Bring on the Dub Apocalypse!
By: Elise Hugus, May 1, 2012
Rich Gastwirt/Stageshooter - Dub Apocalypse brings on the psychedelic vibes at the Middle East in Cambridge.
Dub Apocalypse, the popular Boston, instrumental dub band, will bring their sound to Grumpy's Pub in Falmouth tonight.
Started as a side project by John Brown’s Body bandmates Tommy Benedetti and Nate Edgar, Dub Apocalypse now explodes with the stars of Boston’s reggae-dub scene. Playing high-energy, psychedelic dub and original reggae instrumentals, this all-star project draws a loyal fan base in its own right.
Along with Johnny Trama of the Nate Wilson Group on drums, Dana Colley of Morphine on sax, and a revolving cast of characters from the likes of G-Love and Special Sauce and the Ghosts of Jupiter, this is a once-in-a-blue-moon chance to see premiere musicians perform without leaving the Cape. This Saturday's lineup includes Tommy Benedetti on drums, Johnny Trama and Jeff Lockhart on guitar, Dan Africano on bass and Jared Sims on tenor sax.
InsideOUT had the good fortune to chat with DA founder Tommy Benedetti as he switched hats between bands.
InsideOUT: What led you to form Dub Apocalypse?
Tommy: With John Brown’s Body, we get to play anything from huge fests to small clubs, but I love the more intimate places, you can really hear the band and the sound of your instrument. A lot of us that play together have played under various names and incarnations. We’re just really good friends. Dub Apocalypse is kind of my thing, put together with Nate. It’s a revolving cast of characters.
I/O: How did you get started playing out?
Tommy: We started playing at Matt Murphy’s in Brookline—a little Irish pub vibe with no cover that became a real hotspot for music. It became the place, and that’s where we got started. Now we play a lot at Bull McCabe's in Somerville—another place that's really become known as being supportive of good music.
I/O: What’s your sound like?
Tommy: The style that really pushed me over the edge with getting involved with Jamaican, dub style is the psychedelic version of reggae. I love the stripped-down sound. I’m a junkie for heavy drum n’ bass. We do have vocalists with us once in a while—that’s what keeps people coming back, we bring in a couple different people from week to week. They’re such bad-asses, some of the most killin’ musicians. Even if you’re playing the same song selection, it takes a different shape depending on who’s there.
I/O: You’re getting a name for yourselves these days. Was this expected?
Tommy: Right now, the good thing about this whole summer, the band has gotten bigger than I expected. The [Wellfleet Beach]Comber show sold out in advance. People in the band are known, but gradually people are getting to know [Dub Apocalypse] as a whole as well. We probably spend enough time on tour, but the great thing is to have a band of this caliber in your hometown [Boston].
I/O: Do you have any plans to record a Dub Apocalypse album?
Tommy: First and foremost, this is a live band. It’s quite an energy that happens when we play, amd hard to capture that kind of sound in the studio. That being said, we did spend some time in the studio recently: the High and Dry studio, the old Morphine studio that relocated to Somerville from Cambridge. We went in there and did six tracks in one session. We’ll probably do another session. I could see us putting out an EP of some sort. People also record us live. I’m always supportive of the taper community.
I/O: Can fans hope to see you play more shows on the Cape?
Tommy: We’re playing all over New England. We did a couple shows at Land Ho! and the Beachcomber and Phusion. But beyond Dub Apocalypse, everybody in the band is hustling gigs. We look forward to bringing the good vibes and having an awesome time with everyone.