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De Jah Groove - Sydney Gets Her Groove Back

Author: Ben Vozzo
Monday, 19 November 2007
De Jah Groove draws influences from reggae, dub, rock, and now even D’n’B and electro – as trombonist Will Bakes told 3D’s Ben Vozzo, they pretty much play any style they’re interested in at the time. Makes sense really.

So, you’re launching your debut album, Rock Bottom Jackpot- What should we expect-
Well to begin with a big step up from our two EPs. The producer Andy Baldwin was a massive influence and really knocked us into line in terms of our song writing. The album has a strong Australian feel due to the accent – we don’t ham it up but we definitely don’t hide it. We’ve worried less about ‘capturing the live show’ and concentrated on capturing the spirit of the song which in our opinion has allowed us to broaden the scope of what De Jah Groove is.

As you fund and manage your own projects, what plans do you have for the band after the album launch tour-
Well we all need to make a bit of money for a start. We’re gigging right through to the end of January so we can experience what it’s like not being flat broke – at least for a while anyway. Then there’s the next album to record which we’re already really excited about. Is it bad to be excited about a second album you haven’t recorded yet when your first hasn’t even been released- Hopefully we can look into getting overseas some time later next year as well.

Your EP sold over 3000 copies and the launch party drew over 1000 people – Melbourne must have a fairly strong local reggae following-
I think Melbourne just has a good live music following in general. Finally seem to be winning back the house generation. Our crowd isn’t limited to reggae fans in any way but you could say that reggae followers are well represented in Melbourne. A lot of the NZ reggae / dub bands do well in Melbourne which is probably a testament to that.

Can you tell us about your live shows-
Well we’re first and foremost a live band. Our live shows are what we enjoy the most and what we want to be known for so we put a lot of effort into them. I guess the energy is the main thing that separates us from other bands. There’s a terrible propaganda clip of ours on YouTube that has one redeeming section at the end where Harley, having just left the Gershwin stage at the Espy, wrings half a litre of sweat from his shirt. I think that visual probably best reflects the energy that we put into our shows. Or perhaps it just reflects the poor air-conditioning at the Espy. Maybe both.

So do you ever get the feeling that the groove you’re playing has been played by you before, possibly in a dream-
Not really but I do have dreams of songs which in my mind seem awesome but for the life of me I can never remember them when I wake up. The one time I did it was someone else’s song…

WHO: De Jah Groove
WHAT: Rock Bottom Jackpot album launch at Bar Broadway
WHEN: Friday 23 November