Tribal Seeds recently released their fourth full length album Representing, which debuted quite nicely at #1 on the Billboard Reggae charts. We sat down with keyboardist, producer, vocalist and one of the original founding members of Tribal Seeds, Tony-Ray, to talk about the new album, the band’s history, underwear, and their upcoming appearance at Colorado’s ARISE Music Festival coming up this August 2014.
How did Tribal Seeds get started?
It started with myself and my younger brother, Steve, who's the lead singer. We started in 2003. We were both still in high school, and we started jamming with some friends in the garage, like most bands get started. We wanted to pursue it like, you know, legit. We wanted to make it our career, making music, and so we recorded some demos, just me and him. After we recorded some demos, we tried to find some band members, and recorded an album in 2005 in the garage. Then we started playing shows locally in mostly San Diego at the time and we wanted to play shows in California, so we kind of went from San Diego to Southern California and set out from there.
Cool. So, what was that one big break in your music career?
I think it was our good, good friends, Rebelution that took us on our first tour with them. I think they just released their album and we got to tour with them and Iration. It was our first time getting outside of California and I think that was our first exposure to some of the country.
What year was that?
Whenever they released the album. It was probably like five years ago. Something like that.
Nice. So backing up just a little bit. How did you guys find your sound? How did you define your sound?
Me and my brother, we grew up with Bob Marley since we were babies, you know? It was played in the household and that's what we grew up with. Bob Marley and Steel Pulse, Peter Tosh. We connected with the music and the message, so for Steve it was a big part for him to continue what they were talking about, what they were singing about in their music, so we wanted to continue that. You know, what we were inspired by growing up. So, there was a lot of positive messages, and we wanted to continue that. So, that is, to this day, a big inspiration for what we create. You know, the lyrics and music, we just wanted to continue that legacy.
Yeah, they're truly inspirational people, for sure. So, on your new album Representing, you guys have a lot of features from pretty prominent artists. You've got Don Carlos on there. You've got Kyle from Slightly Stoopid. You've got Mykal Rose on there. It's looking pretty good. How did those features come about?
Well, Don Carlos, we met him on the Slightly Stoopid tour that we did last year, the summer tour. And you know, he was real down to earth person. You know, like super humble. Super cool guy, you know, so it was just awesome getting to meet him, getting to know him, alongside Slightly Stoopid. You know, those are guys from San Diego that have been doing it for a long time. So, it was just an unreal experience for us to tour with Slightly Stoopid, and meet one of the legends that I grew up with. We just got to know him. We let him know we wanted to record him on our new album, and you know, he was down to do it and it was just amazing for us.
Yeah, Don's a real great guy. I met him a couple of times myself. As a band, what would you say was the biggest challenge?
Our biggest challenge maybe was finding the right band members along the way. We went through a lot of band members, and this current group that we have now are solid guys. Most of us have been touring for almost five years now. Gonzo, our guitarist and vocalist, did a couple verses on the new album.
He's really good. How long has Gonzo been with you?
He actually joined us last year, doing the tour with Slightly Stoopid.
I just noticed his album was number one. Congratulations for him. Good for him.
And that was a good addition. E.N. must have been a good addition too, huh?
Right. E.N. Young was the second newest addition to the band, and he brings a lot to the table. You know, he's an amazing musician and producer. You know, he's a songwriter himself. So, you know, he brings a lot to what we do.
Yeah, he inspires me too as keyboardist and piano player myself. Let's talk about the ARISE Music Festival a little bit which is out in Colorado. Are you guys looking forward to going to Colorado again?
Yeah, we are. Colorado has always been good to us, since the first time we've been there. They've been super amazing to us. You know, great crowd out there.
How you feel about the Colorado fanbase? You do pretty well out there?
Yeah, we love Colorado. It's amazing for us and like I said, you know, since the first time we'd been out there, they’ve given us a lot of support. A lot of fanbase out there. You know, we really appreciate the fans in Colorado.
What would be your favorite part of music festivals?
Getting to check out a lot of other bands and just the vibe altogether, you know? There's a lot of, people in the audience and the crowd, and it's just cool to experience that variety of genre-lovers and, you know, just that vibe. Just experience different music and it's just all around a great experience to play festivals.
Yeah, they're pretty unique experiences, both for bands and fans. You know, bands get to meet other bands and even jam in the campgrounds after hours, and stuff like that. That's personally my favorite part.
Yeah, it's a really fun experience.
Do you have anything to say to the ARISE Music Festival fans, or your fans in general?
You know, the people in Colorado, like I said, we’d like thank you so much for the support and the love over the years. And you guys have been one of the first states in the country to show us this amount of love and, you know, it's just unreal for us. Every time we go there, it's just a great time, an amazing time, and we really appreciate being there.
Nice. Last question. Boxers or briefs?
The people want to know, man. The people want to know.