CLTure Music Fest Preview: Miami Dice

By Shirley Griffith

June 20, 2015

If you’ve not experienced the neon glow of Miami Dice, you’ve been missing out on one of Charlotte’s unparalleled party soundscapes. Members include Shaun Olson and Josh Faggart from Cement Stars with Scott Weaver of Babyshaker and Snagglepuss on percussion and trumpet. Although the trio is a relatively new band, each member is well-respected within the local scene. That, accompanied by an abundance of talent, allows Miami Dice to play with a myriad of their favorite genres creating a truly unique atmosphere. Everything from funk, disco, soul, punk and gaze is expertly packaged into a city-beat strut. The band partnered with Soul Gastrolounge for their 2014 release, Premium Cut, by having specialty cocktails, a listening party including a music video premiere directed by Blake Raynor and all the swank the lofty upstairs lounge could handle. It is mandatory that members of Miami Dice wear dark sunglasses during their live performances and dress to the nines in pressed sports coats, gold chains and shiny boots. The members and their smooth synth harness the sultry vivaciousness of the 70s and 80s with a playfully austere demeanor. You can catch one of their rare live shows at CLTure’s Music Fest, Saturday, June 27 at the Chop Shop.

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CLTure: Miami Dice is one of the most well-loved bands in Charlotte at the moment, despite playing shows so sparsely. How does the band keep their momentum and ideas so fresh without a typical show or practice schedule?

Shaun Olson: I think it’s the fact that we DON’T follow a typical show or practice schedule that keeps the momentum and ideas so fresh. We’re essentially a studio band. When songs and ideas are created they’re immediately recorded. We work and listen to the recordings so much that when it comes time to rehearse for a show we already know our parts. It keeps things fun and easy.

Scott Weaver

CLTure: How do you manage to effortlessly conjure the swaggering vibe of disco in 2015 without sounding cheesy?

Shaun Olson: I think it’s because we don’t really force a new song or a new album. When we get together we make music and the style just flows naturally. If something seems cheesy, we’re most likely doing it on purpose.

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CLTure: Miami Dice has played at Discovery Place, the condom fashion runway show ‘Condom Couture,’ The Mint Museum opening for Deborah Cox and even on yachts; the list is impressive. What show are you most proud of?

Shaun Olson: It’s hard to choose. Each experience is unique within itself, but we’re probably most proud of Condom Couture because we were actively involved in raising money for a good cause and the healthy promotion of safe sex in a creative way.

CLTure: Are there any plans for a follow-up to 2014’s Premium Cut?

Shaun: We’re going to be releasing the Deluxe Edition of Premium Cut in August which will be re-mastered and will include five new bonus tracks. We’re also going to be putting out a mixtape that we’re currently working on.

Audrey Baran (Baran Dance) and Shaun Olson at Drumstrong Music and Arts 2014.

CLTure: What have been your favorite bands to come out of the Charlotte scene in the last five years?

Shaun: Joshua Cotterino, Serfs, It’s Snakes, Patois Counselors, and Shadowgraphs to name a few.

CLTure: Amidst zoning fights, construction sites, and blocky apartments being built on every street corner, what direction do you predict the art and music scene to take against the rubble of bulldozers?

Shaun: Bulldozers can destroy buildings, but they can’t destroy creativity and passion.

Catch Miami Dice at CLTure Music Fest June 27th at The Chop Shop.


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