Reggae fusion is set to “spread love” in Columbus Thursday night.
The bands Iration, Natural Vibrations and The Movement are slated to perform at The Basement as part of Iration’s 2014 Automatic Winter Tour, with doors set to open at 7 p.m.
Iration is comprised of guitarist/vocalist Micah Pueschel, bassist Adam Taylor, drummer Joseph Dickens, keyboardist Cayson Peterson and sound engineer Joseph King, who all attended high school together on the Big Island of Hawaii. After high school graduation, Pueschel said everyone ended up going to college in Santa Barbara, Calif., where Iration officially formed in 2003.
As a college freshman, Pueschel said he picked up a guitar and was able to teach himself how to play after receiving a few basic lessons from a friend.
“We all picked up instruments and learned in college. We didn’t play in high school so we learned ‘on the job,’” Pueschel said.
Since releasing the first EP “New Roots” in 2006, Iration has released two additional EPs and three full-length albums, according to the band’s website. Iration released its latest full-length album “Automatic” July 2.
Pueschel said the local music scene in his hometown had a major impact on Iration’s musical style.
“If you grew up in Hawaii, you grew up with reggae. It’s what’s on the radio, it’s what the local music is,” Pueschel said. “So it’s kind of inherent with all of us growing up there, it’s just what you listen to.”
Traditionally, Pueschel said he writes the majority of Iration’s lyrics but that the complete songwriting process is a collaborative effort.
“I’ll write (a song) on acoustic and then bring it to the band and everyone musically writes their parts around it,” Pueschel said.
As far as lyrical subject matter goes, Pueschel said Iration has never claimed to be “super political.”
“We want music to make people feel better and feel good,” Pueschel said. “We want it to be music that brings a lightness and makes people feel good as opposed to something that makes people feel down or has a really heavy message.”
Similarly, Natural Vibrations has Hawaiian roots and was formed by a group of friends in 1992 on the island of Oahu. Since 1996, the band has released six full-length albums, according to its online biography.
Bassist and vocalist Jehua Evans joined Natural Vibrations in 2000 and said a shared love of music has kept the band together through the years.
“(Music) is all everyone wants to do so it’s what keeps us going,” Evans said. “In 2012, we decided we needed to start touring full time, as far as we could go.”
Since making the decision to ramp up touring efforts, Evans said Natural Vibrations has gained many fans that might not have known about the band before seeing a live performance.
“It’s so cool to just show up in a new town or city and meet all these people who come out to the show and have a passion for the music,” Evans said. “For me, that’s been one of the coolest parts (about touring). There are people everywhere that are dying to see what’s going on with our vibe.”
Evans said Natural Vibrations focuses on using music to spread love to audiences on the mainland.
“In Hawaii, there’s that ‘hang-loose’ kind of lifestyle and while a lot of bands tend to be more political, we just want to offer people a positive experience,” Evans said.
Additionally, Evans said touring alongside Iration and The Movement has been a great experience.
“At this point, we’re all just really good friends and we all get along really well,” Evans said. “So every night, everybody is stoked to be there and putting on great shows.”
Joshua Swain and Jordan Miller, founders of The Movement, met in 1998 while playing soccer together at Irmo High School near Columbia, S.C. In an email, Swain said he bonded with Miller since they shared a mutual love for reggae music.
“We made music because of Bob Marley, (Sublime’s) Bradley Nowell, (and rappers) Biggie and (Tupac),” Swain said.
After musician Jon Ruff joined Swain and Miller in 2004, The Movement released its debut album “On Your Feet,” according to the band’s biography. Through the years, there have been several changes within the band, including the departures of Ruff and Miller in 2008 and 2012, respectively.
Despite the changes, The Movement has released four albums since its 2004 debut. The band’s latest album, “Side By Side,” was released Aug. 13, according to its iTunes page.
Today, The Movement is made up of guitarist/vocalist Swain, drummer Gary Jackson and bassist Jason Schmidt, who both joined The Movement around 2008. Moreover, Swain said that the band’s sound has also undergone its own evolution since the early days.
“Musically, we are less hip-hop and more thoughtful alternative reggae,” Swain said. “We are more humble about our position as musicians on this increasingly weird sphere we call Earth.”
So far, Pueschel said he is pleased with how the current tour is going and said he is “stoked” to be back in Columbus after a four-year absence.
“The fun thing about being on tour is just being able to go experience different places and meet the fans because they’re the people that keep the lights on in the house,” Pueschel said. “So it’s good to be able to go and give back.”
The Basement is located at 391 Neil Ave. Tickets for Thursday’s show are $14.50 in advance, $15 day of the concert.
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