Q&A Scene: The Black Seeds

What’s your favourite work at this point in time? 

Everybody Knows

Tell us a quick, on the road or studio, anecdote.

A guys at our dunedin show keep yelling out “sort it out boys!” At us throughout the show in between songs.

After a while I told him to fuck off and gave him the bird in front of everyone.

After the show he came up to me wondering why I had been so aggressive toward him.  All he wanted was for us to play our song ‘sort it out’ from our den one album. It is his favourite song and he had been a fan for 15 years. Doh! I apologised profusely and did a selfie with him. Poor guy. Oops, we love our fans .

What, or who, inspires you?

It inspires and confuses me that we are all living on a small planet  spinning towards the sun in the middle of the infinite universe somehow conscious of ourselves and capable of creating meaningful and abstract concepts that seem to give us a feeling of security and a sense that we exist. What the hell is this all about? Ahh, I might just have a cuppa tea and have a lie down.
Ooh game of thrones tonight too. Pringle?

Which song do you wish you wrote?

The wind cries Mary

What’s next for you?

Cup of tea, shower, dry my washing, sleepy time
Enjoy the tour , sing and play well, eat less bread, try to smoke less, earn more, stress less, stay alive, go walking, explore , rest , diversify, create, imagine, manifest, monetise, meditate.

What’s your scene? 

Meaningful relationships, grateful expressions , spontaneous adventures, manifesting musical ideas, fun without expectations. Playing my records, making records , avoiding television, eating tasty food, taking the piss.
Enjoying being in a cool band and playing live around the world with my brothers.
Enjoying the risk
Of it all. Letting it flow.

How would you describe your sound in food form and why? 

Our sound is like most Thai food.
A little bit sweet, a little bit sour, kinda nuts, spicy rhythms with salty bass lines with very satisfying results. We are like the tom Kah Gai  of the Reggae World. Give us a try.

About The Black Seeds

Since 1998, vocals led by Barnaby Weir and Daniel Weetman have been the driving force behind expressing The Black Seeds message. Conscious lyrics convey personal triumphs and failures, relationships good and bad, and are underpinned by a constant optimism.

The Black Seeds released their debut album Keep On Pushing in 2001, which despite a minimal marketing budget, went on to reach platinum sales in New Zealand.  In 2004, the next album, On The Sun, added a heavy dose of funk and soul to the band’s characteristic dub/reggae sound for the first time. The album reached triple-platinum sales in New Zealand and included one of the band’s biggest singles to date ‘So True’, which was accompanied by a beautifully shot video that captured the essence of summer life at the bottom of the South Pacific.

The third album, Into the Dojo, signaled the beginning of The Black Seeds introduction to the rest of the world after it was released by European label Sonar Kollektiv, garnering critical acclaim and airplay, particularly in Germany and France. The albums hit single, ‘One By One’ was written by ex-band member and co-founder of Flight Of The Conchords Bret McKenzie, and was featured in AMC’s smash hit Breaking Bad and included on that show’s Official Soundtrack. The Black Seeds’ music has also been featured in numerous other TV shows and movies including Weeds, Disney’s Eight Below, and The Inbetweeners II.

The Black Seeds first began making inroads into North America with the 2008 release of fourth album Solid Ground through Easy Star Records. The album debuted in the top 15 of the Billboard reggae charts and was named Soul Album of the Year by jambase.com’s Dennis Cook. The Huffington Post called it “a damn fine record…thick, bottom-heavy, and melodic.” The album was also supported by a successful U.S. tour with John Brown’s Body.

A live album (The Black Seeds Live: Vol 1) and 2nd remix album (Specials: Remixes and Versions from Solid Ground) followed before the release of 5th studio album, 2012’s Dust And Dirt. Jambands.com described it as “breaking barriers in the bestest of ways with its unique blend of funk with a reggae backbone.”

The album also received strong reviews in Europe, with Rolling Stone Germany heralding the group as “the best reggae band on the planet right now.” The album was supported by an 80 show tour with performances across three continents, and slots at festivals such as Rock en Seine, Lowlands and Sziget.

Around the recording sessions for the forthcoming album, The Black Seeds still found time to tour Brazil for the first time – playing four shows in Sao Paulo, Curitiba and Porto Alegre, as well as attending to their Canadian fans with a sold out show in Vancouver and a headlining spot at Victoria BC Ska Festival.

Having recently returned from a successful a US / Canadian tour in June, the band stresses that they focus a lot of energy on their live show. Weir says, “We’ve got our own specific South Pacific flavor that you wouldn’t have heard before.” If that’s true, you’re sure to hear it now, as The Black Seeds continue to reach new audiences the world over the same way they always have – by doing it their own way.


The Black Seeds Live are:

Barnaby Weir (Vocals/Guitar)
Daniel Weetman (Vocals/Percussion)

Jarney Murphy (Drums)

Nigel Patterson (Keyboard)

Ned Ngatae (Guitar)
Francis Harawira (Bass)

Barrett Hocking (Trumpet)
Lucien Johnson and Matthew Benton (Saxophone)


About Mary Boukouvalas 948 Articles
Mary is a music photographer and reviewer.

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