2000 Tons of TNT Interview
Redstar73 Blog: Please can you introduce your band. When was it started?
Mike: I play guitar, sing, and write songs in 2000 Tons of TNT. We are a
five-piece group from San Diego, CA specializing in eary-reggae type
grooves. The band was actually started in the summer of 2009 and we
struggled through a few drummer changes and were trying to mess around in rocksteady, ska, and dub (in addition to NEVER practicing). We only put out a few recordings during this period. In late 2011, our bass player Ryan’s brother Jesse joined on drums and we all decided to focus on doing early/skinhead reggae stuff because of the high energy and the way you can blend it with funk, soul, 60’s rock n roll, etc. We self-released our debut album Reggae Mysteria in the summer of 2012 and things have started to pick up for us since then.
Redstar73 Blog: And the highlights of the 2000 Tons of TNT story so far? Supporting Pat Kelly and Keith & Tex?
Mike: We’ve played a lot of memorable shows with some great bands.. Supporting Pat Kelly and Keith & Tex were shows that I never thought we would play. It is little nerve-racking because we are pretty much trying to imitate these legendary musicians, but it is always a lot of fun. We’ve also played some memorable shows with The Debonaires who we look up to a lot. Getting a good review of anything we put out is also very pleasing to me. I look forward to many more highlights this year!
Redstar73 Blog: You have just released “Harvest Moon” and “Wonky” on Bandcamp, which are amazing songs. Could you tell us more about it? When was it recorded?
Mike: Thanks! So, we put out Reggae Mysteria..which in my view is rooted in early reggae, but really has this strange garage/psychedelic vibe to it. We had ideas about doing a new full-length that was more focused on drums, bass, and percussion. In November and December 2012, we recorded about 7 songs for the full length, but then we realized it was going to be a lot more work so we decided to finalize “Harvest Moon” and “Wonky” and put them out digitally just to show our fans what we were working on. Overdubs and mixing were completed on new years eve for a new years day release. I am very pleased with the songs…I wrote “Harvest Moon” on my organ and our bassist Ryan is really respnsible for the groove which we all worked out together. “Wonky” was written by my brother Scotty our lead guitarist and he played a lot of the parts on it. They were both recorded live with overdubbed percussion, lead guitar, and vocals.
Redstar73 Blog: What’s up next for the 2000 Tons of TNT, any new releases on the Horizon..?
Mike: Lot’s of stuff coming up this year. We are playing our first show in Tijuana this Saturday and will be opening for Errol Dunkley later in March.
We are also embarking on a two week west coast tour in June with our
friends from San Diego Ottly Mercer. As far as recordings are concerned,
wer’ve kind of put our aspirations to record a second full-length aside to put more material out for our fans ASAP. We will be doing two split 7″. One with a San Diego band called The Combos and another with Ottly Mercer.
In addition we will be heading to LA in March to write and record with
Sammy K and Joe (of the Delirians) and possibly put out an EP together. On our own, we keep hoping to put out some digital singles and EVENTUALLY work on our next full-length.
Redstar73 Blog: What’s the early reggae /ska scene like in your area?
Mike: The scene in San Diego is spread out because the county is pretty big, but we all unite to put on good shows in all the different neighborhoods. At the forefront are The Amalgamated who play a lot and have backed Ken Boothe and will back Errol Dunkley. We have been putting shows on with them since we started. There are a lot of great bands I want to shout out to: Ottly Mercer, The Night Doctors, The Combos, Shocks of Mighty. We all know how to put on a good time. There are also a lot of great selectors out of San Diego like Skarina, Jeff Graves, St, Magua,Erny and Cory. The scene is small but we work hard and enjoy ourselves!
Redstar73 Blog: Last words
Mike: Just want to say thanks to anyone thats come out to a show, bought our music. Thanks for the support! We love what we’re doing and its cool that other people are digging it too. Peace! And thanks Jan for the interview.