here is the complete interview from todays article!!! BEE sure to get a copy of your own!
Fans of the 2008 comedy "Pineapple Express" will quickly get the reference in the name of Fresno reggae band Item 9.
It involves marijuana.
The band, which should have big appeal for fans of California reggae rock, releases its first EP, "The High Life," on Friday with a show at the Babylon Club, 1064 Fulton St., in Fresno's Tower District.
The Bee talked with guitarist Justin Pitts about the band, its influences and just what it means by the high life.
Who plays what in the band? How long have you been together, and how did the band start?
Item 9 consists of five members: Baby D, vocals; JDubb, bass; Krisco, drums; and Martin Meji on lead guitar. As Item 9 we've actually only been together for five months, but three of our members were in the reggae/ska band Checkered Past for two years. We met our other members through mutual friends and playing with them in different bands.
Where does the band fall on the spectrum of reggae (with the traditional stuff on one side and ska/punk/funk on the other end)?
We're definitely more in line with the current reggae scene in California. We do a lot of reggae, but we touch on a lot of our various influences. While we all grew up listening to bands like Sublime and 311, other genres, like ska, punk, metal and even hip-hop played a huge role in who we are as musicians. It shines through in our music.
Within our band lies a refreshing, honest love for playing music. In an industry full of bands striving to fit a mold, more focused on trends and fashion sense, we pull members from all walks of life and we play music that actually puts smiles on our faces.
As a follow-up, who are your influences? Fill in the blank: If you like (blank sound or band), you'll love Item 9.
We all kind of have different influences and musical interests, but bands like SOJA (Soldiers of Jah Army) and Sublime are what really made us fall in love with reggae music.
Tell us about the EP.
It's a musical journey that will have you singing along in no time. Fortunately, we have the ability to record everything ourselves, so we jumped in head first and really put our all into it.
"The High Life?" Are we talking the champagne of beers?
In a sense. Actually, when we were kicking around band names we came up with the name The High Life, but it was already taken. We joked that we were gonna use the name because we were the champagne of bands. When the time came for an album title we found it fitting.
There is a nice core of reggae bands in the Central Valley. Tell us some about that scene.
It's great. There is a huge amount of talent here in the Central Valley that not too many people even know is around.
But we're changing that.
There is a huge sense of camaraderie and respect for one another.
A few bands people should definitely check out are ONE oz., White Glove Service, A' La Lune and Valley of Ashes. All of these bands put their all into their craft and you can tell they truly love what they're doing.
Read more here: http://www.fresnobee.com/2013/11/13/3607508/artist-you-should-know-item-9.html#storylink=cpy
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