South Shore reggae band striving for success
Reggae and metal meet on the dance floor at Strive Roots shows.
Eli Lieberman calls his band’s music roots-infused power groove, and a look at his favorite bands indicates his point of view.
“I like Primus, Pantera, Bob Marley, Pantera, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Led Zeppelin, Ben Harper,” he said. “We encapsulate diversity and honor it all.”
Like most reggae, the lyrics are upbeat, optimistic and often political, and there’s plenty of skanking rhythms. But aggressive electric guitar licks can spark at anytime.
The band is South Shore-based but travels with an akita-Lab through eight states in Leiberman’s veggie-fueled diesel 1995 Ford Cummins Diesel. Strive Roots has a good following in San Diego and all across Colorado.
Lieberman, 31, has been a competitive snowboarder for 15 years, and his friendship with Olympic gold medalist Hannah Teter has been well-documented. He has played 100 to 200 shows annually over the past seven years.
He said the music industry is tougher than the snowboard profession. After playing in some short-lived bands, Lieberman decided to take control.
“It’s like starting a business and closing the doors,” he said. “So I started a band. I’m the singer, songwriter and manager.”
Lieberman has played with drummer Chris “Father Time” Polock for five years.
Known for his snowskating proficiency and performing with Lavish Green and Planting Seeds, Seth Hall plays saxophone. The bass player is ubiquitous Lake Tahoe Action hero Chad Davis, who also plays with Ninja Slaughterhouse and Idekay.
Strive Roots is nearing completion of “Harmonic Convergence.” San Diego producer-engineer Alan Sanderson, who has worked with Lindsey Buckingham, Elvis Costello, Weezer and the Rolling Stones among others, helped put seven of the tracks together.
“He gave us a lot of constructive advice,” Lieberman said. “It was like a five-day apprenticeship.”
Lieberman said people who see Strive Roots for the first times are surprised to hear the original sound, and that this is a good time to go to a live show.
“Even in times of feeling beaten by the wicked ways of world, we can strive to feel better,” he said “Stand up and be strong.”
And while you’re up, you’ll probably find yourself dancing, too.