Five of punk funk music’s most influential artists

More of the top influential artists behind the incredible fusion of punk and funk music
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Influential punk funk artists

James Chance

James Chance is another artist who should get some credit for a punk funk style. Also known as James White he offers an improvisational jazz style with his saxophone and keyboard playing to the fore. Some say he is part of the no-wave movement more so than punk or its take of new wave. That’s perhaps the case but Chance evolved quickly over his early performing years. 

Before any no-wave label could be applied he’d led James Chance and The Contortions, a very punk-funk band. Chance’s early punk funk music has been described as like a Ramones-paced James Brown. Have a listen to their song “The Flesh Is Weak” or “Melt Yourself Down” for a flavour of that unique style.

Big Boys

Big Boys kicked off as punk and added other genres to their wide-ranging and fast-paced repertoire. Funk was in there and very evident in their solo debut album Where’s My Towel / Industry Standard. They’re an amazing band to see live if you want a dance party with your punk sounds and don’t mind a regular food fight breaking out on and off stage. It got caught pretty raucous at times but all a part of the fun the band liked to share with fans. 

Big Boys was another huge influence for the Red Hot Chili Peppers and set the scene for bands like Fishbone to emerge and follow their lead. The Red Hot Chili Peppers played gigs as openers for Big Boys and earned the nickname of the Little Big Boys for a while. Some would refer to the Chili Peppers as funk-punk. They had a funky style but seemed more closely aligned to rock than punk, certainly over time. Both of these bands also share a credit for their hand in skatepunk/skate rock which continued to develop further.