Their forthcoming and second full length album Sacred For Sale explains it all.
“What is sacred should never be for sale…” lead singer and front man, Moises Juarez, expounded in an interview this week. “What is priceless, most dear to you, something you cannot sell…your soul, your life, your love…stuff that you feel, but you can’t purchase.”
This potent message attempts to resurrect and preserve some age old innate human understandings that sadly become gray and lost in the foggy media enhanced whirlwind of contemporary conditioning. On our phones, in our cars, at the gas pumps, even in line at the supermarket, bright tubes, billboards and Big Brothers incessantly bombard us, informing us how to look, how to act, and even how to feel. Whether it’s a young woman who wants to change her face, an old man who wants to buy her love, or a celebrity being glorified and “celebrated” for doing things we just know are wrong, the media inundates us with misguiding portrayals of a perverse reality.
This hollow barrage, Moises says, is “making things acceptable that should not be acceptable for our youth…desensitizing, showing them that this stuff is okay, when in reality a lot of this stuff is sacred.”
Tomorrows Bad Seeds are making a stand with Sacred For Sale. As if they are telling us to wake up! – to look within and remember to embrace and project love, appreciation, and compassion..
“You already have what you’re given, be grateful,” Moises said. “When you’re already a beautiful girl, and then you go get plastic surgery, it’s like you just murdered your face…you’re saying, ‘You know what God? The canvas you painted, on me, is not good enough, I’m gonna redo it.’”
Moises and guitarist/keyboardist Matthew McEwan have noticed that a lot of people think the band is almost a religious group. This likely comes from the use of album terminology like “Early Prayers” and “Sacred For Sale”, as well as religio-oriented imagery. To clarify, Moises and Matthew borrow from Ziggy Marley’s famous words: Love Is My Religion.
“And that’s the way it is for us,” continues Moises. “Love for humanity, for people…look at the person next to you, really feel some kind of unconditional love for the human race, whether they’re black, yellow, brown, purple. That’s what we really want to convey through what we do.”
It’s a secular sermon delivered through music, art, and love.
For a reasonably successful South Bay band, Tomorrows Bad Seeds have retained their humble beginnings. Sure, they’ve been on numerous national tours (including Hawaii), got to snowboard with The Wailers, had the shit scared out of them by a fireworks crazed Fletcher (from Pennywise), have wake boarded crocodile infested waters in Georgia, and have been featured in surf films and on the radio, but they never forget home or where they come from. Tomorrows Bad Seeds grew out of Moises and Matthew’s high school days, skating around in a graffiti paint-hip hop crew, spraying up trains and whatnot. They began writing and playing acoustic songs together under the name ‘Dos Mequis.’ (In fact, they still perform together under that name as an acoustic outfit.) The music evolved out their South Bay roots.
“We’re so versatile because we come from such a melting pot of music here in the South Bay,” Moises said. “…We all grew up on punk, and then hip hop kinda came and took over, but we all loved oldies back in the day…we all surf too…it’s really just a blend of everything.”
As the band grew, they conceptualized their current name. The idea was about the undernourished and underrated youth of tomorrow – not literally “bad” seeds themselves, but actually good seeds in a bad garden – and their struggle to rise above challenging and unfavorable circumstances. Like the kid who comes from a rough single-parent home and strives to succeed beyond what life and society have provided: Tomorrows Bad Seeds.
The band looks forward to developing local fundraisers and (youth) music programs. They’ve always worked with The Cancer Association and uphold a conscious effort to give back to society, but they really aspire to conceive their own organization(s) for tomorrow’s bad seedlings.
With an auspicious road ahead, the boys never fail to look behind, and they absolutely don’t forget their original fans. They’re extremely grateful for their South Bay following and support, with additional kudos to Urban Tone Records, Body Glove and The D-Man Festival. They genuinely realize that their success is nothing without the people who love their music. “I’m still scared at every show we play in the South Bay, to see if it’s gonna be sold out or not,” Moises conceded.
The new LP features two new members, Patrick Salmon on drums, and Andre Davis on bass, while retaining original guitarist, Sean Chapman. Whether they’re pulling from reggae, dub, punk rock, ska, hip hop, oldies roots, or a blend of everything, Tomorrows Bad Seeds don’t set out to sound a certain way.
“Whatever sounds good with the lyrics is the way we put a song together,” Moises said, chuckling. “I wish it were the way we want it to sound, it kinda comes out the way it comes out.”
At any rate, the boys think the new effort is going to be a better CD, a little more mature and a bit more mainstream sounding. The album may possess more commercial appeal than their debut, but it still maintains the diverse Southwest Coast sound from whence they sprouted. The single “Slow Down” is a catchy number that holds a high tempo ska beat with punk leanings. “Uplift” is a contemplative reggae based track that gets your head moving as well as thinking (about where your life is headed). Standout track “Reflect” demonstrates a happy relationship between reggae and rock ‘n roll while lyrically examining the tragedy of substance and prescription drug abuse. They even push their own boundaries with a ballad track, “Memories”, which features violin and piano. Moises feels like a lot of the songs could be heard on the radio, while still retaining the grounded feel of what Tomorrows Bad Seeds do.
Their new album is due out May 21. Sacred For Sale will also be made available for special online purchase which will allocate a portion of proceeds to Haiti relief efforts. After one more local show, they’re hitting the road with The Expendables and we can’t expect them back in The Bay until early June, with a formal album release party tentatively scheduled upon their return (location TBA, possibly House of Blues).
Fortunately, they’ll be home in time for the heart of our summer, and they wouldn’t miss the annual D-Man Festival: organized and hosted by Dive ‘N Surf, July 31, in memory of local icon, Darren Marsee. In collaboration with Steve Huante, lead singer and guitarist of Gabriels Fallen, Moises helped organize the very first D-Man tribute show at The Lighthouse in Hermosa Beach, which has since grown into a major South Bay event put on by and held at Dive ‘N Surf. Tomorrows Bad Seeds always anticipate performing their hearts out at the D-Man Fest, in respect and reverence of our fallen brother: The D-Man.
Tomorrows Bad Seeds are performing at Brixton in Redondo Beach, April 18, at 8 p.m. Visit www.myspace.com/tomorrowsbadseeds1. You can also check them out on www.DirtyHippieRadio.com. Listen, learn, read on…