Souldub
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Souldub

Band Rock Reggae

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Jan
30
Souldub @ Rochester

The Factory, Michigan, USA

The Factory, Michigan, USA

Jan
29
Souldub @ The Blind Pig

Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA

Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA

Jan
10
Souldub @ Mac's Bar

Lansing, Michigan, USA

Lansing, Michigan, USA

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos

Music

Press


Written by Jacob Kanclerz

The meeting place was to be at Big Boy’s, at 9:15, on what happened to be a fairly warm Monday night. I arrived, notebook in hand. I pulled my phone out of my pocket. It was nearly quarter after. I waved off the waitress, told her I was waiting for a few more people. Or so I thought. My phone vibrated. I answered.

"Hey Jacob, listen man, I don’t think we’ll be able to meet you. We’re still at Border Cantina, like someone’s getting arrested." I was a little confused, but hesitant. I answered, "Ok." He asked me where I was, I told him the entrance of Big Boy’s "Well, go inside." I looked around the corner. Rich was on the phone. Dave and Shane were grinning. Before tonight I didn’t even know these strangers, and they were already pulling my leg. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Souldub.

You’ve probably heard of them from the Livingston County Battle of the Bands, which was their first performance with their newest lineup in over a year and a half. After making the finals, Souldub placed second, winning studio time to help produce their upcoming EP, "Sunday Morning Circus," which is promised in "the early months of 2008."

Chances are, you’ve probably also seen the word Souldub rather frequently, most likely in various Myspace default pictures labeled VOTE FOR SOULDUB. The pictures were a result of a massive campaign for the 89X I’m With the Band contest. The campaign was inspired by the current Presidential election and yielded the most votes ever recorded in the two years the contest has been held, placing them currently in the semi-finals of the contest that could award $10,000 and studio time to create an EP.

Considering they have only played 3 shows in Livingston County, you probably haven’t heard them in concert just yet. "We don’t play a lot of shows because we don’t want people to get tired of us," explained Richard Ensley, 26, the vocalist and headman for the Hartland band.

While you may have heard of them, you probably don’t know much else about Souldub. Aside from Ensley, the band includes Dave Samano, 22, on guitar; Shane Law, 21, on bass; and Gordon Fry, 28, on the drums. You also won’t find what the name "Souldub" means. In fact, I’m quite certain the band doesn’t even know. After a little deliberation between Ensley, Law and Samano, I was to receive three different answers, all handwritten by them in my notes, as requested by them.

"I like to think of ’dub’ as recording, and ’soul’ as soul recordings, so Souldub is basically recordings from the soul," Law said. Ensley provided a more historical aspect to the band’s name.

"It comes, I believe, from the Greek word "Soldaith," which I believe means ’roaring lion nursing her young to become big strong roaring lions nursing their young,’ I think." Samano didn’t feel much like trying to outdo Ensley’s answer, but after some coaxing we got him to come up with his own interpretation.

"Shortly after Rich told me about the meaning of the word Souldub, I remember reading an article about African lions nursing their young and I knew right then and there, Souldub was who we were: roaring lions nursing our young. You, the reader, are the young."

If you feel like you have less of an understanding on the band’s actual name, wait until I try to describe the music they play. Their three-genre classification on Myspace is rock, reggae and southern rock. In the "Sounds Like" section on the same page, they list Sublime, System of a Down, and Rage Against the Machine, among others, but with a disclaimer that they don’t believe they sound like any of the bands listed. In terms of musical preferences, Law prefers metal and funk, Samano is into southern rock and blues, and Fry leans towards heavier music. Exemplifying the diversity, Ensley listed both Frank Sinatra and Dr. Dre as influences. Souldub is exactly what it sounds like: a gigantic, train wreck-meets-car pileup mash up of musical styles. Their only released song, "Sucker Punch," is a prime example of this. The song starts out with a metal orientated riff, but as soon as Ensley’s vocals enter, [His first note resembles Serj Tankian of System of Down, whether Souldub will admit it or not] the song tempo cascades down into a reggae style verse. The contrast between the two styles and how the band fuses them together is a proud achievement and a revealing ingredient to the band’s success: their chemistry when working together.

"We all like different things, so we made a decision to play what comes natural to us," Ensley said. " We work real well together, and I think the big thing is that we appreciate each other’s music style."

The band mixes it up with precision and expertise like no other. For example, the song under the working title "Whiskey Song" starts out with Samano using a slide on his finger to create a dreamy sounding and mellowing intro. Samano, combined with Law playing a funky smooth bass part, (that unlike many bassists, doesn’t mirror the guitar riff) the mood is set quite well for Souldub’s trademark mellow verses. In fact, the ambient verses set by Samano and Law bring to mind - though they’ll hate me for saying it - the Red Hot Chili Peppers or Incubus.

Fry brings in key elements with the percussions, including a woodblock he makes frequent use of and a roto-tom that will whisk you away to the warm seas of the Caribbean. Adding in Ensley’s wide range of vocals, the band is able to exhibit a lot of rhythm and groove. Just be careful when they throw you an intense, mosh pit inducing breakdown like in songs "Follow" and "Cha Cha in the Key of Destruction." The contrast that is established between the smooth reggae rock and intense breakdowns will make it feel like Monte had never rocked as hard.

All the band members agreed that the combination of their many genres into one sound has become effortless due to the experience playing together. As with any typical band, Souldub was not originally Souldub. The roots of Souldub started with hip-hop, as Ensley once produced hip-hop music. He decided he wanted to start a live band alongside the DJ booth. Ensley asked his little brother’s best friend, Law, to play bass for a show, and after that worked out, Law was able to recruit his cousin, Samano to strap on the guitar. This first effort was known as Kill Filthy, originating in 2004.

When the group gained the drummer Bret Scott, the band was appropriately re-named the Bretscott Symphony Orchestra in 2005, but Ensley believes most fans knew them as BS(oh). The band had wanted to drop the hip-hop act, and in turn becam, in their words, a rock/reggae/metal/funk/soul/oldies/country/blues/folk/folk rock/a cappella/boys choir band. It was at that point that Ensley looked up at me and laughed, asking, "Are you still writing?"

I thought the band was going to toy with me more with the next chapter of the story, when I asked them to fast forward to how they became the Souldub of today. The guys exchanged looks. Ensley turned to his band-mates. "Should we tell him the story?" They both laughed and grinned, giving the go-ahead. Ensley turned to me, and very business like, informed me, "Start a new page."

The band first informed me they are all Christians, and it was this common faith that brought them together. The magic began near the tail end of BS(oh)’s career, when the band found out that Bretscott was leaving the band, on the account of being married. The band, being religious, decided to pray that if God wanted them to continue as a band, He would bring them a drummer.

"We didn’t want to be without a drummer either, so we also prayed that God would bring us a drummer before Bret left," Ensley explained. Here’s where destiny plays its part. At the band’s second to last show in Midland, BS(oh) noticed one of the bands, the Dirty Americans, had drum cases for their drums. Ensley and company thought it was the coolest thing ever, and Ensley claimed he specifically said, "Our next drummer should have drum cases."

As if on cue, the band received an email later that night from a man by the name of Gordon Fry. In the email, Fry expressed his interest in trying out for the band, and sure enough, he mentioned in the email that he did in fact have drum cases. The heavenly scenario was completed when the new drummer watched his new band’s last performance with Brett Scott, making it so that the band had found its drummer before Scott had left. After a year hiatus and a fresh start, Souldub is where they are now today. But what happened to Scott?

"Bretscott is currently the leader of some cult," Samano told me, but after some deliberation by the band, they decided he is also selling Kool-Aid outside a bomb shelter in Tennessee, as well as working at a Reebok. Samano also identified the name of the cult, humbly known as the Schwarmburgalers. The accuracy of the spelling, of course, is questionable.

So what’s on tap next for Souldub? Well, with all that studio time, there’s no doubt they are hard at work on releasing some CDs to their fans.

"We’re working on money for the EP, and we’ve written stuff we’re not done with," Samano explained. Souldub is also slated to play the epic Bledfest May 24th. A concert that includes everyone from Gwen Stacey to Empty Orchestra calls for special preparation.

"Our plan, Dave and I, is to have great abs by Bledfest. I’m talking like a twenty-four pack, where it starts down here and goes all the way up to here," Ensley said, motioning to his neck. Ensley told me that he had been making progress on his ambition, and without any warning, Ensley was on his feet, hoodie pulled up, revealing basically the exact opposite of the common notion of "good" abs. I guess music really can be a full time job.

Although each of the members of Souldub all work a day job, all of them were clearly confident that music, and Souldub, was their future. It’s hard for these guys not to have to faith in their profession more than they already do, especially with the support they draw from the sprawling Livingston County music scene.

"People really enjoy it. We get as much out of the crowd as the crowd gets out of us," Ensley said about the fans of Livingston County. The band praised the fans’ roles played in Souldub’s success at BOTB and the 89X contest.

"Winning 89X was huge for us; it was a huge statement for the county. With the crowds getting along, music usually isn’t like that, so it’s very humbling," Ensley said.

"We weren’t expecting to place where we were, with people making this their own deal," Samano said. Ensley summed it best by saying; "We didn’t think we could do it until the fans did."

Although I had confidence in the band’s future, I was still curious as to what kind of day jobs they worked. Of course, I was given no straight answers.

"I am a milkman, Shane over here is the postman, Dave’s an Indian, and Gordon is a full time nanny," Ensley told me, although the guys later added that Fry was also an "Olympic swimmer on the side," a feat I found quite impressive until I learned their real jobs.

"We are all members of Justice League America," Ensley declared, "on the weekends." The band enjoyed a hearty laugh, until Ensley decided that Dave’s profession was too offensive.

"I don’t think your readers are going to appreciate Dave as an Indian." The band told me to scratch that section in my notes out, as they had done countless times during the interview. Samano suggested lumberjack, and I gave my approval - very manly.

The time was fast approaching 11:00, and the guys received their bills for their drinks, not including a "beershake," which the band had requested be made. Not to my surprise, the waitress who had frequented our table, like many before her, left a name and phone number on the back of Samano’s receipt.

"For some reason, Dave always gets these waitresses’ phone numbers everywhere we go out to eat, which is weird, because he’s the one who takes the least care of himself," Ensley told me. "You know what I should do? Before the waitress comes by again I’ll trade receipts with Dave, and when she passes the table I’ll flip the receipt over and then give her one of these"-Ensley gave his best ’I’ll call ya later babe’ face. The shenanigans never took place, so the band settled for sneaking into the bathroom one after another and scaring each other, resulting in a yelp that could be heard by half the restaurant.

My brief encounter with Souldub had ended on the same note it had began with: light-humored fun. This is clearly the product of a band that has pretty much everything and anything going for them here in Livingston County. Things are going well for Souldub in all forms. They are one of the top bands in Livingston County, will soon be finishing up an EP, and are slated as one of the top performers for Bledfest 2008. Plus, Dave has yet another phone number to add to his collection. Says Ensley, "If Dave ever needed a date, all he’d have to do is go out to eat."
- LCM Magazine


While the restoration of the Howell Opera House remains a work in progress, the building is drawing the attention of filmmakers and rockers alike.
Brighton-based rock and hip-hop band Red Letter Red — [now known as Souldub] — recently shot part of their video for its single "MakeYaBody" on both levels of the opera house.

The band turned the building's downstairs into a live performance setting, and shot another segment upstairs with the band dressed in church choir robes.

An eight-man film crew filmed the video last week for the single, which appears on the band's album, "Volume 1: The Way," amid a room crowded with the band's fans.
Other segments of the video were shot in Detroit in a vacant parking lot and on Rosa Parks Boulevard.

The band previously filmed a performance at the opera house, which has also become a popular performance venue for area rock and other bands.

Within the same four-week period, students from Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor chose the opera house's upstairs to shoot a historical period film for a course. The students became acquainted with the opera house during a recent Haunted Opera House event.

Just what attracts filmmakers and videomakers to the opera house?

In artistic terms, the vintage opera house provides a canvass for such artists to work with, said Lindsay Root of The Livingston Arts Council.

"Even for still photographers — any visual artists — it's really catching on, using the opera house for their works," Root said. "The advantage (of) the Howell Opera House is it's instant art direction for any director or producer who's going to be shooting here. They don't have to dress it up at all. They just shoot it the way it is."

While the song "MakeYaBody" — a parody on popular "gangsta" rap songs — has no real meaning, the opera house proved a natural setting for an MTV-style music video, said Souldub vocalist Rich Ensley.

"The upstairs is just so cool. It's an amazing theater," Ensley said. "We thought, 'How cool would that be to get that into the video?' "

The Washtenaw Community College student video is only expected to be played in class, but the Souldub video could see the light of day. The band has submitted the video to Colorado-based Mania TV!, and hopes to air the video on public access and Christian-based television stations.

for more information on Souldub please visit www.darkreggae.com

Originally published April 27, 2006 - Livingston County Press & Argus


By Morgan Schneider

The Alpha Tau Omega Annex was rocking hard Friday night as the final Athletes In Action concert took place.

The concert was basically to raise awareness about Athletes in Action, and what better way to do that than throw a concert? For a one dollar cover fee, anyone who showed up got more than their money’s worth in entertainment.

The star of the show, Souldub, drove all the way down from Brighton, Mich., to wow the crowd with their sound. With a much heavier sound than their openers, Souldub brought a different flair to the night.

Cell phones and arms were waving in the air as Souldub crooned their own version of “Can You Feel The Love Tonight?” as their opening song.

Although the lyrics were sometimes difficult to understand, and maybe that is just my own untrained-to-metal ear, their performance was pretty great. They ranged from a more metal sound to something closer to funky reggae to hip-hop and back to rock. Head banging and mosh pits abounded, and a few even tried to crowd surf, albeit fairly unsuccessfully.

Souldub front man, Richard Ensley knew how to work the crowd, and he did an admirable job. A young fan called Jordan was brought up to the stage, having found the band on Myspace, and they even dedicated a song to the little fellow. White also walked among the audience while singing, got the crowd chanting with him and helping out on a few songs.

Perhaps one of the more surprising elements of the night appeared toward the end of the concert, when the band members took the time to talk a little bit about Athletes in Action, and about their own life experiences with becoming Christians. White talked with conviction about how he believed God played a role in bringing all of the band together at points in their lives when they thought they hit their lows. It probably should not have surprised me as much as it did, but hearing about their personal experiences gave me a new perspective on the band.

“I thought it was fun,” said freshman Katie Mustazza. “They were pretty good, and there was a lot of moshing, which is always good.

Freshman Kathryn Herrmann said she had already seen Souldub when she went to a concert in New York, and was excited when she heard they were coming to Hillsdale.

“They’re still good,” Herrmann said after the concert. “I think BS(oh) is a lot harder than anything Hillsdale has ever had before. They are like an up-and-coming P.O.D.”

For more information on Souldub visit www.darkreggae.com

Originally Printed March 16, 2006 - Hillsdale Collegian


Discography

Souldub is currently in the productions stages of their debut record.

Photos

Bio

In a music scene overpopulated with trendy, carbon copy rock bands, SOULDUB rises above the norm to create a sound and experience that has audiences of all ages begging for more.

Souldub has spent the last several years experimenting with styles all over the musical spectrum in a variety of projects. Now, returning more musically mature and inspired to break radio, Souldub is bringing a fresh, more refined style of hard rock that tastefully blends metal, reggae and southern rock into a radio friendly music experience that will get you so excited you will punch yourself in the head.

The Brighton, Michigan based group debuted the project in the spring of 2008 and have been creating a strong buzz with their high-energy, crowd-pleasing performances, funky reggae grooves and catchy rock anthems. Their sound is most often compared to Rage Against The Machine, Sublime, and System of a Down.

In August of 2008 Souldub announced the release of their debut EP entitled "Sunday Morning Circus". The album’s first single, "Suckerpunch" was produced and engineered by Al Sutton. Al is best known for his platinum award winning production on Kid Rock's last several albums. In promotion of "Sunday Morning Circus" Souldub is booking an extensive performance schedule throughout the state of Michigan as well as releasing “Suckerpunch” to indie radio.