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I went to Reggae Rise Up Music Festival in Baltimore, MD a couple of weeks ago and the day before the festival The Harbor Boys played at Tin Roof bar and music venue to start off the long weekend of music.  They wanted to get their name out there so Cody invited me to come check them out and check out the Baltimore music scene.  He said it was going to be a huge party.  He was not wrong.  I ended up interviewing them before their performance and my takeaway from meeting them, interviewing them and watching and listening to them is they are FUN with so much energy!  I really hope these kids make it big, they have some serious talent, they are smart and a lot of fun.  So much energy! 

I urge you to check them out, they have a nice reggae-rock sound, but it is so much more than that.  They are still learning their craft and their style.  They each have their favorite genres of music, but do a nice job bringing it all together with a reggae-rock vibe. They work closely with Ballyhoo! and Bumpin Uglies and you can see some of their style comes from those bands, but they are trying to do their own thing, their own vibe. They are evolving, they are figuring out their style.  I saw them all three days at RRU watching, listening, taking in many different bands.  I could see them making mental notes. 

What also impressed me was watching them Thursday night at a bar, they are an amazing bar band. So much energy, so much fun, but watching them start off day 2 of RRU was great.  I wasn’t sure how their style and energy would work on the big stage.  They killed it, even more energy, more craziness, more fun.  They had a great turn out for being the opening act in such a large festival, and I think that was them putting it out there to see them Thursday at Tin Roof.  They picked up may new fans that weekend.  I for sure am a fan and can’t wait to see how they grow.

One Love - Todd



So let's get after it!

Hunnypot: Tell us about the reggae scene in Baltimore/Maryland?

Cody: The local Baltimore scene is really tight, it’s covered by rock, reggae, or reggae-rock.  Around here we always looked up to Ballyhoo!, Pasadena, Bumpin Uglies, all those guys, and Higher Ed.  They brought us in and its one big tight family.  We do shows together, we do festivals together, we are just really tight.

Gingy:  There’s something to be said about the beach and boating culture here, Annapolis is actually the sailing capital of the country, so people come from all over.  Tight scene, whole big family. It’s the vibe.

Hunnypot: Checking out the video My Own Way, all kinds of genres in the video, country, rock, rap, everything.  If you didn’t play reggae what type of music would you be playing?

Cody: Rock.  However, a lot of our newer songs, some we will be playing tonight, are pop-punk oriented, kind of like Ballyhoo!, they do that punk reggae thing.  We all have a punk background, we are all big fans of reggae, we listen to pretty much everything though.  Gingy does our video work, so he came up with the idea for the video.

Gingy: I’ve been doing video for Ballyhoo! and Bumpin Uglies and I always wanted to do a video showing different genres of music.  Make it goofy, it’s hard to find a band that doesn’t take themselves so seriously, I feel like if you make it be goofy and make a fun video, you will love the band even more.  As a band you can’t take yourself so seriously, be goofy, the fans like to see that. 

Cody: If you watch that video closely, we did two nods to two local Maryland based bands, Ballyhoo! and Bumpin’ Uglies, so if you watch it there is a spitting image of a scene of Stop The Fall with the bridge scene with the green guitar and wigs and we also used Ballyhoo!s Gas Station Burritos, and we told them both we were going to do it and they loved the idea.

Dave: When we did the bridge shot, we made sure we were in the exact location as the Bumpin Uglies, so if you look at the camera angle to where it is with the bridge, it is spot on.

Cody: Did it look like summer in the video?

Hunnypot: Ummm, not sure.  I guess it was winter because you can see your breath.

Cody: It was 19 degrees.  It was Jan. 19th and the coldest day of the year.  We were all like, are we sure we want to do this?  Gingy was like, when you pretend to sing, don’t breathe out so hard so you can’t see the breath.

Zakk: And lucky for me, they did this before I was in the band!

Hunnypot:  What does it mean to you guys to be able to do a festival this big?

Cody: It’s been in our sight and on our agenda from the time we got started. We started as a bar band and before that I was acoustic.  It means the world to us, like I’ve seen Dirty Heads like seven times, they are such a big influence, so it is amazing.  It’s kind of like we are in a dream, we are just trying to take this all in.

Gingy: We are just so grateful for the opportunity, it’s amazing a huge nationwide festival is giving us and other local bands the chance to open up for the bands we look up to.  It really shows how supportive the scene is of the smaller bands and how we want to do our part and fit in with the bigger bands.

Hunnypot:  I love how you have been putting it out there and promoting it and how you are doing this free show tonight at Tin Roof.  You said it was going to be a party.

Cody: We are trying to show people who we are, now for free, they are coming in here, and hopefully they have a great time, so then they will say let’s head in early to the festival to catch these guys.   Wait until you see this guy tonight (pointing at Gingy).  We still have that bar band mentality.  He’s jumping all over, pouring shots down peoples throats. 

Zakk:  People don’t realize how awesome of a scene Baltimore is for music.  When you think of the big music cities in the country, like LA, NY, but people sleep on Baltimore, there are so many good bands that come out of here.  It has a big rap scene, pop-punk, hardcore rock.  I feel like no matter what weekend it is, you can always find a good band playing.

Cody: We have Dale (Dale and the Zdubs) coming in, and some others, we want to show people what the music scene is like and what we have to offer.

Hunnypot:  Each of you give me your top two bands, top two, no matter what genre.  I’ll start, my top two are Bob Marley and Buju Banton is number two. 

Cody: One of my top bands is a Baltimore based band, Turnstile.  They are a crazy band, they are huge they blew up.  They are a hardcore band, they are everywhere right now, they play Lollapalooza. In a recent interview they were talking about playing in these same bars we are playing at.  On the reggae side what got me into all this is Dirty Heads.  They influenced a lot of our early music. 

Gingy: It changes every week, I don’t usually stay in a genre too long.  If I had to pick one, it would be Foo Fighters.  I grew up listening to them.  The amount of hits, this is an amazing song, this is an amazing song.  The music, the lyrics, they have always been a huge inspiration.  Second one would be, this is so hard, I guess it has to be Chili Peppers.  I had another one but I forgot…..

Dave: I would have to go with

Gingy: Oh…Ballyhoo! Sorry I cut you off Dave!  I’m serious, we play with those guys a lot.  I looked up to them a lot, they were one of the first bands I started seeing back in high school.  They say never meet your hero’s, but they are the nicest people.  They have helped us out so much.

Dave: For me, my biggest band is Mae and if I had to choose a second, it so hard to just choose two.  I would say it is somewhere along the lines of Atreyu or Unearth.   My background, I never played reggae until meeting these guys, has been in hardcore bands, in death metal bands.  I come from a very hard background.  So Mae is acoustic, feel good, love yourself type stuff.  So I like different ends of the spectrum.  If I had to choose a reggae band I would say Ballyhoo! is a band that got me into it.  I remember when the Front Porch came out, that really clicked with me. I’ve been listening to them for a while and then to meet them and play with them has been really cool.  They put that rock star mentality aside, they are just real people.

Cody: We are trying to find our sound and use all these influences, to try and find that right sound.

Zakk: Number one would have to be a band called Kings X, I was six or seven and they were my first show.  My dad and I stood right up front and loved it.  I have met them and know them, it’s the same thing with Ballyhoo!, you get to meet your idols and they are so cool.  Number two has to be Slipknot.  I don’t think there is a single song that I haven’t liked. 

Hunnypot: One last question, if you are on a desert island and can only listen to one album?

Dave: (before I finished asking the question) Destination: Beautiful.  I could listen to that front and back a million times.

Cody: It goes with my favorite band Turnstile, Glown On.  It gets me and Gingy so hype so if we are on an island we would build our whole fort and everything.  We listen to that album pretty much before every show and get us hyped, we get nuts.  We’d be hyped to build up the whole island. 

Gingy: That is my album as well. That is our ritual album before every show, because it gets us pumped up, it’s high energy, there is not a dull moment on that album.

Cody: We just saw them live at 9:30 club and even their slow songs, people are getting thrown all around.  I worry I’m going to break an arm or something.  TJ from Bumpin Uglies went to a Turnstile concert the night before a tour and he actually messed up his shoulder and they had to bring a backup in for a few shows.

Zakk:  I have to say Sic by Slipknot (over Iowa?-Cody), over Iowa, front to back Sic is amazing.

Hunnypot:  Thanks for meeting with us, any last words?

Cody: We got new music coming out after Reggae Rise Up.  I’m gonna say that now because it’s going to force us to do it.  Come to Maryland, come to Baltimore some time and enjoy the city and music.  We are lining up songs and hopefully hitting the studio soon.

Todd Judd

Photojournalist - Pennsylvania

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