Interview: See-I

The reggae band See-I. Photo courtesy of

By Tom Roth

Tom Roth: How has See-I’s membership changed over the years and how has that affected the band’s music?
See-I: We have grown stronger and stronger over the years.  Our band members are so talented and each brings his own background and special experiences to the table, that’s what makes the band’s sound so unique.  We are really proud of each one of these guys, they are all so talented and accomplished on their own.  It’s really a band of all-stars.
TR: With a discography reaching back to 2003, when would you say things really started picking up for See I? Was there a certain release that helped in that?
SI: We started touring heavily in 2009 and that was a big catalyst.  We were also able to rebuild our entire studio that year and the new gear really helped us get the album together.  And now that the first album is done, we are already halfway done with our second album, so things are rolling now.


TR: In the reggae genre, which artists do you identify most with, both musically and in terms of style? Any artists from other genres?
SI: Mostly dancehall, lovers rock and foundation reggae from the 1970’s.  Of course there was great reggae before and after the 1970’s, but that decade shaped our singers, Rootz and Zeebo, the most.  And not just 1970’s reggae, but also funk and soul.  When you hear our music or come see us play, you will realize this is a unique and genuine reggae sound.  A fusion based on rock, soul, gospel and funk, all driven by a steady reggae beat and vibe.  This is the real See-I sound.


TR:  See-I seems to have a fairly special relationship with Thievery Corporation. What sort of things have you learned from each other?
SI: See-I’s relationship with Thievery Corporation goes back to the 90’s and the history of both bands are intertwined together.  Thievery has been real blessing, giving our singers and musicians incredible opportunities worldwide.  Chances to play on some of the best and biggest stages all over the world.  Thievery has also maintained a pretty busy touring schedule, so the See-I guys are trained and ready for extended stays on the road.  When you come to a See-I show you get to enjoy the vibes developed by years of touring, and that’s a special thing.  This is positive and fun music, you are meant to have a good time.  But we take it seriously and are professionals.  So let’s get it on!!

TR: Which cities, on east coast and west, do you have the closest connection to?
SI: We love Colorado.  It’s like a second home to us.  The people, the landscape, nature, energy, everything is so great there.  California has been incredibly good to us, i think you get a similar vibration out here – people are tuned into nature, the earth and each other.  We thrive off of that kind of energy.  The people just love music and love to dance so much, we give you a lot of respect for that.  On the east coast, DC is our home and has a special place in our heart of course.  We play in Baltimore a lot and have some great fans and friends in Charm City.  And of course we have to give a shout out to our main Rob Paine in Philly, him and Lee Mayjahs of PEX have really built that city up musically and shared their community with us.  Much respect and thanks to them.


TR:  In September, you played the Earthdance festival in Vallejo. How was the West Coast vibe apparent there?
SI: Love, unity, mother earth, positive vibrations, yoga, and lots of reggae music.   Earthdance is incredible, much thanks to Chris Deckker and all who work so hard to put it on.  Music is a spiritual thing and we have a lot of respect and admiration for those who can keep the sacred aspects alive while bringing together thousands of people under one roof.  Corporate sponsorships and funding are not really our thing, we believe in the people, the underground and our family.  YOU!


TR: What can fans expect to see on this tour and more specifically at your San Diego stop on November 5?
SI: Expect a funky good party.  Wear your dancing shoes.  Get ready to smile and get down with us from start to finish.  We came to party.