Tribal Seeds returns to the El Rey Theatre

Tony-Ray Jacobo sings to the crowd at the El Rey Theatre Friday night. Photo credit: Michael Arias

Tony-Ray Jacobo sings to the crowd at the El Rey Theatre Friday night. Photo credit: Michael Arias

Coming out of Chula Vista, San Diego, Tribal Seeds consists of: Steven Rene Jacobo, lead vocals and guitarist; Tony-Ray Jacobo, keyboard and vocals; Victor Navarro, bass; Carlos Verdugo, drums; E.N. Young, keyboard and vocals; and Ryan Gonzo, guitar and vocals.

Starting off as a garage band, the Jacobo brothers formed the band in 2005. Since then, the Tribal Seeds have sprouted into one of today’s most successful rock-reggae bands. Debuting their first album, “Tribal Seeds,” in 2008 and their next album, “The Harvest,” in 2009, the band’s albums were titled “Best Of” reggae genre by iTunes. Their most recent album, “Representing,” released in 2014 debuted at number one on the Billboard Reggae charts.

The El Rey Theatre was the seventh stop on their 2016 Winter Reggae Land Tour with The Skints from the U.K., and The Steppas from the Big Island in Hawaii. Already selling out four of their seven shows, the Tribal Seeds have also brought along a new form of talent with them on tour, including the Haven Sisters, Elizabeth and Anna Randolph, who showcased their live painting talents during the show.

Elizabeth Randolph, from the Haven Sisters, paints while Tribal Seeds plays onstage. Photo credit: Michael Arias

The Tribal Seeds keyboard artist and co-founder of the group, Tony-Ray Jacobo, was willing to speak about the band and some of their experiences on the road.

Tony-Ray Jacobo sings to the crowd at the El Rey Theatre Friday night. Photo credit: Michael Arias

So, how is the tour going for you guys so far?

It’s been great. We’ve been having a blast with The Steppas from Hawaii and The Skints from London, England. It’s their second trip out to the states. So far it seems like they’re enjoying themselves. I’m enjoying watching them.

What kind of vibe does a reggae band from the U.K. bring to this tour?

The Skints are bringing their roots and sound from London. They kind of have their different chord progressions and structures that works well for them. It’s been a fun tour with these guys, I’m really enjoying it.

What are the best/worst things about traveling on tour?

The worst part for me is being away from home, family and friends, missing out on get-togethers and different occasions going on at home. birthdays, whatever it is, you know.

The best part is meeting new bands like The Skints and The Steppas and being able to travel and meet new fans, and to see how much support they give kind of makes it somewhat worth it, you know. It’s a great job to have so I can’t complain about that, but it has its good and bad.

How old were you when you decided to gear toward a career in music?

I was 17 years old. Me and Steve recorded a demo and we got a lot of really good feedback from it. I didn’t know if it sounded good or what and because of all the good feedback I was like, damn, well maybe if we took this serious and did it full time we can make a living off this. And we stuck with it and it paid off.

How far did you take your education in school?

I graduated from high school. I tried to do college but kind of just quit that.

Which college?

I went for like a day to Southwestern College. I enrolled in the classes and what not and it just wasn’t for me.

What kind of musical inspirations did you have growing up?

Like most reggae bands and artists, Bob Marley is a big one. That was played in the house growing up. Steel Pulse is another. So many though because my parents were reggae fans, and when we were in high school that’s when we came across Midnite from St. Croix, Virgin Islands, and that was the band that really inspired me and Steve to start a band.

We actually had a feature from the lead singer on our song “Representing,” Vaughn Benjamin.

This isn’t your first time playing here in Chico, what keeps you guys coming back?

It’s a cool town. We really like vibes but we have a good friend here, Coot from Mystic Roots. Last year we were here for the Super Bowl and we kicked it with him and he showed us around. We haven’t seen too much of it but Coot showed us around a little bit.

What’s going on with a new album?

We’re working on it. We’re about to release a single, I just found out the release date today. I guess I can share it. It’s February 12th, Valentine’s Day weekend we are going to put out a single, “Surrender.”

Michael Arias can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_news on Twitter.