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Byline: Allie Adams
Between touring, festival appearances and a nearly finished debut full-length album, The Late Ones have had a huge year and it’s only getting better! You may recognize the Three-piece from Cali Roots 2017, when their set wowed literally the entire crowd at the OG stage. I know they definitely caught my attention and ever since then, I’ve been following them and their cover-filled YouTube channel obsessively (my favorite is their take on “Amber” by 311). Next week they kick off a month-long west coast tour supporting New Kingston, so recently we chatted about everything that’s going with them as of late (no pun intended).
AA: So you guys have had a lot going on lately: you played a NYE show with Nahko & MFTP in Denver, you’re starting another tour this month with New Kingston and you’re working on an album.
Tui: Yeah and Denver was amazing! The show was epic. And we’re almost done recording our album now.
AA: What is the title? Are you releasing that?
JB: We don’t have one yet!
AA: Is this a full-length album or EP?
Tui: This is our first full-length album. We put out our first EP about two years ago, and have been wanting to put out this longer one for awhile now.
AA: Who did you guys grow up listening to? What do you think inspired the music for this album?
Tau: I grew up listening to oldies, a lot of the CDs and records my Grandma had. From The O’Jays to the Beatles, and then I had a lot of different phases too. I had a rock phase, a lot of hip hop for sure. I didn’t really start listening to reggae until high school when I fell in love with it.
Tui: I don’t even know where to start! Bob Marley for sure. Tupac. I love Rage Against the Machine and The Strokes.
JB: I grew up on a lot of my mom’s oldies: The Temptations, James Brown, stuff like that. Tupac, of course. I used to listen to dancehall before I got into the real roots music.
AA: Dancehall is my favorite subgenre of all time. What type of music influenced your album the most?
Tui: We’ve been getting a strong Fugees vibe coming through in the studio. We have the roots foundation, but want to make it as hip hop as possible. There’s that whole balance.
AA: And where are you guys recording this album?
JB: We’re at Sea Major Seven studios in Kalihi [Honolulu] with our friend Noah Cronin. He helped us produce our first EP as well.
AA: Nice, I recently interviewed The Steppas and For Peace Band, both of whom have recorded with Noah at SM7. Family vibes.
Tau: The Steppas showed us around Big Island when we were there last month. We slept in the day we were supposed to go sightseeing, but it was fun.
AA: [laughs] So you’re back on the mainland for now?
Tui: Yeah our tour with New Kingston starts January 24 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
AA: Nice, I’m for sure going to see you guys at Discovery in Ventura. Safe travels!