Local reggae group Black Bottom Lighters brought its good
vibes and sheer talent to Marquee Theatre on Nov. 27, playing a headlining
show with a slew of local bands to back them up. The show packed over half of
the Marquee with enthusiastic fans who eagerly sang the words to every song,
including the band’s unreleased new single, “Carousel.”
Later this month, the band will play on the local part of True Music Festival in Scottsdale on Dec. 14.
The State Press sat down with the band’s vocalist Ryan Stillwell and guitarist Taide Pineda to talk about how it got started, what’s coming up and where they would like to see themselves in ten years.
The State Press: How did the band get started and how did everyone meet?
Ryan Stillwell, “Stilly”: I basically put an ad out for someone that wanted to play reggae rock and T (guitarist) was the first and only response. We got together the very next day, started jamming and within the first 10 minutes, we wrote our first hit or fan favorite, if you will. After that, we played as an acoustic band for a while. From there, we just kind of evolved into this monster.
SP: How does it feel to be headlining the Marquee?
Pineda: It feels really good.
Stillwell: It feels amazing. We’ve headlined here before, but … we had just started so we just had our friends but now it’s become a fan base, so it’s very exciting to be able to play in front of people that actually appreciate the music. As a local artist, that doesn’t happen very often so we feel very privileged.
SP: Black Bottom Lighters has a few pretty major shows coming up. Tell us about those.
Stilly: We got a call that we won a contest on Reverbnation and out of like 1,200 bands we got chosen to play with Pepper, The Dirty Heads, Stone Temple Pilots (and) 30 Seconds to Mars and it’s in Jacksonville, Fla. Dec. 14, we have True Music Festival coming up. That’s with Bassnectar, Wiz Khalifa and The Flaming Lips. That just being in our hometown is huge for us. Then in March, we just booked a show with Rebelution, Pepper, Atmosphere and Iration. That doesn’t get any better as a reggae rock band.
SP: Where do you see yourselves in five or ten years down the road?
Stillwell: Traveling the world. We want to also support the American dream, having a family. We want to live not just survive.
The band also described its desire to take music from a part-time hobby to a full-time career. Stillwell and Pineda even joked around about being a Grammy-nominated band someday and touring the world with their music and their dream.