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When I was 15 I got arrested hitchhiking to Florida. Thankfully, despite many of these type of youthful transgressions, I was lucky enough to survive another couple of years of adolescence and live long enough to meet George Soares, because it was he who got me started playing reggae music which eventually helped save my life. George Soares is a Jamaican Rastaman from Kingston. He came to the US, married, and settled in Long Branch NJ.
It was here that he started a small recording studio and soundsytem operation out of his home. Though I had a deep love affair with reggae for some time up to that point, I had never considered playing it professionally. However with George’s support and under his tutelage, reggae and Haile Selassie came into my musical life. The recording studio was forming a band and needed a singing guitarist. I guess in some respects you could say I was drafted into Jah Army when I became the guitarist and co-lead vocalist for the Forview Band and the house engineer for the Melchezidek Hi-Power recording studio. I wound up dropping out of Seton Hall in order to continue my studies at this reggae college. It was a fork in the road moment and I went for it feeling like I had been knighted. I did eventually bum my way around the US a few times and then a few more times crusading with ska band Inspecter 7
(and being quite young, still had quite a few hard life lessons left to learn), but that’s a whole ‘nother story, ain’t it? And this is basically the short version of the story of how reggae took over my life and made my last rock band, my last rock band.
It was after Inspecter 7 decided to take a pause that I formed Predator Dub Assassins. I was a bit shell shocked from the punk style touring routine that we had kept up pretty consistently for 4 years straight. I wanted a permanent address. I wanted to “jus’ cool” and simmer down. My intentions were to take the “lessons I had learned” kind of attitude to a new project and return to playing straight reggae. I formed the band Predator Dub Assassins and gigged for a few years before getting back into the recording routine. Working with my Inspecter 7 friends as well as many of the other musicians I had met along the way, I recorded the first album in my apartment using a small 8 track hard-disk recorder. It was a small place by the beach in Belmar, NJ. Whenever we recorded, we would have to move all the furniture into the bedroom and kitchen, so I could set up the small living room as a recording space. God bless the neighbors. They heard it all. Working through fall, winter and spring, I finished the album Predator Dub Assassins (so named due me being misheard in conversation) and had it pressed in time for Summer 2006. Over the next 10 years many more gigs and recordings were to follow, and though the studio eventually got a lot better the method has remained basically the same : Me and some friends doing our best to make cool records of the reggae music that we all love. It’s been a pleasure and a blessing that so many others have gotten some of the same joy from these songs. For that I am humbled and very grateful.
To celebrate a Decade Of Dubs, the band has gathered in the same spirit with friends old and new to record a retrospective album of favorites. Kind of like a “best of” but where we are actually re-recording the songs instead of just compiling up old recordings. To keep it fresh, we are doing the songs acoustic “unplugged” style in a loose atmosphere, recording anywhere from the new studio to the back porch and having fun.
Let us know what songs you think should be included on the album (and why if you like). Join our email list below, so I can send send you one of the outtake tracks from the sessions and you can hear how it’s going.