Dub Rock Syndicate is an online reggae website that spotlights Colorado Reggae Music. It was on this site where we were fortunate enough to meet owners/brothers Chad & Kyle Hillje. This past summer Chad & Kyle sat down & interviewed Pepper while @ the Red Rocks Amphitheatre for the unity tour w/311 & Offspring. It was shortly after reading this interview that Chad & Kyle Hillje joined The Pier Family! We couldnt help but post this awesome interview w/Pepper & be sure to look out for more interviews exclusively here @ The Pier courtesy of the Hillje brothers out of Colorado….
It was a rainy July afternoon in Morrison, Colorado as we ascended up the terrain at the world famous Red Rocks Amphitheatre for the 2010 Unity Tour featuring Pepper, Offspring and 311. As we surfaced at the top of the hill, slightly rain soaked, we met up with The Coach, Pepper’s tour manager, and met the winner of Pepper’s karaoke contest, Josh Gonzales, whom did a great cover of Pepper’s new release, “Mirror”. We took cover in the back of Pepper’s tour bus, drank some Coors Lights, and spoke about everything from LAW Records to Jack Johnson’s ex-girlfriend and her upside down uterus. Enjoy!
DRS: Here we are once again at Red Rocks for the Unity Tour and we are sitting with none other than Kona’s very own, Pepper. How are you guys feelin’?
Pepper: (Kaleo) We’re feelin’ like lifeguards! (Brett) So, so, noivous! (laughs) Na, we’re feelin’ great! (Yeesod) We’re feelin’ safe as ever ‘cause like Kaleo said, “we’re lifeguards”. (Kaleo) We are certified, we got our training and we are good to go. Basically, if you drink too much, we are allowed to mouth-to-mouth resuscitate you. Unfortunately, it’s been a weird thing cause there is a high level of dude’s not being resurrected. Seriously though, we have been waiting for this show all tour and we love it here!
DRS: That explains the ample amount of females at your shows. We know you guys love Colorado. You recorded your live album (Kona Gold) here.
Pepper: This place is perfect!
DRS: Congratulations on your two new singles released today “Wake Up” and “Mirror”. This is a huge teaser for your fans and they want to know, is there a projected release date for the album yet?
Pepper: (Kaleo) Yes. It’s the future. Near, but not too near, more mid-ish future, but not too far future. It would be a near to near far future. (Brett) We’re working with a serious timeline so it will definitely be out before the Mayan calendar ends.
DRS: Ok Pepper fans, when the world is ending you can pick up the new Pepper album (laughs).
Pepper: We actually have a show booked on that day. We will play all the new songs (laughs).
DRS: No better way to go out!
Pepper: You guys have to learn Mayan first though. We will only be doing our songs in Mayan.
DRS: Should be interesting! You guys have worked with some heavy hitting producers by the likes of Steve Kravic, Ron Germain (The Saint), Tony Kanal, Paul Leary, and 311’s very own, Nick Hexum in recording your past five studio albums. Is there a certain process you guys go through when selecting a producer for your albums?
Pepper: (Kaleo) Yes, it’s “will you please work with us?” and if they say yes, then it’s good to go. (Yeesod) Whoever is the cheapest. (Brett) Money is not an object cause we don’t have it!
DRS: At least you guys have upgraded from the white van!
Pepper: (Brett) Chopper One, great white buffalo, god rest your soul.
DRS: Pour a little out. Who is behind the wheels for the new album?
Pepper: (Kaleo) Actually, the first two songs are produced by yours truly. Cheap and easy! (Yeesod) We have two more that are being mixed right now that we all did. (Brett) We are becoming great producers. (Kaleo) Speaking of which, how is the feedback from you guys? Have you heard the new songs and have you downloaded them?
DRS: But of course! It keeps getting better and better with you guys. A lot of our readers are big fans!
Pepper: We are playing “Wake Up” tonight.
DRS: Are you guys playing “Mirror”?
Pepper: (Yeesod) We only have a half hour to play, so not this time. (Kaleo) The best thing for Denver is that we will be back for a complete inspection in the fall for a full show at The Fillmore I believe.
DRS: Sweet! “LAW Records” is your independent label that features the likes of Iration, The Supervillians and Passafire. Is it true that “LAW” was once a record label that Yeesod’s father started in the 80’s?
Pepper: (Yeesod) It was his band called “The Law” actually, and our record label logo was their band logo. They started their own label in 1983, released their own album, and then the band broke up. (Kaleo) Their album was awesome! We would actually like to re-do their album if we ever get good enough. They had hits like “Baby don’t you know…You’re a hooker.” (Brett) The genes were so strong that “The Law” was a three piece just like Pepper.
DRS: You guys teamed up with Volcom back in 2001, which set the stage for you guys joining the Warped Tour and the release of your 2nd studio album “Kona Town”. How much of a role does “Volcom” play now that you guys have your own record label?
Pepper: (Kaleo) The relationship has been so good. It never ever went south and you always hear these story’s and cliché’s about record labels and bands getting into these huge arguments over contracts and money, blah blah blah, but to this day, we have the best time working with each other. In fact, if you pay attention to our lifeguard outfits you will notice how “Volcom” made everything we are wearing from the shirts, to the track jackets and the shorts, everything! Everyone at Volcom Entertainment we have nothing but love for! We are also doing the volcanic Volcom Hawaii Tour in December. It’s gonna be Kaua’i and O’ahu and then Maui and the big island. (Brett) Pepper and Volcom are stronger than ever!
DRS: We are gonna have to try and make that one! You guys were in the Volcom lab with designers, designing your very own Pepper board shorts. Are those available yet and how do your fans pick some up?
Pepper: (Yeesod) They will be available as part of their spring line in the spring of 2011. I’m pretty sure you can buy them online but they will be everywhere Volcom is sold.
DRS: Excellent! So, in the UFA point skit on the album “No Shame” who does the voice of the wine sucking Pepper groupie?
Pepper: (Kaleo) That’s Brett!
DRS: Can you give us a little sample?
Pepper: (Brett in wine sucking groupie voice) Oh, you so nasty! (Kaleo) The coach was leading it perfectly! We did all that in one shot. (Brett) It was very romantic to be honest.
DRS: Just cried a little (laughs). So we have one last question… Is it true that the song “Tounges” on “Kona Town” was written by Jack Johnson? How did that come about?
Pepper: (Kaleo) Um… He started writing it and we found it in his trash. See, he dated this girl with an upside-down uterus for a long time. He lived next door on the north shore around the same time. He actually threw it out, and when they broke up, he was so mad ‘cause she was spending a lot of time with us or whatever, and she was like, “Here, why don’t you pay attention to a real song” and pulled it out of the trash and threw it to us. So we kept it and decided to release it.
DRS: Wow…true story?
Pepper: That’s what we read on Wikipedia. (Brett) We want to give a shout out to C.J out there. You’re a sweet girl, get that thing fixed.
DRS: Thanks for taking the time to interview with Dub Rock Syndicate! Guys, have a great show and good luck with the rest of the tour!
Pepper: Bring it in, on 3! One-Two-Three, DUB ROCK SYNDICATE!
Interview by: Chad Hillje
Edited by: Kyle Hillje