When local musician Lance Mitchell got the chance to interview Krayzie Bone, one of his longtime idols in the music world and a member of the superstar rap group Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, he considered himself happy. He did the interview live on KRNN, as part of his regular radio show, City Beats, which airs on Saturdays at 3 p.m. to check in with the rapper about a recent solo project, The Fixtape Vol. 4. He thought that would be the extent of it.
Now, about a year later, he’s gearing up to perform an opening set for Bone Thugs-n-Harmony’s Krayzie Bone and Wish Bone at Marlintini’s with his band, Strange Paths. He’s now moved well past happy into thrilled. Bone Thugs-n-Harmony is a band he’s followed since their inception in the early 1990s.
“I’ve been a fan for a long long time, “ Mitchell said.
Also opening will be local musicians Dilemma, DJ Judo and Diatribe NW.
Bone Thugs-n-Harmony is coming to town thanks to the efforts of Marlintini’s owner Ethan Billings. Mitchell passed along the band’s publicity information to Billings after the KRNN interview, adding that if they ever came to town, Strange Paths would love to open for them. At the time, it seemed like a daydream.
“But Ethan came through,” Mitchell said. “Krayzie Bone, here he comes.”
Bone Thugs-n-Harmony performs tonight at Marlintini’s beginning at 9 p.m.
Mitchell said Bone Thugs-n-Harmony made a huge impression on him when they first came out in part because of their blend of rap and harmony – an unusual combination at that rime.
“This was the fist rap that I heard where harmony was brought in ... and that appealed to alot of people,” he said.
Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, which formed in Cleveland, Ohio almost 20 years ago, was originally a five-man group: Krayzie Bone, Wish Bone, Layzie Bone, Bizzy Bone, and Flesh-n-Bone. Their music was “discovered” by rap superstar Easy E, who released their first album on his record label, Ruthless Records. From there the group took off, releasing eight more albums over the next 17 years, winning a Grammy in 1997 and two American Music Awards in 1998 and 2007, and being nominated for many more awards. Many of the band members have also released solo projects.
Mitchell said he thinks the group’s dual emphasis on harmony and rap helped inspire the creative work of his own band, Strange Paths, a four-person group featuring Mitchell, Jessica Luckenbihl, Jaden Sierra and Tony Pearce, known as T-Bone. All four members sing and compose music for the group, often teaming up in different combinations.
“Jessica and I bring the harmony while Jaden and T-Bone bring the rap side,” Mitchell said. “I think (Bone Thugs-n-Harmony) definitely had a big impact on us.”
Due to family obligations, Sierra will not be able to perform with the group Thursday. Instead, Mike Mercer will fill in.
Strange Paths plans to perform three tracks from their debut album (yet to be released) as well as two new pieces they just finished writing this week. One of the new songs was inspired by a desire to honor members of the military (both Mercer and Pearce are in the armed forces) and the other celebrates the city of Juneau. Neither one had a title as of press time.
To listen to a sample of Strange Paths’ music, visit www.soundclick.com/strangepaths.
For more on Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, visit www.myspace.com/bonethugsnharmony
Tickets to the show are $25 in advance, available at Aurora Projekt and Marlintini’s, and $30 at the door. Those under 21 will be admitted with legal parent or guardian.
For more information, visit www.facebook.com/marlin.tinis.