Know your Rootz 

Guitarist Charles Lazarus on the humility of reggae and superstar status in France

WHO : Rootz Underground


WHEN : Sept. 24


Rootz Underground, a reggae outfit from Kingston, Jamaica is coming to the GLC. They're all about "vibrations" and "one love" and all those other things dorky white kids from the suburbs would love to say in public but know that they really shouldn't. Lead guitarist Charles Lazarus spoke with Pique about... well, just read the interview.

Pique : How long have you been on the road for so far this time around?

CL: This year we've done quite a lot of touring but mostly in Europe. We tour Europe quite a lot. We've been playing shows on the West Coast, I think we did three already for the summer but we just flew in, played those festivals and then left. We haven't toured. We haven't toured the West Coast since, man, maybe a year and a half now.


Pique : Is the vibe in the West Coast of the U.S. and Canada at all similar to Jamaica?

CL: The only thing that is really comparable is there is an energy that comes. We travel a lot, right, so I'm not saying this about everywhere. We do go to a lot of places, we're fortunate enough to experience people when they're feeling happy. When a lot of people are feeling happy in one place, they have an energy and as musicians we fill up on that energy.

I would say that Jamaica's a very special place that has a powerful energy but it has both sides. It has a very focused intensity in a positive way and it has that contradiction too. We have a lot of bad things that need fixing in Jamaica.

When we go to the West Coast, I feel a similar positive energy that comes out of the crowd. Now, it's not the same. It's different. But the intensity of it is the same. I don't know what it is. I don't know what creates that magic but it allows people to care about the environment more. Hugging a tree was ridiculous to me until I went to the West Coast and I actually understand what it means now. Really what it means is, 'I'm overwhelmed by how beautiful nature is and I don't know how to express it so I'm going to hug this tree.' ( laughs ) That's all it really is, man.


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