Something Collective is a diversified reggae band on the rise here in Santa Cruz! I’ve had the great pleasure to catch one of their shows, and I was, well… impressed! The vibe was real, and the music tantalizing. They have a playful nature and the horn section kills! Plus, they are out to make a difference with their music – Read here about their upcoming “Voices for Peace” show November 30th at UCSC. Support our local talent as well as peace and harmony. Check it!
When did “Something Collective” form? What brought you together?
Something Collective formed in November of 2011. When I (Luke, lead vocals and guitar) moved to Santa Cruz in 2009, I was playing with a reggae band based out of San Diego called Old Harbor Bay. While playing with that band I was able to meet some talented local musicians who are now a part of “Something Collective”. I was lucky enough to find myself living with Cooper Dressler (drummer of Something Collective) and ended up creating our first practice studio in a shed in the backyard. From there, started getting together with local musicians and friends who wanted to get involved with the project. We originally started as a 4-piece project, but over time, we picked up a horn section as well as keys. The more we played local shows and invested energy, the more solid our group became. What brings us together is our love for reggae music and sharing the positive vibrations we produce. There are currently 8 consistent members. I feel extremely blessed when I think about being able to work with such incredible musicians and friends. We are currently in process of releasing our first self-titled EP on ITunes. Look for it December 1st, 2012!
Where are you all from? What brought you to Santa Cruz?
Something Collective consists of Andrew Carl on “Sax,” Bobby Carabetta on “Trombone,” Jacob Savage on “Trumpet,” Ryan Roseman on “Keys,” Cooper Dressler on “Drums,” AJ Leone on “Bass,” Max Kremenetsky on “Guitar,” and finally, myself on vocals and guitar. The majority of the band is either in school or working in Santa Cruz full time. A lot of us surf and enjoy the lifestyle here, which definitely reflects our music, and keeps us drawn to this town. It’s awesome to see the collective flourish in Santa Cruz and it definitely inspires us to keep pushing hard. Most of us are from California, or close by, but we definitely feel at home in this city.
What do you consider your style of music to be?
It’s hard to describe our style in a few simple words, but I’d say we have a traditional roots style with more of a progressive approach. We definitely pay our respects to the foundation on which reggae music originates. We feel that bleeds throughout our style. The horns and the keys bring an element of jazz and improvisation to the band helping to vary our sound. Our songs have a wide range of tempo going from fast and exciting to slower bass driven sounds.
I dig that you have lots of horns in your group – So, what are some of your heaviest influences?
Our major influences in reggae are bands and performers who carry on the message of hope through positivity, respect and love. Performers like Bob Marley and Don Carlos are huge inspirations to all of us. Bands like Groundation, The Congos and Midnight have also shaped who we are and how we write music. We strive as a band to keep our focus on the music and message, more than the glam of a rock n’ roll lifestyle.
You have quite a few members in the band- How do you stay connected as group creatively?
The hardest part of being in a big band is communication. All of us lead busy lives so we had to set aside time for the music. We have rehearsals once a week and what we call “Band-BQ’s” where we all get together to barbeque/jam and keeps spirits high. When it comes to gigs and events, we have a show calendar that we are constantly updating and emailing to each other. It’s a lot of work, but everybody in the band contributes to communicating and keeping in touch so it all has seemed to work thus far.
Do you have other jobs, or is music your whole life?
We all are working people outside of our musical careers. The only member in our band who plays music full-time is Jacob Savage, our trumpet player. Jacob operates a Bay Area promotion company called “Band Wagon Bros” who have helped us book some solid local shows. I feel like I have two jobs, my day job that’s necessary to pay for my lifestyle, and my music that’s spiritually and mentally fulfilling. I’m sure the rest of the guys would say they feel the same way when it comes to non-music work. Regardless of where we work, we are all thankful to have paying jobs and still have the time to be part of the collective.
What do you love most about playing live?
Playing with this group is an inspiring experience. Everybody who’s on stage puts a lot of heart and soul into our collective vibe. We tend to joke a lot on stage when we make mistakes and like to communicate throughout the set. Speaking on my end, I love seeing someone get locked into a solo when they might not have planned on it, getting encouraged by the energy of the crowd. Sometimes, the horns will walk into the audience during their solos, which fires the crowd up. I love seeing that and it definitely adds personality to our music! It’s cool to see the fans get invested in the vibes; it seems to become semi-hypnotic at times. We appreciate everybody who comes out to a show and our mission is to try and inspire the crowd as much as possible. Reggae uplifts spirits and when you’re able to nourish that feeling during a show, it can change a negative mood to a positive one in a heartbeat.
Tell us about your upcoming concert on the 30th. What is your mission?
Our concert is on November 30th, 2012 in Kresge Town Hall (UCSC). It’s called “Voices for Peace” and is held by students to educate on how music can inspire peace, as well as, offer relief to those who are dealing with heavy life issues. Reggae music is known around the world as a force that brings many different types of people together, so we’ve put together a lineup of bands that reflect the nature of its mission. Joining us on the 30th are two awesome local bands, Ancestree and Dewey and the People’s. We’re super eager to work with these two bands to celebrate positive atmosphere. The show is free and starts at 7pm so we hope to see folks who are passionate about peace and live music. Come out and offer your energy for the cause!
What kind of vibe can one expect while at your show?
When we write music and lyrics, we hope to connect with the audience and call upon their spirits to awaken from the dark shadow’s life can create. We have fun on stage and bring our energy, as friends and community, to every show. You can expect to dance and feel uplifted for sure. We value being able to create an environment where all people are welcomed to be themselves through the spirit of music. Our songs are uplifting and genuine. We like to write about real-life issues and our struggles that have brought us to where we are now. We enjoy each other, which reflects in our music, mostly, we like to have fun. For a good, positive time, come to a show!