunchuck! will join the The New Deal, The Main Squeeze, The Werks, Snarky Puppy, Animal Liberation Orchestra (ALO), The Heavy Pets Tribute to the ‘80s, American Babies and more at this year’s festival March 3  – 6.

Aura also includes more than 25 yoga classes and an extensive Silent Disco lineup with guest DJ appearances from various musicians including Scotty Zwang.

Additional information and tickets available at www.auramusicfestival.com.

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