THE BLACK SEEDS – BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION
‘There’s no beating the old-fashioned lure of a band who have built up a mighty following through sweaty, hard-gigging performances. This applies to the supremely danceable New Zealand 8-piece The Black Seeds whose record sales attest to their loyal fan base… with charismatic vocalist Barnaby Weir at the helm there’s an immediate appeal to their fresh Pacific grooves… The Black Seeds’ tunes are packed with funk, reggae, dub, and good time soul…’
- The Metro, London
The Black Seeds’ latest album Solid Ground hits North American shores on a wave of great success in New Zealand, Australia and Europe. It spent 7 consecutive weeks in the Top 5 of New Zealand’s music charts. Now, Easy Star Records releases Solid Ground in North America in September 2009 (exclusively on iTunes from September 15, then everywhere else September 29).
Produced by the band’s guitarist Mike Fabulous, the album oozes with The Black Seeds’ distinctive flavor – from the heavy-hitting, Karma-inspired “Slingshot” and darker reggae/dub-infused tracks like “Send a Message” and “The Bubble,” to infectious reggae gems like “Take Your Chances,” “Love Is A Radiation” and “Come To Me,” and the funk/soul filled “Rotten Apple” and “Afrophone.” The North American release adds two previously unreleased bonus tracks: the funky soul instrumental “Year Of The Pig” and a dub version of “Strugglers.” The iTunes release will have two additional exclusive bonus tracks: an acoustic version of “One Step At A Time,” which lays bare the songwriting prowess of the band, as well as a dub version of “Bulletproof.”
The Black Seeds have their roots in the coastal capital city of Wellington, New Zealand - a small, tight-knit creative community that in recent years has produced such things as The Lord Of The Rings films, and the comedy duo Flight Of The Conchords (one of whom, Bret McKenzie, was a member of The Black Seeds until recently). Fitting in with the laidback, outdoor Kiwi way of life, reggae music was warmly embraced in New Zealand in the 70’s, embedding itself into the fabric of contemporary New Zealand culture and sewing the seeds for a burgeoning local roots scene, of which The Black Seeds have been at the forefront in recent years.
Led by the soulful vocals of Barnaby Weir and Daniel Weetman, The Black Seeds’ sound is a boundary-crossing fusion of dub, funk, afro-beat and soul, mixed with vintage reggae. Their unique style of layering supremely infectious grooves and melodies over undiluted roots music has seen their popularity spreading quickly throughout the globe in recent years. As songwriters, much importance is placed on maintaining their own original interpretations in their music and staying true to their own local culture and values – from the landscapes and coastlines of New Zealand and the South Pacific, to the urban communities of Wellington city.
Lyrically their music expresses messages on different levels: personal triumphs and failures, the fear of love, death and apathy, relationships both good and bad, and personal insights into their lives. Ultimately though, The Black Seeds’ music and lyrics have always been under-pinned with an underlying positivity and optimism – even when facing hard truths.
Onstage, the band’s ability to connect with its audience has seen The Seeds gain a reputation for their dynamic and supremely danceable 8-piece live shows. Effortlessly gliding between big-beat funk and deep roots-reggae, the raw energy of The Black Seeds’ live show is infectious and has gotten them regular performances at many of Europe, Australia and New Zealand’s biggest music festivals.
The Black Seeds’ headquarters is the Surgery Studio in Newtown, Wellington. A former Karate Dojo and condemned building, the band’s sound engineer Lee Prebble took advantage of the cheap rent to set up a studio which has since churned out some of New Zealand’s best albums. The Surgery is the practice room, recording studio, and general hangout space for the band, with all four of their albums produced there. A sprawling rabbit warren of large and small rooms, hallways, nooks and crevices, the Surgery exudes decrepit style and personality.
The Black Seeds released their debut album Keep On Pushing in 2001. On a tiny marketing budget, the album reached platinum sales in New Zealand. Their second album, 2004’s On The Sun, added a heavy dose of funk and soul to their dub reggae sound. Debuting at #3 in the New Zealand Charts, the album achieved double-platinum sales.
In July 2007, The Black Seeds released their third album Into the Dojo in New Zealand. Spending five consecutive weeks at #1, and a total of 52 weeks in the album charts, the album has sold well over double-platinum sales and spawned four radio hits. Into The Dojo was released in Europe in 2007. The album received critical acclaim and strong airplay, particularly in Germany and France where it got heavy rotation and was featured as “Album Of The Week” on stations such as Radio Nova (France) and Radio Eins (Germany).
The Black Seeds’ new album Solid Ground is their best yet and a perfect introduction to this incredible band for the uninitiated North American music scene.
CHECKOUT THE BLACK SEEDS AT:
PRESS QUOTES – SOLID GROUND
“Following up the critically acclaimed Into the Dojo, which spent five weeks at number one, was never going to be easy …but the boys from Wellington have well and truly done it with Solid Ground, pure rhythm and energy blasts from the word go.” - The Herald
“… soulful 70’s styled reggae … single ‘Make A Move’ is one of the snakiest reggae pop tunes on planet earth, and the subtle message of one love is woven into Barnaby Weir’s lyrics on tracks such as ‘Love Is A Radiation’ and ‘Rotten Apple.’” - Mojo Magazine
“An entire set of high energy, pumping, thunderous bass and slick reggae grooves…a truly phenomenal live performance.” - The Press
“The Black Seeds have not only delivered their fourth album, but delivered it in true Seeds style…it’s all good news about Solid Ground. All 13-tracks hit the mark….5 Stars” - Waikato Times.
“You won’t be bored with this release! 4.5 stars” - Musikexpress (Germany)
“First class music!” - Riddim Magazine (Germany)
“ …Just smash hits! The Black Seeds bring their reggae and funk to the point” - Radio Eins (Germany)
“Live, The Black Seeds are hard to beat, and on their fourth album … they have done a superb job of transferring the band’s energy on to disc. The sound of summer, including the funky ‘Afrophone,’ and electro-dub of ‘Rotten Apple’ and ‘The Bubble’ has landed.” - The Dominion Post
“This New Zealand based group returns with their fourth album, and quite possibly their best. That’s saying a lot considering they already have one gold album and two double-platinum albums to their credit…. Solid Ground provides plenty of soulful, funky, reggae flavoured gems…. a talented group that continues to get better.” - Basic-soul (UK)
P.O.Box 1069, Cooper Station, New York, NY 10276 · www.easystar.com · 212-736-2160 (p) · 646-602-9655 (f)
For more information please contact
Eric Smith at Easy Star Records, 212.736.2160, firstname.lastname@example.org