Earlier this month, when Aotearoa-based outfit SUB-TRIBE dropped their latest single Who’s That, we were immediately on board with their vibey, glitch-reggae sounds.
So fresh off the track’s release, we caught up with the band to chat about the song, their genre-bending music, and what the future holds.
Fresh off the release of their new single Who’s That, we caught up with New Zealand glitch-reggae outfit SUB-TRIBE for a chat.
HAPPY: Hey, how’s it going? What are you up to at the moment?
SUB-TRIBE: All good and well thanks. Just doing our 9-5 at the moment. Ready to drop the tools and live through our music.
HAPPY: We’re loving Who’s That! How does it feel having the track out there in the world?
SUB-TRIBE: So good! It’s been quite positive and we were stoked to be able to get it out during summer. It’s got that vibe to it. Can’t wait to pump out more!
HAPPY: Could you tell us a bit about the song?
SUB-TRIBE: Sure. Well, the song is a lovers tune first of all. Although there is a lot of negativity in the world today that needs to be addressed, we really just wanted to highlight the positive energy that also surrounds us. It’s super laid back with a catchy chorus which we were hoping people would pick up on. We wanted to find a balance between the heavier bassier stuff we are used to making while keeping it light-hearted. We also have one of our friends playing live drums and bass guitar which is a first for us.
HAPPY: What do you think the biggest differences are between Who’s That and Next Phase? If any…
SUB-TRIBE: The electronic elements are very dominant in Next Phase and it definitely exhibits more of the dub fusion standard we’re set on mixing. Deep rolling bass, punching groove and hearty melodies. Whereas Who’s That retains more of a classic roots reggae dub flavour. We wanted to strip it back slightly and bring in a heavy one drop with an anthem-like chorus. Simply put, Next Phase is more of an energetic party banger and Who’s That is a laid back sing-along kind of style.
HAPPY: There are so many different sounds whirling around in your music… do you feel it took a while to land on your current sound? Or did you have a strong direction with it from the beginning?
SUB-TRIBE: Its always been like that with us. We all have quite an eclectic taste in music and have combined multiple influences/genres together to form our own style we like to call Dub-Fusion. From the beginning though we all agreed we wanted to keep it pretty dub and rootsy at the core. The direction forward isn’t always clear but we keep things pretty fluid and unified.
HAPPY: I can imagine your live show would be pretty wild. Could you describe a Sub-Tribe live show in a sentence?
SUB-TRIBE: Wild is pretty good haha. It’s very bass heavy, energetic and lush. In a word, diverse.
HAPPY: Are there any particular artists you’re seeking inspiration from at the moment?
SUB-TRIBE: There’s a huge collection of artists we could mention. Mungos Hifi, Slum Village, Dennis Brown, Newtown Rocksteady, Tunes of I. It’s also cool to see what’s fusing on the Aussie scene as well from projects like Havana Meets Kingston, Mista Savona and Jordan Rakei. The Red Eyes have been a great reference for the quality of dub reggae we’d like to get to. Their production is amazing! But one of the biggest inspirations for us all is definitely Fat Freddy’s Drop.
HAPPY: What’s next for Sub-Tribe? Any other exciting plans in the works?
SUB-TRIBE: E.P and music videos are the next movements. At the moment we’re doing a limited amount of shows to focus and spend more time in the studio to refine our tunes ready for release mid this year at which point we’ll be heading north to the sunshine state to do a few shows.
Who’s That is available now. Listen above.