Music Issue 2016: A Q&A with Displace

MEMBERS: Chris Sgammato (lead vocals, saxophone, key, rhythm guitar, kazoo), Tucker Sody (drums), Vinny Svoboda (bass), Sam Dobkin (guitar)

Among Tampa Bay’s abundance of jam scene acts, Displace has continued to rise and thrive with an ever-evolving sound, two LPs that showcase it admirably, and relentless performing that includes local spots, festival slots and a big national tour behind just-released sophomore outing Undertow that has them on the road right now and takes them all the way to Colorado. Displace’s sax-stacked fusion of funk, jazz, psychedelia and prog rock is shaped by a synthesis of its members’ seemingly incongruent influences. According to Sgammato, “I grew up listening to emo and punk bands like Brand New and The Used. Vinny loves melodic metal and R&B. Sam is an EDM head, and Tucker has never listened to anything not by the excessively celebrated jam band Phish.”

NEXT SHOW DATE: Displace is on tour through July 25; new local dates are TBA.

RIYL: Umphrey’s McGee, Galactic, moe.

HOW THEY DESCRIBE THEIR MUSIC TO AN AVERAGE MAN ON THE STREET:

Tucker: “Dear average man on the street: please step on to the sidewalk and listen to an eclectic mix of funk, jazz, prog and improv.”

Chris: “If you don’t like the first song, you’ll probably like the second and if not, you’ll definitely like the third, because our music is diverse and you’re an average man on the street and probability and statistics.”

WHY DISPLACE?

Chris: “Why Displace? Because it’s better dan Datplace.”

KEY ENTRY-POINT TRACK ON UNDERTOW?

Chris: “Mantis - it's got a catchy hook to rope casual listeners in, but wanders through enough different 'rooms' to keep a musician's ear interested without feeling like we put clothes on and left the house."

ULTIMATE GOAL/DESIRED OUTCOME WITH YOUR MUSIC? 

Chris: "I want to speak the language of music in as many dialects and with as many tongues as I can figure out how to use. I try to constantly push myself to tap into new sounds, even and especially if they don't work at first. I want to move to Cambodia with $0 in my pocket and dive balls deep into a world that I had no idea existed, and leave speaking fluent Cambodian or whatever language they speak because I honestly can't even point that shit out on a map because thank you American public education system."

FAVORITE SONGS OF FANS AND BAND: 

Vinny: “Before the rest of the album was written, we were playing a song called ‘The Flight of Admiral Archibald’ live just to test it out. It ended up being the last song on our second full-length, Undertow. I’ve been hearing great feedback about that song as well as ‘Friction’ and ‘Float.’ My favorite song to play live currently is ‘The Flight of Admiral Archibald.’ For me, there’s a ‘going on a journey’ aspect of it. When we’re nearing the end of the performance of the tune, I get a sense of coming back home. It’s also a fun one to play on bass.”

Chris: "It depends on who's feeding back, and on what they were fed in the first place. I think pretty much every musician friend has said 'Garden' is one of their favorite songs on the album. Most of my students prefer 'Soup' because it's an easily digestible melody for young minds, and most of the booties in the crowd shake hardest to 'Friction.' My favorite song to perform is 'Archibald,' because I literally have a seizure on stage during the sax solo and have to be resuscitated in the middle of the bomb sequence. We have to sign a waiver at every venue before we play it, which really adds to the thrill of live performance."

NEW MUSIC IN THE WORKS?

Chris: "We have already begun writing material for the third album. Since "Undertow" picks up quite literally where "Eureka" left off (Accidental Necessity pt. ii begins with the reversed reverb tails of "Needles") our third album will expand on ideas previously stated on the first two albums. Seemingly passing licks will actually reveal themselves to be teasers of songs to come as our concept discography develops and flows through time."

THE HARDEST THING ABOUT MAKING A CAREER OF MUSIC:

Tucker: “Constantly questioning the wisdom to embark on it... See ‘Garden’ on the album Undertow.”

Chris: “Listen to ‘Garden’; it explains everything.”

DISPLACE’S FAVORITE TAMPA BAY ARTISTS:

Vinny: “For me it has to be Serotonic. Their approach to jazz is refreshing to my ears. Great musicians and even greater people. I consider myself lucky to have those musical geniuses as friends. Do yourself a favor and check them out.”

Chris: “I really like everything Thomas Griggs has ever done in the history of anything. If you’re reading this, he’s probably better than you and that’s totally fine because he’s a boss.”

FAVORITE TOWN THEY’VE PLAYED:

Tucker: “Definitely New Orleans. Great, receptive crowd and Vinny got slapped in the face by the former manager of the Meters.” 

Chris: “New Orleans. They throw down hard.”

FAVORITE RECENT PERFORMANCE:

Chris: "Aura Music Festival."

FAVORITE VENUE(s):

Vinny: "Dunedin Brewery. The vibe there is just perfect. The combination of great employees and excellent hospitality does it for me."

Tucker: "Crowbar and Dunedin Brewery for sure."

Chris: "Crowbar. Duh."

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