When he’s not recording new music or touring with Rebelution, drummer Wesley Finley keeps quite the busy schedule as we caught up with him to discuss his production of The Olés sophomore record, Rise.
Like Rebelution, The Olés also hail from Isla Vista, CA, and have been playing their own brand of reggae-rock since 2013. Wes Finley has been drumming with Rebelution for more than 12 years with six full-length albums to his name, including the most recent, Free Rein, that dropped in June.
[Related: Rebelution Announces Free Rein Summer Tour]
Wes told The Pier that he became friends with The Olés through a mutual friend while living in Santa Barbara,: “It was charming to see a new generation of bands still doing the Isla Vista thing and carrying the torch so to speak.” He goes on to describe the band as ambitious and professional with a different sound.
As for the musical journey of The Olés, they’ve gained quite the grassroots following from playing locally over the years near Santa Barbara, CA. The band includes Matt Tweed (vocals, guitar, bass), Cole Leksan (vocals, guitar, bass, keys), Daniel Kearney (bass, vocals, keys), and Westin Byerly (drums). They’ve self-branded their music as “Reggae Rock Dub Hop” and their debut album, Strictly Speaking, hit the shelves in 2016 featuring 14 tracks.
The band shared with The Pier that their new album, Rise, should drop sometime in late September. It was recorded and produced at Playback Recording Studio in Santa Barbara, and fellow Rebelution bandmate Zach Meyerowitz is featured as the trumpet player on a few tracks as well.
Songs Wes was raving about from The Olés new album include “Angel,” “Burn Glow” and “Run to the Moon,” which features a great intro/outro: “the song is spacey, has a deep and dark tone that resolves nicely, and is even Floydian at times.”
Wes informed The Pier that this was his first production experience outside of his work with Rebelution, but would certainly welcome the experience of producing another record, and hinted that it was challenging yet rewarding:
“From my own experience, being on the other side of the glass and working with other producers, I was sensitive to the anxiety that can come from studio pressures of forcing musical ideas, or art in general. It doesn’t usually work out from my experience and the performance can come off as awkward and stiff. I’m a drummer, but I have to let Westin be himself and have his own sound, which for him is rooted in jazz. It’s really important as a producer to understand the musician’s perspective and abilities and to give them confidence so they can execute their best ideas.
Wes also mentioned to keep an eye out for new music coming from David Grijalva of the Hallway Ballers in addition to possibly revisiting ToneDown; Eric Rachmany and Wes’ old acoustic rock group. Looks like Wes will revisit that to lay down some heavier instrumentals! Check back at The Pier for more details.
The Olés – Rise Tracklist:
2.) Losing you
4.) Burn Glow
7.) No Signal
10.) Run to the Moon
11.) Astral Tenements
The Olés Website
Article By: Brian Glaser
Photos By: Paul Otte
Listen: The Olé’s – Losing You