Local Music Week continues on Rockers, and tonight High Hopes Band performed live in the WERS studio with an exclusive interview with Lara D. Members of the band have backed Fantan Mojah & Yami Bolo as well as opened for Midnite and Morgan Heritage. They started off with a track called “Stranger” and their second song, “The Lion In Me,” featured growling vocals interlaced with layers of percussion and a rock steady bass line. Their last song “Have To Do” had a mesmerizing feel with lead vocalist, Iron Lion, repeating the line “We gotta do what we gotta do.”
By Lily Jeong
Live Mixes for Rockers are never disappointing. Especially after a dragging Wednesday that I spent waiting for the weekend, sitting in the studio listening to groovy beats is almost a reward.
Indeed, High Hopes Band’s live set at WERS did not let me down. The Boston-based reggae band consists of six people who enjoy sharing their music with people. They we’re also good company to keep on a hump day. Despite their various arrangements, High Hopes Band’s set-up and sound check went exceptionally smoothly with barely any problem. I was getting a good feel from the mix even before it had started.
The band started off the set with a mellow love song called “Stranger.” A popping reggae beat met the R&B feel, complimenting tender and romantic lyrics. Iron Zion’s scratchy vocals added a zest to the song, and everyone in the studio grooved and swayed to the beat, fully appreciating the positive energy the band brought on.
Shortly after the band’s first song, Iron Zion grabbed everyone’s attention with a noise that sounded like an animal roaring. It was hard to believe that the noise was coming from a person, and everyone wondered why such an effect was chosen. It started to make sense when the band introduced the song as “The Lion in Me,” a classic rocker reggae tune. Iron Zion’s roars added such an exclusive spice to High Hopes Band’s sound, and as the band continued the song a small group of people started to gather outside of the studio to watch them perform.
With the built-up energy, High Hopes Band wrapped the set up with “Doing What We Have To Do.” When the drums and the bass are the most important factors of reggae, Jules’ thick bass lines doubled up the feel of O Jinga’s drums, making everybody in the studio get on their feet. The key to High Hopes Band’s fresh sound is its simplicity. In the studio, all the band members kept their parts very basic yet crisp, which allowed those parts to come together and collectively create a full track.
After their last song, Jahsun Joseph, the guitarist from the band came into the control booth and gave the Live Mix staff members High Hopes Band t-shirts. The band was sincerely thankful for the opportunity to perform on air and share their music with people. It is just like the lines from their song “Have To Do”: “We’ve got music to play/ We’ve got work to do now/ We’ve got people to meet/ We’ve got places to go.”
Lily Jeong, the writer of this article, also keeps her own music blog.