‘Always heavy, always melodic’ An Interview with Overproof Sound System

The Hare and Hounds plays host to a special gig on Saturday 1st May; Leftfoot is celebrating its 10th anniversary by welcoming Overproof Sound System back to the stage. Despite being based in Birmingham, this band rarely play on home turf, and have received most of their successes in countries like Croatia, Germany, Poland, NZ and Oz, where they continue to play to huge crowds and headline festival circuits with their uplifting blend of dancey, electronic leftfield dub, featuring vocalists Messenger Douglas and Juggla. Shelley Atkinson caught up caught up with Brian Nordoff, aka Jah Grizzly, Overproof’s producer ahead of the gig and asked for the lowdown.

Sum Overproof up in ten words or less…
Jah Grizzly: “Uplifting, beat driven,rootsy, dancy, conscious dub, laced with positivity.”

What 10 tunes would you pick as your “desert island” playlist?

Johnny Osborne –  “Truth and Rights”
Marvin Gaye –  “Mercy Mercy Me”
Wailing Souls –  “Kingdom rise Kingdom Fall”
Erykah Badu –  “On and On”
Smog –  “Rock Bottom Riser”
Laura Marlin –  “Darkness Descends”
A girl called Lauren “Stuck” – Various Productions Dubstep mix
Bob Marley –  “Natural Mystic”
Dennis Brown – “General”
Messenger Douglas –  “Perilous Time”

Describe the new album and a typical Overproof live set:

“The new album takes its influences from Roots, Dub, afrobeat, Hip Hop and R and B. Always heavy; always melodic. The set live is usually a shock for those who have never seen it. Although billed as a sound system the show is more like watching a band, lots of energy, plenty of passion. Messenger Douglas sings like an angel and Juggla comes across like he should be in Nirvana. Always turns into one big party, its enough to make the dreads mosh!”

Overproof Sound System

Plans for 2010?

“We are releasing the new album, ‘Pull It Up’. We also plan to tour as much as possible and record some new material. A tour of South America is also in the pipeline and we hope to get noticed more in the UK, as we play abroad much more often than on home turf.”

What’s your view of the Birmingham music scene, and where do you fit in?
“We have been connected with the Birmingham reggae scene for a long time working with bands like Cornerstone, Afrikan Star, Steele Pulse in the early days right up to now. We have been recording material for Friendly Fire Band and have produced an album for Brummie crew XOVA who have a single called ‘Our Generation’, out at the moment (love this tune!). We have mixed an album for UB40 and have produced an album for Jimmy Brown and Earl Falkner from UB40, under the name of Dub Specimen. Through a Birmingham show called Roots DeVille we hooked up with Fat Freddy’s Drop, which brought about a tour of Australia and New Zealand. Also, we have known Adam Regan for years, through various projects, so its great to be part of the Leftfoot 10th Anniversary.
The Birmingham scene is healthy- it always has been- not just for urban music but for all genres. Like most northern towns it needs more media attention. But it won’t be stopped.”

How do you see the bigger picture of the music industry?
“We would love people to occasionally pay for downloads. We understand the whole get it for nothing thing but maybe when people are feeling flush they could support an underground artist before everything falls into the hands of the majors and the only way to make music is to be involved with them.”

Adam Regan, co-founder of Leftfoot and long standing Overproof supporter, will also be DJing, along with Jam Jah and Maxwell 33 for what is set to be a legedary party. Blendstate’s Liam d’Authreau will also be in attendance, completing this celebration with a visual trip down memory lane…VJing and mixing photos from the last 10 years of G Corp and Leftfoot. The event will also be streamed live on Rhubarb Radio, complete with band interviews, a word from The Hare and Hounds’ Adam Regan, and chats with the crowd.

Tickets £5 in advance from The Ticket Sellers


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