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Herb-N-Life | Interview

Recommended listening: April 29, 1992 by Sublime

The journey of life takes us on different paths, some do what they love for the rest of their lives, others settle for what they can obtain the easy way. Hard work can never be replaced, talent is a plus, but discipline, and dedication will always reign supreme. We shall always respect those we bump into on this journey, when our movie is complete, you will see some characters flame out, others that never leave, and those who rejuvenate your inner soul. Life has come full circle for this group of musicians, as they take flight, for another rally for life, creation, and friendship. We are proud to re-introduce a beautiful, wonderful reggae band that goes by the name of Herb-N-Life.

Introduce yourselves, and tell us a little about yourself.

Cisco: My name is Cisco, I play bass, originally from a band called Las Calakas, now I’m also part of Herb-N-Life, The Revival. I’ve been playing bass for a long time, I played for a couple other bands back in the day, Fayuca that’s one of my originals, you name it, I played with a lot of good bands back in the day. Took a little break, I’m still jammin’ hard!

Sam: What’s up I’m Sam, we have a lot of the same backstory Cisco and I, we go way back. We did Herb-N-Life, shoot I don’t even want to say when, it’s been a minute. I bounced through Catfish Mustache, then Fayuca. Bumping heads with these guys throughout time, Cisco and Adrian hit me up on a conference call like “What are you doing? Let’s start making music, what’s up?” I was like oh shit your right. Let’s start making music, the rest is writing itself.

Arian: I’ve been in a bunch of bands, but I really don’t want to name them off, a lot of haters out there. My name is Arian, if you know me, you know me, if you don’t, well now you know. I play drums, I do a little bit of everything; I am the band gopher.

Sam: Arian did everything, he brought all our shit down here, set it all up. We practice at his studio, he is the backbone, literally.

Adrian: My name is Adrian, I’m the lead guitar, been in a bunch of groups, known these for a minute. I originally came from a group called The Skacas, played a lot with Herb-N-Life, I’ve known Cisco since I was 14-15 years old. I have been jammin’ making music, yeah man just Rock-N-Roll!

David: Hola mi nombre es David Moore, saxophone player for the band. I play with a few other groups, Highest Conspiracy, a rock group called The Retro Connection. I am the guy everybody sees, but doesn’t know.

He’s the one that wets the panties, if you know what I’m talking about.

David: Yeah! Even my own underwear, it’s so much sexyness. I am friends with Arian, he hit me up and asked if I wanted to play in the band. I asked if he thought I would be a fit, because I’m not Mexican. He said “That doesn’t matter bro, just come.”

Can you go more into detail about the start of the band?

Sam: I mean it’s been a long time, we first started touring in 2006, with RPM, I don’t even think they are around anymore, put us on this tour. We were all hype, we bought this Valley Metro van that you can stand in, it’s got the thing that you crank so the door opens, makes you feel like a bus driver. We thought we were bad, we hit the first tour date, was at Gallaghers I think, it’s in Huntington Beach. Everything we hit, it was cool, everybody’s happy and hype. We left the next morning to go to the next show, so we started calling, letting these guys know we are on our way. They are like “Who are you guys?” we tell them we are “Herb-N-Life” that we are on tour booked through “RPM” and they say they don’t have anything for us.

We said, let’s just drive out there and figure it out, I’m sure we are talking to the wrong person. So we get there, talk to everybody, and they’re like, “No, never heard of that dude.” So we were like fuck it and called it the “Guilt Trip Tour” after that. Because we literally went to every venue on that map, and made them give us a show. Whether we stayed the night there and took an available slot. It was one hell of a tour, we literally had people reaching out to us, and giving us beds, and food, one of them threw a block party in Boise, Idaho. What was next is we went to Vegas, and we blew a head in the engine, and that was it. We all had to find ways back home, we got stranded in a hooker motel in Vegas. All day and night just sitting there waiting for help.

That was our only tour, we got sucked into doing a bunch of local shows, opening for different acts, selling tickets, you do that for so long you kind of get burnt-out. We did a lot of drinking, a lot of partying, we kind of lost track of what we were supposed to be doing with the music. You find this gap where you aren’t doing anything for a while. After going through all that, and we’re still passionate about it, it’s like shit why not?

We have our lives together somewhat, better than anytime back then. It’s better then it was, it feels good this time, it feels like everybody is in, everybody is committed, and everybody is about the same thing. It’s cool, it’s been a while, but I can’t tell you that it’s never felt better.

Did you always play reggae?

Sam: I started off with metal, I love metal, death metal, and all that shit. I didn’t get into hip hop and reggae really until I started listening to music. Listening to the words and shit, and then smoking weed you get into the bass, hip hop and reggae got that. In that transition Sublime was the bonding point to all those different genres for me, where it’s like “holy shit” dude, this guy is cutting it all up like a DJ on a guitar.

Adrian: The reason I picked up a guitar was because Sublime, it’s as simple as that.

Arian: It’s funny you bring up “RPM” Cisco and I went on tour with them.

Cisco: Here’s a little story, I used to play in a band called SINIZEN and we hooked up with this dude named RPM, and he booked us a tour with Inhale, this band from Cali. We all took this west coast tour, all the way up to Seattle, and then all the way back down to Utah, it was like a whole circle. We would show up to shows, and they were like “We don’t even know who you guys are, what’s going on?” We would show up to bars, and they would be empty as hell, we would tell them we are here to jam, and they would be like “What? There’s no jammin’ here.” We would still play the show. There was one show, it was my birthday. We showed up to the show, and the dudes didn’t want to pay us. The only thing we did we kept it cool, we took all the fucking liquor, we started taking bottles and were like “Fuck you guys” (allegedly). I have a picture holding two Patron bottles on my birthday, and we partied behind the bar. The guy came out pissed off because we had all his liquor, it wasn’t their fault, the guy kept saying “Yeah, come out and play.” We set up and jammed out, but the guy didn’t pay us.

Adrian: I still have long life friends from all these tours that I’ve been on. I still talk to a lot of people from different states. I remember alley jams, like just jammin’ it out, just an 18 pack of beer, jammin’ Sublime.

What’s some advice you have for up-and-coming bands?

Arian: Put time into your craft, rather than the partying, that’s what I have to say.

Cisco: My advice is, invest in what you believe in, and practice, practice, and practice. You have people that do cover music, and that’s not hard, but you still need to practice. To me that’s your food, to make your own original, and come out with your own sound. Invest in your craft, believe in it, and practice.

Any closing words you would like to give our readers?

Cisco: I just want to say what’s up to Las Calakas, Black Flys, The Bradley Family out there, The Bradley Nowell Foundation, everybody from the West Side of Phoenix.

Arian: Shout out to God, I want to give it up to everyone who is trying to play music right now. Keep your head up, all this shit will pass, we are going to play live shows again.

Adrian: Shout-out to everyone who is working hard in the music industry, that can’t make a living if you’re out there, like Arian said, just hold on and we are going to keep jammin’ live shows, live streaming whenever we can, and just keep making music.

Sam: God, James, Gram, Oppie, Hefro, Working Class Cultura, everybody reading this, taking the time and the money, the blood, sweat, and tears, that go into this, all the community. I feel like I really should say something really prolific right now, otherwise, “BLACK LIVES MATTER!”, and everyone just stay up, stay safe, and keep your head straight, don’t stress on too much, don’t think about too much, and just chill. Good vibes are coming, life is good, sun is shining, and don’t worry things will be alright.



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