Yesod Williams , 2008

 

Written by: Jason Perlman

 

First off, I have to ask, what was it like working with Steve Kravac?
It was super tough, we had never worked with a producer before, we were young, very green in the studio, so we got our asses whipped!!!! Like 50 takes of each song. I questioned if we could even consider ourselves musicians at some points. But at the end of the day I wouldn’t change anything. It's still our most popular album and has done tons for our career.

 

It seems any band that happens to open for 311 makes it in the grand scheme of the music world. What was that experience like and how, if at all, has that propelled Pepper?
That’s funny because they said the same thing, they’ve taken so many bands to open up for them in the past that have went on to be huge!!!!! It for sure helped because it was the first time playing in a lot of those bigger, legendary venues, red rocks in Colorado to name one. And anytime you go open for a band with such a huge great following, it always helps, we just played our hearts out and acted the sponges trying to soak up new fans!

 

As a Bad Brains fan, working with anyone dealing with that band would be legendary. Was there a different vibe working with Ron St. Germain?
We were amazed that he actually wanted to work with us, ha! We are such fans of a ton that he’s done, Soundgarden, Tool, 311, Bad Brains. That was a huge learning experience, he had some trippy ideas, the guy had more energy than us and we were half his age, he’s a legend, and we watched tons of high class porn that he turned us onto, Ha!

 

Now, when people think of Hawaii and pop music, it Is not Don Ho but Jack Johnson. How was it breaking out of the typical laid-back Hawaiian expectations?
We don’t really think about it, we just keep our eye on the prize. Sometimes people don’t expect the high energy rock show, then bam!


It has been eight years since the release of Give N’ It. How has the band grown in that time?
We’ve just matured in general, as people, as band mates, the songwriting has matured. We own our own label so we’ve taken on the busness side of the industry. And our live show has for sure been upped, we try to make it better everyday, it’s what we pride ourselves on!

 

With the rise of the Internet and a fan’s hunger for something different, smaller labels are thriving as major’s work to figure it out. What is it like to be on Law Records?
It’s epic controlling our own destiny!!!!! There’s a little more pressure because it’s our money that is being spent but it’s all good because there’s not a bunch of business men telling us what our music should sound like. And we get to promote other great bands like The Supervillains and Passafire!

 

With as much touring as Pepper does, how refreshing is it to have a new record, Pink Crustaceans and Good Vibrations, to tour under?
It’s like having new blood pumped into the set. One of the most exciting things is seeing how the new songs evolve live. They always end up morphing from what exists on the CDs.

 

I asked this question of the artists on the Suburban Noize tour and I think it applies here. How refreshing is it to be a part of a tour that defies the traditional commercialism associated with touring nowadays?
Similar to having our own label, you’re in full control. We’ve built pepper on the road and that’s the sacrifice.

 

You are going to be in Ohio just days before the election and with Ohio being the state to end all states, how much focus will you put on November 4?
Go Obama! We’ll be in England at that time specifically, so I’m looking forward to see the people in the UK’s reaction to whatever happens as an outcome.

 

Touching on the touring again, has playing with long-surviving bands like 311 who rely on the tour as much as recording helped shape the management side of the band?
For sure, we hope to take the good out of all situations, it key to observe and keep an eye out for positive things that result in success, 311, the chili peppers are great examples of that.

 

And how about recording? Can the band write as much and as well as it wants being on the road so much?
For sure, that’s what Macbooks are for!

 

It also seems that any band with some reggae beat in its music is always deemed a good party band and someone to listen to while having a good time. I am sure that is fine with you, but do you ever feel as if your music or lyrics are not taken seriously enough?
Nah. One of our main goals is to make people enjoy life through music and we seem to be pulling it off. The closest thing I can think to not being taken seriously is if any of our lyrics make people laugh but we’re totally into that.

 

Lastly, what should folks expect when coming to the Newport Music Hall on Oct. 29 to come check Pepper and others out just before Halloween?
Make sure and scream the songs you wanna hear, we don’t make a set list, we leave that up to the crowd. And get some rest before, it’s gonna be pure energy and fun!

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