Saturday, February 2, 2008

Interview with Red Soul Community

Who are Red Soul Community?How did you form? How long have you been together?

RSC: Red Soul Community are JM Labase Martínez , Carlos Dingo and I, Isabel García. We first met almost nine years ago thanks to our ska-punk roots. Labase came from a band called La Vietnamita and Carlos and I, from Kerida Pulga. Then, we decided to start a new project based exclusively on ska music and called Los Dingos. It was our occupation on the following five years ´till the moment we felt the strong call of the reggae music and that´s how we decided to form Red Soul Community. Finally we found Javi Frías (drums) and Fede Castro (guitar) and the rest is history.

What would you say are your strongest influences musically?

RSC: We grew up listening to The Specials, Madness, The Beat,The Toasters and many others.. ,and like them, we are strongly influenced by the Jamaican classics like Toots and the Maytals, Jackie Mitto, Dave Barker, Derrick Morgan, Prince Buster, Desmond Decker, Ken Boothe, The Ethiopians, The Paragons, and Mr Symarip. However, from the very beginning we knew the attitude we wanted for Red Soul Community was that of the punk rock bands like Ramones, Sex Pistols, The Clash or Rancid.
We also listen as much as we can of the reggae and ska scene nowadays, The Aggrolites, Tim Armstrong´s Poet Life, The Moon Invaders And Caroloregians, Deal´s Gone Bad, The Slackers, David Hillyard, West Bound Train, King Kannons, Hepcat, Briatore, Chris Murray, Go Jimmy Go,etc.

You guys just put out a new album, can you tell us a little about it?

RSC: "Pump Reggae" is a four songs album which is the result of many months of hard work. For a long time we were obsessed with the idea of feeling proud of our compositions, locked at home, listening to a lot of music and playing till we got a bunch of really good songs. Then, we simply chose four:"Lost in the Ocean", recovered from the first demo but recorded again for the occasion, the semi-instrumental "Hey Hey Uh!"
The essential "Place" and "Red Soul Community", the favorite of the audience.
For all that, we worked with the label Liquidator Music, a great supporter of the ska and reggae music scene here. And after the release , came the tour, which has given us the chance to see how our music works, to get to know a lot of special people and to share the stage with other bands. Bands like Dandy Fever, The Transilvanians, Flight 404, Kinky Coo Coo´s , The Ratazanas, Upsttemians or The Aggrolites.
And best of all in the process of creating an album, is that good news seems not to end here.

What is pump reggae, is it similar to the term Dirty Reggae?

RSC: he term "pump reggae" was born almost at the same time as the band itself. We´ve always conceived music and especially reggae, as the strength we need to face everyday life. It doesn't matter how hard things can be if you can look around and feel special simply because you got reggae music. It is like the "pump that pumps" the necessary air you need to feel alive.

Later, we used that name for one of our first demo songs, but it was Toni Face, from our label Liquidator Music who suggested us the term for the first album and as we felt really identified by it, and we accepted.
Apart from that, pump reggae is our particular invitation for everybody to move their ass, they will live just once!!

Can you tell us about where you are from? What is the ska and reggae music scene like in Granada, Spain?

RSC: Granada is, without a doubt, the most inspiring city of the world and also a musical source. Everybody here has a band or two or even three, or four. But unfortunately ska and reggae music is not a referent as it is in the east coast of the country (Valencia, Castellón..), or in the north east (Barcelona). In general, the reggae scene here is more related to sound systems.

The good news is that since the scene is so small, its supporters get really involved with it, and so, in the last years we have seen some attempts to introduce reggae music in Andalucía. Like the All reggae to the People festival, organized by our bass player Labase Martínez. Or the help from The Reggae Warrior Crew, a group of people who work to and for the reggae music, who has supported us from the beginning (when Red Soul was only an idea) and who has made possible many things.

For those who have not heard you live, can you describe what a Red Soul Community gig is like? How does the crowd respond in your hometown?

RSC: For us, playing live is one of the most exciting experiences in life, we wanna enjoy every second we spend on the stage and fix it in our minds. The key is what you feel, because what you feel is what you express and what you express is what you communicate. A Red Soul Community gig is direct, sincere, authentic, real, we think music should be.
In relation to what the audience gets from our show you can see it in our video Pump Reggae Tour 2007

On the Pump Reggae Tour, are there any funny stories you wanna talk about? Any stand out moments?

RSC: In one of our ways back to Granada, we were going crazy in the van because of the traffic(we had spent more than 3 hours in only 50 kilometres!!!)So we decided to stop for a while in a bar. More than one hour after, we realized we had forgotten the video camera at the bar and we had to come back there to recover it. In total, we spent 14 hours to get to Granada, but thanks to that, we could do the Pump Reggae Tour video

During the tour we played in many cities in which we had never played before and we didn't know how our music was going to be received. In that sense, it has been amazing to see the people singing our songs during the show, especially when we played "Red Soul Community". We have met allot of really special people who have made us feel like at home. For example, we had driven through the whole country to play in A Coruña (Galiza), and when we arrived there, we found the police had closed the place where we were going to play that night. But the people from there, together with Dandy Fever, the other band who was going to share the stage with us, worked very hard(and fast!)to find another place and the necessary material to get to do the concert and I can say, that it was one of the best shows of the tour.

What we have learned is that all those bands and the people who support the scene, work very hard and defend the music they love as much as they can, up and off the stage.

Do you plan to tour again soon?

: Yes, our plans about touring will bring us to Germany and Belgium in the second half of the next March, with Go Jimmy Go.
But before that, we are really proud to say that we will play on the Rude Cat Festival on March the 15th, in Girona (Catalunya), with The Slackers, Go Jimmy Go, Doreen Shaffer, Ken Boothe, Moon Invaders and other bands. We hope to see you all there!!!!

Anything else in the works for the future?

RSC: Of course, we never stop. In fact, from the end of the Pump Reggae Tour, we have been working on some new songs for a future album. All those experiences in the last year have been a very good inspiration that we are going to use wisely.

From more info see:


  1. "But before that, we are really proud to say that we will play on the Rude Cat Festival on March the 16th, in Girona (Catalunya), with The Slackers, Go Jimmy Go, Doreen Shaffer, Ken Boothe, Moon Invaders and other bands. We hope to see you all there!!!!"

    It's supposed to be the 15th!!!!!!

  2. Ooh, a Spanish born reggae group! How cool! I love learning about reggae with international influences...Like Manu Chao! Who's also Spanish (though born in France). I read about him on a reggae site and now I'm totally hooked...he was also really inspired by the Clash, like RSC. if u like RSC (and I think I will! i'm excited) u'll probably like Manu...


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