We’re honored to welcome Roger Rivas to GuitarTrump and thank you for taking the time to answer our questions. Let’s get started. Rugged Road is the current album and is a collection of really great songs. Can you tell us a little bit about it?
Yea, this album has been a long time coming. We really haven’t done anything this organic since our first album “Dirty Reggae”. The idea was to go into the studio and let the creative rocksteady juices flow. No prep for this as far as writing. Trying to go back to some of those classic rocksteady tunes out of Jamaica. Music today is so plastic and is missing the heart and soul and most of all rawness. Reggae music thrives on that element. All the rocksteady and reggae we listen to would be nothing with out that rawness. We threw all that preparation out the window and kept it real. Kept it Raw!
I think my favorite track off of the record is The Aggro Band Plays On. What’s the back-story on that one?
Nice! Jesse our singer could answer that one better. He put it all together quite nicely! A nice homage to the many Aggro stories over the years!
Speaking of albums, I read that in 2003 you guys recorded your first record Dirty Reggae; in just one day, which to me is pretty outstanding. How did that go?
It was very effortless. Not that we were cocky or arrogant, it just happened with no huge expectations. We chugged right through it in a very organic fun filled session. None of that session felt like work. It was dudes playing the music they loved with some late night brews and a dope studio with dope instruments.
You all recently played at a venue with previous label mates Street Dogs, whom I’ve heard, are some of your closest friends. How has that relationship affected you guys as a band?
Every time we play or hang with the Dogs its like we picked up from where we left off. Our 2 bands have a lot in common. We tour our butts off! They are family! I think we are both fighting the same fight out there. Bringing music, REAL music to the people. Those guys are right on!
What are some of the highlights for you guys as a band so far?
To be in a band that for the most part is playing this genre called “skinhead reggae”, and to go as far as we have is insane! It’s a testament to the original music that we are influenced by. Think about it! We are far from selling out. Even in a world where, when people think of reggae they think of Sublime and Bob Marley we have kept it mad real since the start. I would consider that a major highlight. We past the niche “scene” band thing and have been able to come across many dope opportunities. We have played so many of the worlds major festivals from Leeds and Reading to Coachella. Not getting there by compromising our sound either. If I had to name one highlight it would be that! Coming this far with no compromise!
How do you hope to influence the music industry as a band?
I don’t care about influencing the music industry as much as I do about influencing individuals our there…. our audience. I remember the first time I heard Jamaican music. It changed my life and I can honestly say I will be apart of it till I die. If The Aggrolites can introduce one person to a genre of music that THEY will love for the rest of their lives, then that’s more rewarding than anything. Not just introducing them to reggae (or what people think reggae is) but introducing them to the original reggae…the rocksteady…the skinhead reggae.
Do you have any advice for up and coming bands out there?
Know what you want out of being in a band! Do you want to play music as a hobby? Do you want to make it a career? Both are right answers but you should choose. If you are honest with yourself and your band mates it will save you a lot of time. I am fortunate to be in a band with like-minded dudes. We are going to rock it till the wheels fall off.
Any other thoughts or information you would like to get to your fans?
If you like The Aggrolites look up Winston Wright, Lyn Taitt, Alton Ellis, WAR, and Tower Of Power! Also…we got so much in the works, check out http://www.aggroreggae.com/ for the latest.
Thanks so much for joining us! The site and I wish you guys nothing but the absolute best out there on the road.