Ahh, The Black Seeds. So enjoyable - and such nice lads. Read online here.
DANIEL WEETMAN of THE BLACK SEEDS tells ANNA ANGEL that listening to their records doesn’t do them justice.
New Zealand reggae mainstays The Black Seeds know where their strengths lie.
Even before dropping their fifth studio album Dust And Dirt in April, they’d packed up and shipped out on the mammoth world tour that will soon bring them to Brisbane. If over 140 shows in four months followed by a packed summer festival season seems like a lot, it is. But there’s little chance the boys will be burnt out by the time they touch down on our shores, according to vocalist and percussionist Daniel Weetman.
“As long as you’re not overindulging too much in things that can make you a little more tired than usual,” Weetman says with a small laugh, “I think you can handle it.”
They could probably get away with a few benders, but the eight-piece know the value of their reputation for consistently high-energy and immersive sets.
“There’s a lot of people still in New Zealand that haven’t heard The Black Seeds, and even people that work for radio stations and media, but I can tell you that if these people came to a show they’d be more impressed by the band, because live, it’s something else,” Weetman says. “The album isn’t the full picture, and we know that. I don’t think we can just go out there and play the sounds; we’re a band that really wants to get people dancing.”
After more than a decade together, these Wellington exports have built a strong following across Europe and North America, as well as closer to home. Perhaps it’s because their mix of reggae, dub, and funk crosses language barriers easily, or it could be that there’s nobody that really quite compares. Maybe it’s a combination of the two.
“We’ve always seen the potential of The Black Seeds overseas, because there is really no other band that actually does what we do,” Weetman says. “We try to bring a new twist – our own interpretation of maybe a modern reggae, or a modern punk-reggae sound. It’s very cool that you have someone in France that just loves the band as much as any old school Kiwi fan.”
Their latest offering, Dust And Dirt, was created free of money and time pressures at the band’s own rehearsal and recording space in Wellington. The result of hours of musical exploration and jam sessions, the record is lighter and wonderfully unstructured. Still, the live set was always on their mind.
“We’ve thought about some of these songs in the live context and really tried to work them with that live idea in mind, other songs were just spontaneous jams that felt good and sounded good,” Weetman says. “Some good things have come out of that, and we have an album that’s a good progression on what we’ve done before.”
Weetman says earnestly that this is probably their best work yet. I’m inclined to agree, though you’ll have to catch them at The Hi-Fi to truly get the full effect.