The Black Eyed Peas are a Los Angeles-based hip hop group who are constantly seeking innovative sounds for their sample beds and their music. Since their album "Elephunk" in 2003, they have been dominating the world of pop music with triple-platinum sales of albums and singles. In 2005, their album "Monkey Business," with two hit singles “My Humps”and “Don’t Phunk With My Heart,” made the Black Eyed Peas an international phenomenon. In 2009, their singles “Boom Boom Pow” and “I Gotta Feeling” from their latest album "The E.N.D.," also topped the chart for an unprecedented 26 consecutive weeks.
The Black Eyed Peas are currently on their worldwide “E.N.D.” tour and will be hitting the Boston TD Garden next week. Black Eyed Peas band member Taboo took a break from his busy schedule to talk to Blast for a little bit about the album, the tour and how the band reinvented itself.
BLAST: What’s the main concept of the new album "The E.N.D.," which stands for "The Energy Never Dies?"
Taboo: The concept is that here in the United States, we used to have Tower Records, Virgin Megastore, Sam Goody and The Warehouse, but they no longer exist. You can’t go buy a CD at the music store. So it’s the end of conventional ways of selling records. Now you gotta go online or Best Buy, which is not a music store but a technology store, so it’s the end where it has to begin. So that’s why we call the album "The E.N.D." It’s also the end of the rumor that the Black Eyed Peas was breaking up or has broken up. They thought a lot of times that Fergie did her own project and Apl also did his own project, so it is the end of the Black Eyed Peas. But it’s not! It’s the beginning of new era of the Black Eyed Peas.
BLAST: What was the main influence on the futuristic sound on "Boom Boom Pow?"
Taboo: Will.i.am was in Australia, filming "X-Men," his movie, and he started going to electro clubs. And he started getting inspired by electric sounding, DJ’s and producers. And he started being a DJ himself. Apl also started being a DJ as well, going to different clubs and [getting into the] electro scene, so we got inspired by that. We notice that the music is electro but it is inspired by electro-dance/house, and we would like to call it electrostatic funk. For "Boom Boom Pow," we wanted to let people know that we were coming with something a little bit different and we did not want to come with something like "Where Is the Love," "My Humps," or "Let’s Get It Started." We wanted to switch it up a little bit because we wanna evolve and be engaged in something different every time we come out. We don’t want something that you’ve already heard because it becomes kind of stagnant so we wanted to reinvent ourselves, so "Boom Boom Pow" was our first meaningful reinvention for the new album.
BLAST: How’s the world tour going so far?
Taboo: The tour is going great. We just did a Florida leg: Miami, Jacksonville and Tampa. Now we are in Nashville, Tenn. and it’s very cold, but people are having a great time. You know, all the stadiums and arenas are sold out. And everybody is very happy to be touring.
BLAST: That’s cool. Well, Boston is much colder than Nashville so you’d better be ready!
Taboo: Yeah, I got my big jacket, gloves and beanies, so I’m ready!
BLAST: How does the international success of the album affect your live performance?
Taboo: Well, we have the bigger audience now and that’s great. We are [performing] in more stadiums and arenas. We are doing the show for the FIFA World Cup in South Africa, so that’s pretty big as well. It’s just gotten a lot bigger and we are just excited that the Black Eyed Peas [fans] will come and support. And for the tour, it’s something about production, so we are giving people around the world our Black Eyed Peas experience as opposed to just a performance.
BLAST: You have been to more than 30 countries for shows. What is the most exciting thing about being on the road?
Taboo: Probably it’s traveling around the world and going to places like Japan, the Philippines, Mexico and Kazakhstan. These are the most influential places because we are from LA…so for us, a lot of friends and families would never get to see these places, but when we get to these places and speak about how beautiful the cultures are and how amazing the landscape is, we are able to show how beautiful the world is to our families who may not be able to travel. You know, we never take it for granted, such as what we have and how blessed we are. We are grateful and excited to travel the world.
BLAST: What you just said made me very happy because I’m from Japan. Thank you.
Taboo: Yeah, Japan is my favorite country. First of all, you have beautiful, beautiful people and great food. And it’s very clean, very respectful, very honorable and fashion-forward…you know, I can keep going on and on and on about Japan. Japan is my favorite country though.
BLAST: What does the future hold for the Black Eyed Peas?
Taboo: We are just gonna continue touring, and we also got a repackaging over the new album that’s coming out this summer. We are just gonna keep on touring right now. We have a big run ahead of us, so you know, right now, our future is being on the road.
Catch the Black Eyed Peas at the TD Garden in Boston on February 26.