The homies at Glide Magazine just premiered our video for Mary Jane! Edited together using old Anti-Marijuana PSA’s by our bandleader Nadav, we’re super damn proud of it. The article also includes some interview action, which is pasted below. Check the video:
“Breakdown Brass’s founding member Nadav Nirenberg is a multi-talented musician/composer who has shared the stage and recorded with everyone from Wyclef Jean and Seun Kuti to Ikebe Shakedown. The members of this large musical collective have also toured and recorded with groups such as Antibalas, Lee Fields, Sharon Jones, Charles Bradley, Monophonics, and others. Now Nirenberg can add music video director to his resume. For Breakdown’s raucous cover of Rick James’ classic funk track “Mary Jane” Nirenberg assembled the best bits of Anti-Marijuana PSA’s into a perfectly suited visual for this pro-weed anthem. Glide Magazine is excited to present the exclusive premiere of the Brooklyn group’s entertaining new video.
Speaking on the choice to cover “Mary Jane” and the inspiration behind the video, trombonist, composer and founder of Breakdown Brass Nadav Nirenberg says, “The soundtrack to the movie Friday introduced the original Rick James ode to marijuana to me and I arranged this version after saxophonist Mike Buckley (Sharon Jones, Lee Fields, Saun & Starr, etc.) suggested it. I also created the video using public domain PSA’s that seem hilarious in retrospect – the ‘War On Drugs’ was lost a long time ago, yet continues to do incredible damage every day. That said, I’m glad the tide is turning.”
To give us a more in-depth look at Breakdown’s cover of the Rick James classic, as well as the group’s personal philosophy on weed legalization, Mixto Music founder Oz McGuire spoke with Nadav Nirenberg.
Where did this inspiration for covering this song come from?
I love this song. I’ve seen the movie Friday WAY too many times and its soundtrack first introduced me to Rick James. Mike Buckley (who plays tenor/baritone sax with us, Sharon Jones, Lee Fields, Saun & Starr, etc.) had the idea as we were walking to our old weekly gig in Williamsburg, and I had it arranged days later.
What about the song material? What do you think about marijuana politics?
Let’s be honest – I smoke weed. Growing up in NYC there wasn’t much stigma around it, but touring around the US and Europe has been an eye-opening experience. For example, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas have great people and food, but the laws and practices are scary.
What about the video?
Anti-marijuana PSA’s from decades ago are hilarious! It’s ridiculous how sensationalized and straight up weird they were – it’s amazing what you can find on them Internets.
We’re building an LP, one 45 at a time. Can’t wait to share the next single/video! In the meantime, we’re celebrating with a free show on Sunday, November 8th at Pioneer Works in Red Hook, Brooklyn.”