One of he most influential bands of the 1970s, War became one of the country’s bestselling acts with its funk-infused brand rock and roll. Such hits as Low Rider and Cisco Kid’ still pop up on movie soundtracks.
Now War brings its new stage show to Miami’s Magic City Casino with special guest Rare Earth. We sat down with original lead singer Lonnie Jordan to discuss the band’s legacy and the upcoming show.
What is it like to be back out on the road?
We love playing live. Forty-five years and still going strong.
The influence the band has had is huge. How did that sound of funk, rock, jazz all come together?
Our music has always been about taking chances from street experience. We liked all music and tried to bring in everyone’s influences to music. It just worked.
So many of your songs are on movie soundtracks; any idea how many?
I lost count (Laughs). But it is cool to have that, where people still want to use our music. We are a soundtrack for so many memories.
Do you ever hear a track and know they were listening to a War song when they were writing that one?
Absolutely. It makes me smile every time think “Ah, so they are War fans, too!”
It must feel good to know you had a musical impact on so many artists from so many genres.
It really does. It’s an honor, especially from the younger generation. There are so many great bands and songwriters that when someone taps into what you have done it makes it special.
Which hit gets the biggest response live?
All of them! (laughs). I think Spill the Wine, Slippin’ into Darkness, Why Can’t We Be Fri ends, The Cisco Kid, Low Rider — they all get good response, like a flashback. People love that feeling of nostalgia. Makes them feel good.
Any plans to get into the studio with this current line up?
We just finished an album, and we plan to release a single hopefully within two months or sooner.
Jimi Hendrix played with you guys the night he died. What are your memories of that night?
It never dawned on me how great he really was until after his death. What was ironic was the fact that we were all performing Memphis Slim’s song Mother Earth, and Jimi passed away that next morning. I guess you can say he went back to Mother Earth.
War performs at 8 p.m. Saturday at Stage 305 at the Magic City Casino; www.magiccitycasino.com.