Sitting down with Easy Star All-Stars
Easy Star All-Stars has taken the task of covering one of the most recognized albums of all time and could have easily bitten off more than it can chew, but the execution of this album was absolutely flawless. Easy Star All-Stars embraced the psychedelic nature of Pink Floyd, molded it gently, easing in a bit of dub and reggae without hesitation which lost none of the magic of the original, but gained a new, true masterpiece.
Shelton is here with Easy Star All-Stars. They just put on a great show here at Mystic Theater in Petaluma, California. Shelton, what is your favorite thing about playing here in Petaluma?
[Shelton] Tonight was my first time here and the energy from the crowd was amazing. Absolutely amazing.
How long have you been with the band, Shelton?
[Shelton] About seven years now.
What's been your favorite performance so far with Easy Star All-Stars?
[Shelton] That's a difficult call. There have been a few. Glastonbury was pretty awesome because it's just huge. Massive. Playing in Rio, Brazil was pretty awesome too.
Do you guys have any new projects in the works?
[Shelton] Not for the band. Personally. We're kind of in a writing phase. We might put out an original album, but we don't really have a timeline for it yet. I'm sure something will be out probably within the next year.
We here at Top Shelf Reggae really like the covers that you guys do.
[Shelton] Yeah, it's fun. It's really fun to be able to be creative in that way, doing something that most bands won’t do.
What’s the current status as a band?
[Shelton] We’re currently under Easy Star Records as well as play with other bands and write. It just seems to work. Easy Stars All-Stars was basically created out of necessity to play Dub Side of the Moon, because when they released Dub Side, it became a really big underground record. So they created the band for folks that wanted a live show.
So, what's been your favorite part of being with the band so far?
[Shelton] There are a couple things. Probably high up on my list is just getting to meet people. Getting to meet people and make the connection between what they get from what I do, and people love the interpretation of our music, which is already an interpretation of someone else's. But it's that connection, being able to just meet folks and be friends.
In your personal career, what took you to the next level? Whether joining a band or just a decision in your life or giving up something?
[Kirsty] Joining Easy Star All-Stars was probably a fairly decent decision. I mean we’ve been doing it for about ten years.
Has the success of the Dub Side of the Moon surprised you at all?
[Kirsty] Well yeah, some of us recorded it digital and then took it on the road. It was a touring band. When we recorded it though, it didn't feel like we were going to have the international success that we ended up having. You know what I mean. I had no concept that we would be touring. I mean like I was like, “Yeah, give me a hundred bucks, I'll come down and record the vocals, and that would be great.” It was an awesome experience, you know, because they're incredible musicians, but I never thought that it would take me around the world, ever. Never would have thought that.
So, what happened that took you around the world? Do you know?
[Kirsty] I think that it was just something about the energy of the project itself, you know. It being Dark Side of the Moon in a reggae style. Yeah, I think people were just ready for something new in reggae because, you know, it was just time.