Thursday, May 20, 2010

Interview with Tribal Seeds

Interview by Chad Hillje
Editor - Kyle Hillje
Photographer - Mark Franzen

Listening to Tribal Seeds would leave you to believe that this is a band that has been around for a long time. This is another one of those “don’t judge a book by its cover scenarios”. Forming in 2004 beginning with brothers T-Ray (keys) and Steven (vocals), Tribal Seeds was destined for success. Soon the band formed into roots, reggae prodigy’s by adding members John (bass), Tony (lead guitar), Joe (percussions, keys) and Carlos (drummer). Recently Tribal Seeds came through Denver in one of their many stops on their spring 2010 headlining tour. Dub Rock Syndicate caught up with these laid back southern California Rasta boys to find out more about their recent success and life on the road. Enjoy - DRS

DRS-You guys tore the roof off of Cervantes tonight! Thanks for taking the time to sit down with us and letting your fans find out a little more about you guys. The elevation here in Colorado affects a lot of musicians. Did you guys feel the altitude?
TS-(John) We get drunk a little bit quicker. (Steve) It was a little bit harder but it was all good.
DRS-Through your recent tours in places like Guam, Aruba and Hawaii, where reggae music is life, how does it feel to play far away from the coastlines in the middle of North America and still pack the house and see your fans singing along to your songs?
TS- It feels great man. It shows that our music is spreading and we are constantly building our fan base. To be from San Diego and to travel here to Colorado and see our fans here feels good. Having a bunch of Bronco fans cheering on San Diego fans feels really good (laughs).
DRS-Through your recent tours, what venues have been your guy’s favorites?
TS-Aruba was sick, but some of us like it more to play in small towns in small bars.
DRS-We want to congratulate you guys for your recent success with your album “The Harvest,” reaching one of the most downloaded albums in the reggae charts for iTunes in 2009. Where do you guys see your sound progressing in the future as far as your roots, rock, reggae sound is concerned?
TS-(Steve) Dub step man!! We are gonna tap into that. We are gonna do a little bit of everything while staying true to our roots sound. That’s our foundation, so we have to stay true to that. We’d like to mix in a little rock and a little hip hop too. (Tony) The next album will be the “to be continued” part of “The Harvest”.
DRS-Many of your fans know that your major influences are Bob Marley, Steel Pulse and Midnite. Aside from those influences who else may influence you guys?
TS- Justin Timberlake and Brittany Spears (laughs)! We listen to everything from Stevie Wonder to Little Wayne to punk rock and Latin music. It all influences us.
DRS-You guys have been a band since 2004 and we want to know, what have been some of your biggest challenges up to this point?
TS-(John) Just trying to keep the partying down a little bit and not drink so much. We try to keep ourselves healthy and eat healthy. (Tony) We travel a lot and it’s hard to balance things, but we do the best we can. (Steve) I have to say that money has been my biggest challenge because I still live with my parents and I’m trying to get my own place. It’s not financially promising to be in a band but we love it so we do it, ya know?
DRS-Who do you guys want to share the stage with someday?
TS-Steel Pulse guaranteed. We played with Rebelution last night and that was pretty cool.
DRS-If we were to jump in your ride and go for a cruise, what would be playing in your CD player?
TS-(Steve) I just got into these DJ’s by the name of “Showtek”. They are like hard style trance and I have been listening to those guys a lot. (Joe) I just pushed shuffle on my iPod and I got “Akon”. (John) I gotta say “Minor Threat”. I used to be a punk rocker, but like I said, I like a lot of different music. (Tony) Latin music moves me like nothing else.
DRS-Thanks so much for sitting down with us guys.
TS- Thanks to everyone that came out tonight and thanks for supporting us! Go Lakers! One more thing, go Chargers!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Interview with P-Nuckle

Interview by Chad Hillje
Editor - Kyle Hillje
Photographer - Mark Franzen

On a crisp spring May night in Denver, Colorado the Dub Rock Syndicate rolled into the infamous five points to catch up with long time local dub rock legends and Colorado favorites P-Nuckle. Opening up for Tribal Seeds at the Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom, these guys sat down with us to discuss reggae, Magnum P.I missions, crossing the country in boxer shorts and what’s in store for the future. Enjoy!

DRS- How are you guy’s doin’?
P-Nostalgic Chad. We’ve known you for way too long!
DRS- Yeah I figured that it’s about time we got this interview.
P-(Chris) We found out that you were doing this interview so I said that if you don’t come to this show tonight, we know where you live and we were gonna hide your girlfriend.
DRS-(laughs) Now that sounds like a threat!
P-It’s a promise Chad. Really though, we are glad you came man.
DRS-Very stoked to be here with you fellas. Now, you guys are doing big things and just released your third studio album “Stand Up”. Without sounding too cliché as an interviewer, I’m still gonna ask you how this latest album has matured from the previous two albums “Colfax Satisfaction” and “303”?

P-(Dave) It’s good! Having our own studio and doing our own thing has given us creative control all the way and that’s huge. We are all older now and we have better jobs so we are able to pour a bunch of money into what we do and what we love.(Chris) This album is a lot more rootsy and it kinda brings home the idea that we’re not stuck in the same category as a lot of other bands are. You can tell on this album that this is our best work and the best I’ve seen come out of Revolution Sound Labs. It sounds great. Dave’s really honing his craft and he his getting really good at what we are shooting for. The next album is something to anticipate as well, so look out people!
DRS-With your studio continually evolving and getting better, what new approach are you bringing to your recording techniques?
P-(Dave) We are bringing in a lot of new gear. On the side, I’m a hack carpenter and we are acoustically paneling our entire studio and bringing it up to that professional level. It’s fun and a lot of work but that’s a beautiful thing. The studio is going to have its own website at coming up in like a month or so.
DRS-We look forward to checking that out guys! You guys have played in just about every dive and concert hall in the Mile High City. Which one do you guys like to rock the most?
P-(EZ) We always love to play at Herman’s Hideaway of course, but anywhere on Colfax and anywhere on Broadway. We got a chance to play at the Fillmore with Matisyahu recently and that was quite an experience. (Dave) For me it changes like every month and so many of them surprise me. Recently we played a benefit show in Boulder at a place called The Goose and it was a small place with three XLR’s, a mic and a stand. We set up as best as we could and it turned into quite a party and we all had fun! I love the small venues and tonight is a good example here at Cervantes.
DRS-Can we look forward to some big things this summer?
P-We are looking forward to playing at the Westword Music Showcase, June 19th and I know we will be playing a stage close to the main stage and an all ages stage, so that should be fun. We are also playing the Denver Day of Rock with our good friends the Aggrolites and Fishbone. We’ve got some good stuff coming up this year! It should be a good summer.
DRS-That is definitely something for Nuckleheads to look forward to. You guys have been together for the better part of a decade now, so we want to know, where you guys think you will be in another ten years?
P-(Dave) In our first decade we have been through a lot of band members. Chris and I are the only ones still here from the beginning. We have grown up a lot since 2000. In November I’m going to Miami to get married on a 139 ft yacht at sunset and Chris is my best man. Chris actually had a dream recently that I did not go through with my marriage and jumped on a Magnum P.I. helicopter, got in the pilot seat, started flying this fucking thing and my dad gave us a little salute as we flew away. We have a Cuban in our band (EZ) and we are going to be like 90 miles from his homeland, so if I’m walking down the aisle and a helicopter shows up…(laughs).
DRS-You guys have shared the stage with many of reggae’s finest. Who is next on the list?
P- (Chris) We have been fortunate to play with guys like The Wailers, Matisyahu, Slightly Stoopid and the Mad Caddies, just to name a few, but I would love to play with Less Than Jake. (Dave) I’m going to go with Steel Pulse and Lagwagon.
DRS- A lot of your fans want to know, is there a tour coming anytime soon?
P-(Chris) We hope so man. Before Dave gets married, we want to go to California for a few shows and definitely try to hit the coast. (Dave) We are definitely gonna tour! I would like to travel 2000 miles in nothing but my boxers, if possible, just to fucking say, “I crossed the country in nothing but my boxers”!
DRS-(laughs) What bands are in heavy rotation on your iPod?
P-(Chris) I’m really into Rusko right now. He is a great dub step DJ from the U.K. I’m also listening to The Expendables new album “Prove It”. You will hear Tatanka on my iPod as well. (Dave) My iPod is playing some Unwritten Law right now. (EZ) I’m playing Katchafire, Natural Vibrations and Stranger. Close to home there is a group called Rudie Clash that’s sick. You should definitely check those guys out.
DRS- Thanks guys, we are looking forward to the show tonight and another 10 years from you guys!
P-Rock on Chad!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Interview with SlaughterHouse Rootz

Interview by Chad Hillje
Editor - Kyle Hillje
Photographer - Mark Franzen

We’re sitting backstage trying to make out the faces through a cloud of smoke with local party boys and dub rock sensations, SlaughterHouse Rootz. The band just got off of the stage and warmed up the crowd for Pacific Dub and the rest of the evening. I was only able to sit down with three of the four guys as vocalist, Wyatt was said to be wondering around with his guitar and his weed, making new friends and quite possibly ex-girlfriends.

DRS-How you guys doin’?
SHR-Fine man. How you doin’?
DRS-Happy to be here guys! Who’s playing right now? Is it Pacific Dub?
SHR-No man, it’s Iration.
DRS-Ah shit, that’s right! We need to quit drinking before the interviews.
SHR-No, no, we like it like that! We need to party more often! You should hit this weed though.
DRS-Thanks man but I can’t. We’re working and have to keep our head straight (laughs). That’s why we have our assistant here.
DRS-First question. Barbie dolls or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?
DRS-Gentlemen, it’s good to see you guys on the same bill as Iration, Through the Roots and Pacific Dub. You guys are one of our hometown hero’s as far as dub rock is concerned. Colorado has embraced your sound and we want to know, do you guys feel the same love on the road in other places like your recent show in Austin, TX for the SXSW?
SHR-It was even more kind of love. Before SXSW we were in Iowa and got busted by the cops. They took all of our weed, but when we got down to Austin, not only was the show awesome but Austin Normal gave us an ounce of weed and said “hey man, we heard about your sorrows and here you guys go”.
DRS-That’s love right there!
SHR-It was like being home man. Just like here in Denver. People would do the same thing here. Ruta Maya really hooked us up down there. It really felt like home. Big shout out to Austin Normal! Those guys are our homies.
DRS-As far as the venues you guys have played locally, which one is your favorite?
SHR-(Dana) Right here at the Fox man! The Fox has the best sound and the best sound guys. They are real professional about it. They bring their shit man. (Kyle) I’m going with the Bluebird man. The Bluebird is my favorite. When you hit that bass drum, the bass tickles your rectum. (Byrd) Definitely the Fox man. Like Dana said, they are real professional about what they are doing. It’s refreshing to see a venue not only take their national act seriously but taking the local acts seriously as well.
DRS-You guys have a really good punk rock/reggae sound. We would like to know who your influences are as far as your sound is concerned?
SHR-(Dana) I’d have to say Tim Armstrong on his own and Tim Armstrong with Rancid. That’s my influence as far as the punk shit goes.
DRS-What about the reggae?
SHR-(Dana) The kings are Sublime! Then there is Slightly Stoopid.
SHR-(Byrd) I’d definitely have to say that Stoopid is doing it. They have a Grateful Dead following you know. Much respect to those guys and obviously Sublime. On the other side of that, I like a lot of 70’s rock like Clapton and Zeppelin of course. (Kyle) I’m going straight up with Miley Cirus! (Screaming) “PARTY IN THE U.S.A”!!! If you can’t rock a Miley Cirus song then get the fuck out of America!
DRS-Kyle, if you’re a Miley Cirus fan then did you see her dance on the stripper pole?
SHR-Oh yeah and Nickelodeon has never been better!
DRS-How do you feel about her daddy, Billy Ray Cirus?
SHR-We should totally cover that song Achy Breaky Heart.
DRS-We heard you guys play some Garth Brooks earlier. Do you have any Country influences?
SHR-(Byrd) I’m from the Midwest, from Iowa and I can’t say that I have any country influences but I’m very familiar with country music. I think we all get a kick out of it you know. We don’t try to play normal covers. We want to play obscure stuff you know. We are a reggae rock band to play a fucking country song you know. Not to mention fucking killing it. Big ups to D for getting on the mic and killing it.
DRS-You guys know what happens when you play a country song backwards right?
SHR-You get your dog back, your girlfriend back and you also get your truck back right? Oh yeah and you get circumcised unless you are Jewish. Its like, “you’re never getting this back”.
DRS-(Laughing) Alright guys back on track. Your previous two albums, Balls, Sacks and Bass and your Gloryhole sampler have a very good dub and punk vibe to them. Where do you guys see your sound moving towards in the future?
SHR-(Dana) Considering the last two albums we recorded stoned and drunk entirely, we think we might add in some tweak on the next one and get really fucking metal on this shit! (Laughs) I’m kidding. (Byrd) I think this summer is going to push us all. We are all working out different game plans as far as the dub side of it. Other than that we will be coming up with good material over the summer and marinate and have a good album and hopefully have something ready by the winter time.
DRS-By the way, there is a great metal band from Colorado playing tonight at the Marquis Theatre.
SHR-Big ups to Come Forth By Day!
DRS-Does all four of you guys contribute to writing your music?
SHR-(Byrd) A lot of our bread and butter is our live sound. Our adlib stuff you know, and a lot of our song writing comes from that. A lot of times Dana will have a bass line and we will be in the room and write a song around his bass line. Sometimes I’ll be in the room and have a hook in my head and we will all write a song around that. Wyatt will sit down and write a lot of songs you know. He will bring his ideas to us and we all just jam you know. (Dana) Basically what we do is drink some brews, get high as fuck and write songs and that’s just the way it is.
DRS-Ha ha. Big ups to lady Mary Jane. We know Iration is playing right now and you guys want to go and party so we’re going to wrap this interview up with one last question. Who would you guys like to share the stage with someday as you continue on your road to success?
SHR-(Byrd) Miley Cirus is definitely on the top of the list! Um, I can’t personally speak for the band but Slightly Stoopid is obviously killing the scene right now. Fortunately we are actually playing with those guys on August 8th in Minneapolis. We actually just heard that today and that news is so good. So that is kind of an ironic question to ask. You can ask the other guys their opinion and I’m pretty sure they are going to say Slightly Stoopid and maybe Rancid. (Dana) Boys II Men dude! (Kyle) I want to go on tour with Miley Cirus first but after that, Matisyahu would be kind of cool. Kind of a different crowd you know.
DRS-What about Bobby Brown and New Edition?
SHR-(Kyle) I don’t have enough money to buy Bobby Brown all that coke!
SHR-(Dana) One last thing I want to talk about is to say that the Colorado scene is coming up hard and I really appreciate all the fans in Colorado. This is where it’s at man. We want to spread the love! That’s the dream. (Byrd) If anybody wants to come and party then call up the SlaughterHouse Rootz cause we are always fucking down 24-7 and even on Monday’s.
DRS-Thanks for your time gentlemen, we love you guys!
SHR-Party on buddy.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Interview with Iration

Interview by Chad Hillje
Editor - Kyle Hillje
Photographer - Mark Franzen

It was 70 degrees and sunny as the sun was setting in Boulder, Colorado. Reggae fans of all forms started lining up for the nights show featuring a band rooted in Hawaii and are on their first headlining tour. I was invited in and descended back stage where I met with Micah Pueschel, the lead vocalist and guitarist for Iration. Over the next fifteen minutes we discussed music and life. Enjoy! -DRS

DRS-Welcome to Colorado Micah! How are you feelin’?
M-Good man! Thanks for having us.
DRS-We know you guys are Hawaiian and Colorado and Hawaii seem to have an intimate relationship with one another. Do you guys have any ties to the Mile High City?
M- My mom’s side of the family is from Colorado and my mom actually just built a cabin out in Cortez. I’ve been coming out to Colorado since I was born actually. I was born in Hawaii and the vibe in Colorado is similar to Hawaii.
DRS-Have you guys ever been to, or played, the infamous Red Rocks in Morrison?
M-I’ve only seen it from the road, never played there, but that’s definitely a goal of ours someday to get up on that stage and rock it.
DRS-We’re sure you guys will, considering your album Time Bomb has reached #1 on the iTunes reggae album charts and the single “Time Bomb” has reached as high as #12 on the iTunes reggae single chart. That’s quite an accomplishment! How does that feel?
M-It feels really good. That was definitely the goal to hit #1 and to see what the tour has done for us in the past few months. That really shows that the work has paid off and there are people out there that want to hear our music, which is comforting and helps us sleep at night.
DRS-Since your previous two albums “No Time For Rest” and “New Roots,” what separates your third album “Time Bomb” from the previous albums?
M- Time Bomb is definitely a step above those albums. It’s kind of a new direction. We have had some changes in the band and took a new direction with it and focused a lot more on the synth and modern electronic sounds and rocked it a little more. Not really moving away from roots reggae but we really want to do something a little different every time we release. If you listen to all three albums, they are all different in their own way.
DRS-You guys are a great addition to LAW Records. How does it feel to be a part of such a great independent label among other bands like The Supervillains, Passafire and Pepper?
M-Pepper has been a huge influence to us and such great role models for us. They’re from the big island which is the same island where I grew up. We have grown up listening to their music. When we got into the music they took us under their arms and took us on our first tour and showed us the ropes and helped us skip a lot of steps of adversity that we would have gone through without them. So, it was good to sign with them. Of course we love Passafire, Supervillains and Pepper. We have toured with Passafire and Pepper before and we’re all good friends with those guys, even the Supervillains. Whenever we are in Orlando we are hanging out with Dom and Skart. They’re are good guys.
DRS-Does all six of you guys contribute to writing the songs?
M-We have done writing sessions where it was myself, Kai and Cayson with another producer and a couple of those songs are on the new album. The other songs are generally myself and Kai writing our own stuff and writing together. Then we bring the songs to the band and each band member gets to do their own thing musically to create the song. Everyone has their own part in the song and the music.
DRS-Being that you guys are from the big island, how does surfing and your Hawaiian roots influence your music?
M-Oh, huge! I mean, we all grew up by the ocean and all the guys try to surf every time we get a chance and we go back to Hawaii quite a bit and that’s just part of who we are. It’s the music that we like and the vibe we try to put out. It’s just a positive and a beachy kind of sound. But yeah, it’s a huge influence and it’s the culture that we come from so we can’t stray away from it, you know what I mean?
DRS-We know you guys are surfers, so have you tried snowboarding yet?
M-Yeah we ah…. Personally I have only skied… (laughs). I’m a dork, so whatever. I’m ok with that though! I’m secure with my dorkness. The other guys snowboard though. We went to Deer Valley in Utah and did some snowboarding there. In the off season when we are not touring we go.
DRS-You guys have come a long way since you started back in 2005. What have been some of your biggest challenges to this point?
M-Actually we have been playing back yard parties since 2003. Um… being poor (laughs). No, I mean, it’s just like any other band you know? It’s tough to go on the road and kind of cut your teeth and carve out a fan base. It is hard work in the beginning and when people find out about you, you have already done all that hard work and in most cases these bands have done all this hard work for years and years and people think they are overnight successes. We have been a band for five years, you know what I mean? I mean, that’s just what it is. The challenges are that and just trying to do something different and unique.
DRS-Awesome man. Who are your musical influences?
M-Every guy in the band has their own influences. Mine personally; I’m a Beatle maniac, like a total Beatles fan. I like everything, you know, like I listen to a lot of hip-hop, a lot of 80’s pop like Hall and Oats, stuff like that. 60’s and 70’s music you know, as long as it’s a good song and good music I’m into it. Of course roots reggae has a huge influence on us.
DRS-Who would you ultimately like to share the stage with someday?
M-We got to play with Kings of Leon and those guys are one of my favorites right now. That was amazing, but right now I’d have to say U2 (laughs). Realistically, in the next year, we have not been on tour with Slightly Stoopid yet, so we would like to get on the road with them at some point. They are doing big things and have really stepped it up a notch.
DRS- Excellent choice man! I was kind of hoping that you would say that. For my last question, everybody would like to know what you’re about and we want to know, as far as your music collection goes, if we found your iPod, and pushed play, what would we be hearing?
DRS-Don’t be scared! Were you about to say Backstreet Boys?
M-(Laughs) It might be on there if you hit random or shuffle or whatever. I bought it for my girlfriend or whatever.
DRS-Uh huh…
M-We just got to hear the new Expendables CD titled “Prove It” and you guys, it’s amazing! When it drops in early summer you guys need to get it. It’s sick! We just got off tour with those guys, they are dope.
DRS- We just want to thank you for your time Micah. We appreciate you guys coming out to Boulder. You guys are freaking awesome and we look forward to the show.
M-Thanks for supporting the show, we appreciate it.