Whoodafunkit 2022

Whoodafunkit – Matt Gerdes

Whoodafunkit are a fixture on the local festival scene, bringing their big beats and driving grooves to the masses wherever they play. The dynamic duo of Matt Gerdes and Leon Tussie deliver a sonic gumbo of sax, drums, vocals, kalimba, hang drum, guitar, and a swag of electronic audio gadgets. The bands influences include Red Hot Chili Peppers, Hendrix, The Roots, Stevie Wonder, Parliament Funkadelic and more.

With a show at The Tanks Arts Centre coming up on the 11th of November, I caught up with Matt Gerdes, who tells us about how Whoodafunkit got started..

“It all started when I bumped into Leon, as he rolled up for his first day of a 2 year advanced diploma on a BMX. I was starting my second year. We got chatting and the conversation lead us to busking in Melbourne’s CBD. The chosen spot was in front of a money exchange, between a Kebab shop and a night club. It all just kinda rolled on from there”

Matt is a skilled multi instrumentalist, but is often seen brandishing the sax, he explains..

“Somewhere during Primary School, I was getting drum lessons from my Dad’s mate, Harold Ripper. He was an amazing player. Late primary, I hit my Dad up for sax lessons and he dusted it off and handed over the vintage horns I still play. By mid high school, the call of grunge and distorted guitar was pulling, so the sax got put under the bed and I started fronting a band. We played some battle of the bands and birthday parties. My buddy threw a sandwich in my face while we played a gig at the school one lunch time. Times were good”

Coming from the vibrant Melbourne music scene, I wondered what drew Matt and Leon to Cairns..

“I worked in Aurukun for a while and Cairns became a hub. It’s a best of both worlds kinda place for me. All the things a city has to offer. Country town kinda vibe as it’s too hot for people to be in too much of a hurry. Healthy music scene…. that’s how i managed to convince Leon to come. Mountains, waterfalls and ocean all a stones throw away”

Not ones to shy away from innovation, Whoodafunkit found an unusual medium to release their debut E.P..

“We released “Age of Innocence” recently. You can get your hands on the EP on a timber USB, because who has CD players these days, right? Or, you can stream it on the usual platforms. Leon sent a bunch of excerpts from our most recent live gigs for mixing and mastering for an upcoming release soon. We’ll keep you posted about the new release.”

I asked Matt what the uninitiated can expect from the Tanks show on the 11th of November..

“Clandestinic cacophonous chaos! Basically, Leon and I both bring every instrument, sound combobulation and discombobulation device we own to live loop funk, jazz, reggae, EDM and any other shenanigans that’s influenced us over the years. Our intention is always to whip the dance floor into a frenzy. We’re also playing “house band” for Nomad the Magician’s set and we’ve been working with the crew from Pole Fitness Cairns, combining aural and visual elements to breath life into the theme of our logo. Getting to put all this together at The Tanks with their amazing production team in one of Cairns’ best performance spaces is something we’re super stoked for. We’re a little excited about this one…..to say the least”

Todd Macalpine

Tickets are on sale now for the Tanks show through Ticketlink

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