S: Valentines Day is just around the corner, can you tell me a bit about the jewelry line that you guys have put together?
Z: “Our keyboardist, Ikaika, his girlfriend Nikki has her own jewelry company. We have been supporting her for a few years. She makes all custom made, beautiful, local Hawaiian jewelry. We always want to expand our merchandise and are always looking at new ideas. We came out with it at the end of last year, The Green Girl Jewelry Line. The first run was pendants, like bar pedants, which say Peace, Love, Strength or Hope. It’s named after one of our songs, The Power and The Words. It’s good timing for the tour we are on, The Chocolates and Roses Tour.”
S: I know you guys are splitting time with Through the Roots and SOJA on this tour, what is it like being on the road with these guys?
Z: The Green has known Through the Roots for a long time, and with SOJA too we have become close friends with them as well over the past couple years. There’s a brotherhood. There’s a comradery, a history, and its always good to see each other. When we finally link up and get to see each other its like, the boys.
It’s just different when you are headlining a show and when you are supporting a show. At some times you are at the mercy of scheduling, availability and logistics so the fact that we can make this work with both bands is awesome.
While we are not with Through the Roots, they are on their own headlining tour.
With SOJA, we are only doing like 45 minutes to an hour, so it’s fun to knock it out and party with the boys while enjoying their show. With Through the Roots, we get to watch some of their set, but then we have to get ready for our show. It’s just a different schedule. Being with SOJA is a blessing because they are one of the biggest reggae bands in the world, I’d say. The fact that we get to play with them, be around, and hang out is a blessing. They are a good influence on us.
We have been trying to tour hard and tour as diverse as we can while still delivering the same type of show.
S: One of the things The Green is known for is your singing, what do you think is special about harmonizing with the guys?
Z: It’s all about the kind of reggae music and music in general that we listen to. We are all fans of vocals and harmonies. In old school reggae, Gladiators, Israel Vibrations, The Wailers, or anything like that has male or female harmonies, we love all that stuff. We always try and bring that to our music. Your sound comes from your influences and what you listen to. Also, what you surround yourself with as you are growing as a musician. Everything you see on the road affects how we play and what we sound like. We are just trying to enjoy what we are doing out here.
S: Being so far away from home, what keeps you lifted on the road and why?
Z: Our boy Lu from Hill Kid just gave us an inversion table. He moved from Colorado, God Bless Lu. We met him through the Rebelution guys. You just strap in and flip upside down. You were on it, that thing is mean. It’s good for the back because you get cramped in the bus.
I remember touring in vans and sleeping on the floor of people’s houses or in the van, so if you want to complain, you can’t. What’s the point? We are out here and we have gotten this far because of that. Where we are now, we’ve earned it. We put a lot of work into it and we keep each other together. It’s about the family vibes; there are 9 of us from the same place that grew up in the same kind of vibe. We are a family. There are places all over the country we will stop, and there is family there. They may not be blood, but they are family.
No matter how cold it is, the time difference, whatever it is you are feeling, we try and create long lasting friendships with the people we have connected with. It’s family that we have established, and that is the biggest blessing.
S: What are you looking forward to the most this year? What can we expect with music, merch, festivals, etc?
Z: Music is first; it will always be the first thing. This year is a year of building. We are going to work on the next full-length album. We are also going to work on some acoustic stuff we want to record. The merchandise is going full throttle. We are linking up with some solid people and trying to expand it. We are trying to stay connected with this community of arts and creativity.
We have a lot of cool festivals coming up. We are doing the 9 Mile Music Festival with SOJA on this run. It’s with the Marleys, Capelton, Tanya Stephens and all these heavy people I can’t believe we are playing with. Blaze and Glory Festival is coming up and we are going to party and hang out at Cali Roots. We are also trying to do some more international traveling, so we really hope to get to the South Pacific. New music, good vibes, and being thankful.
S: Thanks for spending some time. We are super excited for tonight. The room is very happy to have both you guys and SOJA in the house at once. It’s going to be a hell of a night.
Z: We’re stoked . Music Farm with SOJA, sold out, it’s going to be sick.
Interview by Stephen Pond