Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Interview with The Wailers lead singer

Posted by admin On March - 3 - 2008

I knew that we were supposed to do an interview with the Wailers either today or tomorrow. What I didn’t know was that it was going to be practically dropped on me in a matter of twenty minutes. I got a few questions together, and got the call that I was going to be patched through to Elan, the lead singer of the Wailers.

Andy: Do you enjoy the music festival scene?
Elan: It’s fun. We play music.
A: Have you played at Langerado before?

E: I haven’t. Maybe I have, I just don’t remember.

(At this point I was starting to get worried. Most of the questions that I had come up with were about music festivals and Langerado. When he only had two words answers and couldn’t even remember if he had been at Langerado, I was wondering if he was really into the interview. Luckily, he added a little more about Langerado, and was more talkative when I switched my line of questioning.)
I’ve heard a lot of great stuff. I heard it’s beautiful. I’m excited to play there with my comrades.

A: What does it mean to be the lead singer of a band like the Wailers?
E: It means that I have a job. It’s about keeping the message alive, and being a part of a unit that is part of a major message overall. One that’s been going since long before I’ve been here, and giving it out to people all across the world. That’s what I think it means.

…What I do, I give thanks everyday. I get to do what I love. Everybody’s like it must be hard filling Bob Marley’s shoes. I am who I am. I am myself. I believe in the music, I believe the lyrics. I try to convey and include that in my music, and keep it alive.

A: Are there any memorable stories that stick out in your mind that they have told you about Bob since you’ve joined the band?
E: There are a lot of stories that I’ve heard. There’s so many. I don’t even know where to start. I don’t even know what’s proper. There’s a lot from Zimbabwe to… I don’t know a lot.
(I decided to let it go, and not press him for more because Zack and I are meeting them at the festival. Hopefully we’ll get some stories then.)
A: Have you ever played with any of Bob’s sons?
E: Yeah, I’ve played with all of them. When Damian and Julian just started out they opened up some shows for us in like late 1997-98. Kymani is a good friend of mine. Ziggy has also played with us.

A: How mu
ch of the live show is comprised of Bob songs versus originals?
E: Obviously we have the classics, right now it’s mostly the classics. We also do about 2-3 songs of my own material. Obviously when the new album is ready to go, we’ll incorporate

it more. It will be more of a medley of classics and then have more of the new material. And hopefully the crowd will want to hear more of the new album.

A: How is the new album coming along?
E: It’s coming along. It’s hard because the concept of it is like [Santana’s] Supernatural album. Getting contemporary artists to write new songs is hard. They all have their schedules and priorities and they’re all over the world. We’ve branched out to a bunch of artists, more than will be on the album. We want to be able to choose. This album, people that have been inspired by Bob and the Wailers, they’ve used that in their music and looked to that as a part of their influence. We hoping for a late summer release, a single maybe in July. We’re also working on a live album.

A: How do you feel about the state of reggae music now?

E: It’s a great state, because the music doesn’t go away. Especially in South America. The two different music styles there are reggae and hard rock. They’re all emo there, and wear all black like Marilyn Manson. It’s all reggae infused. It’s big, very dominant. Especially with mashing up different genres, with hip-hop, dance hall, rock, ska, everything.

A: What are some of your musical influences?
E: Reggae, roots, dance hall, new wave, especially Depeche Mode and the Cure. I come from LA so stuff from there and stuff from the 80s/90s. Also some Middle Eastern, latin, salsa and pop.
So this is about when I ran out of questions, and it seemed his attention span had wore down. I told him that his publicist was going to set up a meeting for us at Langerado, and that I looked forward to getting the chance to meet him in person. I know that Zack and I are definitely psyched to meet them, maybe share a sandwich.

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