Easy Star All-Stars
Combining musical versatility, instrumental prowess, beautiful vocal harmonies and a superb rhythm section, the Easy Star All-Stars have established themselves as one of the top international reggae acts since their live debut in 2003. Thanks to their best-selling tribute album releases, Dub Side of the Moon (2003), Radiodread (2006), and Easy Star’s Lonely Hearts Dub Band (2009), the remix album Dubber Side of the Moon (2010), as well as original releases Until That Day EP (2008) and First Light (2011), the Easy Star All-Stars have built a growing, dedicated fan base throughout the world, bringing together fans of reggae, classic rock, dub and indie rock into one big family.
The band has toured in over 30 countries on 6 continents, playing over 100 shows per year for the past 5 years. They’ve played loads of major festivals throughout the world, including an unprecedented three-day, three-stage stand at Glastonbury in 2009, which earned them a UK Festy Award Nomination that year.
Easy Star’s Thrillah marks the band’s first new tribute album since 2009’s Easy Star’s Lonely Hearts Dub Band. Starting with Dub Side of the Moon, the band has deconstructed classic albums and rebuilt them as reggae, helping to start a larger trend that has since become popular at major festivals and in other genres. As source material, Michael Jackson’s Thriller was the first album the band tackled by an American artist, a non-rock artist and a non-concept record. The group found their usual innovative ways to transform the material, turning “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’” into an Afro-Beat anthem and slowing down “Beat It” into a powerfully emotional roots song. On the record, the group is joined by guest artists like Steel Pulse, Luciano, Michael Rose (Black Uhuru), Spragga Benz, Cas Haley, Christopher Martin, Mojo Morgan (Morgan Heritage), The Green and others. On tour, the band will present the music on their own, as usual, mixing in music from this record along with hits from their entire past catalog of tribute albums and originals. The Thrillah Tour continues the band’s nearly 10 year tradition of incredible live shows that have built them into one of the most popular touring reggae bands on the planet.
The Aggrolites are more than a band they are a movement unto themselves. They carry a banner - one created with their own hands. This banner reads, "Dirty Reggae," and represents their signature fusion of reggae, soul, grit and determination. For seven magnificent years, this dirty reggae bunch has rolled from city to city, across the pond and up main street USA. They rally the kids, the parents, the students, the cops, the bosses and the drifters. The people come, they relish in The Aggrolites, the dirty reggae and the joy that comes with it all. The liberating rhythms and catchy grooves demand a return trip.
Out of the Los Angeles school of hard knocks, The Aggrolites have earned a PhD in "feel good music." On the road they educate with the thunder and punch of the reggae drums and bass, the ripping, soulful melodies of the organ and guitars, and Jesse Wagner's voice - a gift from the heavens, a perfectly intact gift from Otis, Sam, Ray and Wilson.
Early 2011 saw the release of their 5th full-length collection "Rugged Road" from Young Cub Records. The sessions were released as a series of vinyl and digital singles, as well as a compilation. The recordings took place at Young Cub Records' studio headquarters in Boston, MA. Of the sessions, Roffredo says the band wanted to "lay down these new rhythms on reel to reel tape, playing all together in one room."
The Aggrolites have a specific way of making music. They don't over think it, they don't obsess over pop culture demands, they walk onto a stage or into a recording studio and let "it" happen - a culmination of inspiration - from the road, from playing alongside legends, and from the energy and motivation of their die hard fans.
They have four other full-length albums to their credit -- Dirty Reggae (Axe, 2003), The Aggrolites (Hellcat, 2006) and Reggae Hit L.A. (Hellcat, 2007) and IV (Hellcat, 2009). "A glorious, surprising treat. Ideal for your next soul shakedown party," raved Peter Relic from Rolling Stone. In 2007, the band also collaborated with Rancid front-man Tim Armstrong on his solo A Poet's Life (Hellcat 2007) CD/DVD release.
The Aggrolites have shared the stage with Social Distortion, Rancid, Flogging Molly, 311, Slightly Stoopid, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Dropkick Murphys, Against Me!, Gogol Bordello and Rebelution. They have graced the stages at such notable events as Vans Warped Tour, SXSW, Coachella, Fuji Rock in Japan, West Coast Riot, Open Air St. Gallen, Pohoda Festival, Rebellion Festival, Chiemsee Reggae Festival, Couvre Feu Festival, among numerous others around the world.
Their songs are featured on the 2008 Vans Warped Tour Compilation and numerous Give 'Em The Boot compilations from Hellcat. In 2007, the band also collaborated with Rancid front-man Tim Armstrong on his solo A Poet's Life (Hellcat 2007) CD/DVD release.
The Aggrolites are well represented in film, television and video games. Their songs have been featured in NBC's Friday Night Lights, MTV's The Hills, Nick Jr.'s Yo Gabba Gabba, USA's Dr. Steve-O, MavTV's Rad Girls, the award-winning surf film The Pursuit, and Australian video game Cricket. The Aggros-backed, Tim Armstrong and Skye Sweetnam duet, "Into Action," is featured in Dream Works Pictures' Hotel For Dogs. Their renditions of The Specials' "Ghost Town" and Musical Youth's "Pass The Dutchie" will be heard in the upcoming teen surf comedy Endless Bummer, and "Free Time" will be in Walden Media's musical-romantic comedy Band Slam.
The Aggrolites are Jesse Wagner (vocals, lead guitar), Roger Rivas (organ), Jeff Roffredo (bass) and Alex Mckenzie (Drums).