This is How Spiritual Rez Always Leaves Their Audience Screaming For More
We got the chance to speak with Ian Miller, drummer of reggae/funk band Spiritual Rez. These guys have been rocking venues and festivals all across the country and will be continuing the fun at Garcia’s on January 5. Find out what makes their crowds dance and scream for more, and be sure to grab a ticket to come see it for yourself!
1. When describing your sound/style, you have been cited saying that you are, “the craziest Reggae dance party you’ll ever be a part of.” Can you elaborate a little bit about that? What does that mean to you?
We enjoy the fact that Reggae is a common-factor in the influence of what we do, but it’s certainly not the only part of the Spiritual Rez show and musical influence. Our mission live is to play the songs we record in inventively-fun ways to create an all encompassing and high energy dance experience possible for the people watching it, not just a run of the mill Reggae show, heavy on individual showmanship and improvisation.
2. This October, you released your latest album, Setting in the West. In the past, you guys have handled production duties independently. What was it like working with a separate producer? Were there any “a-ha!” moments?
The entire process was a huge “a-ha!” moment for us! Not just recording with Producers, but those in separate genres. Kenny Carkeet of Awolnation, Max Collins from Eve6 – Not the usual blend of Reggae producers, but people with some awesome knowledge to impart to us. We enjoy “Setting in the West” as another step for Spiritual Rez, to showcase our genre-bending capabilities, and a listen-worthy album for us to build on live.
3. You’re known for not limiting yourselves to a standard, concise genre, yet you definitely still have a distinct style. Does your new record have songs that dabble in territory that was previously uncharted?
Yes absolutely. “Blue Faces,” a more Ballad-surf-centered-love song, heavy on the horn lines and groove. That was very fun to experiment with. Also “Digital Age” a much more minimal, but extremely catchy and very poignant song for the times.
4. We read that three of your members all met at Berklee College of Music in Boston, a globally recognized music school. Can you tell us a little bit about how you met and how everything “clicked” so perfectly?
The core of the band met within the first few weeks at the College. Our singer Toft, Bass Player Jesse, and myself met and literally clicked immediately. Our bass player and myself were in a band together in High School, with a somewhat similar basic concept – Create a fun party live, with Reggae, Funk and Rock blending it. Toft had always wanted to form a band like that, so off it went. Berklee is a hot bed for talent, and we’ve been lucky to add Mohamed Araki on keys, and a master horn section in Quinn Carson and Julian Dessler.
5. You’ve been from coast to coast throughout your career, and played at many legendary venues. Have you ever seen a show at The Capitol Theatre, and are you familiar with the history? With Garcia’s being named after Jerry Garcia, can you let us know if the music of Garcia has influenced you at all?
The man’s vibe, through his whole career, is a shining example for all. Be humble, create good music, be an example for all those who follow it. His music spoke mountains to many, to even most who encountered it, and it has created an age-and-generation-defying family of people invested in live shows. We are so thankful to spend our first time in this space at the venue of his name and look forward to the day we get to grace the Theatre itself.