Photo by Stuart Levine

During the first half of 2017, drummer Simon Allen and The New Mastersounds will travel from the U.K. to the continental U.S. as well as Japan and Hawaii for a series of shows.

What will you remember most about 2016?

Playing sold-out shows at The Fillmore SF on the West Coast, then the 9:30 Club in DC on the East Coast on our mammoth Fall Tour with Turkuaz. Getting up on stage in that situation is the ultimate buzz.

Which album or albums have you listened to most this past year?

Music Is My Life by Billy Preston. There was a record player and a box of old LPs in the green room at the Neptune Theatre in Seattle, and this is the album that screamed “play me!” After hearing Billy ’s version of “Blackbird,” I immediately ordered a copy online, and it was waiting for me when I got home from tour. It’s hardly been off my turntable since. “Will It Go Round In Circles” will always trigger happy memories, as we performed a banging version of the song on the second half of the same tour with Josh [Schwartz] from Turkuaz singing the lead.

What was your favorite show of 2016?

The Floozies at Electric Forest in Michigan. Had never heard them before. Stumbling into their monster set and having all my senses blasted.

What emerging artists should we watch out for in 2017?

Us – we’re still attempting to emerge like a big beautiful four-headed butterfly after 18 years.

Any big plans in the works for 2017?

Yes indeed. We’re writing and recording another NMS studio album, doing a Colorado ski tour, returning to NOLA for our 11th consecutive Jazz Fest and planning trips to Hawaii and Japan. We’ve been invited to play on a movie soundtrack, I’m releasing a wonderful Melvin Sparks live album on our little label One Note Records, and I’ve started taking piano lessons from our keyboard player, Joe!

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