Tribal Seed's Summer Smoke Out Tour 2015 @ Aggie Theater in Fort Collins. September 15, 2015
Tribal Seeds finally made their way into Northern Colorado, bringing along Los Angeles based reggae groups The Expanders and Arise Roots, blessing reggae lovers who have a passion of getting irie under the moon. The first two bands to hit the stage were there to bring the roots. Arise Roots started the show with some smooth reggae, but before you knew it they had the whole crowd with their hands in the air. After that, it is safe to say that the night only got groovier as the music went on. The last opener to perform were The Expanders, an oh so perfect warm up to Tribal Seeds. Being sure to give vocal tribute to Colorado’s liberation of marijuana, it felt like a headlining performance in itself with their stellar mellow sounds and lively vocals.
Arriving in a cloud of smoke engulfing what seemed like all of Fort Collins were the movement leaders themselves, Tribal Seeds. Taking the stage with wide smiles but serious tones, they immediately opened with “Blood Clot”, a track coming off their most recent album Represent, a perfect opener, which will undoubtedly get your blood pumping and legs moving. Tribal Seeds doesn’t just play music; they put on an outstanding performance. Each and every band member has a truly unique talent, combining their skills produces a reggae sound unlike anything else in the scene. Their set consisted of music off their most recent album, but also a sweet mix of their numerous classics like “Dark Angel” and “Vampire”. Mixing in “Run the Show" and other synth-y tunes, they were able to go from melodic vibes to hyphy dub.
Before the show I was lucky enough to sit down with the extremely intelligent and humble Tony-Ray Jacobo of Tribal seeds and ask him some questions. Being the producer, pianist, and vocalist of the band, I was prepared to ask him some questions relating to their unique sound they produce, along with others about the reggae community in general. Getting some very knowledgeable and interesting responses along with an incredible performance to follow, it is easy to say Tribal Seeds is the reggae band of our generation.
Interview with Tony-Ray Jacobo of Tribal Seeds
BFS: Coming from San Diego, home to some of the best reggae in the world, how hard was it to rise to success?
Tony-Ray: Like most bands we had to pay our dues, when you start off, you gotta play shows as much as you can so we played local venues in San Diego. Just kind of put in the work, opening for bands and eventually building our own fan base in our hometown. I mean I don’t think we had a different path than most bands do, you just gotta put good work and time into the music, play shows, and promote.
BFS: Being a producer and pianist, what is your favorite song to preform?
Tony-Ray: I always like preforming Vampire, just because the intro always seems to get the crowd going, and then when the beat drops the hands go up, for most shows anyway. It’s always a good energy song for a lot of shows.
BFS: One of my favorite things about you guys is how you let the fuel from the failed system inspire and create your music. What is the biggest, simplest message you stand behind?
Tony-Ray: For me, personally speaking is God. And through my learning’s of God, I just know he is love. So God is love for me, and ultimately love is the main message.
BFS: I really like how you incorporate dub into your music, was there any specific moment that inspired you guys to create such a sound and style or did it just come naturally?
Tony-Ray: When you say dub do you mean roots dub or electronic?
BFS: Roots dub but also Run the Show type dub, so kind of both of those mixed in. I know roots dub has been around for a while, but with Run the Show it’s kind of newer when it comes to Reggae. What inspired that?
Tony-Ray: For Run the Show, we made that song at the time when Dubstep was coming up here in the states. It had been around in Europe for a while, and it was based off of reggae and dub reggae, and they just kind of added those heavy synths on top of it. So I really like the sound and they rhythmic patterns that they were doing for Dubstep when it was coming up, and I just kind of incorporated it into Run the Show, it was something I wanted to try.
BFS: Do you feel the marijuana culture associated with reggae music distracts listeners from other important themes like corruption and greed?
Tony-Ray: I think everyone takes in the messages their own way, for some, yeah, they focus on marijuana and that type of theme and purpose of reggae music. For others though herb is an introduction into reggae music and once you get that introduction you start to learn about what the message is about. What it started with in Jamaica and it is a very spiritual message.
BFS: What reggae bands that you have met on the road should we be on the lookout for in the years to come?
Tony-Ray: The bands we are on tour with now, both from Los Angeles; The Expanders, Arise Roots, we are big fans of those bands. There are so many man, I don’t want to leave anyone out. But some off the top of my head are Hirie, she’s a good friend of ours..she’s coming up. True Press also, but there are so many I don’t even know where to start.
BFS: Yeah there are tons, Hirie for example is great. Well that’s all of the questions I have for tonight. Good luck out there we can’t wait for your guys’ performance.
Tony-Ray: Right on man!
Interview & written by: Cullen Lobe
Photos by: Anders Junger