Friday, May 21, 2010

Exclusive FORT KNOX FIVE Interview & FREE Track for the Community!

When it comes to funk - FORT KNOX FIVE undoubtedly have the Midas touch - everything they put their hands to seemingly turns to gold.  Not least their recent compilation The New Gold Standard 2. was lucky enough to speak with band member - Jon Horvath, to discover the secret behind FK5’s success…

How has your sound evolved since the original The New Gold Standard compilation and how do you see it changing in the future?

The original compilation laid the foundation for Fort Knox Recordings. Our sound and label has evolved since the beginnings, but we still stand true to our love for multiple genres and tempos. We always want our sound and label to progress with the modern sounds. Fort Knox Recordings will always represent our influences of Funk, Soul, Hip Hop, Reggae and of course Breaks.

Why do you think the band has enjoyed so much success in the Nu Funk scene and what is your ultimate goal?

We’ve always wanted to make music that is fun, but stands true to the dancefloor. Funk was always a genre that was about having fun and getting down at the same time. I believe all Nu Funkers out there have a similar mentality. That is probably why we're well received in this new genre of music. Our ultimate goal would be to keep making music that has multi-facets and crosses the boundaries of music and marketing based genres.

Why Fort Knox Five when there’s only four band members?

The Fort Knox Five is composed of Steve Raskin, Sid Barcelona, Rob Myers and myself  - Jon “JonH” Horvath. We always reserve the 5th spot in the roster for a vocalist, MC, or instrumentalist. Whoever is working with us on a particular song is number 5.

Is it true you have roots in High Wycombe in Bucks, UK?  How did you guys meet and are you originally from the US?

Three out of four of the Fort Knox Five’s members had parents who were in the US Foreign Service. The four of us spent many years living overseas. I lived in the UK for almost 5 years and went to school in High Wycombe and in Reading, UK. We’re actually all from the States, though.

You’ve worked with many artists in the past, who would you most like to work with in the future?

We meet lots of people on the road. There’s some incredible worldwide talent out there. We’re very happy with the peeps in our own backyard of Washington, DC. Vocalists and MCs like Mustabar aka Mustafa Akbar, Asheru and Rootz & Zeebo of See-I provide us with an excellent source of material. In the future, we’d love to work with Shamik - a wicked Beatboxer from Canada, the world famous Killa Kela, and MC Wrec is one of our favourites.

Name the gig that you all remember most and tell us why it was so special?

There are so many gigs that were mind blowing over the past several years.  I'm sure we could all name one that was very special to us. Rob tours with Thievery Corporation in their live band and plays Sitar and Guitar. He's played some massive venues across the globe.  Steve and myself are the main  DJs from the FK5.  Some of our best gigs would have to include Shambhala Music Festival in Salmo, BC, Summafieldaze in Gold Coast, Good Vibrations in Sydney and of course sets at Opulant Temple & The Root Society at Burning Man. Shambhala and Burning Man are experiences that are unmatched. These are shows that embody all of the reasons we got into music.

What are your biggest influences when it comes to making music and DJing?

It would be hard to name one major influence. We all come from different backgrounds and enjoy different styles of music. We all love Punk Rock, Classic Rock, Hip Hop, Funk, Soul, Reggae, Dub, Breaks, EDM and World Music. When the four of us come together, we combine all of these influences - that is where the Fort Knox Sound comes from.

Why did you decide to form Fort Knox Recordings and what treats can we expect from the label?

We decided to form Fort Knox Recordings because we wanted an outlet to release dancefloor oriented music. We were all involved in different music projects. Sid and Steve had a project called Thunderball (ESL Music). Rob was also involved in this project and was the sitar/guitar man for Thievery Corporation (ESL Music). Steve and I had a project called JonH & Raskal (Red Menace), which released House and Breaks.

Fort Knox Recordings has truly found its stride in 2010. We have a steady release schedule of new banging Fort Knox Five productions, as well as our new label signings - Nappy Riddem, Empresarios, and See-I. The future is looking very bright for the Fort Knox camp.   

Can you reveal a killer production tip for our members that you wish you’d found out much earlier?

Side chaining is a great production tool that we would advise everyone to explore. It can help make your kicks extra mighty. We would also advise that you do not overdo it with side chaining.

Nu Funk culture involves artists ripping up classic tracks, using famous samples to create dancefloor bombs. What’s your view on the use of samples, labels releasing such tracks and the age-old copyright debate?

We've always tried to avoid using samples. We love using Live Instrumentation to recreate the sound and vibe of those old samples. We think sampling is great, but it should be used in clever ways to avoid being obvious. We love making our own mash-ups and edits. That is a great way to use samples and it’s a win/win, because it helps promote old forgotten tunes.

Tell us something exclusive about FK5 that nobody else knows?

Everything is out in the open nowadays… but not everyone knows that Afrika Bambaataa and the Fort Knox Five were involved in producing and co-writing the song Do Me Right by massive UK pop R&B star Jamelia.

What are you thoughts about the launch of and the community?
It's great. We’re very excited to be involved in the launch. Any way that people can promote music is a good one. We are very excited for NuFunk and wish you nothing but the best.

Tell us about the FREE download you’ve kindly offered - exclusively for members?

The song Shift is from our new release - The New Gold Standard 2. It features Afrika Bambaataa and Mustafa Akbar on vocals. We’re really pushing this hard. It’s a song that was originally recorded during Barack Obama’s inauguration. We're getting ready to release the single this summer. It features blazing remixes from Deekine & Dustin Hulton, Malente, DJ Dan & Mike Balance, Sub Swara and Baymont Bross. We’re wrapping up an animated video for this release. It will truly be one of the best things Fort Knox Recordings has offered up thus far. Get ready for some space age electro funk!

Photos in this article by Jesse Justice

For more information on the band and Fort Knox Recordings - check out the following links: /
Listen below and if you want to get your hands on a copy of this exclusive track, as well as a whole bunch of other goodies, head over to our exclusive Member's Vault and download the 'Megabundle'. This is a members-only forum, so if you're not a member yet, join up HERE.


  1. Great interview, great tune nice work!

  2. thanks for the download i'll spin it faithfully!!

  3. Great Blog! Keep up the good work!