By: SD Liz
San Diegoâ€™s very own Through The Roots is rising up. In addition to their national Spring tour with one of SDâ€™s favorite reggae bands, Tribal Seeds, the boys of Through The Roots are currently on another national tour with Iration and Tomorrows Bad Seeds. They also recently came out with an EP called Here To Stay, which tells us, these boys are â€œhere to stay.â€
Through The Roots played with another San Diego favorite, Stranger, whose CD Release Party we mentioned in August. This party took place in July, the same month that the Through The Roots EP came out. Most people were at the House of Blues in Downtown for Stranger, but when Through The Roots came on, one couldnâ€™t help but turn their ears and eyes toward these five young guys. Through The Roots pumped rockinâ€™ reggae music into the crowd with classic reggae riffs and noticeable rock tones. Evan Hawkins, the singer, spits good vocals and lyrics which relate to youthful things. The band, which consists of Evan, Bryan, Taylor, Chris, and Brady, performed also at the official Shoreline Jam After-Party held at The Gaslamp in Downtown Long Beach. The event took place during Labor Day weekend with some of the most popular reggae-rock groups in the scene, including SOJA, Iration, and Pepper. The band got a good reaction from the after-party crowd while playing such songs as, â€œWeekend,â€ â€œThrough The Roots,â€ â€œHere To Stay,â€ and â€œParadise.â€ The guys also dubbed instrumental solos.
With the release of their EP, Here To Stay, two national tours, and a growing fan base, Through The Roots has been accomplishing a lot since their debut in 2008. According to their website, their EP reached number 2 on the iTunes Reggae charts, and remains part of the Top 200. NUG Magazine caught up with the band at the Shoreline Jam After-Party to discuss how quickly their roots are growing, and how long they plan to stay:
Tell us about the past tour with Tribal Seeds and your excitement about the upcoming tour with Iration and Tomorrows Bad Seeds.
The tour starts September 24th in Arizona. Weâ€™re ready to get on the road and get out there again. We saw a lot of places in our first tour with Tribal Seeds, and itâ€™s always exciting to do stuff like that.
Yeah, what do you think about the music scene?
The California Reggae scene is on the rise and we are humbled to contribute to its success. All the bands we have performed with in this genre have collectively worked hard to promote the scene and spread the lifestyle and vision that we all enjoy. We suggest that people just cruise out to the shows and enjoy the scene.
What genre do you consider yourselves?
Rock Reggae, but we like to keep our music open to influences from all genres.
How did you guys form?
Evan: I started playing guitar during high school, and I realized I wanted to be in a reggae band. The music is just inspirational, so I started jamming it. I played with Taylorâ€™s good friend, Ross, but one day I met Taylor at Guitar Center, so we started playing togetherÂ too, and it turns out we went to the same high school together; we were just a year apart. So, me and Taylor were like, â€˜letâ€™s do this.â€™ Ross went back to school, and we ended up needing a bass player, so we found Bryan through a mutual friend named Chris. We found our buddy Shane through someone in college, and he was our old keyboard player. He had things going on for him, so we found Brady through Craigslist, and thatâ€™s one of the best things that happened to us because he brings a lot of character to the band. Weâ€™re stoked to have him. Chris, the guitar player, I met in high school, and I envied how he played guitar, so I checked up on him, and eventually he joined the band.
Taylor: The chemistry just built quickly and everybody gets along, so we just work well together.
Who are your biggest influences?
Bob Marley is one of the pioneers of reggae and easily one of our biggest influences. We are also influenced by artists such as Incubus, Dave Matthews Band, Groundation, Santana, Ooklah The Moc, and UB40. We all come from different backgrounds and have different tastes in music, so our list of influences could go on for miles.
We are a cannabis magazine. So, tell us your stance on the whole issueâ€¦
The issue right now in California is that Prop. 215 exists, and we didnâ€™t like Prop. 19, where the government was allowed to control the way we sell it, and the quality of it. Weâ€™re all for how it is right now with obtaining a medical card and getting your stuff. Weâ€™re for it whether it is legal or not, but we are for safe access. Weâ€™d love it to be legalized, but not the way that it was going. It definitely needs to be decriminalized federally.
What inspired your latest EP, Here To Stay?
Our inspiration is everyday life experience. We wanted to capture all aspects of these experiences, which range from topics like work and relationships to our drive and living out our dreams. The title track â€œHere to Stayâ€ is about making that commitment to turn dreams into reality. We hope that the lasting message for our listeners is to stay motivated and focus on your goals. Do not let any person or any obstacle knock you off your path.
You guys have a pretty big fan base already! How did that happen? Any wise words on how your music spread so fast?
Well, first, we are blessed and grateful to have a fan base at such an early stage of our career. It encourages us to continue making music and share our experiences. And honestly, we owe it to all the bands that have taken us out on the road and helped us spread our music. They have showed us the ropes and given us nothing but love and encouragement. We feel a sense of unity with all the bands in this genre, and we hope this translates to our audience. Life is a lot easier to manage with help from good friends.
Any plans after the Fall tour?
Once we are done with the Leiâ€™d Back Tour with Iration and Tomorrows Bad Seeds, we plan on getting back in the studio. We will be playing shows in the meantime, but we are eager to begin working on our next project.
Lastly, in one sentence, tell our readers what you want them to know about your music.
Our lives influence the music we create, so we hope that our listeners can connect with it, and in turn, connect with us.
The Leiâ€™d Back Tour will stop in San Diego twice on November 4th and 5th at the House of Blues in Downtown. For more information, visit www.throughtheroots.com, and find the band on Facebook, Twitter, and Myspace.