The Island Sound will publish an Exclusive Interview with Boston based band, Spiritual Rez on September 24th.
Veterans of the touring circuit, Spiritual Rez, has formed their sound with a fusion of reggae, ska, funk, rock, dancehall, jazz and everything in between. The band labels their sound as “the craziest reggae dance party you’ll ever be a part of.”
With well over ten years of consistent touring, Spiritual Rez performed their very first legitimate show in Hilo, Hawai’i, during 2003.
The band officially came together with the three core members of Toft Willingham (vocals and guitar), Jesse Shatternick (bass) and Ian Miller (drums) in Boston at the Berklee College of Music.
Prior to the performance in Hilo, Spiritual Rez was playing locally at college parties in the state of Massachusetts.
In speaking with drummer, Ian Miller, the show that displayed their chance at making a name in the reggae genre was their performance at the Palace Theater in Hilo. “I will never forget that night,” Miller says. “It really solidified the fact that this is what we wanted to do for a living. The energy of the show was amazing. We weren’t rock stars, we were just kids up there having a good time with the crowd. But, that’s what we wanted to do.”
From the earliest of days as a band all the way to the upcoming release of their latest studio album, Setting In The West, Spiritual Rez has carved out their own hardcore fan base at each tour stop they hit. The shows have become even more electrifying and energetic than their first performance in Hawai’i. The band now features six members, adding Quinn Carson (trombone), Julian Dressler (trumpet) and Mohamed Araki (keyboards) to the three founding members.
For the upcoming full-length interview, the topics discussed focused on the new album, set to be released on October 7, 2016, the collaborations featured on the new record, including Hirie and Dustin Bushnell or “Duddy B” of Dirty Heads, as well as life on the road, the differences between the East Coast reggae community and the West Coast reggae scene, and much more.
“Obviously, the American reggae scene is still California based,” Miller said. “I don’t want to say it is oversaturated, because for me, I can never have too much reggae. The East Coast reggae movement has really supported itself. The bands have all been tirelessly working, and I see some of these bands on the East Coast not getting the proper reception that they need or deserve. It just seems like a lot more effort and a lot more work for some of these East Coast bands to get it running, compared to the West Coast or California bands. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, either. This is life and you have to work for everything you have.”
Miller continued, “Now, more recently on tours, we have been fortunate to meet a lot of these bands from the West Coast and make a connection with Iration, who call the Big Island of Hawai’i home, Dirty Heads, Hirie and the list goes on. The genre really is one big family, once you make that connection.”
In anticipation of the studio album release from Spiritual Rez, The Island Sound will publish the full-length interview with Ian Miller and Spiritual Rez on September 23, 2016.
For more information on Spiritual Rez, follow the links below.
Video: Spiritual Rez – “Sober” (Official Music Video)