Whenever bass legend Bootsy Collins and guitar shredder-extraordinaire Buckethead get together, it's a given that new sonic ground will be broken. And this certainly proves to be the case on their latest project, Science Faxtion, who issued their debut full-length cd, Living On Another Frequency, on August 5th, via Mascot Records (distributed by Sony MRI). Also included is singer/guitarist/producer Greg Hampton, and longtime Bootsy/Buckethead collaborator Brain on drums, as well as contributions by Chris Collier and even Bootsy himself on drums!
"Originally, it was Bootsy," explains Hampton, when asked to retrace the moment Science Faxtion was hatched. "We were going to be referencing more of his old-school and historical funk elements, that we all grew up with. Then he had the epiphany of us doing a group project – having me sing and play guitar, and bringing in Buckethead and Brain. We had a few different guys get involved – but that was primarily the core of the record. DJ Botieus – he does a lot of programming, he's definitely a secret weapon."
Immediately, there was a chemistry between the band members that was unmistakable. "One thing lead to another, and then Buckethead, Bootsy, and I wrote the songs. There's twelve songs on the record, and the thirteenth is more of a 'musical theme,' with no vocals – it's a dialogue piece. Seven of the songs I'm singing the lead vocals on, some songs Bootsy and I share some of the vocals, and then there are other songs where Bootsy sings. As far as musically, it grooves, but it's definitely a serious rock record."
And when Hampton says the album grooves and rocks, he's not kidding, as evidenced by the album's lead-off single, "Lookin' for Eden." "'Lookin' for Eden' was really the first song we had written – it just grooved. It's like Audioslave meets Nine Inch Nails circa 2099. It has some dialogue with Bootsy and it has Bootsy singing the bridge. And Buckethead plays the most amazing lead parts on that song. The whole song has everything you need from a great rock song. The hook in the lyric and the vocal, great singing, but amazing guitar parts throughout it. Buckethead absolutely shreds on it, but he plays some really tasteful stuff."
Other standouts include "Life Is In Deliver" ("Buckethead plays a crazy solo on it at the end – it's a real chuggin' song"), "What It Is" (which features a special guest vocal appearance from Public Enemy's Chuck D), and "I See Rockets" (a track which Hampton compares Buckethead's playing to the late great Jimi Hendrix), among others.
The group is looking to tour in support of Living on Another Frequency, as most of its members were booked solid throughout the summer. "Bootsy was doing a 'Tribute to James Brown' tour, and Buckethead is out doing a solo run right now. We've talked about doing some Science Faxtion dates in early 2009. We'll hopefully do 30 or 40 dates and then see how it goes from there. We will also probably have some surprise guests come out with us."
One thing's for certain when Science Faxtion hit the stage – they'll be well-armed with some serious space-age metalloid funk. Living on Another Frequency is one heck of a first chapter in the book of Science Faxtion.