Andy Ras Vegas - vocals, guitar
Ananda Sunshine - vocals, buckets, violin, tambourine, harmonica, various
Erika Simonian - vocals, guitar, mandolin, buckets, bass
Steve Bag - vocals, bass
Richard Heaven - drums
Catching a band 97 times in three years might seem like a lot, but that's
how many times I've seen the Sprinkle Genies - and I'm a busy guy. For some
strange reason, this loose group - maybe the most casual collection of
rockers in New York City - is worth each and every trip.
Why? It must be because their shallowly soul-searching jams - an unabashed
conglomeration of rock, blues, strangeness and 21st Century folk-never get
old. Not for their many dedicated fans, not for the casual listener, and
certainly not for them.
"I'm not really the mastermind: I'm the overseer," clarifies Andy Ras
Vegas, who founded the band roughly a million years ago, or 1995 to be
exact. "In the Sprinkle Genies, you can do whatever you want. Where I come
from, white guys play crappy reggae, but we do it the way we like to do it.
If we want to play disco-influenced songs followed by Led Zeppelin, that's
cool. People here don't feel constrained by rules. We don't kowtow, and we
don't follow a system."
For a generation seeking low-key rebellion, Sprinkle Genies are the ideal
outlet. Their live shows, happening everywhere from Brooklyn to Manhattan to
a medieval fire pit in the forest (I saw it myself), are a place where
anything can happen. Ras Vegas might throw attendee's names into the
insulting lyrics of the dub-heavy "Trust Fund" and indulge nostalgia with
some tongue in cheek spinal tap moves on guitar. Ananda sexes it up
opium-den style as she sings and wails on the buckets in songs like 'It's so
Fun'. Erika's punchy ethereal vocals and virtuosity on anything with strings
is the perfect counterbalance. Richard Heaven just bashes out that delicious
pocket, and Steve Bag threatens to overwhelm everything and everybody, each
and every time, with his potentially earth-shaking bass. Guitar, that is.
"I don't really write songs - they just materialize", says Ras Vegas. "I
don't believe in writing. You just play, and the song happens. I think the
quintessential Sprinkle Genies tunes are 'Chesters' and 'Dirty Couch'. They
incorporate all different aspects of our musical tastes: percussion, atonal
stuff, punk, rock, dance, Appalachian, disco and '50's pop."
The craziest part about this group is that after slogging it out in the
underground for almost 10 years, they're jacked to start their 2nd decade in
similar fashion - as long as they do it together. "It's effortless for all
of us to get along and create together," Ananda says. "The Sprinkle Genies
are like finding a soulmate. That kind of chemistry is either there or it
isn't. We're like family except nothing sucks."
Nothing at all. That's why I'll be at show #98 in a week or two. Wanna come
with me? - David Weiss, Editor Mix Magazine
"In Sprinkle Genies' ''Springtime', a girl and a guy harmonize sweetly
about getting laid, avoiding E.coli, mixing Vodka Collins and beating up
Henry Rollins (it rhymes!) over pleasant, upbeat folk-rock. I think I have a
new favorite song."-Amy Phillips, Village Voice
"Of course, you've known about the Sprinkle Genies for years, and how their
infectious mix of trash and treasure will leave you thinking of an anti-folk
version of X. The Genies are your stoner friends from high school who never
really grew up, spent their time playing guitar and reading Hegel in some
patchouli-laced hippie-house."-New York Waste
"One of the best bands to come out of the Antifolk scene."-Dale Filsmore, February 14, 2004
"Sprinkle Genies have everything you want in a band--good songs and
beautiful women, and a sense of ingenuousness that shines out over their
slightly cynical pose."-Melpomene Whitehead, Subdermal
Why They Are Antifolk
"Why are we antifolk? Because we put the sound out there for the folks to
steal...and they do."