General Music Interviews

“We Knew It Worked and We Could Speak from the Heart.” – A Conversation with Gentleman’s Dub Club

After this past summer’s acclaimed project with The Nextmen, Gentleman’s Dub Club return with the hotly anticipated album, ‘Lost In Space.’ True connoisseurs of blending influences from genres such as dub, reggae, ska, bass culture, jazz, and everything in between, the band has adopted a futuristic tone as they continue their mission to discover the ultimate bassline. Pre-orders for the record launch started on Oct 5th with the first single, ‘Stardust’ and second single ‘Turning Back’ (featuring Million Stylez) was released on December 7th. Third single ‘Light The Fuse’ was released on January 11th, and the full album is out now! Teaming up once again with the mighty Easy Star Records has resulted in only one outcome: a euphoric journey through time, space, and bass. Diving straight into the deep end with the ruckus that is ‘Light The Fuse,’ the record is set up with rumbling heavyweight bass movements that naturally match the controlled chaos of ‘Eye Of The Storm’ and ‘Midnight Healing.’ Meeting every unique end of the spectrum, Gentleman’s Dub Club once again draw on their incredible ability to fuse sounds together until they feel like they’ve always belonged.


How did the band get started?

We all met at Uni in Leeds (North of England). At the time, there were a lot of dub events that fused the local and student communities, particularly a night called subdub, which hosted Iration Steppa’s sound system and monthly sound clashes with the UK’s biggest rigs. When we first got to Uni we all gravitated towards Subdub and each other! As musicians from a diverse background musically, we set about trying to recreate this sound we were hearing every month at subdub with an Orange Bass Cab, a laptop and delay unit. Everything just grew from this energy, it was infectious!


Tell us about the different backgrounds represented in the band?

Really diverse, from Heavy Metal to Classical via Hip Hop, Jazz, and Drum and Bass! We have never really tried to mix influences or have any specific goals musically it’s just developed naturally through playing together.


Who and what are some of the band’s influences?

Well, the UK sound system scene has been a massive influence with artists like Iration steppas, Jah Shaka, Jah Tubby’s, Vibronics, Mungo’s Hifi, King Alpha, and Aba Shanti. But also, the original Jamaican artists like Scientist, King Tubby, Culture, Midnite, Isreal Vibration, Black Uhuru, Bunny Wailer, Freddie Mcgregor, Alton Ellis, and Horace Andy to name a few.

Like I say though, the influences for the band go far beyond dub/reggae and ska music and we have always looked towards UK genres like Drum and Bass, Dubstep, Grime for the more electronic aspects of what we do. When we were first cutting our teeth on the live circuit, we would be playing alongside these electronic styles and so our sound had to stand next to hit without any dip in energy while also bringing something fresh and unique.


The band has shared the stage and backed quite a few of the most popular reggae artists. What is one of your most memorable performances with a popular reggae artist?

It has to be The Twinkle Brothers; those guys have it all. In fact, we have been lucky enough to play alongside them several times and it’s always such an inspiration to see how they bring their energy to every show they perform.


What is the reggae scene like in the UK where the band is based?

Yeah, it’s been strong ever since the ’70s and particularly the 80’s reggae has been an important sound in the UK. Both in the underground, sound system movement which has spawned a lot of UK sounds in Jungle, Drum and Bass, Garage, and more recently Dubstep. There has also been a considerable tradition in band-based reggae and ska and ska punk through bands like Steel Pulse, UB40, The Beat, Aswad etc. This tradition still engages big audiences across the generations; currently, we play alongside a variety of acts like Hollie Cook, The Skints, General Roots, Prince Fatty, and Hempolics, who all draw big crowds and tour at home and internationally.



What style of reggae does the band play most often? [Dancehall, Lovers, Rock, Conscious, etc.] What style do the majority of fans seem to prefer?

Our style is mostly 140 dub, but we wind it up to ska for the live shows and down to elements of lovers and conscious. They love the heavy four to the floor dub and Ska!


Was the fact that Reggae is in Patois a barrier to members who have a non-Jamaican background?

When we first played we would try and imitate, but after a short time, we developed our style, fusing the music we fell in love with, with our own lives and backgrounds. It was a journey, to begin with, to make sure that our voice was genuine, but when we found our groove. We knew it worked and we could speak from the heart without imitation.


Has the band performed in Jamaica yet?

Not yet, unfortunately. We are an 8piece band, which means our costs are high so we haven’t been able to take up the offers. But, we are very much looking forward to coming out soon.


Be sure to check out Gentleman’s Dub Club‘s website and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

About the author

Brittany Khaleel