Image for Peats Ridge: Salmonella Dub

Peats Ridge: Salmonella Dub

Written by Thomas Mitchell on December 19, 2008

A popular group from New Zealand, with funny accents and fans across Australia, that isn’t Flight of the Conchords? I can almost hear the collective gasp.

Salmonella Dub are musicians from across the Tasman who have been the dub pioneers for fifteen years. Front man Andrew caught us up on their latest movements.

“We’ve just done some writing and recording from our tour with NZ Symphony orchestra, which was interesting. It has come up amazingly well, nerve wracking putting it all together, you’ve got 80 people waiting on stage, but it came together and now its available on CD and vinyl. More recently we’ve been working on our next album.”

The New Zealand based dubsters have seen members come and go, but it hasn’t affected their unique sound.

“We’ve changed members over the years, but now we’ve kind of come full circle to the original core three. As far as the dynamic goes, because of the core membership, it’s the same foundation, we’ve recently had people move on to do other things, which was a natural thing, but it’s allowed us to move on a bit quicker, the more people there are the harder it is to get things done.”

High on the To Do List is hitting the festivals in Australia, their self proclaimed home away from home.

“Those little festivals are out favourites, Peats Ridge will be a sweet bush environment, which suits the psychedelic edge of our stuff, better then being stuck in a sweaty club, I mean it’s always a good vibe, very fond memories.”

“I think we’ve done over thirty tours of Australia and it’s like a second home. We’ve probably got as strong a fan base, if not stronger, in Australia. But also the population is bigger, and a real music industry and touring circuit.”

Despite the infamous rivalry between the countries, in New Zealand sheepish isn’t just a personality trait, it’s a genetic flaw, the band downplays any historical rift.

“Yeah there is no NZ -Aus rivalry, the Aussie crowd embraces us really well, I mean you still get people asking you to say ‘fish and chips’ but we were lucky, we got quite a good leg up when we first went to Australia through the Cruel Sea.”

After the generosity of Tex Perkins, ninety percent Bourbon ten percent Rock God, the band had a foot in the door in Australia, and never looked back, together since 1992.

“The key to our longevity, what sets us apart I think, is that we all have equal input in what we do and equal shares in the whole band. If there are egos involved you just stomp on them. Everyone gets a chance to say something, at the recording process there is no one songwriter, no one dictating what’s going on.”

Lack of dictatorship has worked for both Germany and Salmonella Dub, with their newest collaboration earning critical acclaim. Which saw the band spent time with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, recording and touring.

“They approached us. We got paid by the Govt to play with the orchestra but also I used to play in the school orchestra when I was a kid, and it turns out the conductor, was in my class. We used to bang out punk versions of Beatles song to piss off our music teacher. We were on the same page.”

The mutual juvenile rebellion may have led to a wonderful partnership but neither Salmonella Dub nor NZ Symphony Orchestra could’ve predicted how the tour would end.

“We ended the tour at Trafalgar Park to three thousand people. The night was called Feel the Seasons Change, and when we started out it rained early in the set, and then twenty minutes later the sun came out. It was almost like the weather was choreographed for the show.”
“The thing that really got me was for the last half of the set, there would’ve been 1500 people moshing, in front of the orchestra. You had grandmas, babies, suits, baldies, pot smokers, it was great.”

The multigenerational, pension receiving, weed smoking, diaper shitting crowd may have excited Salmonella but not as much as plans for their newest dub experiment.

“We have a character called the Mighty Asterisk and he is a reggae song bird and we decided to try him out in the studio, and it worked, real jumpy and soulful.”

“The album should hit late summer, maybe winter, we’re going to start involving our audience a bit more via the website. We’ll be starting to make dub versions of the tracks available for download on website just as a taster of we’re we are at.”

If you want to taste Salmonella then hit up their website http://www.salmonelladub.com and check them out at Peats Ridge.

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