“More people should be listening to The Mobros ... they have done their music history homework and make what’s old sound new and fresh,” opined Otis R. Taylor Jr.
This three-man “brotha band” is comprised of actual brothers, Kelly Morris (lead vocals and guitar) and Patrick Morris (vocals and drums) and their brother from another mother bassist Zach Slaughter. The Morris boys are half Trinidadian and “... though their music drifts between soul and funk, the Calypso and island rhythm passes in and out of their music.”
For a taste of their self-described style of “funky blues and Latin soul mix with a Trini back bone,” check out their original single “Mississippi Woman” on iTunes and YouTube.
Question | What can people expect from a Mobros’ performance?
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Answer | We hope everyone comes away with a different favorite song. We try to blend together lots of different styles to make an original sound that you can’t find elsewhere in South Carolina.
Q. | How did you become The Mobros?
A . | Kelly and Patrick Morris have been playing together since they could play their instruments. Bassist Zach Slaughter joined after meeting Kelly in music theory class while a freshman at University of South Carolina.
Q. | Where did the name Mobros come from?
A . | Morris brothers, the last name of brothers Kelly and Patrick.
Q. | What audience does your music typically appeal to?
A . | Our music tends to draw a very wide range of people, mostly playing toward the bar-aged crowd of Columbia’s downtown live music scene.
Q. | What television show would you love to have feature a Mobros’ song and why? Which song?
A . | We all love watching “Mad Men” and “House” so it’s between those two, probably “Mississippi Woman.”
Q. | Do any of you have day jobs to support your music careers? What are they?
A . | Yes, Zach and Kelly teach lessons at Freeway Music in Columbia.
Q. | What advice would you offer aspiring musicians?
A . | Keep as original as possible. Your sound is the only thing people can’t “contract” away from you, so keep it as long as you can.
Q. | What are some of your biggest musical influences?
A . | The Band, Al Green, Sam Cooke, Jackie Wilson, Company Segundo, Ibrahim Ferrer, Omara Portuondo, Ruben Gonzales, “Cacao” Lopez and James Jamerson.
Q. | What is your favorite place to a play a gig in?
A . | The Venue on Broad Street in Camden. They’ve always taken care of us, and it’s close to all our friends. Also, the bar owner Phil Brown always comes through for us when we need him.
Q. | If you weren’t musicians, what career paths would you pursue?
A . | Kelly: Probably the military.
Patrick: Restaurant owner.
Zach: Music or death.
Q. | If you could have anyone, living or dead, join your band, who would it be?
A . | We would love to have Garth Hudson, the keyboardist from The Band, play music with us. He offered an amazing color to The Band, and it would be a welcome sound to add to the Mobros
Q. | What is each band member’s unique contribution to the band?
A . | Kelly: Studied classical guitar at USC so lots of soul and the musicianship to give it support.
Patrick: A very laid-back chill drum style with lots of Latin rhythms incorporated in the songs, unlike the generic white wash of four-on-the-floor drummers.
Zach: Studied jazz and classical at USC and SUNY Purchase in NY. A long history of different styles gives a unique style of bass playing.
Q. | What would people be surprised to learn about the Mobros, individually or collectively?
A . | We write, record, produce and film all of our tracks and music videos by ourselves.
Q. | Do you have a song that you play at every gig?
A . | We play all of our originals every show, plus a few regular covers including “Young Blood,” by The Coasters and “Ophelia,” by The Band.
Q. | Is there any music that you will not play?
A . | We will not play “Free Bird,” “Wagon Wheel,” or “Mustang Sally.” Don’t ask, haha!