We had the pleasure of meeting up with Roots of a Rebellion at California Roots this year. The Nashville-based jam band, who just released their third studio album, Shapes of a Soul, on May 31, 2019, talked with us about their music philosophy as well as how excited they were to play their first CaliRoots.
SDVibes: Tell me your story and your music philosophy, what is it that inspires you to make music.
ROAR: We started out as a band in college. We all met in Nashville, Tennessee, where we all live or are based out of. We became friends, first off, and started playing house shows and frat parties, like a lot of bands do. We were kind of doing a different style of music than most people do and hear in Nashville. There's not any reggae at all, but there are really good musicians. That's what was so inspiring living there, is that anyone could play. So we started playing, and once we graduated we said, "let's do this, let's tour." We've been touring for about 6 years.
We're just a bunch of guys that were friends first, and then we started a band and went to music college, so it's really nice to find people that are into Reggae and are into Roots music, and then being able to sprinkle in our own flavor from each individual's personal musical identities, which is pretty cool to have. But what we all play really well together is Roots Reggae, so it's a cool mix of music that you get to hear whenever you hear us perform.
But as far as a musical philosophy, I feel like action to music is dance. So the whole point of you getting up there and playing music is to make someone dance, even if they are standing still. So that's my biggest thing that I take when I'm on stage and playing music. And then when you're in the studio and you're listening to it back, does it make you want to dance inside, does it have that energy that makes you want to do something with your head. That's how I view music personally, as a philosophy.
We all collectively feel that music is a gift. We sometimes create it internally, but the real purpose of it is for everybody else. I think that's something that resonates with us. What we have been given is a gift and it's intended to be shared with anybody and whoever.
SDVibes: What is the one thing you wish people knew about your band?
ROAR: Being from Nashville kind of creates a different sound for us. Sometimes it takes someone seeing us, maybe twice, to kind of get a full picture of what we are going for, whether it be lyrically or musically. There's a lot of moving parts when you watch us. Which is really, very interesting to see a bunch of people giving the space for someone else to do something really cool. We are listening a lot on stage, which is really cool to have with some musicians that you trust. You're jamming, but you're not jamming, because there's no one that is off the tracks. Everyone knows that we need to keep this train moving. So that's what's always nice about being on stage and creating that energy forward.
Roots of a Rebellion certainly delivered an energy-filled performance at CaliRoots, and yes, I couldn't help but to dance, as did most of the crowd that came to watch them at this 10th anniversary event.
Their new album, which is the first full album released by the band since 2014, debuted at #1 on Billboard upon its release! It's available on most music platforms.
And to get the full experience, be sure to catch one of their live performances while they are on tour: http://rootsofarebellion.com/tour. We will be at their show at The Observatory North Park, San Diego, CA, on Saturday, June 29, 2019, happily dancing to their vibe.