We recently interviewed Eric Jennings of Black Lion Reggae, one of our local bands for Sunday in the Park ft. Tunes from the Tombs. Learn more about Sunday in the Park (happening at Oakland on September 24) and get your tickets here.
If your band could collaborate with one artist living or dead, who would it be and why?
As far as my reggae band is concerned, it would be Peter Tosh. Aside from being an original member of Bob Marley and the Wailers, his solo records pioneered my passion and love for original classic reggae. The timbre of his voice, the deepness… it demands respect. There is an edge to his lyrics as well. To this day he’s the one.
What overall message do you hope to impart with your music?
Self worth, confidence. We live in a world designed to convince us that we need something outside of us to complete the inside of us, therefore constantly keeping us on the hunt for the next “whatever” that will make us “better.” We’ll never see a commercial that will say “You’re fine just the way you are.” We were born being enough. Also to definitely have a good time and not take life too seriously. Fun’s part of the package.
What does “Black Lion Reggae” mean to you as a musical project?
The soul purpose of Black Lion Reggae is something unique but also familiar. We cover current to classic songs reggae style, everything from Miley Cyrus to Marvin Gaye to John Denver to The Beatles. Besides, Rock and Blues are already abundant here in Atlanta. I wanted to do something different. Great songs no matter what genre will always stand the test of time. I’m also in the process of writing original material as well.
How has your band’s sound developed over the years?
We’ve stretched out a little bit over the years. For example, for a while now we’ve been combining “Come Together” by the Beatles with “Another Brick in the Wall” by Pink Floyd. It can get a little fusion-psychedelic oriented. A lot of fun! It allows for everyone to stretch out solo-wise and just jam! The crowd loves it!
Where do y’all find inspiration?
As the bandleader, I primarily call the shots song-wise with input from the guys as well. The beauty of American music is there’s so much great music from the 60’s up until now. A zillion great songs that can be “reggaefied.” From classic rock to motown, there’s tons to choose from. My main goal is to play some of what everybody already knows. Gotta keep it familiar.
What is one piece of musical (or life) advice that you would give your younger selves?
Take more action. Be fearless. Stay the course no matter what. Encourage yourself. Keep it moving!