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23. Travanj 2024

[english] Barry Ashworth (Dub Pistols): "The connection between politics and music has always been strong"

Interview ahead of the concert in Zagreb
The energetic band is led by Barry Ashworth, and Dub Pistols' sound is a combination of several music genres, such as alternative, rock, drum’n’bass, electronica, hip hop, ska, and dub. This concert attraction will arrive at Vintage Industrial Bar on May 8th, riding on the success of last year's album "Frontline."

Reggae hr: You're a big fan of The Specials; how much did their work influence the formation of Dub Pistols' sound? And how did the collaboration come about?
Barry Ashworth (Dub Pistols): The Specials played a huge role in shaping my musical taste when I was a child. They were the first band that I truly connected with, alongside The Clash. Their impact on me was immense. Working with Terry Hall from The Specials and having Lynval Golding perform with us was a significant moment in the history and legacy of The Dub Pistols. They contributed greatly to the ska movement and the distinctive sound of Two Tone. Growing up, their influence led me to explore the reggae sound of Jamaica, specifically the iconic Studio One sound. This influence has remained with me and is a fundamental part of what defines The Dub Pistols.
When we signed a publishing deal with Universal Terry Hall was with my publisher so i cheekily asked if he would do a track with us and he agreed. That track was problem is which we recorded in the front room of my house in West London. Having my hero Terry Hall in my house recording was one of the best days of my life. My dream come true!

Reggae hr: How did your passion for music turn into a career and how did the fusion of Dub Pistols come about?

Barry Ashworth (Dub Pistols): My love for music has been a constant presence in my life since childhood, but I never anticipated becoming a musician or entering the music industry. It wasn't until my trip to Ibiza in 1987 that everything changed. After experiencing the vibrant music scene there, I returned home and ventured into club promoting. It was during this time that I discovered my passion for DJing. Inspired by the energetic performances of the Happy Mondays, I made the bold decision to form my own band. This marked the beginning of my journey as a musician.

In 1997, feeling dissatisfied with the prevailing house music scene, I sought a new sound that resonated with my musical sensibilities. Influenced by artists like the Chemical Brothers and Big Beat, I began creating DJ records to incorporate into my sets. It was during this time that Dub Pistols was born. We signed with Get In Records, which provided us with the platform to start writing original songs. As we delved deeper into our musical journey, Dub Pistols evolved into a dynamic 7-piece band, showcasing our diverse talents and collective creativity.

Reggae hr: How important is social engagement in your musical expression?
Barry Ashworth (Dub Pistols):
The connection between politics and music has always been strong, especially for those from working-class backgrounds. Bands like The Clash and The Specials have been known for their political messages and social commentary. In the writing of the Dub Pistol song, we have strived to incorporate important social messages that resonate with our audience. Our albums, like "Worshiping in the Dollar," aim to shed light on societal issues and the impact of money worship. I am a socialist at heart and believe everybody in life should have a voice and an equal right to achieve their ambitions. There is no room in this world for any form of discrimination, One world one love.

Reggae hr: Could you highlight an anecdote about how the collaborations with Horace Andy or Busta Rhymes came about?
Barry Ashworth (Dub Pistols):
Working with Horace Andy in the studio once more was truly a standout moment in my career. He arrived at my home in West London, and we eagerly began recording a new song together. Horace, affectionately known as "Sleepy" due to his narcolepsy, unexpectedly dozed off during the session. Initially, we were puzzled and assumed he simply wasn't fond of the song. However, as we later discovered, his slumber was due to his condition. Despite this hiccup, we persevered with the recording, and the end result was nothing short of remarkable. He has one of the finest voices in Reggae music so getting him to record with us is another dream come true.

The Busta Rhymes collaboration came about when we were invited by Interscope records to work on the blade two Soundtrack together it's something I couldn't quite believe was happening so to get some work with Busta Rhymes and absolute icon of the hip-hop industry was incredible and the fact that our music was gonna be on the blade two soundtrack mind blowing this is something I'm extremely proud about and can't thank Interscope enough for inviting us to. Over the years we have been truly blessed to have worked with some of the most iconic artists in the world.

Reggae hr: When will the autobiography or documentary about Dub Pistols titled "What Could Possibly Go Wrong: The History of the Dub Pistols" be released?
Barry Ashworth (Dub Pistols): Our documentary is a testament to the power of perseverance, creativity, and the indomitable spirit of music. From our humble beginnings to becoming a renowned band, we have faced numerous challenges, triumphs, and everything in between. Throughout the documentary, we delve into the highs and lows a lot of lows mostly self inflicted of our journey, sharing intimate stories, behind-the-scenes moments, and reflections on the music industry. We explore the evolution of our sound, the impact of our music on fans, and the camaraderie that has kept us together for 25 years. The documentary also features interviews with key figures in the music industry, fellow musicians, and our dedicated fanbase, offering a comprehensive perspective on our legacy. Through archival footage, live performances, and personal anecdotes, we aim to transport viewers into the heart of our music and the experiences that have shaped us.

"What Could Possibly Go Wrong: The History of the Dub Pistols" is not just a documentary about a band; it is a celebration of the power of music to unite, inspire, and overcome obstacles of which there have been many We hope that it will resonate with fans, music enthusiasts, and anyone who appreciates the transformative power of art. Stay tuned for updates on the release date and where you can watch "What Could Possibly Go Wrong: The History of the Dub Pistols." We can't wait to share our story with you.

Reggae hr: Our journalist, in reviewing the album "Frontline," determined it to be the pinnacle of your work and the best release since the iconic "Six Million Ways to Live" and "Worshipping the Dollar." Do you share this opinion, and what was the creative process of its creation like?
Barry Ashworth (Dub Pistols):
We are constantly pushing ourselves to explore new sounds, experiment with different genres, and collaborate with talented artists to elevate our music to new heights. We try to make every album the best work we have ever done and even now as i type we are working on 2 new albums. "Dub Pistols v Freestylers" is a highly anticipated collaboration album that brings together the best of both worlds. We have combined our unique blend of dub, reggae, and electronic music with the signature style of the Freestylers. The result is a dynamic and energetic fusion that is sounding absolutely up there with the best albums we have ever recorded. In addition to the collaboration album, we are also working on a Dub Pistols live reggae album. We want to capture the raw energy and infectious vibes of our live performances and deliver it to our fans in a way that truly captures the essence of the Dub Pistols experience.

We are excited about these upcoming releases and believe that they will showcase the evolution of our sound while staying true to our roots. Each album is a labor of love, and we are committed to making them the best they can possibly be. So, stay tuned for more updates on the release dates and where you can get your hands on these new albums. The best is yet to come, and we can't wait to share it with you.

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