Before this year’s Reggae on the Rocks event begins and brings with it acts Iration, The Green, English Beat and others, we spoke with Wes Finley, drummer of headlining act Rebelution for a rousing bout of 20 questions.
Considered to be one of the premiere reggae events in the world, the annual Reggae on the Rocks smokes through Morrison, CO again this Saturday, August 23. The island-style festival started in 1988 and is a continuing mainstay in its cultural identity. Before this year’s event begins and brings with it acts Iration, The Green, English Beat and others, we spoke with Wes Finley, drummer of headlining act Rebelution for a rousing bout of 20 Questions.
1. How are the vibes within the group right now?
The vibes are right. We are in good health and spirits. Thank you for asking.
2. Are you as amped to come to Colorado as we are to have you?
We are. We love Colorado and it’s awesome venue of Red Rocks. It should be a truly special night for everyone.
3. If we were going to check your browsing history, who in the band would be most embarrassed by it?
I probably would be because I’m a creep. I’m the social media guy of the group so I constantly monitor who’s posting what to our pages. I try to investigate who’s real in this world so as to avoid a Catfish situation.
4. The counter-culture of the ‘60s is always brought up when discussing Rebelution. Do you guys try to have that done deliberately, or is it just coincidence?
Not sure how to answer that one, but I can say that our music does lend itself to people of free thought and anti-capitalism. Music is interpretive.
5. What’s more powerful in bringing people together – weed or music?
Music, easily. Not everyone smokes weed but everyone listens to music – it’s a universal language. We are glad that weed can do that for others though. Any tool that positively brings people together is fantastic.
6. Make a quick, two-line lyrical stanza for us using the words “bake” and “motorcade”:
The clay continued to bake in the sun
As the motorcade went by, one by one
7. Who in the band has the filthiest tour habits?
Our sax player Khris sometimes refuses to shower despite our desperate pleas. Needless to say, Febreeze, Odor Eaters, and baby wipes have taken on an important role on tour.
8. What was your main motivation behind the new album “Count Me In?”
The title was meant to instill a sense of community and friendship. The album as a whole was us creating music free of any obligations or parameters, just us being ourselves and pushing the songs as far as they will go. We hope people respond with open arms and an open mind.
9. The new album is full of wandering sensations of positivity – why is it important for you to go down that road with your style?
We are all generally positive people, having grown up in coastal California towns and enjoying nature. Our personal conversations are riddled with comedy and lightheartedness, and although music making is quite serious, our jovial nature can’t help but shine through.
10. Reggae has always maintained a powerful underground following; why do you think that is?
It is a deeply cultural music and has lyrics that can resonate with many people. It is less reliant on recorded works and more so on live shows where crowds can really vibe out and experience the music, which is something I think will never change.
11. It seems like a lot of times when kids get into college is when reggae really becomes a part of their lives – are you surprised by that?
Not at all, that is what happened to me in fact. Touching on the previous question… Reggae is not a commercial music and therefore relies on dissemination. College is good for that – it brings kids together to share not only music but also ideas and knowledge. Us band members never would have met if it weren’t for college and sharing music.
12. Can you quickly describe the state of the music industry as you see it?
Music is free, pushing bands to tour. Bands have more creative control over their music and brand, as it should be. Music is art and not a commodity, and people are supporting that.
13. Do you boycott any places around the world because of personal beliefs?
Can’t say that we do. Kill them with kindness, and change things from the inside out.
14. How often do you Google yourselves?
Once a year, for quality control purposes only.
15. What’s the band’s favorite way to consume cannabis?
To each their own: by bong, joint, vaporizer, or abstinence.
16. Clean eating is a big part of your lives – what’s your best advice for people wanting to do it?
Take small steps by cutting out things little by little and, by the same token, introduce healthier alternatives in its place. Pay attention to your body to notice the effects. Juicing is also a quick and easy way to get in the fruits and vegetables you might ordinarily overlook.
17. How do you think the production of hemp will change the world?
As proven, the hemp plant can be used for all sorts of purposes. Get the right financial and regulatory backing and the limitations are endless.
18. Do you think you’ll ever see a countrywide legalization of recreational cannabis?
Hard to say. A lot of the groundwork has been done and the framework roughly set, but we are fifty separate states with fifty different mindsets. I would like to be optimistic but the order is tall. Hopefully Colorado can continue to lead us in the right direction and reveal to naysayers that it can be done safely and beneficially. Lead by example.
19. How about worldwide?
Once again, cautiously optimistic. Beyond the United States lies the most extreme of opinions in either direction. It’s a novel thought but not exactly realistic.
20. What can we expect out of the future of Rebelution?
More growth. We just released our fourth full-length album and are currently on our largest headlining tour to date. We’re still on the incline of the mountain and that feels great.