A staple within the American roots-reggae genre, Tribal Seeds will soon hit the road for their upcoming Summer Smoke Out Tour with The Expanders and Arise Roots. We talked with one of Tribal Seeds’ founding members, Tony-Ray Jacobo, to discuss the tour as well as the state of his progressive reggae band.
Fresh off a packed performance on California Roots’ main stage, the members of Tribal Seeds were a major presence beyond their Sunday set on May 24th. Joining the stage with a few of their fellow collaborators, Tony-Ray told us that the Monterey festival provides the band a unique setting to interact with the community of like-minded artists.
“A lot of the bands that played California Roots are good friends of ours. It was great to come together and share the stage with them; it was like one big party. Touring is cool but to be in a festival where we are able to get together with our friends from other bands, it was just an awesome experience.”
A couple of Tribal Seeds’ members, E.N Young and Ryan Gonzalez AKA Gonzo, are starting to become established solo artists in their own right. E.N performed a set of his own at California Roots and Gonzo’s second album, Red, reached #6 on the Billboard Reggae charts.
[Related: Live: E.N Young at Cali-Roots 5-24-15]
“E.N and Gonzo are doing their own thing with their music and tours right now and we totally support that. It is awesome that those guys are able to have that creative outlet and get out there and do it on their own.”
Not to be outdone, Tony-Ray is starting to branch out and create some different music outside of the band as well. While he is hesitant to provide us with details at the moment, the part-time producer will surely have fans awaiting the impending release.
“I am starting my own side project as well. The album is called Reach Out and there will be some pretty awesome features on the music that looks to be released sometime in the summer. That is all I can say right now.”
Based in the southern California city of San Diego, it comes as no surprise that Tribal Seeds is influenced by the popular reggae music of Latin America. For those who are unfamiliar with the Spanish-speaking sect of our genre, Tony Ray gives us a couple bands to listen to.
“There is a lot of good reggae music coming out of Puerto Rico right now like Gomba Jahbari. He is one of our favorites and we have also been listening to a lot of the Chilean group Gondwana. We listen to a lot of Latin American reggae and those are just a couple that stick out.”
As for the possibility of any new Tribal Seeds songs in the works, Tony-Ray tells The Pier that fans may have to wait until after the band is off the road to hear any new music.
“We are writing some new songs but we are not going to play them on tour. Those songs are still in the beginning stages of the process but we will play a lot of material off of the latest album, ‘Representing’.”
Tony-Ray and the rest of the Tribal Seeds crew start their Smoke Out Tour with both The Expanders and Arise Roots on August 24th in Tucson, Arizona. In the meantime, the group will play several notable events such as the Ottawa Bluesfest on July 12 (a festival whose lineup includes Kanye West and Lynyrd Skynyrd) and Rootfire At The Beach on August 2nd.
The band’s latest album, Representing, was released in 2014 and debuted at the number one spot on Billboard’s Reggae Charts. Besides Tony-Ray, Tribal Seeds lineup consists of younger Jacobo brother Steven Rene (vocals and guitar), Carlos Verdugo (drums), Victor Navarro (bass), E.N Young (keyboards and vocals), and Ryan Gonzo (guitar and vocals).
Listen: Tribal Seeds – Representing (Full Album Stream)