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Interview with Lucky Dub: DC Deli's Band of the Month (November)

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Interview with Lucky Dub

- by Dawn Reed

DC's frontrunners when it comes to combo-ing up some reggae with dub with funk with ska with etc etc is hands down Lucky Dub who killed it in our recent poll for Band of the Month. From the large line-up of musicians, we got a hold of John Baker (bass guitar) and Gordon Daniels (vocals/acoustic guitar) to shed some light on what makes Lucky Dub so dubtastic. Here they talk about worldwide reggae, Patty Boom Booms, and their upcoming Remix EP. Now on to the interview...

-How did the band start?

John Baker (bass guitarist): The band really started a little over two years ago when Gordon Daniels stepped in as our lead vocalist. We had just started jamming with this guy from Jamaica, but we felt like we were still missing something vocal wise.  We had a show lined up at Asylum, in DC’s downtown Adam’s, and I asked Gordon, whom I had met just a few days before at an acoustic jam, to come out to the show.

 Turned out, our singer from Jamaica pulled a complete no show (haven’t seen him since), so I asked Gordon if he could jump on stage and rock it with us, and he did!  People had no idea we had never played together before, it all just clicked.

 Gordon Daniels (vocals/acoustic guitar): I was just returning from a year of playing music in the Virgin Islands, and was looking for a band to start up or join. When I got to Asylum, they asked if I knew enough music to come up and help them out and I said "My guitar is in the car!"  We've been playing ever since. It was pretty much perfect.  Since then Lucky Dub has been growing, picking up talented musicians from the DC area. We've grabbed up keys, horns, backup singers, percussionists, and all that has snowballed into what Lucky Dub is today.

-Where did the band name come from?

Gordon:  The “Lucky” in the name stems from the optimistic and positive vibe that's in the music.  It's a fun, feel good kind of thing.  The “Dub” is a nod to the old school reggae that was our original springboard for the project. We have since gone in many directions with the music, but that's been our backbone.

-What are your biggest musical influences?

Gordon:  As a band, the Lucky Dub musicians draw on music from all across the board, from Reggae, Dub and World Music, to Jazz, Funk, and Hip-Hop. The guys all really have diverse tastes and talents.  Personally, I'd say I'm influenced by acts that have a taste for combining genres such as Gorillaz, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Fat Freddy's Drop, the Black Seeds, and anything from the producer Danger Mouse (Brian Burton). I love when musicians are picking out great elements from a range of styles, creating their own sound. That's something I strive for in my music.

 -What artists (local, national and/or international) are you currently listening to?

Baker:  Locally, there’s some great reggae acts in DC.  The Arkives rock some old school reggae classics every Tuesday night, and our good friends in Dub City Renegades, who just released a new EP.  Nationally, I’m digging on John Brown’s Body and Thunderbody.  We got to work with their producer, Jocko (www.moresound315.com), on our full length studio album, Mindset, which was a great experience for us.

Gordon: I do a lot of digging myself in international scenes for new music. For reggae/funk/dub/world music, there are great scenes all over. I'm listening to a lot of New Zealand bands like Salmonella Dub and the Black Seeds.  We got to work with their producer as well, Lee Prebble (www.surgerystudios.co.nz), for the dub remixes on Mindset.  Brazil has some great bands like Natiruts, and I'm loving some French bands like Tryo and Kana. I can't get enough of that.   

-What's the first concert that you ever attended and first album that you ever bought?

Gordon: Growing up, I was a little bit of a rock kid. My first CD, I bought two CDs together: Silverchair "Frogstomp" and AC/DC "Live". I started playing guitar because of the guitar intro on "Thunderstruck." My first concert was Van Halen, second was Nine Inch Nails. I guess you could say I got into the reggae music a little later.

Baker: I definitely had my fair share of punk bands I listened to when I was a kid, kind of standard for growing up in New Jersey at the time.  There’s a lot in common between true punk rock and reggae in terms of the message of the music, so I think I naturally gravitated towards the genre when I got out of my angry teenager phase.  One of the first big concerts I went to was 311, with Incubus opening for them. I think the crossover that 311 has, helped expose me to some of the reggae vibes early on.

-What do you love about DC's music scene?

Gordon: Patty Boom Booms (www.pattyboomboomdc.com). It's a reggae club on U Street that kills it with live bands on week nights.

 I love the diversity of the scene, and there's some really smart and innovative musicians here. Thievery Corp. and a lot of their camp has really raised the bar for the DC scene in recent years. I love hitting the clubs and venues in DC, never knowing what kind of music you're going to be jamming to for the night.

Baker:  DC’s got an eclectic ear, people want to hear something a little different and often a little more “sophisticated”.  Audiences here want to know they're hearing something unique.  There's also some cool little spots you would never think would have live music, but they bring in some great acts in every week.

-What would you like to see change in the local music scene?

Gordon: One thing I would like to see improve, and not just locally, is more establishments investing in music. I wish more club owners were seeing the value live music brings to the culture of a city. I know it's tough economic times, but I've seen too many clubs turning away from live music, throwing on their top 40 iPod shuffle. Many seem to see it as a cheaper option and a safe bet. That being said, it's not only the venues squeezing out profits that are to blame. If the people demanded live music in clubs and only frequented where there was great music, clubs would have to step it up.

-What are your plans for the upcoming year?

Gordon: We're excited for a string of shows coming up this fall. We're headlining Rams Head Live on Saturday, Nov. 12, playing with some of our favorite regional acts on support, definitely a show you don’t wanna miss! We are holding our cards right now in DC for our big Remix EP Release Show, which should be in January.

You'll see us randomly around DC though, jamming in the clubs in Adams Morgan and other spots. Not officially as Lucky Dub, but in all kinds of off shoots having a great time and rocking some crowds. In addition to Lucky Dub putting together some more regional shows, we’re in the process of putting together a string of West Coast shows around New Years.

Record wise, we're all really pumped for our upcoming remix release, where Lucky Dub has teamed up with world renowned, Canadian based reggae producer Dubmatix (dubmatix.com). It's going to be 5 songs remixed from our full length album Mindset that came out earlier this year. We're still playing around with them a bit, but their sounding great. Can't wait to unleash that on our Lucky Dub followers.

-What was your most memorable live show?

Baker: My most memorable tour was when we hit the US Virgin Islands for two weeks of shows.  You can not beat playing reggae music on the beach, in the Caribbean, with the sun is setting behind you.  Other than that our last show at The Black Cat was off the hook and I’m going to remember that for a long time.  On our last song we had a 10-piece Brazilian drum line bust out of back stage and completely took everyone by surprise!  It was an incredible moment between us and the crowd, with the drum line sort of channeling the energy.

-Is there someone who has helped your band grow through support?

Baker:  Fred Cannon of BMI has really been a big help to us and we appreciate his support.  It’s always good to have a friend who knows the ropes of the industry and he’s a great mentor.  We also have a ton of close friends, our family, our crew, who have been there for us through out the years and we really couldn’t have got this far without them.  I’d love to name them all but the list would be too long!

-Is there a piece of equipment you couldn't live without and why?

Gordon: My percussion. If you have ever seen a Lucky Dub show, you'll know I love bringing out all kinds of percussion. I'm always collecting on my travels and bringing back some fun stuff to add to our sound.

Baker: Three words: Rack-Mount-Tuner!  While my bass stays in tune pretty well, it can be a life saver on stage to be able to adjust on the fly.

-Why do you read The Deli?

Baker: Because it has the choicest cuts of local and national indie music!

Gordon: I'd agree, I have a lot of respect for anybody that has their ear to the ground and eye out for what's going on in the scene. The Deli does a great job of that.



 

 

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Lucky Dub
Mindset

 

 
 
 
   

JEFF the Brotherhood talk record labels, play Walnut House, 11/4/11

 

Music industry novices and hopefuls of all types, lend your ears, and get to Murfreesboro’s Walnut House tomorrow evening.


Youth Empowerment through Arts & Humanities (YEAH) presents Seafood Hotline, Mom & Dad, and our favorites, JEFF the Brotherhood. Preceding their performance, Jake and Jamin are going to get into the ins and outs of running their nearly 10-year-old label. These guys built Infinity Cat with little knowledge of how to run a label going in; now they’ve got over 60 releases from some of Nashville’s best underground talent. Must be doing something right.


Did we mention this Q&A session is free?? No reason not to go. The seminar starts at 7:30, show is at 8:30. Tickets are $10, though there’s a $2 discount for MTSU students who attend the Infinity Cat Q&A and bring their student ID.

   

The Silent Comedy - Cruelty and Clemency EP

The Silent Comedy comes back to the main stage (and your mp3 players) with full force by delivering their latest release, titled Cruelty and Clemency, with a true pulse behind it. Following their 2010 full-length album, Common Faults, the new disc is no exception to the talent and vigor these San Diego boys bring. After spending time on the road and sharing the stage with acts such as Mumford and Sons, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, and Saint Motel, the band rallied back to the studio, producing another EP filled to the brim with gritty vigor and raw, tantalizing magic coursing through its veins. It’s hard to imagine so much energy can be packed in just five tracks, but The Silent Comedy never comes up short when embodying their music with punches of melodies and crunchy guitar chords. Halloween day kicks off their tour in support of Cruelty and Clemency, which is released the following day, November 1st. You can also check them out live at the Bootleg theater on November 14th. - Mary Broadbent

The Silent Comedy - Exploitation

   

Interview with the deli's Artist of the Month: Bear In You

deli: How did the band start?

Bear In You: A jam and game of Tony Hawk in Phil’s addition. Then two hot months of nonstop writing and recording. Then we played some songs. Then we didn’t play for two years. Then we got together and wrote and recorded a 12-song album of new originals.

deli: Where did the band name, Bear In You, come from?

Bear In You: We came up with it (obviously). There are two meanings-- the first is to implore listeners to get in touch with the carnal nature that comes with being human/animal. The second is an innuendo-- we (Clark, Phil, Avery) are bears, and we are INSIDE OF YOU.

Click here to read the rest of the Q&A with Bear In You.

   

Q&A with the deli's Artist of the Month: Bear In You

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Interview with the deli's Artist of the Month: Bear In You
- by Chrissy Prisco

deli: How did the band start?

Bear In You: A jam and game of Tony Hawk in Phil’s addition. Then two hot months of nonstop writing and recording. Then we played some songs. Then we didn’t play for two years. Then we got together and wrote and recorded a 12-song album of new originals.

deli: Where did the band name, Bear In You, come from?

Bear In You: We came up with it (obviously). There are two meanings-- the first is to implore listeners to get in touch with the carnal nature that comes with being human/animal. The second is an innuendo-- we (Clark, Phil, Avery) are bears, and we are INSIDE OF YOU.

deli: What are your biggest musical influences?

Clark’s influences -- Arctic Monkeys, Queens of the Stone Age, Interpol, Spoon, Kings of Leon, Curren$y and Nas’ Illmatic.
Phil’s influences -- Third Eye Blind, Kid Cudi

deli: What artists are you currently listening to?

Phil -- Modest Mouse, Morning Teleportation, Odd Future, Pink Floyd
Clark -- Sleigh Bells, The Dead Weather, The Horrors, MuteMath’s Odd Soul, N.E.R.D.

deli: First concert attended? First album purchased?

Bear In You: I (Phil) saw Weezer and Foo Fighters together for my first concert. Weezer has always been a favorite band of mine, and Dave Grohl is one of our band's biggest influences. My first album purchased was Room on Fire by The Strokes, although my parents bought me tons of N’SYNC and Backstreet Boys prior to that, which I cannot deny I enjoyed thoroughly.

The first album I (Clark) purchased was Nelly’s Country Grammar. The first concert I ever attended was Jammin’ 94.5’s SummaJam, and all I really remember from it was getting a picture taken with a bunch of well-endowed models wearing matching t-shirts. I was in 6th grade and it was awesome.

deli: What do you love about Boston’s music scene?

Bear In You: The variety. I (Phil) am going to college here in Boston, and the number of local bands that I’ve seen and met has been awesome. Every type of music, from hip-hop to jam bands, can be found here, and they know how to throw a great party too.

deli: What would you like to see change in the music scene?

Bear In You: The past couple decades have introduced this huge DIY mentality when it comes to creating music, if you haven’t noticed... This is really great for music everywhere, but it has also caused for a lot of repetitious music to come out that’s all been done before. We definitely hope this mentality continues to spread, but hopefully people will start to get really creative again. There’s never been a better time to make music, so I have faith that that’ll happen.

deli: What are your plans for the year?

Bear In You: Education... The three of us have been split-up geographically because of our education, but this Summer more writing, recording, (and hopefully performing) is in store for us.

deli: What was your best live show?

Bear In You: The only one we’ve played thus far: Avery’s surprise going-away party in 2009, when he moved away. It was pretty awesome, considering it was a surprise...

deli: Who has helped our band grow, through support?

Bear In You: Our Parents-- We spent over 200 hours, at the very least, in the Jacobson/Ward residency. Most of those hours were loud, and some of those hours were spent engaging in activities of questionable decency. Our parents were more than tolerant of the goings-on upstairs, all of which were necessary to our success this Summer. And they even let us drink beer! Thanks, Mom(s).

deli: Is there a piece of equipment we couldn’t live without? Why?

Bear In You: Phil’s Macbook Pro. Sweet, sweet Jesus, Phil’s computer. ‘Nuff said.

deli: Why do you read the Deli?

Bear In You: Who isn’t always looking for good new music? Considering how many bands are putting out damn tasty originals from their garages, apartments, etc, the Deli is probably the best place to find eargasmic tunes that you couldn’t find with ease if it weren’t for this site.

 

 

Bear In You


 
 
 

 

                                                 Bear In You

                                            Iller By The Second

 Bear in you