Backstage with Steel Pulse
Looking back at 2013, I have to share one of my most important interviews of the year. And, if you are a reggae fan, then you already know the kind of excitement (and nervousness) that ran through my body when I realized I was headed to Arizona to not only see a triple bill of Tribal Seeds, The Wailers, and Steel Pulse…but also that I was probably going to have a chance to chat with Steel Pulse backstage. I took the red eye flight to Arizona, jumped in a rental car and used the paper map (complete with highlighted route) they gave me to get myself to Cliff Castle Casino. Ah, nostalgia. (I used my phone to stream Spotify through the speakers. Win.)
I arrived for sound check and met up with the Wailers, hung out, and got my cameras ready for the show. The 100 degree heat rolled away and the wind tore through the outdoor stadium, located just on the edge of a cliff, overseeing the landscape surrounding Cliff Castle Casino. Tribal Seeds got the crowd moving, the Wailers followed them up for some classic Bob Marley music and then the show kicked into reggae gear with Steel Pulse. It was my first time seeing them, and they were incredible. Already a huge fan, I was over joyed to hear classics like “Roller Skates”, “Steppin Out”, “Sound System” and “Chant a Psalm.” One of their closing songs was “Put you Hoodies on”, a song written in memory of Trayvon Martin. Lead singer, David Hinds, passed around the microphone and it happened to go my way. I was honored to help sing for Trayvon. Steel Pulse is a purveyor of love and justice, and their songs and personalities reflect that. Just after the show, we ended up at dinner with Amlak, bass guitarist for Steel Pulse, and the entire conversation was focused around love, justice, equality and friendship. I have been impacted by them musically since I heard my first Steel Pulse song, and after meeting them, I’m honored to have had the opportunity to share conversation with them and see how closely they believe in the message they spread across the world.
I did have a chance to interview Selwyn, keyboardist and singer, and C#, drummer, for Steel Pulse. We chatted about the history of reggae and the interesting selection of the Wailers, Steel Pulse and Tribal Seeds. Steel Pulse was heavily influenced by Bob and Tribal Seeds are heavily influenced by both the Wailers and Steel Pulse. We chatted about the future of reggae and what Steel Pulse thinks we will see with this new generation of reggae, which is growing its own distinctive style. It was a bit of an impromptu interview, so I was lucky enough to have Drummie Zeb of the Wailers, and long time friend of Steel Pulse, volunteer to handle the camera. Towards the end of the interview, he jumped in to provide some thoughts. What a fantastic night. Take a look here and let me know what you think in the comments below or on YouTube.
Here are few shots from the concert. Have you seen Steel Pulse before? What is the reggae experience for you? Do you feel it at their concerts? Connect with Steel Pulse online, on twitter, youtube and facebook. Be sure to check them out if they ever come to a city near you.