BOULDER, Colo. –
If you’re going to put your CD out on an indie label, you want to go with the best.
That’s why DubConscious chose to be part of Sound Tribe Sector 9’s 1320 record label. Now the band’s hitting Boulder to promote its new CD, NonViolent.
“We started DubConscious in Athens, Ga.,” vocalist/guitarist Adrian Zelski said. “Athens is a town like Boulder — it’s hard to leave. Bands like R.E.M. and Widespread Panic are from there.”
DubConscious started attracting local college fans with its fusion of dub and reggae sounds. The band also adds a good dose of social and environmental awareness to its tunes.
The combination of the music and the message has allowed DubConscious to open for acts such as Michael Franti and Spearhead, Galactic, Ziggy Marley and STS9.
“We play a musical blend that focuses on American — not Jamaican — reggae,” Zelski said. “This is definitely dance music with downtempo beats and some dub.
“Our songs all talk about empowering yourself.”
The members of STS9 were so impressed they signed DubConscious to their 1320 label.
“I knew them before they were Sound Tribe — me and their guitarist Hunter (Brown) are good friends,” Zelski said. “1320 is a boutique label that has artistic vision. They liked what we had and they had a good fanbase in place.
“It was very easy handshake deal.”
Zelski is hoping the STS9 fanbase will be on board for DubConscious’ environmentally friendly projects.
DubConscious tours with a vegetable-oil-powered van and the band’s official T-shirts are made from organic cotton.
DubConscious also has included “seed cards” in the purchase price of its downloadable CDs.
“The seed cards come decorated with album art and they’re printed with a download code,” Zelski said. “After you download the music, the card — which is embedded with wildflower seeds — can be planted.
“Hopefully, people will grow the plants. This is a very functional album.”
To add to the band’s environmental push, copies of NonViolent are packaged with recycled cardboard and printed with soy ink.
“NonViolent has a wealth of new music and really shows off the identity of our band,” Zelski said.
RED is a Christian nu-metal band.
The alternative-rock act is touring behind its 2009 CD, Innocence & Instinct, and RED shows off its new music at the Marquis Theater in Denver on Monday.
“We started this band out as friends,” guitarist Jasen Rauch said. “We were all in different bands, but we decided to all join together. We’re all Christians, but we’re separate from a lot of typical Christian bands.
“We’re fans of a bunch of different kinds of music, but we all love music that’s heavy and has epic sounds. We like really heavy stuff, but we have that pop accessibility and hooks.”
RED must be doing something right.
The band’s debut 2006 CD, End of Silence, earned the Nashville band a Grammy nomination. The group’s also had the chance to tour with A-list rockers Breaking Benjamin, Chevelle, Flyleaf and Puddle Of Mudd.
“We really try to be conscious of real-life issues in our songs,” Rauch said. “We really want to connect with people.
“We were in a pretty serious car wreck a few years ago, and that experience just reminds us of how frail we are. We wanted to expand things with our new album. We wanted to have a humble approach, but we still wanted to project the rock genre.”
The members of RED realize how tough it is to tour these days, so this band tries to give back to its fans.
“With the economy down, we’re trying to do more headlining tours. That way, we can really reach out to the fans,” Rauch said. “We want to really give them a pretty intense live show that’s heavier and more aggressive than the record.
“We definitely step it up and entertain our crowds.”