Perpetually touring party-bros Pepper celebrated a decade on the road this year. The rock-reggae trio has carved a nice niche for itself on the traveling summer festival scene, amassing a healthy following of Sublime/311-aligned concertgoers since leaving Hawaii's big island in 2001. A meld of frat-boy proclivity and Island swagger, Pepper gets it crackin' with deep-grooving, sun-drenched anthems about drunk girls, wet dreams, and all things Kona. Drummer Yesod Williams checks in before Monday's show at the House of Blues in Anaheim.
OC Weekly: What's your ideal party situation?
Yesod Williams: At home in Kona, beach party/BBQ, with the surf
cracking and all the family and friends there. It's basically what I
hope heaven is like.
Which strains of bud have you been enjoying lately?
Raspberry Kush, and this one no-named strain my buddy grew in
Hawaii–all organic grown in the earth, no pots involved–something to
be said about growing it straight in the earth with the volcanic soil of
Hawaii. It's like recording a record on analog tape; it's a lost art
but there's a difference.
You guys were on Warped Tour this summer. Did you feel like old men next to all those hella young bands?
I shared some geriatric moments with Less Than Jake this year. So
crazy how much that tour has evolved over the last decade. Instead of
feeling old, I would call it more of a mentor vibe.
You guys mellowed out a little on the Stitches record. Does that reflect your life at all?
Yes and no. Of course, we're all in our 30s now. But as far as the
the band goes, we feel as vibrant as ever, livin' the dream, and we're
very grateful. I think a song like “Wake Up” is one of the more gritty,
ballsy songs in our whole catalog.
What is the greatest misconception about Pepper?
That we're rich. Ha!
What is the greatest secret?
That [bassist] Bret [Bollinger] and I are step-brothers. My dad boned his mom.
Do you guys have any sweet performance rituals?
Mixed drink of choice for after the show?
Vodka and ZICO coconut water.
You worked with Skunk Baxter a couple years ago. Does that guy go pretty hard still?
No, he's like part of the DEA or something. He had a gun on him when
he laid his tracks down on “In With the Old,” and we had to hide all the
weed and bongs before he got to the studio. Nice guy, though.
What are you guys listening to right now?
Atmosphere, Ballyhoo, UB40, Goldfinger, Arctic Monkeys, Tenacious D, and Foo Fighters just to name a few.
What's for dinner?
Chicken and cannolis.
PEPPER AT HOUSE OF BLUES ANAHEIM, 1530 S. Disneyland Dr.
Anaheim, CA. MONDAY, OCTOBER 10 $27.50 ADV/$30 DOS www.houseofblues.com