Jerome 57 has been in his band longer than he hasn’t. Now 35, he cofounded Spoonfed Tribe when he was at the tender age of 15. Not many other North Texas musicians can claim a similarly lengthy musical/professional relationship.
“I can’t imagine a day when I say I used to be in Spoonfed Tribe,” he said last week over beers with drummers/percussionists Kabooom and Goofahtts and trumpeter David Willingham. “I’ve been with these guys since I had a provisional driver’s license.”
Unless you’re serving a life sentence, no one’s ever said, “Longevity sucks.” It’s always a boon, whether it leads to salvation later on or some form of ongoing enlightenment (“the journey is the destination” and all that), going long is almost always better than coming up short.
Spoonfed hasn’t changed much over the years. Fads have had next to zero effect. Hootenanny indie-rock, glam-punk, neo-disco –– they’ve all come and gone while Jerome, Kabooom, Goofahtts, Willingham, frontman Egg Nebula, guitarist Sho Nuff, and other horn player Shadow Price have kept pounding out their particularly heavy, particularly proggy brand of what is often derogatively referred to as “jam-band music.”
Much in the way that the blues, jazz, rap, metal, and other clearly identifiable genres will be with us as long as they remain available –– and appealing –– to young musicians, jam-band music won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.
Spoonfed Tribe, however, will. Starting February, the band will embark on a short tour, an intentional contrast to the previous 20 years. Both Egg and Sho Nuff are fathers now, and after so many crappy transportation experiences, all of the Tribe guys are ready to ease back into doing what they do best: put on a spectacle of a show.
That will start on Halloween night, Mon, Oct 31, at Lola’s Saloon and adjacent Trailer Park, where Spoonfed will headline a wild bill that also includes the legendary Andy Frasco & The U.N., Diamond Kings, and more, including The End of the World Parade, the Spoonfed side project known to crash parties large and small New Orleans jazz funeral-style.
For the first time, Spoonfed will be working with an established booking agent, Hop Lite out of Vermont. Jerome and Goofahtts have mercifully relinquished their calendars. “We ran that ship into the ground,” Jerome said, “because we’re not good booking agents, but we kept all our markets alive, so when we got an agent: ‘Oh, you got a market!’ ”
Success is just “another day of doing it,” Kabooom said.
“We’ve been together for 20 years,” his younger brother added. “As much as we feel doing this shit [is like], ‘Are we beating a dead dog?,’ you go out, ‘Oh, my god! Dude, can I get your picture?’ And you’re like, ‘Wow, man. It’s still going on here.’ It gives you a bit of inspiration to spark it up, but we’ve dedicated our whole lives to this thing. I could not imagine getting a day job and doing something for somebody else all day long for a paycheck.”
The obvious question is: How can so many people stand being around one another for so long? And while trying to get something accomplished?
“It’s easy if you focus on love, integrity, and honesty,” Jerome said. “We all put each other in check. We’re all brothers. … People still don’t know we’re around. ‘You still in Spoonfed Tribe?’ ‘Yep. I’ll be in Missouri tomorrow.’ Maybe it’s a second wind. Or a third wind, whatever.”
Tickets to the Halloween bash are $10.