2006_07_hmbint.jpgThe Hungry March Band humbly calls itself "the greatest brass march band of all time." The ragamuffin ensemble has played street festivals, political demonstrations, subways, the Staten Island Ferry and Coney Island, with a songbook that draws from jazz great Charles Mingus, Sun Ra and Duke Ellington to rockers Black Sabbath and Pigbag. This summer are bringing their mix of New Orleans, Gypsy, Indian wedding, Latin, punk, hip-hop mania to Europe. Complete with dancers, hula hoops and baton-twirlers, the band doesn't just play, they bring a party.

How did the Hungry March Band come together? What was the original vision for the band. Did it include European tours?
Came together for the Mermaid Day Parade 9 years ago. There are no remaining original members. There were European tours for first 6 years. Original version was more street fighting hang out on the waterfront being crazy in our giant vacant lot causing havoc not knowing any songs, just playing and fighting and having a good time.

How long have you been in the band? Who's been in the longest?
Cuz Johnney & myself are current longest members, Sara was in at the beginning but had to be hauled back in like a fish; we used good bait and a strong pole.

Do you find European audiences react differently than American ones?
The Europeans are much better tippers and understand the whole busking thing and they hold artists & musicians in great esteem so we feel the love in Europe. They also are incredible hosts, they feed us and wine and dine us and really know how to have a good time. It Europe the work to live, and it shows. They are thinner and smoke
more and have better cheese and wine and beer depending on where you are. They are also so much more family orientated and completely different with their children, they take them out at night and you see them all over, even at midnight especially in the summer because the days are so hot.

Do you have plans coming up in New York?
Always more plans, always working. We're planning a big free friends & family picnic, a show at Zebulon in early August, maybe a cruise and for 2007, a wedding. It's one big party - a huge brass festival like they do in Europe but we need some community and financial support for that one. I hope the mayor's office and Marty are ready to help
us out. This city needs more brass.

What would be your dream gig?
I have to pick one? But I love tours! I suppose the best gig of all would be a month-long wedding in India where we get to play everyday and they dress us in fine fabrics with henna treatmens and we parade around in the streets for the wedding covered in flowers and everyone dances!