By: Arika Kaosa
Ė 7/2 Ė Milwaukee, WI (No Doubt/Paramore/Bedouin Soundclash Tour)
Punk Globe: The band is based out of Toronto now but the band started at Queens University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. How did the band come about? Did you have mutual friends?
JM: We had no mutual friends but me and Eon were living across from each other and one day I was walking by his house and I saw him playing bass. We both felt a little disinfranchised with the Queens music scene. No one was really listening to The Clash; they were all listening to the Dave Matthews Band. Both me and Eon didnít have much in common. I think thatís why we bonded; weíre a pretty unlikely paring. We had really different backgrounds. Thatís how the band started, pretty much by chance. In Toronto thereís the same situation thatís happening in London or Birmingham itís different like The Specials. Thereís a lot of new immigrants from the West Indies. I donít know everyone from Canada is from somewhere else. Thereís a lot of 2nd generation kids who have that background. Itís hard for us to relate to kids from Southern California with the skateboarding culture listening to Sublime. We could understand what The Specials were saying and not so much Sublime.
Punk Globe: I heard the name of the band came from a dub record. How did you two decide to name the band after the song?
JM: We were playing some dub stuff and someone said, ďHey that sounds like Bedouin Soundclash.Ē After that the name stuck.
Punk Globe: You guys have worked with Daryl from Bad Brains. How does that all come together considering the vast differences in sound? How does that meet with a common ground?
JM: Well first off we get along; heís almost like our Uncle. He calls us his sons. He always gives us advice. Heís always one person we look up to. He always calls and I call him to ask for advice whether it be girls or music or anything. Heís just a great guy to talk to.
Punk Globe: In 2005, Bedouin Soundclash was on the Warped Tour and had a lot of exposure in Britain. Would you consider that your breakout year or has that yet to come?
JM: Yes, but our real breakout year is yet to come. We think itís going to be with our newest record. Both me and Eon have this unique feeling. We had a breakthrough year in England in 2005 when thereís 2,000 kids at every show. Then we went on Warped Tour and we were playing to maybe 50 kids a show because we were up against Fall Out Boy. We fly to England and everyone is there for us. I mean, we jump on a stage at Leeds or Reading and people know the songs.
Punk Globe: That had to be quite surreal.
JM: Yeah it was surreal! In 2005, our songs were doing great in Canada and that was definitely the first breakout.
Punk Globe: Like you just stated youíve been on some huge festivals and tours like Leeds, Reading, South By Southwest, Warped Tour, V-Festival. Now, youíre playing on probably the biggest rock tour of the summerÖhands down. What has been your favorite tour or festival so far?
JM: Anything European. I mean, Europeans are so accommodating. They really focus on the artist and I feel like here youíre a commodity. I think that every tour is different but this one has been great. The people in No Doubt are so professional and so nice and you can tell they are really appreciative for everything they have. They really donít take anything for granted and they appreciate everything they get to do. You have to maintain that otherwise you wonít realize this is a real gift. Thereís a lot of luck in this business and you have to be thankful.
Punk Globe: Is there anywhere you havenít toured yet that you would like to play like a different country or specific city?
JM: We are thinking about going to South Africa right now. Me and Eon would love to go over there.
Punk Globe: Who are some of your favorite Canadian bands that havenít had a lot of exposure in America?
JM: K-OS, Sam Roberts Band, and Zaki Ibrahim. Thereís a lot of good artists in Toronto right now.
Punk Globe: What do you hope listeners take away from your music?
JM: I think that we come from a really honest place. We are outside the box and weíre not punk but weíre punk. Weíre not reggae but weíre reggae. I think that being different and unique is important in anything you do in life. You donít need to be cookie cutter. Thereís a lot of people falling into the cookie cutter hype machines, especially in the past few years. I mean, thereís bands who blow up and while they might be talented, they go away within a year. That denies the artistic process.
Punk Globe: I think that with in infusion of electronic music into the mainstream that it is threatening the good electronic music right now. Itís just everywhere.
JM: Well, itís like how long can we have a new band. Itís a really weird part of being in music journalism as well!
Punk Globe: Oh yeah! Name one thing you wish wasnít in our fast moving, short memory thinking, culture today. Probably what you just stated!
JM: Probably what I just said! I really wish that anything to do with the word hype or any suffix like hipsters, hype machines would just vanish.
Punk Globe: Autotune?
JM: (laugher) Autotune.
Punk Globe: How do you feel about Michael Jackson passing away?
JM: Well, the nice thing about it is if thereís any silver lining to this it would be that all the stuff that was not important and vindictive and people are celebrating his work. It is such a sad thing but I think his life in general was sad. You canít ask someone to give so much and then be so critical. He was amazing, bright light.
Punk Globe: Yeah, he was a genius. Most people donít even realize he wrote most of his songs. Itís ridiculous because there are so many artists now who donít write their own songs that itís just the initial thought.
Punk Globe: Ever since youíve been on this tour, which has only been a few days, have you abused any of your privileges or have you met any cool people on the tour so far?
JM: Well, I got to talk to Gwen Stefani and I saw her a while ago with the band. I said, ďI remember when you wore yellow pants and I like those yellow pants.Ē I asked if she would wear those yellow pants and she said she didnít know but probably not.
Thank you to Jay from Bedouin Soundclash!
I also want to add, I did have the chance to check out the show that evening. Many people around where I was seated kept saying, ďWho is this band, I need to check them out!Ē The crowd really did enjoy the music and from what I heard, appreciated the talent. Not to mention, it didnít hurt the band came out with Paramore during No Doubtís cover of the Adam and The Ants song, ďStand and DeliverĒ. I have a feeling they are going to gain a mass amount of fans from this tour stint.
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