Photo by Helen Marie
With just their first show in the states, New York City specifically played host to DUB INC last week. The french reggae band brought the vibes of the Caribbean finessing it with their own hip-hop-soul edge. Whether or not you are fluent in French this quintet proves the power of music I still watched in amazement as DUB INC rocked the stage. Both vocalists simultaneously bounced lyrics and sounds off of each other, between playing instruments, showing a kind of brotherly love that is under-appreciated within this sometimes ego-driven music industry. I felt as if I was witnessing a true reflection of balance that can only be found within a band that is truly in sync. The band took a moment to get in depth about their experience bringing their cross-cultural mix to the Big Apple.
INTERVIEW BY HELEN MARIE
How was the band formed?
DUB INC: We have been friends for a while we all loved reggae and when we were 18 we made a song together, then decided to do one gig. The gig went really well and we decided after that we were going to go on the road. We didn’t care if we had to sleep outside, we were determined to make it. As time passed we began to get a lot of gigs in our town, and then soon other parts of Europe and finally here we are in the U.S. That was the best time in our lives to do that, we were 18 with less responsibilities you know. Now we all have families, and it is good that we did that then, because now we don’t have to struggle as much as we did back then.
So what kept you motivated?
DUB INC: Being on stage is such a pleasure for us it made it all worth it. We are always on the road and far away from our kids and family but we love music so much it’s not a problem. Another thing is we have created our success, independent from a label. It was tough at first, we had a lot of negativity and at first everyone was saying, “oh you should send your music to a label and let them do everything for you and make you big but we decided to do it the independent way, and now 10 years later, we are very big in France without being on the radio or on television. The independent thing works for us well.
How have you managed to maintain your bond as a band?
DUB INC: A big thing for us is we are like a family, we all love music and have similar goals to make music our life. The goal when we make music is not to play on big stages or have fancy things, our goal is to be musicians and to make good music! Everything else just sort of happens, but we do this for the love and appreciation of our gifts.
So what is the the main focus right now for the band?
DUB INC: Do more U.S. shows. We have toured all of Europe, now we want to organize tours all over. It makes sense for us to spread our music to everyone. We are really passionate about addressing the issues that are impacting our world like the tension between Europe and Africa for instance.
What surprises have you encountered since coming to the States?
DUB INC: In France we play in very big venues, usually between 700-50,000 people but we arrived here, we saw the yellow cabs, all the tall buildings and the people, and it felt like we had come to a new world. At the beginning of the show, we felt a lot of pressure, but thanks to our fans and good friends that came out as well, we started to really feel comfortable. The New Yorkers we have met have been truly hospitable and open to experiencing our music as well and that has made this such an experience.