Reno ska and reggae band Keyser Soze recently released its newest album, “The Remedy.” The band is performing a CD release concert at Crystal Bay Casino’s Crown Room Friday night. Lake Tahoe Action caught up with lead vocalist and saxophonist Jammal Tarkington via email.
Q: How did you guys come up with the material for this record?
Jammal Tarkington: So the writing process for this album was typically how we always do it. We all get together and put the pieces together to actually make the songs come to life. Some songs are written by a couple of us, where some tunes are composed by one member.
Q: Who are the band members?
Tarkington: The current lineup is Jammal Tarkington on saxes and lead vocals, Rodney Teague on trombone and lead vocals, Chris Williams on trumpet, Jon Hall on drums, Ryan Hall on guitar and Mike Mayhall on bass.
Q: What was the actual recording process like?
Tarkington: For the recording we went to Oakland and recorded with Myles Boisen. We recorded on tape and dropped it down to Pro Tools to edit and mix. I think it came out well, but turned out to be a little pricey, with traveling eight hours back and forth to Oakland every time we had a session.
Q: Did you ask any guest musicians to record on “The Remedy?”
Tarkington: We had some amazing guest artists. Our great friend Kris Landrum played tons of keys on most of the tracks. We also had Roger Rivas from the Aggrolites play keys on a couple of tunes, which was a treat because he’s such a big part of the scene in our style of music. We’ve got a video out for a great collaboration with Lauren Nagel called “Catch your Breath.” Great vocal delivery by Lauren, so much style.
Q: How has the public response been since the record release?
Tarkington: The record has only been released in Europe. We just got back from an amazing nine-country tour over there and the response was overwhelming! We are so happy to be working with Rocking Records, our label out of Bamberg, Germany.
And we owe so much to the label head Oliver Will for booking and coordinating such a great tour for us. We played Italy, Belgium, Holland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Austria, Czech Rep., Switzerland and Germany! We had the times of our lives!
We’re already plotting things out for next year’s tour to make it even better and more productive! We linked with some great DJs and sound systems.
We did have one bad roll of the dice when our merchandise and my original press 45’s got stolen out of our van three days before the tour was over. But it didn’t stop our spirit; the experience was too great and inspiring to bring us down!
Q: Does Keyser Soze have anything special planned for the release party at Crystal Bay?
Tarkington: We will have some limited edition signed poster for the early bird fans. The set we are gonna play is tight and danceable! We’ve pulled it together this last month playing all over Europe and can’t wait to come home and give this energy to our favorite venues fans!
Q: What’s on the horizon that the band is excited for?
Tarkington: We will be launching our new website in July to coordinate with the release of this record. We are looking to release a split 7 inch with our great friends and label mates Leo and the Lineup this fall! Release shows in Reno at the Harrah’s Pavilion July 27th, in Nevada City at the Stonehouse July 13th with the Revivers.
We’re looking to do some shows all around the West Coast this summer and fall to support this release, shows with the Lions, Fishbone and hopefully Jamaican legend Ken Boothe.