Long established as one of New Zealand’s finest acts and pioneers of a South Pacific reggae/roots sound, The Black Seeds have carved out their reputation on the back of multi-platinum albums and a masterful live show that’s been filling dance floors for over a decade.
While firmly based in the island grooves that inspired the birth of the band over a decade ago, their music has cast a wide net, winning fans and wowing audiences across the globe. Layering funk, soul, afro-beat, and other eclectic elements over their dub and reggae foundations, The Black Seeds infuse raw energy and good vibes wherever they go making the band a regular fixture at the world’s leading music festivals and venues.
Since 1998, vocals led be Barnaby Weir and Daniel Weetman have been the driving force behind expressing The Black Seeds message. Conscious lyrics convey personal triumphs and failures, relationships good and bad, and are underpinned by a constant optimism.
The Black Seeds released their debut album Keep On Pushing in 2001, which despite a minimal marketing budget, went on to reach platinum sales in New Zealand.
In 2004, the next album, On The Sun, added a heavy dose of funk and soul to the bands characteristic dub reggae sound for the first time. The album reached triple-platinum sales and included one of the band’s biggest singles to date ‘So True’, which was accompanied by a beautifully shot video that captured the essence of summer island life at the bottom of the South Pacific.
The third album, Into the Dojo, signaled the beginning of the band’s introduction to the rest of the world after it was successfully released by European label Sonar Kollektiv, garnering critical acclaim and airplay, particularly in Germany and France. The hit single, ‘One By One’, was written by ex band member and Flight Of The Conchords member Bret McKenzie, and was featured in season 2 of the AMC’s smash hit Breaking Bad and was included on the Official Soundtrack. The Black Seeds’ music has been featured in numerous other TV shows and movies including Weeds, Disney’s Eight Below, and The Inbetweeners II.
In 2008 Solid Ground continued to build the band’s following after it was released through a trailblazing North American label Easy Star Records. The Huffington Post described the album as “a damn fine record…thick, bottom-heavy, and melodic”, with JamBase labelling it as being at “the forefront of reggae today and tomorrow.”
The Black Seeds Live: Vol 1 (2009) featured live recordings captured by the band between 2001 and 2009, and a Solid Ground remix album Specials: Remixes And Versions From Solid Ground brought together re-workings by both prominent producers and fans of the band.
The release of fifth album Dust And Dirt in 2012 marked an exciting new chapter for the band capturing The Black Seeds’ brand of reggae-funk fusion at its most authentic. From the start, the trippy album opener ‘Out of Light’ incorporates shimmering keyboards and psychedelic vocals showcasing a reinvigorated band with an expansive sound. The chilled-out disco-dub of ‘Don’t Turn Around’, born out of a spontaneous jam before rehearsal, and the blaring horn line and varied use of instrumentation on ‘Love Me Now’, were testament to a band at the top of its game and reveling in a new found creative freedom. The German Rolling Stone in 2012 described The Black Seeds as “The best reggae band in the world right now.”
The album achieved the band’s best ever chart positions in Germany, UK, U.S.A and Australia, and was supported by a monster tour run that included over 80 performances across three continents, and slots at festivals such as Rock en Seine, Lowlands and Sziget.
The 2016 year is set to be a busy one for The Black Seeds as the band begin the recording of their long-awaited sixth album with new guitarist Ned Ngatae. Also on the cards is a limited edition vinyl release for their iconic Into The Dojo album, marking the 10th anniversary of the album’s release. This year also holds in store the band’s first ever tour of Brasil and a return to Canada.