Thursday, August 26, 2010

Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad on tour with The Beautiful Girls


New York Road Warriors Embark on North American Tour

Boulder, CO - On Friday, September 17th, Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad performs at Fox Theatre with Australia's The Beautiful Girls. During the quartet's three-week North American tour, they will be making their Canada debut and returning to the west coast for the first time in a year. GPGDS performed at numerous festivals this summer including Wakarusa, Nateva, All Good, and GrassRoots. Their new album LIVE UP! debuted at number two on iTunes' Reggae Chart.

"Truly one of the world's finest roots reggae ensembles..." - CBS Radio Street Date

LIVE UP! is a selection of high-quality, previously unreleased live recordings, hand picked by Rochester NY's psychedelic reggae road warriors. The independently released album's 11 tracks were selected from five different concerts in 2008 and 2009.

Giant Panda has played 500 shows in the past three years, touring relentlessly and developing a widespread grassroots following. The group has performed at premier venues and festivals across the U.S. including Red Rocks and Rothbury. LIVE UP! exemplifies the tight musicianship and dynamic live show experience GPGDS is known for. The album was produced and mixed by the band's sound engineer and show archivist Joel Scanlon. It complements their debut studio release Slow Down (2006).

LIVE UP! is the closing statement of Giant Panda's former six-piece lineup, as they are now forging ahead as a quartet.

"The reality of this band is that we're always evolving - musically, spiritually, and within our own circle," says GPGDS bassist James Searl. "LIVE UP! documents the sound and chemistry that six people shared with each other and crowds around the nation. We're excited about the future as a quartet, and eager to explore new territories."

Friday, September 17 @ Fox Theatre

Doors: 8:30 PM / Show: 9:00 PM
All Ages
$14 adv / $17 dos

Also performing: The Beautiful Girls, Kinetix

Tour Dates
Aug 28 - Turin, NY - Snow Ridge Jam Fest
Sept 03 - Boston, MA - Rock On! Concert Cruise
Sept 04 - Providence, RI - Jerkys Music Hall
Sept 05 - Norfolk, CT - Infinity Hall
Sept 10 - Norwalk, CT - Slamfest NSA Oyster Festival
Sept 11 - Rochester, NY - Water Street Music Hall
Sept 12 - Toronto, ON, Canada - Horseshoe Tavern
Sept 14 - Chicago, IL - Lincoln Hall
Sept 15 - Minneapolis, MN - Triple Rock Social Club
Sept 17 - Boulder, CO - Fox Theatre
Sept 18 - Park City, UT - Star Bar
Sept 21 - Vancouver, BC, Canada - Fortune Sound Club
Sept 22 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir Lounge
Sept 24 - San Francisco, CA - The Independent
Sept 25 - Santa Barbara, CA - West Beach Festival
Sept 26 - Santa Barbara, CA - West Beach Festival
Sept 28 - San Luis Obispo, CA - Downtown Brewing Co
Sept 29 - Santa Cruz, CA - Catalyst Atrium
Sept 30 - West Hollywood, CA - Roxy Theatre
Oct 01 - Solana Beach, CA - Belly Up
Oct 02 - Hermosa Beach, CA - Saint Rocke

Monday, August 9, 2010

Interview with Pepper

Interview by Chad Hillje
Editing by Kyle Hillje
Photography by Mark Franzen

It was a rainy July afternoon in Morrison, Colorado as we ascended up the terrain at the world famous Red Rocks Amphitheatre for the 2010 Unity Tour featuring Pepper, Offspring and 311. As we surfaced at the top of the hill, slightly rain soaked, we met up with The Coach, Pepper’s tour manager, and met the winner of Pepper’s karaoke contest, Josh Gonzales, whom did a great cover of Pepper’s new release, “Mirror”. We took cover in the back of Pepper’s tour bus, drank some Coors Lights, and spoke about everything from LAW Records to Jack Johnson’s ex-girlfriend and her upside down uterus. Enjoy!

DRS: Here we are once again at Red Rocks for the Unity Tour and we are sitting with none other than Kona’s very own, Pepper. How are you guys feelin’?
Pepper: (Kaleo) We’re feelin’ like lifeguards! (Brett) So, so, noivous! (laughs) Na, we’re feelin’ great! (Yeesod) We’re feelin’ safe as ever ‘cause like Kaleo said, “we’re lifeguards”. (Kaleo) We are certified, we got our training and we are good to go. Basically, if you drink too much, we are allowed to mouth-to-mouth resuscitate you. Unfortunately, it’s been a weird thing cause there is a high level of dude’s not being resurrected. Seriously though, we have been waiting for this show all tour and we love it here!
DRS: That explains the ample amount of females at your shows. We know you guys love Colorado. You recorded your live album (Kona Gold) here.
Pepper: This place is perfect!
DRS: Congratulations on your two new singles released today “Wake Up” and “Mirror”. This is a huge teaser for your fans and they want to know, is there a projected release date for the album yet?
Pepper: (Kaleo) Yes. It’s the future. Near, but not too near, more mid-ish future, but not too far future. It would be a near to near far future. (Brett) We’re working with a serious timeline so it will definitely be out before the Mayan calendar ends.
DRS: Ok Pepper fans, when the world is ending you can pick up the new Pepper album (laughs).
Pepper: We actually have a show booked on that day. We will play all the new songs (laughs).
DRS: No better way to go out!
Pepper: You guys have to learn Mayan first though. We will only be doing our songs in Mayan.
DRS: Should be interesting! You guys have worked with some heavy hitting producers by the likes of Steve Kravic, Ron Germain (The Saint), Tony Kanal, Paul Leary, and 311’s very own, Nick Hexum in recording your past five studio albums. Is there a certain process you guys go through when selecting a producer for your albums?
Pepper: (Kaleo) Yes, it’s “will you please work with us?” and if they say yes, then it’s good to go. (Yeesod) Whoever is the cheapest. (Brett) Money is not an object cause we don’t have it!
DRS: At least you guys have upgraded from the white van!
Pepper: (Brett) Chopper One, great white buffalo, god rest your soul.
DRS: Pour a little out. Who is behind the wheels for the new album?
Pepper: (Kaleo) Actually, the first two songs are produced by yours truly. Cheap and easy! (Yeesod) We have two more that are being mixed right now that we all did. (Brett) We are becoming great producers. (Kaleo) Speaking of which, how is the feedback from you guys? Have you heard the new songs and have you downloaded them?
DRS: But of course! It keeps getting better and better with you guys. A lot of our readers are big fans!
Pepper: We are playing “Wake Up” tonight.
DRS: Are you guys playing “Mirror”?
Pepper: (Yeesod) We only have a half hour to play, so not this time. (Kaleo) The best thing for Denver is that we will be back for a complete inspection in the fall for a full show at The Fillmore I believe.
DRS: Sweet! “LAW Records” is your independent label that features the likes of Iration, The Supervillians and Passafire. Is it true that “LAW” was once a record label that Yeesod’s father started in the 80’s?
Pepper: (Yeesod) It was his band called “The Law” actually, and our record label logo was their band logo. They started their own label in 1983, released their own album, and then the band broke up. (Kaleo) Their album was awesome! We would actually like to re-do their album if we ever get good enough. They had hits like “Baby don’t you know…You’re a hooker.” (Brett) The genes were so strong that “The Law” was a three piece just like Pepper.
DRS: You guys teamed up with Volcom back in 2001, which set the stage for you guys joining the Warped Tour and the release of your 2nd studio album “Kona Town”. How much of a role does “Volcom” play now that you guys have your own record label?
Pepper: (Kaleo) The relationship has been so good. It never ever went south and you always hear these story’s and cliché’s about record labels and bands getting into these huge arguments over contracts and money, blah blah blah, but to this day, we have the best time working with each other. In fact, if you pay attention to our lifeguard outfits you will notice how “Volcom” made everything we are wearing from the shirts, to the track jackets and the shorts, everything! Everyone at Volcom Entertainment we have nothing but love for! We are also doing the volcanic Volcom Hawaii Tour in December. It’s gonna be Kaua’i and O’ahu and then Maui and the big island. (Brett) Pepper and Volcom are stronger than ever!
DRS: We are gonna have to try and make that one! You guys were in the Volcom lab with designers, designing your very own Pepper board shorts. Are those available yet and how do your fans pick some up?
Pepper: (Yeesod) They will be available as part of their spring line in the spring of 2011. I’m pretty sure you can buy them online but they will be everywhere Volcom is sold.
DRS: Excellent! So, in the UFA point skit on the album “No Shame” who does the voice of the wine sucking Pepper groupie?
Pepper: (Kaleo) That’s Brett!
DRS: Can you give us a little sample?
Pepper: (Brett in wine sucking groupie voice) Oh, you so nasty! (Kaleo) The coach was leading it perfectly! We did all that in one shot. (Brett) It was very romantic to be honest.
DRS: Just cried a little (laughs). So we have one last question… Is it true that the song “Tounges” on “Kona Town” was written by Jack Johnson? How did that come about?
Pepper: (Kaleo) Um… He started writing it and we found it in his trash. See, he dated this girl with an upside-down uterus for a long time. He lived next door on the north shore around the same time. He actually threw it out, and when they broke up, he was so mad ‘cause she was spending a lot of time with us or whatever, and she was like, “Here, why don’t you pay attention to a real song” and pulled it out of the trash and threw it to us. So we kept it and decided to release it.
DRS: Wow…true story?
Pepper: That’s what we read on Wikipedia. (Brett) We want to give a shout out to C.J out there. You’re a sweet girl, get that thing fixed.
DRS: Thanks for taking the time to interview with Dub Rock Syndicate! Guys, have a great show and good luck with the rest of the tour!
Pepper: Bring it in, on 3! One-Two-Three, DUB ROCK SYNDICATE!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

'Take Your Chances' Video (2009) The Black Seeds

Interview with The Black Seeds

Interview by Chad Hillje
Editing by Kyle Hillje
Photography by Mark Franzen

DRS: We are at The Fox Theatre in Boulder, Colorado once again and we’re sitting with guitarist and lead vocalist of The Black Seeds, Barnaby Weir. How are you doin’ tonight buddy?
Barnaby: Doin’ good and feeling good. I love it!
DRS: It’s good to have you guys here in Boulder, Colorado. We heard that you guys had a little bit of a rough time getting your visas approved. Now that your tour has started, how was Canada and how has the start of your tour been so far?
Barnaby: Yeah we did have some issues getting into the states and missed a couple stops on the tour, such as the Vancouver show, but we re-scheduled the show for the Monday night and it went well. So, that was good. We arrived in Victoria and then went to Oakland and to L.A., and one of the nights on our stop, we played with Fishbone. We were pretty stoked to play with them and now we are here so it’s all good man.
DRS: We’re glad you made it! You guys have a great funk/reggae sound. What influences your guys’ sound?
Barnaby: I’d have to say all American music. English music as well as Jamaican music influences us. You have to realize that music is influenced by many cultures all over the world. Down in New Zealand, we get a lot of American media, so we are influenced highly by a lot of American soul such as Al Green, Otis Redding and Ray Charles. We are not trying to copy them; we are just influenced by them the same way we are influenced by Jamaican music. We are highly inspired by all kinds of music from different countries, but American and Jamaican music is what really inspires The Black Seeds.
DRS: You guys inspire a lot of Americans as well. In October of 2009, you guys released your live album/dvd which was only released in New Zealand and Australia. Are you guys planning on releasing it in the United States anytime soon?
Barnaby: We would absolutely love to. From the states you can find it online and iTunes sells it as well. You can also go onto our website “” and at the moment, we have a free five track download. All you need to do is give your e-mail and you can check out a remix of “slingshot” done by a dubstep producer by the name of Truth. We would like to make our stuff as accessible as possible for everybody in the U.S.
DRS: Tell us a little bit about Surgery Studios back home in New Zealand.
Barnaby: Surgery Studios is not the average studio. It’s not flashy and it’s like a warehouse really. When I was almost 19, I got a student loan to go to a University in Wellington and I spent it on recording at a place called “Original Music Workshop” which is now “Surgery”. It doesn’t look very professional but when you’re there with a bunch of other musicians, you get the feel of intimacy with the place. We like to make it affordable for musicians to record at “The Surgery”.
DRS: Is it the same studio that “Flight of the Choncords” recorded at as well?
Barnaby: They did do some recording there. They did some recording in America in L.A. as well. That band is awesome. They are our mates! We have known each other for a long time and Bret McKenzie was actually a member of the Black Seeds from it’s inception for about six years.
DRS: Is it true that your 2008 album release “Into the Dojo” was given the name due to the fact that “Surgery Studio” used to be a karate dojo?
Barnaby: Wow, you have done your research! (Laughs) As I said, “Original Music Workshop” was a part of it, but back 15 years ago, it was a karate dojo, and that’s where The Black Seeds practiced down the hall from the studio.
DRS: That’s cool to know that little piece of insight about you guys. Your fans want to know what kind of music you listen to. If we found your iPod, what would be on there?
Barnaby: The first one would be AC/DC for sure! I also like the Beetles, and as far as American influence is concerned, I really like Jimmy Hendrix. You would also see Fat Freddy’s Drop on there. They are a great dub/reggae band from Wellington and you should check them out if you have not already. I really like KRS-One, N.E.R.D, Dr.Dre, Outkast, Run DMC, De La Soul, Beastie Boys and Public Enemy as far as the hip-hop genre is concerned. I mix it up!
DRS: Barnaby thanks so much for your time! We love your music and keep it coming.
Barnaby: Dub Rock Syndicate! BIG UP! Thanks for listening to some kiwi tunes and I’d like to thank Katchafire for playing with us. Your readers can check us out at and get a free 5 track download that also includes some unreleased stuff.

Monday, August 2, 2010


DC Band Featuring Members of Thievery Corporation in CO August 6-8

See-I have three shows coming up in Colorado, including first ever performances in Denver and Aspen. Six of the eight band members are also part of the internationally renowned group Thievery Corporation.

See-I plays a unique blend of classic roots reggae, mixed with funk and soul. The Washington, DC-based octet has become one of the east coast's premier party bands because they know how to keep people dancing all night with a smile on their face.

A weekly Wednesday night residency at DC's prestigious Eighteenth Street Lounge has given See-I the opportunity to perfect their performance. They've created a fresh sound that's become popular at ski resorts, beach towns, and concert halls alike.

"Enter Zeebo and Rootz, two Rastafarian brothers who provide the rude boy vocal snippets...Their music is as eclectic, stylish, charismatic, genial, witty, sophisticated and worldly as they are." - High Times

Tour Dates
Aug 04 - Washington, DC - Eighteenth Street Lounge
Aug 06 - Denver, CO - Cervantes' Other Side Info
Aug 07 - Aspen, CO - Belly Up Aspen Info
Aug 08 - Durango, CO - Abbey Theatre Info
Aug 14 - Baltimore, MD - Power Plant Live
Aug 22 - Atlantic City, NJ - Bally's Atlantic City
Sept 05 - Montauk, NY - Surf Lodge