The Selecter dished on new album, plus redefining humanity - before playing Philly on Aug. 8.
Some want to dance. And others want to hear heartfelt tunes.
Legendary 2-tone band The Selecter delivers both. The English outfit will headline the Boot & Saddle in Philadelphia on Aug. 8, with opener The Dull Blue Lights.
The Selecter is dropping a new album Oct. 2 called “Daylight,” offering the current single, “Frontline.” The song features a danceable tune juxtaposed with a heavy and relevant message.
The tune's hilarious music video depicts a man who becomes obsessed with ordering products from his TV.
“It is about the senseless commercialization at any cost, and the almost indentured slavery that credit and its easy availability via social media has brought to working people,” said frontwoman Pauline Black.
In the band, she shares the role of lead singer with Arthur “Gaps” Hendrickson.
The Selecter, formed in 1979, makes 2-tone music - a styling created in the late ’70s that mixes ska music with a punk-rock attitude.
Part of the English band’s current tour through North America will see them support longtime punk bands Dropkick Murphys and Rancid on their co-headline tour from Aug. 11 through Aug. 26.
The frontwoman Black - who No Doubt lead singer Gwen Stefani cited as an inspiration, dished on the climate of social media, political events that inspired her new album and more.
How did the tour with Rancid and the Dropkick Murphys come about?
They asked us to do their tour. We greatly respect their work, so we said ‘yes.’ Simple as that.
Is touring more fun now than when you first started over 30 years ago?
Touring is definitely more fun now than in the '80s. Social media has provided bands with a way to access their fan base like never before. Myself and Gaps Hendrickson (my fellow lead singer) enjoy interacting with fans after the show, chatting, signing stuff and just generally hearing direct feedback about our performance or the music we make.
We are not afraid to mingle. Also, we are older and wiser and realize the pitfalls of not taking care of yourself properly on the road. We've reached the age where we can pick the sense out of the nonsense.
What’s one of the most emotional songs you’ve ever recorded?
Probably the song "Black and Blue,” which I wrote for The Selecter's debut album in 1979. The lyrical idea and loping reggae beat conveys the raw emotion about how I felt as a young black woman growing up in predominantly racist and sexist times. It still has a purity to it, particularly enhanced by a haunting, melancholic trombone solo provided by the late and very great legend Rico Rodriguez, who captured the mood with his playing perfectly.
Why is “Daylight” a fitting name for the new album?
I think that there are some very profound problems within our society at the moment. Social media has brought about a situation where sometimes it seems that all humanity is shouting at once, but nobody is listening.
I feel we need to redefine what it means to be human. We need to re-declare what our shared values are as human beings. We need to shine some daylight on why eight of the richest human beings in the world own more wealth than 50 percent of the poorest. Such inequity is unsustainable.
What are some political events or social ideals that inspired songs on “Daylight”?
The ill-advised Brexit referendum in the UK, the election of President Trump, the advent of the alt-right, the continuing war in the Middle East, Black Lives Matter movement, increasing homelessness - not necessarily in that order.