Artist Radar: The Black Seeds

Artist Radar: The Black Seeds

Welcome to another Pacific Island themed Artist Radar. Our weekly Artist Radar articles will be dedicated to each of the groups featured on the FREE Pacific Island Sampler . This week, we put our spotlight on Wellington, New Zealand funk fiends The Black Seeds..

In 2008, The Black Seeds released their fourth album, Solid Ground. A hot mess of bass heavy soul and reggae jams, the band was kind enough to share two tracks from the album on the Pacific Island Sampler, “Love Is A Radiation” and “Slingshot.”

Solid Ground and the remix compilation Specials are both available in the U.S. via Easy Star Records.

The Black Seeds Free MP3s:

FREE Songs: “Love Is A Radiation” and “Slingshot”

The Black Seeds Background
Originating from Wellington, New Zealand, The Black Seeds have carved out their reputation through platinum selling albums, a masterful 8-piece live show, and a unique sound that fuses infectious grooves and melodies with undiluted roots music. With numerous European festival tours and releases behind them, and a successful 2009 North American release, their following continues to spread quickly around the globe.

Led by the vocals of Barnaby Weir and Daniel Weetman, at its core The Black Seeds music is a boundary-crossing sound fusion of big-beat funk, dub, soul, and afro-beat, mixed with vintage roots-reggae. Lyrically The Black Seeds music expresses messages on different levels. Personal triumphs and failures, the fear of love, death, apathy, and relationships, give a personal insight into the lives of the musicians. Ultimately though, their songs are always under-pinned with an underlying positivity and optimism.

The Black Seeds Interview:
Daniel Weetman (Vocals, Percussion, MPC) was kind enough to answer a few questions about the current status of the band, including some rumors about their new record and an upcoming U.S. tour.

The Pier: According to recent news, the band is currently in the studio recording a new album.
How is the process moving along?

BS: Some tracks are at the final stage of mixing and others still need a bit of work. We are all really proud of the work we have put into this album and can’t wait for people to hear it. Mike Fab (The Black Seeds guitarist) has been producing the album. No album title yet.

The Pier: When can we expect to hear the new album here in the U.S.?
BS: We are looking at having the album released early next year around April.

The Pier: Are you planning on returning for a U.S. tour soon?
BS: Yes we are looking at coming back to the U.S. in April or May

The Pier: If you come back to the U.S., who are some American groups that you’d like to perform with/see live?
Queens Of The Stone Age, Aloe Blacc, Battles, Beastie Boys, Mos Def, The Dead Weather, Interpol, Common. Oh man the list just goes on forever but just to catch one of these would be great.

Red Hot Chilli Peppers could be a good mix. Aloe Blacc. John Brown’s Body. Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad.

The Pier: When was the first time The Black Seeds performed in the U.S.? How were the audiences?
BS: About five years ago we played two showcase gigs, one in NY and one in LA. I remember we had a really good show in LA with a mix of Kiwis and Americans, possibly an Australian or two in a very vocal crowd.
NY was one of those shows where you play for 40 minutes and then another band from Sweden jumps up and plays Radiohead rip off ideas. Hey that’s cool, it was an interesting night that never really had a vibe but more of a rock quest feel to it. I’m glad we don’t do those types of shows anymore.

The Pier: You released the Specials remix album around this time last year. Did the experience of collecting a bunch of remixes affect the way you see those songs?
BS: We really enjoyed the work we got back for this project and it was great to see the music in a different light. We have taken little parts from some remixes and incorporated these great ideas into our show. It was a great project to do, and we would like to do the same in the future.

The Pier: Although The Black Seeds is typically understood to be a reggae band, the band also has quite a few funk/soul tracks in the repertoire. What links do you see between these genres?
BS: To me it’s all bass heavy, soul dance music. It also connects to blues and rock too, and we do too. We love to just play out what comes naturally and I think all of these styles over the many years sit side by side and mix together well. See you soon America!

For updates on The Black Seeds be sure to check out their website and facebook at the url’s listed below.

The Black Seeds Website
The Black Seeds Facebook

Article & Interview by: Chris Castro