Energetic Aggrolites


POSTED: Friday, December 11, 2009

Go ahead and bring your skanking shoes to NextDoor tonight, but don't be surprised if a mosh pit breaks out during the Aggrolites' headlining set.

When the Los Angeles-based reggae quintet touches down in Chinatown, they'll bring with them a unique style that blends punk-rock attitudes with a sound normally associated with roots music. Local bands Go Jimmy Go and Black Square will serve as the night's opening acts.

Aggrolites lead singer Jesse Wagner checked in with the Star-Bulletin last week as the band made its way to a concert in Berkeley, Calif. They arrive in Hawaii after playing more than 150 shows this year, and plan to do it all over again in 2010.

QUESTION: How did you come up with the band's name?

ANSWER: There's a ton of stories, but pretty much the name fits the style of music (we play). “;Aggro”; is a popular word that was used in the late '60s on a lot of ska songs.

Q: Listening to the new album, however, makes me wonder how much of a ska influence there is to your sound.





With local openers Go Jimmy Go and Black Square


» Where: NextDoor, 43 N. Hotel St.
        » When: 9 p.m. today
        » Cost: $20
        » Call: 548-6398 or http://www.islandtix.com


A: That's just because people don't know the difference between ska and reggae. I think we're more of a cross between old-school reggae and ska with a soul influence. We call it “;dirty reggae”; because we're doing our own thing. We're not on any bandwagon of someone else's.

Q: It seems like 2009 has been all about touring for the Aggrolites.

A: This summer we did 12 weeks straight. We did a lot of festivals in Europe, Japan and the U.S. We started off in Europe but also made it to Russia and Portugal. (We also visited) Brazil this year, in April.

Q: “;Dirty Reggae”; came out in 2003 and was followed by your self-titled album in 2006. Why the three-year gap between the debut and sophomore release?

A: It took some time to get known, to get recognized. In 2003 we were doing everything on our own. Then we got our contract with Hellcat to do three albums.

Q: The third of which, “;IV,”; was released earlier this year. Are there plans to re-sign with Hellcat Records?

A: We don't know yet. We'll see what happens. Right now everything's cool—it hasn't come to the point where we're talking about that stuff.

Q: You're playing at a venue called NextDoor this weekend, which seems like a perfect fit for the Aggrolites' sound. What can we expect from the show?

A: The live show will be like watching a rock show. This is our first time (playing in Hawaii), and we've been wanting to go for years.

Expect a lot of energy and bring your dancing shoes. The room is gonna get even hotter once we go on.

Q: Any thoughts on the local openers, Go Jimmy Go and Black Square?

A: We've known (Go Jimmy Go) for a long time, but we've never toured with them. Our guitar player, Brian, knew them because he was in a band called C-Spot and they toured in Hawaii.


» www.aggroreggae.com
» www.hsblinks.com/1hc