Y’all will join Steel Pulse on Sunday for what is sure to be one of our new favorite collaborations of all time. As a band that has collaborated with artists in all worlds of music including Metallica, Green Day, and Nas, what do you think will be unique and special about playing with the reggae legends at LOCKN’?
Steel Pulse is a favorite of ours. They are real legends, the real deal. Their musicianship, vibe and feel is totally natural, free and organic. Steel Pulse has the deep spiritual connection to their music and performance that inspires us. The Soul Rebels have a connection to reggae culture which is obvious via our band name. Reggae music and ska inherently have a deep legacy of horns and drums, so what we do together at Lockn will surly represent the organic nature of reggae and collaboration. Sonically it’s going to be a vibe for sure. We actually crossed paths with Steel Pulse years ago in New York when we did a three band bill together at Terminal 5: Galactic, Steel Pulse and The Soul Rebels. We’re very excited and blessed to share the stage with the legendary Steel Pulse.
You opened for The Rolling Stones on July 14 in New Orleans. Congratulations! How did that gig come about? How did you prepare to open for such a legendary act?
We always do The Soul Rebel thing whether it’s touring with Nas, Wu-Tang Clan, Marilyn Manson, DMX, opening for The Rolling Stones or any of the special artists, bands and friends we tour and collaborate with. The sound and style of what we do transcends genre and truly represents the soul and connection with the audience and is high energy. We always bring a good feel-good vibe, high energy and funk. We’ve become the go-to group in New Orleans for big-name artists to share the stage with when they are in town and want a contemporary sound. Artists ranging Katy Perry, G-Eazy, DMX, Nas, Rakim, Joey Bada$$, Pretty Lights and others all have called us to hop on their shows when performing in New Orleans.
You put a mainstream spin on brass band music by incorporating hip-hop and R&B to make an urban contemporary sound. By doing so, you’re able to appeal to traditional jazz music lovers while also captivating new listeners. When starting the band, was it always the goal to make accessible music that could easily appeal to a wide audience, or did that just come naturally?
Yes, this was always the goal. The goal of the band has been to of course honor our roots, the tradition and the legacy and style of New Orleans brass band culture, but completely modernizing it, innovating and making the sound, feel and style totally contemporary and ours by weaving in hip hop, technology and exposing the music to new and fresh environments. Keep in mind, we tour all over Asia and globally. We just played in South Korea and in rural China. We’re trying to spread our culture and style, and share our gift with the world.