A chat with electronic/funk trio The Russ Liquid Test ahead of next Thursday's show at The Canal Club

Posted by: Amy – Feb 08, 2017


The Russ Liquid Test is the brainchild of Russell Scott (Russ Liquid), and are a trio out of New Orleans that fuses classic funk with the inventive sound design of electronic production.

The band fills out with Guitarist Andrew Block and drummer Deven Trusclair each rooted in the New Orleans Jazz scene. The RLT is very much based in a improv-driven feel live, that keeps the audience moving and gives each night a new performance and feel.

The Russ Liquid Project just released a new album 1984 in the fall and are currently on a national tour promoting the release. RVA Magazine had a chance to sit down and catch up with the band ahead of their show in Richmond next week to discuss their sound, influences and more.

What are the primary influences on the Russ Liquid sound?

That's a hard question. We try to create and pull influences from music from every genre around the world. We do not limit ourselves by what we can create.

How would you describe “The Russ Liquid Test”, and how is it different than your production releases?

The Russ Liquid Test is a band. No midi programming going on here. We record all our instruments at our studio Neutral Sound in New Orleans.

What's your hometown and how has that influenced your sound?

My home town is Portland Oregon. My friends in Portland encourage me to explore the world of electronic music ... I also learned a lot about playing music from the many wonderfully talented musicians that call Portland home.. Currently we all live in New Orleans ... which is the backbone of the test. We have some of the best musicians in our backyard making the writing process an absolute treat.

Much of your music is from a Jazz almost fusion foundation. What ways can you further explore your sounds by working with a band and live act - while still keeping a electronic feel?

We use a bed of organic musical instruments and sprinkle in the electronic over that to give a very cohesive performance... modern production to a funky beat. As far as electronic feel? We have a very organic feel because we are actually playing all the parts in and not just clicking midi notes in like a computer programmer... the result is very human with the sound not feel of electronic music.

Does the band allow more improvisation live and do you find the songs develop more over touring? I guess I'm wondering if it takes on a jam characteristic for Russ Test Live.

We have some room to improve, however we write songs. So we play the parts... and it's really the energy between us and the audience that is the variable each night. It's that interaction that dictates the sound of each nights performance.

You're visiting Richmond for this leg of the tour, what do you know about “RVA” as we call it. And do you notice any difference in West Coast crowds versus East Coast crowds?

We are very excited to play Richmond or RVA as you call it. East coast crowds are great and we get a lot of love on this side of the country. We know more people on the west coast so it seems to be more of a community feel from living in San Francisco and Portland.

Catch The Russ Liquid Test at The Canal Club next Thursday, Feb. 16. Tickets are $10-$15 and you can get yours here. Show starts at 10 pm.

Words by John Reinhold