BFS Sits Down With Chet Porter

Rising electronic sensation Chet Porter has been growing at an exponential rate over the past few years with releasing on Foreign Family, Big Beat Records, and Next Wave Records. The Toronto native spent four years expanding his production skills in Halifax, Canada prior to establishing himself as one of the scene’s next rising stars. His most recent release “Stay” just broke 1 millions plays on Soundcloud along with 2 million streams on Spotify. With shoutouts from Jai Wolf, Manila Killa, and the entire Moving Castle family, it’s safe to say Chet is in for a breakout year in 2017. 

Official Website: http://chetporter.com/

Full Soundcloud Page: https://soundcloud.com/chetporter

Prior to his set at the Bluebird Theatre in Denver, I was lucky enough to sit down and chat with Chet about everything from tour life, the state of the music industry, steaming and more. Here a few highlights from the interview below.

BFS: How’s tour been going so far?

Chet: Tour’s been great! It’s been a blast so far! The guys (Lemaitrie) are awesome. Except for when they all speak in Norwegian.

BFS: How many times have you toured in the past?

Chet: I’ve been touring for about a year now. This tour with Lemaitre is my first nationwide tour but up until now I’ve been lucky to land shows here in the US along with a few gigs opening for Odesza.

BFS: So how’d you get on Foreign Family?

Chet: I had a demo that I thought would be a good fit. I shared it with my manger with specific instructions NOT to share the song. And then he sent it anyways! My immediate response was to fire him. Luckily, Foreign Family hit us back and really like it. During my shows with Odesza I got to talk to the guys in person and they encouraged me to finish up the track so we could put it out. A few stressful months later, “Stay” was finished and ready to be released.

BFS: Have you seen any returns on your music from streaming yet?

Chet: Honestly no. In my opinion the biggest source of income comes from touring. Touring and sync deals. I’ve had one sync deal with Red Bull but I’ve yet to see any returns from it yet. Hopefully that changes when the snowboarding commercial goes live. 

BFS: So how would you say you feel about the whole streaming game nowadays?

Chet: Personally, I like how easy it is. If you have good content, it’s relatively easy to get on large playlists to quickly start racking up streams. 

BFS: What do you think of EDM becoming very mainstream over the past year?

Chet: I think it’s great! A lot of people are being introduced to new things which leads to people trying to create new sounds! The whole electronic spectrum is so broad that it opens up a lot of room for creativity. For me personally, I want to try and find more of it. The more mainstream it becomes, the more new music I’ll find and I think that’s really cool!

BFS: How do you feel about future bass becoming incredibly saturated?

Chet: I feel like that happens with every genre. Whether it be metal, or disco, every genre is going to have bandwagon fans. I find it to be a problem, but at the same time if someone comes out with a killer future bass track, I’m still going to love and rep it. 

BFS: Who are some of your favorite artists right now?

Chet: Ah that’s a tough question but I’m going to have say a lot of my Moving Castle friends. Manila Killa is a great example. The great thing about SoundCloud is there are soo many talented producers floating below the surface. It’s hard to name them all but in time they’ll get the recognition they deserve. 

    Chet’s went on to follow up the interview with one of the most unique sets I’ve seen in quite some time. Pairing his music with well known apacellas and unreleased remixes of trracks such as D.R.A.M's "Broccoli", Chet’s set was euphoric, melodic, and captivating. He teased artists such as Porter Robinson and his synths really came to life over the house speakers. It was clear that everyone in the crowd was having a blast with cheers being heard from every corner of the venue. If you get a chance, I highly recommend checking out Chet Porter in a town near you. For more information, you can follow Chet on his social media pages below along with upcoming dates on Lematrie’s “We Got U” tour. 

As mentioned above, touring is definitely the main source of income for a lot of these up and coming artists. Be sure to go out and spend a few bucks on a night you’re sure to remember. You’re not only paying for some high quality entertainment, but you’re also helping these individuals live out their dreams. For Chet, his dream job involves writing scores for major movies. These ambitions are only possibly with the help from you, the fans. As Chet’s career blossoms, it’d sure be cool if you were able to say that you were at one of his first shows of his career. 

Remaining Dates: http://chetporter.com/tour.html

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chtprtr/?fref=ts

Written By: Cooper Turley 

Bass Feeds The Soul Sits Down With Seven Lions

I can still remember being a sixteen year old teen in 2012 and listening to Seven Lions for the first time ever. The upbeat melody and unfathomable bass from the track, “Fractals”, flooded my earphones and from that moment - I was hooked.

Jeff Montalvo, better known by his stage name Seven Lions, is an electronic music producer from Santa Barbara, California. Montalvo’s musical production is unorthodox and ingenious. Each track aims to construct a fantasy and incorporates a mix of genres that you’ll never know what’s coming next. Currently on "The Journey" tour, I had the opportunity to speak with Montalvo. 


Your songs embody various genres such as trance and dubstep. What’s your creative process like?

It’s really different for each song. Sometimes I’ll start with the melody, sometimes I’ll start with more of a general mood. It’s always kind of changing. I definitely write very linear though, I don’t lay out the track and fill it in like a lot of other people. I like to do start to finish basically.

Is there a person, place, or thing you draw inspiration from when making music?

I’m influenced by a lot of other music. Music is what I draw inspiration from.

What type of music do you draw inspiration from? Is there a specific artist?

Just a lot of different metal music. Of course Above & Beyond as far as electronic music. I really like them. Old Delirium. Vocal driven kind of stuff.

Vocalists are an integral part in many of your tracks. How do you go about picking who sings on them?

That’s always different as well. Sometimes I’ll know exactly who I want and I’ll just reach out. Other times I’ll finish a track and have no idea, but I want something that sounds a little more like this. My management will help me look for a bunch of different options or the record label or sometimes even publishing companies like Warner have helped us quite a bit with vocalists. We’ll send it to five or six different people. They’ll all do demos, send it back, and I’ll pick which one I think fits best.

In the press release on your current tour it states “The concept for the The Journey tour was inspired by the millions of young people who are taking it upon themselves to create their own adventures and embark on their own personal journeys of discovery.” What was this “journey” like for you?

For me, it’s going to different festivals when I was younger and even now. You get a crew of people together and go to EDC and I remember doing that a long time ago. It was always an epic adventure because I didn’t live in LA so we would have to go on a long drive for that. Also going to Burning Man or Lightning in a Bottle. All these festivals are destinations so you generally find a bunch of cool people you really like. You make plans, prepare, and go for it. It’s a pretty epic adventure and it’s really cool to see so many people going to these festivals and putting in a lot of time and effort to make a cool camp or have a crew. It’s really cool.

How did teaming up with FCancer for The Journey tour come about?

My management asked me what I think about this. I thought FCancer specifically would be a really good one because I feel like everyone knows someone who is affected by cancer or has been affected by cancer. Whether it’s a family friend or a parent, it’s everywhere. There are so many people I know who have dealt with a loved one getting cancer and it’s really sad.

I think “Drinking With Strangers” is such an interesting thing you do. How did you decide you wanted to start doing that?

Basically because normal meet and greets are really, really awkward. If you sit down and have a beer with somebody, the playing field gets leveled and everybody calms down. You can actually have a really good conversation and I think that’s the best way to meet people is over beer. It’s been going really well. We’ve met tons of cool people, people we still keep in contact with actually.

Is there a city you particularly love playing in time and time again?

On this tour, San Francisco/Oakland has been one of the crazier cities that’s for sure and it’s always really good to play there. Seattle is also really amazing too. We actually just moved up there a few months ago. Not because it’s fun to play there, but because we like the area. There’s a really good crowd.

If you got to attend your dream electronic music festival as a fan, who are some of the names that would be on the lineup?

Bird of Prey, Xilent, Above & Beyond, maybe Tiesto ten years ago *laughs*. I really GRUM, he’s been opening up for us and he’s been crushing it. That’s been really good to see.

What is one mistake you see a lot of up and coming producers/DJs making? What advice would you give him or her?

I would say people who try and promote their music too quickly and put out songs that aren’t polished. Once you do that, it’s really hard to recover. Generally people need to focus on making music and making it really good before they start trying to put it out there and get people to listen to it. It’s really discouraging for people to spend a bunch of time on a song and put it out there and it doesn’t go anywhere. Nobody listens to it, nobody likes it, and people just give up when they should be like “alright well I’m going to keep at it” and not get discouraged. Be persistent. Don’t have crazy expectations. I think those are the two main things.

Tickets: http://www.sevenlions.com/tour/


Interview by: Kimberlyanne Tan
Photos by: Kimberlyanne Tan

The Name is Sound… Stööki Sound

With a yin and yang fusion of style and ease, the London based duo Stööki Sound has been throwing some true heat into the trap scene. 

 

While staying true to the essence of trap, they’ve created an undeniably original sound. Whether you were intended to or not, you’re bound to recognize that effortless 808 and drum bounce in their songs, such as Ball so Hard, Talkin’ About and UPPERS.

 

Here is a playlist of the songs mentioned, with other signature originals: 

 

https://soundcloud.com/stookisound/sets/originals

 

Also important to be noted is their commitment to staying true to the origins of trap music by adding rap and other vocals while fearlessly experimenting with the more unexplored sounds and rhythms of bass and electronic music.  

 

Goldlink - Ay Ay (Stooki Sound Remix)

https://soundcloud.com/stookisound/goldlink-ay-ay-stooki-sound-remix

 

 

Stööki Sound has risen the heat even more in their recent release of Stage Dive ft. Marky D… have a listen if you dare! 

 

https://soundcloud.com/stookisound/stage-dive

 

Perhaps it’s the fact that there are two of them that permits for their distinctly high production quality, perhaps it’s because they’ve never fallen into the ‘next trap hype’—whatever it is, DJ Lukey and Jalacee show nothing but contagious love for music, and have taken trap music by the horns and made it their own. 

 

Photo by Jennie Abrams, not property of BassFeedstheSoul 

Photo by Jennie Abrams, not property of BassFeedstheSoul 

I had the chance to talk to the duo about their latest projects and 2016 US Tour.. catch up with Stooki in the interview below.

 

So you guys are just about finished with your US tour.. how does it feel this time compared to the first time you toured the states?

Yeah it’s different, mainly different cause we’re on a bus this time so it’s been really cool and much less stressful than catching flights everywhere. But it has been more intense in terms of playing four- five times a week. It’s been really sick and supporting Keys and Krates as well has been really great we’re very like-minded. We’ve also been meeting a lot of new people on this tour.

How do you feel your new tracks have played into that?

We have been working on a lot of new music. We’ve kind of got to play more of the newer and unreleased tracks at VIP shows more than anything on this tour. But we’ve been testing those out and they’ve all been doing well so it’s been enjoyable.

Stage Dive with Marky D has made quite the splash in the bass music scene, how has its debut been so far?

We met Marky when we came to LA last year through a mutual friend and then we became friends. Then we just hit the studio and it really helps to get together in the same room to kind of bounce ideas off each other and to finish the track quickly. And once we finished wanted to blend classic trap with a rapper and drop more of an electronic section as well with drums and stuff-- but we got the balance right on it.

Then the opportunity came through Facebook to record a 360 music video, so that helped get the track out then. 

Do you plan on collaborating with more rappers in the future / for the EP?

Yeah a hundred percent- definitely want to work with more artists, rappers and vocalists as well.

Since the beginning of our career, people have always told us that our instrumentals really suit rappers.  Now that we’re spending more time in the States as well rappers are more accessible and it’s easier to get in the studio, the same goes for vocalists. So it’s definitely going to be an element that’s going to be more present in our future releases.

You’ve done a great job at putting yourself above the generic trap platform.. a lot of work on quality over quantity.  How do you see Stage Dive working into that aspect of your work?

Stage Dive was sort of taking it back to the essence of trapping with rapping and vocalists as well kind of just showing the essence of trap. Then we bring in our own DK’s and underground dubstep, so it’s sort of an opportunity to put our own twist on it.

Stage Dive was a precursor for a new direction in your music, could you give us more insight on that ?

We’ve been mostly working on evolving our sound. It’s not about making songs similar to other people’s music, or what’s popular at the moment. We just focus on improving our own style.

There aren’t too many duos producing at your level, could you speak on your collaborative creative process and how it works for you?

I think it helped that we were friends from the start. It takes time when you’re working with someone to get to know each other and how each other work to get a good balance when producing music. There’s just so many elements of producing as a duo that are so much bigger than just being together, or simply making trap.

I think that us doing everything in the house from the beginning kind of helped us understand what it takes to be a duo and shaped how we evolved and developed today in terms of production. We know what our strengths are and how we can work effectively. I’m kind of good at coming up with initial ideas, and experimental stuff and J is better and finishing and mastering the completion of the song. We kind of found that to be a good balance and bringing live elements to thing.

 

Does the dynamic shift at all from the studio to live performances?

 

Were different in our own ways. We try to make it more of an act during more that a DJ set. We come from London, so a long way, and we know we only have an hour or so to show people what we’re about and how we do what we do, so we try to get people to really engage with us.

 

Any words for the Denver crowd coming down for the show tomorrow?

 

Oh we love them, we’ve been looking forward to that show the whole tour. We’ve always been shown love in Denver, so we’re excited to celebrate.

So much I’d want to do in Colorado, but I guess it’s always an excuse to come back. 

 

 

Follow the rest of their moves on their, see if you’ll finally have the opportunity to see this pair in action! 

 

Website: http://www.stooki.co.uk/stooki-sound/

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StookiSound

 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/stookisound

 

Sound cloud: https://soundcloud.com/stookisound

 

 

Interview and article by Aisha DeMorsella

An "Arising" Interview with Mike Love

BFS - Let’s start things off with one of my favorite questions to ask: What is your spirit animal?

My spirit animal is a wolf.

BFS - Is there any story behind that?

Ya know, for as long as I can remember I just had this special connection with wolves just through seeing pictures of them.

BFS - What was your favorite childhood memory?

Gosh, there’s so many. There’s one I was thinking about recently because my dad just had his 70th birthday. I remember back to this memory that has kind of changed over time, but when we were kids he took me and my sister on this long family trip that we did across the whole country where we went to a bunch of different states. He took me and my sister to this water park and then right when we got in there, there was this thing that had multiple levels of like, rubber bands. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen this but you bounce on it and fall through the holes and stuff. That was the first thing we went on and right away, he just ripped his swim shorts all the way, in the back from the top to the bottom, right in the middle! It’s a thing where most parents would be like, “You know what guys, we gotta go, we can’t stay.” But he walked around the whole day like that, holding his shorts together in the back and still did everything with us. At the time me and my sister thought it was hilarious, but now when I look back on it, that’s a memory that formed how I am as a parent. I think that most parents wouldn’t do that for their kids and just kind of soldier on, and like “it sucks but I’m not going to ruin my kids’ time” because of that. That’s a really special memory for me in a funny way.

That’s a great story, even just to get things flowin’ and get a smile on your face, that’s what we wanted to do. So now we can get a little more into your music career. What was the beginning of it, what was it like? Where did you start out?

Well, in music for me it’s always been like a slow, organic growth. I played music my whole life, and I started playing gigs with a band in high school slowly like that and then I started playing more acoustic music and doing coffee shops and stuff and doing a lot of cover songs from bands that I liked. As I wrote more original music it slowly found its way from playing one or two original songs to more original songs to now all original music. And it just grew organically; it’s still growing organically. I started playing, like doing what I do now, the solo thing… I played with bands my whole life until about 6 or 7 years ago when my wife suggested that I do a solo gig just because I needed more work and playing with bands is not always easy to schedule everybody and get everybody together. So I started doing a solo thing and then it developed into what I do now organically out of doing that, and a lot of my solo act revolves around the looping thing and I loop beat box and vocals and guitar and basslines and stuff and kind of build a whole band behind what I do by myself. That just came from doing this solo gig where I started just on Monday nights playing like four hours, and it sometimes gets boring with just a dude playing his guitar and singing for four hours. So I started doing that and then I just built it, I kinda got good at it and people started noticing me so I started getting more bookings doing just that, and it became my main thing.

That’s very interesting, it sounds like it’s been a great journey for you.

Oh yeah, it’s still a great journey. Definitely. And now I’m getting booked on bigger festivals and do bigger tours.

You’re from Hawaii, correct? Which island? And has that had any influence on how you’ve come into your musicality?

Yes, I’m from Oahu. It’s definitely had a huge impact on me and my life. I was even laughing about it last night about how I think if I grew up here I would have not written so many lyrics into my songs because when I come here and sing, I sing a lot and my kind of style of writing music and singing, there’s not a lot of breaks to take breaths. So when I come up here and I get done with the song I’m panting! So I was thinkin’ like, if I grew up here I probably wouldn’t realistically have written the same kind of music. Growing up on the islands, my natural connection with nature there… I mean there when you grow up the fun things to do are go to the beach or go hike. So we grew up super connected with the ocean, the mountains, the land. There’s just so much beauty there, you can’t ignore it. Growing up that’s all we did, we’d go run up behind the house and run around in the mountains and just be real imaginative and it was always the way it was. We’d always go to the beach, body surf and body board and it’s just how we grew up, we were at the beach all the time. So I think that a lot of my music is really about nature’s connection and reconnecting with that. A lot of the places I go they’ve lost that connection because they grew up being surrounded by concrete their whole life and just never even felt that, you know? There are a lot of places like that and I think the majority of places that people live are like that, the metropolises. So when you bring this kind of music that’s about the place where I grew up and has that connection and that energy, it’s like… A lot of people I hear say, “Your music makes me feel like I found something that I was missing.”

Wow that’s a great compliment!

Yeah, sometimes it’s hard to wrap my head around, but with the music, for me, I realized a long time ago that it’s not for my ego to hold onto because the music is just something that flows through me and it’s a gift that I’m given so I feel compelled. I feel like it’s my duty and my honor to bring it to people and share it with people because the more it grows, the more I hear from people how its helped them and encouraged them to become vegan or make these huge changes in their life. When I hear that it gives me chills and makes me feel like I’m doing the right thing and I need to do it more.

That’s how I feel about journalism, I love to communicate with people and I like to touch people with my words. Thank you for that answer that was awesome. So, what’s next for you? New tour, new album…?

I have an album that’s coming out September 1st, so in a few weeks and I’ve just been working really hard on it and it’s been a really huge undertaking and I have a tour that’s surrounding that album also in September I’ll be touring in mostly the southwestern U.S.

Great! So wrapping things up here, who are you excited to see here at ARISE?

I’m excited to see Rising Appalachia, they’re really cool we did a show with them in Hawai’i, they’ve got a really cool movement going. I’m also really excited to see the Earth Guardians again, they’re performing in a little while, and they’re just amazing. I don’t know if you know about them but you should check them out. They’re a couple of Utes and they’re twelve and fifteen years old. They do hip-hop and it’s like mind-blowing the stuff they’re doing. Check out theearthguardians.org, it’s a whole movement. They’re connected with over a million kids worldwide and they’re doing all sorts of cool stuff. I think they’re involved in a bunch of different legal suits in many different states but they’re from here in Colorado and they’re involved in suing the state for allowing a lot of the chemicals and a lot of the bad stuff that’s going on like the fracking and for allowing that stuff to go on and endangering the youth. They’re amazing, their message is incredible. They’re awesome performers and they just blow my mind. I said it before; I’ve never been to a hip hop show that had me in tears, just really, really touching. If you’re going to see anybody at this whole festival, see them.

I will make note of it! Thank you so much for your time, this was so much fun for me.

Bless you.

 

Mike Love’s set at ARISE was anything but typical. As just a one-man-band, his complex style of layering, looping, beat-boxing and guitar strumming kept his audience wondering what he was going to do next. With the voice of an angel, inspiring lyrics, and upbeat reggae genre, Mike Love put on a performance at ARISE that moved my heart. This man’s message is so powerful that you can’t help but be entranced when he takes the stage. “Distant Travelers”, a song about his wife, even brought tears to my eyes as I inched closer to my man and held his hand tight. Songs like “Jahwakening” and “No More War” got my feet dancing and a smile on my face. I personally recommend catching a Mike Love show next time he makes a stop in your state. 

Interview with Tommy Benedetti of John Brown's Body

            Reggae on the Rocks 2015 is almost here, with a lineup like no other. On Saturday, August 22nd, Sublime with Rome, Pepper, Third World, Wailing Souls, Mighty Diamond, Judge Roughneck and a hidden gem, John Brown’s Body will preform under the stars, nestled in the Rocky Mountains. John Brown’s Body is a future roots, reggae and dub group that formed around 1996 and 1997. This will be JBB’s second time preforming at Red Rocks, but will feel like the first time playing since the band regrouped around 2000, as a few members left and new musicians joined. JBB is a major player in the modern American reggae scene, defining, developing and pushing the genre of future roots. They’re serious about releasing records; they have ten official albums to this date. Most recently, they rereleased one of their albums, Kings & Queens (2013) with dub remixes- Kings & Queens in Dub. Check it out here.

Recently, Bass Feeds The Soul interviewed Tommy Benedetti, JBB’s drummer and one of the original members. Check it out below!

 

Tommy: Hello

BFS: Hi Tommy!

Tommy: Hey! What’s happening?

BFS: Nothing much. My name’s Sami and I work for the music blog, Bass Feeds The Soul, based in Boulder, Colorado. How are you doing?

Tommy: Right on. I’m good Sami, how’s it going today?

BFS: Great! Just starting off the day.

Tommy: Where are you at?

BFS: I’m in New Jersey. Where are you?

Tommy: Oh, New Jersey, all right cool. I’m in Boston.

BFS: Nice nice. I’m going to ask you some questions today about your band, John Brown’s Body. Ready?

Tommy: Sounds good.

 

BFS: Can you give me some backstory on your bands name? I know it’s in connection with abolitionist John Brown, but I want to hear a little more.

Tommy: Yeah, that’s correct. We are named for John Brown, the abolitionist. We were named by one of our old singers and founding member, Kevin Kinsella. He was really interested in the story, the history and what Brown stood for. It’s kind of an untold story; at least I don’t remember being taught about what Brown stood for when I was growing up in school. It’s just a fascinating story and piece of the country’s history. We look at the body as not just a physical form, but a group, a mass of people. And back then, during the early days of our band, we were a minority in doing what we were doing. There wasn’t the kind of American reggae scene that exists today. We thought it was a name that would allow us to carve out our own sound. It wasn’t a cliché reggae group name, so it stuck.

BFS: That’s really interesting. I really love American history, so I totally vibe with the name. It’s very unique.

 

BFS: You guys have been together for a long time and you’re still getting a lot of albums out. Do you think your sound is different today compared to when the band was incarnated?

Tommy: I think our sound has definitely changed. If you listen to our first couple of songs and then listen to our newer music, you can definitely hear a progression in the sound and in the instrumental talent. I think we’ve gotten a lot better and have developed our unique sound, which has always been the goal of the band. We’ve always wanted to have our own sound and our own approach. Our band started off as a traditional roots band, compositionally, and even lyric wise, with Kevin, the old lead singer. And somewhere around 2000, Elliot Martin the other singer at the time (the lead singer in our band today), started writing more and the sound started modernizing. Our music was harder, edgier, a lot more creative in terms of groove and rhythm. Our music got a lot deeper. We got deeper into the bass sound, deeper into textures, and that’s kind of where the band is at today. We just recorded another half dozen songs in Boston that we’re going to release sometime soon. I think that the songs Elliot writes are as good as the older group, and that’s important to us; we want to write good music. We want to be creative, push the genre and ourselves.

 

Photo does not belong to BFS

Photo does not belong to BFS

BFS: So this upcoming year, the band will celebrate it’s twentieth year together, correct?

Tommy: We’re getting there. It’s a little blurry because we started around ‘96/’97. I think it was ’96. Coming up on 2016, we’ll be going into our twentieth year as a band. Of course over the years, there have been many changes with the band- people leaving, new people joining. I’ve been with the band since day 1, so I’m the old guy haha.

BFS: Haha. Do you have any special plans for celebrating 20 years?

Tommy: Ya know, it’s a little early to say. Our team is working on some stuff. We’re excited to drop new music for sure. In the past couple of years, we kind of refocused ourselves. We did tour still as all bands have to, but we really honed in on recording and releasing music because in the past, we had long spaces between records. We’ve been paying more attention to releasing music instead of flogging away on the road 150 days a year. Now, we generally do more select and strategic touring and really concentrate on recording. We just put out a dub record, which I think is really super cool. We’re going to try to keep fresh, keep music coming for the fans and ourselves and I’m sure there’ll be some special shows and exciting things coming up in 2016, but it’s a little early to say exactly what’s going to happen.

BFS: I gotcha. I’m excited for the new music!


BFS: Reggae on the rocks is coming up. Is this going to be the band’s first time preforming at Red Rocks?

Tommy: It’s almost like our first time preforming there. We did play Reggae on the Rocks… I think it was 2000. That was obviously a pretty long time ago; it was a hell of a different band. It was a lifetime ago haha. It’ll be our second time officially there, but it’ll feel like the first with this line up and the vibe and music that we’re going to bring. It’s going to be exciting. We’re all super stoked.

BFS: The lineup is definitely awesome. I cannot wait. Do you think this performance is going to greatly impact the popularity of John Brown’s Body, today? Playing at Red Rocks is a right of pass for all music groups. 

Tommy: Colorado has arguably some of the best venues in the country, between Denver and Boulder. And we’re lucky to have played at pretty much all of them. Of course this performance is special, but is this going to be impactful? I can’t say. We’re going to go and do what we do. We’re going to try to be comfortable and play the best show we can play, which is what we do every time, regardless if it’s a 200 capacity room or 5,000 capacity room. And we’ll leave the rest to follow as it will. I remember when The Amplify came out in 2008 and it debuted #1 on the Billboard Reggae chart, everybody was like, “holy shit! This is it! This is it!” But it really wasn’t. We were in Sante Fe, New Mexico and woke up the next day and the same kind of thing happened and we went to the next venue and did the next show. The business is strange man. It’s about the hype machine, the smoke, mirrors and bullshit sometimes, but we’re just going to keep doing our thing and try to be the best we can at it.


BFS: It’s really interesting how the band rereleased the album Kings & Queens. How was your experience creating Kings & Queens in Dub?

Tommy: It was fantastic. I think it was a feather in our cap in a way to release the record in this manner. We did it top to bottom, every song is dubbed out. If you’re familiar with some of the classics from the 70s and 80s, that’s what the heavy hitters used to do back in the day, they would release records and then there would be a companion record in dub, like LKJ in Dub. For us to be able to do that, it was really important to be able to present it the way we did. There were concerns whether or not it would be disjointed, with different producers doing different tracks, but I think it came together seamlessly. Drew our saxophone player really spearheaded the entire project, and was key in getting it going and pushing it through. We were able to get one of our heroes, Dennis Bovell, who is a legendary producer and bass player from the UK, to do a tune. We also had some of our good friends work on this album. We wanted to get people we really respect, with work we love. We’re not getting people who are the flavor of the week, so we can just throw their names on and sell a hundred more copies. We wanted it to be the best it could be. That’s how we operate.

BFS: Who was your favorite produce to work with on the album?

Tommy: Well yah know, we didn’t really have direct contact with any of them. These days, you send people the tracks and it’s all back-and-forth through e-mails and everything else. But, we know all of these people personally like Lord Echo, from The Black Seeds. The Black Seeds are one of our favorite bands. We’ve spent countless hours with them on the road in New Zealand and in the States. A lot of other people worked on the album as well, like Dubfader and Dubmatix. Jesse (Dubmatix) is from Toronto. He did some work for us before. The one person that we didn’t really know was Dennis. He really dug the band and dug the sound and actually even offered up his services to us, it’s fucking mind-blowing. There’s a lot of back-and-forth that goes down. We knew when we picked these guys that it was going to be top-notch stuff.

BFS: Do you think there’s a benefit to having music reproduced without the original band there?

Tommy: To be clear, they used the same tracks from Kings & Queens, obviously John Brown’s Body was all together when we created it and recorded it together. What they were working from was still the original vibes, sounds and tracks. With remixes and dub mixes, that’s just the way it goes. It’s rare that a band member is going to be there in the studio with the dub guy recording. The coolest thing about this method of production is that these people are from London, New Zealand, Brooklyn and other places. Logistically, it’s not possible to all be in all of those places at once. I think having people from many different parts of the world lends a really cool story to the record.

BFS: Yeah that makes complete sense. Thank you for clarifying! I think those are all of the questions I have for today. Thanks Tommy for talking with us. Do you have any questions for me?

Tommy: I appreciate your time. I don’t think I do, but I’m glad that we could work this out.

BFS: Thank you so much. Have a good one.

Tommy: Have a great day.

 

Dig John Brown's Body? Find out more about them here:

http://www.johnbrownsbody.com/site/

https://www.facebook.com/johnbrownsbody

https://twitter.com/johnbrownsbody

https://soundcloud.com/johnbrownsbody

 

Click here for ticket information for Reggae on the Rocks 2015.

Interview by Samantha Elkan

AN INTERVIEW WITH GDP

If you are fatigued with the same caliber of rap songs that engulf the airwaves, then entrust GDP with enhancing your summer playlist. Hailing from West Orange, New Jersey, GDP has been toiling away at his craft for a significant portion of his life. His familiarity with rap becomes evident while listening to his music. Between his lyrics and his delivery, each song offers listeners an alternative experience. His creativity and experimentation assisted in GDP promptly becoming my favorite rapper. His first full length studio album, Involvement, was released in January of 2007 and since then, GDP has had a plethora of accomplishments to write home about. He has dropped several of his own records, as well as several splits with other artists. Fellow New Jerseyans, The Front Bottoms joined forces with GDP on the most recent split, Liberty and Prosperity, on which he released 2 brand new songs, “Parking Garage” and “Limousine”. He also has a collaborative project with close friend, Space Jesus, called #$ (Hash Money), which has allowed each of them to exhibit their talents on an alternative platform than their listeners are used to. GDP informed me that, “#$ is sitting on some new songs that we'll probably drop on the internet with little to no warning this summer”.

 

In addition to his musical achievements, GDP also assists in furthering other artist’s careers through his label Smokers Cough. He discussed the future plans for the label and explained that, “Smokers Cough has new music from White Bike, Space Jesus, Dwight Marrow, Emily Rugburn, Esseks and Wicca Phase Springs Eternal/Keyboard Kid all in the works and that's just the short list. At this point I'm way more interested in helping

other artists than playing shows or releasing new music”. While recently his live performances have been exiguous, GDP was listed on the lineup for The 710 Cup Festival in Denver this July. Unfortunately, due to legal issues, the event has been rescheduled for this October and GDP is still hoping to perform. Regarding the festival he said, “If 710 cup happens and they want me to be there I'm gonna hang glide through that bitch like a pterodactyl”, so hopefully he manages to bring his immaculate raps to Colorado this fall! Do yourself a favor and give GDP a listen, I assure you won’t be sorry!

 

Written by Zoe Whitley

*None of the photos used in this article are property of Bass Feeds the Soul and all credit goes to their rightful owners