There is something about the groove of Jamaican-influenced music, and Kailua Kona, Hawaii reggae/rock trio Pepper are the perfect band for warm weather fun. Think ice-cold drinks, girls wearing next to nothing, BBQ’s, and a laid back good time.… Can you dig it? All of these seem to flourish with a good soundtrack, and Pepper is one of those groups to make it happen.
Having shared stages with some of my personal favorite artists, such as 311, Sublime, and Slightly Stoopid, Pepper continues to delight their fans with lighthearted party atmosphere’s and smooth jams, and you can pick up their latest self-titled album right now in stores! I caught up with drummer Yesod Williams via email prior to their excellent set at Scion’s BONZAI Fest in Rochester, NY to talk a bit about the new album, their monster touring schedule, and his favorite albums!
G- Hello and thank you very much for taking the time to speak with Live High Five today! How is everything going with Pepper on the road right now? Any particular standout cities you’d like to shout out?
Yesod – We’re just getting started so were absolutely frothing!!!!! I think I wanna shout out Rochester ‘cause we haven’t been there in years!!!! Like 10 years!!!!
G- You literally just dropped your latest self-titled release yesterday, September 3rd. Have you been playing any of the songs out lately? If so, how has the reception been to the new songs, and have you noticed any fan favorites off of the soon-to-be-released album? Any tentative single drops and/or videos in the works?
Yesod –We’ve actually been playing like 2/3 of the album, which is a first for us. With so many albums and having to spread it out, we usually end up playing a few or so. “Hunny Girl,” which we just released with the pre-sale of the album on iTunes, has been received really well!!!!
And yes, we just dropped a video for the single “F**k Around (All Night)”
G- Back to touring for a minute, you guys spend an inordinate amount of life on the road, and the road is no joke. How do you guys maintain such a rigorous schedule and how do you occupy your time when you’re traveling between gigs?
Yesod – Just this and that. We’ve been off the road quite a bit the last couple years due to being in and out of the studio making sure to get the new album right.
G- 4 albums every fan of you should know about and why. Go!
1. Metallica, …And Justice For All (some of the most brash emotion put on tape)
2. Beatles, White Album (a literal blueprint to the perfect pop music)
3. Nirvana, Nevermind (defined a generation, changed the face of music)
4. Bob Marley, Natty Dread (you could play these songs in any musical style and they’d be just as good)
G- Do you have a favorite song you have ever written? If you could only give 1 song to someone who’d never heard of you before, to try and make a new fan, what song would you give them and why?
Yesod – So far, my favorite that we’ve written is probably “Zicky’s Song.” And the one song is give someone would be is actually, speak of the devil, “Hunny Girl.”
G- You’ve already shared stages and headlined shows over a huge amounts of awesome bands and artists, but are there any bands or artists that you hope to share a bill with in the future? If you could curate your own feasible 3-band dream lineup to be on, who would you like to go on tour with?
Yesod – Foo Fighters, Red Hot Chili Peppers, UB40
G- What is the craziest or most memorable show that you have played to date? Where was it and what was it like?
Yesod – Slovania, Eastern Europe with the Mad Caddies. It was like playing a show in Game of Thrones
G-Do you wear hearing protection when you perform? Why or why not? Do you think it is important for your fans to protect their ears?
Yesod – Yes, very important, the body is a temple. We all wear in ear monitors that are like super high end ear buds that are perfectly molded to your ear, and this way we can have it as quiet or loud as we need
G- Lastly, as music biz veterans who’ve seen the ups and downs and ins and outs of the industry, what advice can you give some of the young, up and coming bands everywhere who want to make it in music, on the road, and as a professional musician?
Yesod – Surround yourself with good people and stay positive. Don’t be afraid of let down.