Zennith – Homecoming From Tuff Gong

Brothers Aden and Astro Brim are back with their dad, Willie, and the rest of Zennith for a different kind of homecoming show at Tanks this weekend.

The band has just returned from Jamaica, the undisputed home of reggae, where they recorded their new album at Tuff Gong International studios – the home of reggae’s founding father, Bob Marley.

“We went over for about a month,” Astro said.

“We went over and recorded seven songs for our new album. We’ve always wanted to do something in Jamaica and things just lined up and it seemed to be the right time now.”
The brothers said they had chosen Jamaica to pay their respects to the birthplace of reggae, which they said is the more prominent style of their new record.

“We definitely went back to the hip hop reggae vibe, which was our earlier style – it’s just a little more rootsy and a little more hip hoppy than the last album, you know?” Astro said.
“[Recording in Jamaica] was like a dream… It was a very amazing experience just being there and meeting different artists and working with the producer, Clive Hunt, who has so much experience in the game and recorded with so many artists.”

“To be in Jamaica during Reggae Month too was very special,” Aden added.

“The music scene there is very versatile, it’s crazy,” Astro said.

“You’ve got that more energetic Dance Hall scene as well, you know? Which is pretty crazy, with a lot of energy, but we’re more roots and there’s a lot of young roots artists coming forward so it was great to mingle with them and collaborate on a couple of songs.”

Without giving too much away, the Brim brothers said they had collaborated with local artists on three of the seven tracks they recorded in Jamaica, including Jesse Royal and one of Bunny Wailer’s sons.

“The first week we were in there laying down the music and over that weekend we gave a few artists a listen,” Astro said.
“It really resonated with these artists and incredibly everyone picked their own song that they’d like to collaborate on, which wasn’t the same song for any of them.”

For the brothers, being able to collaborate with one of the second generation of the Wailer family and recording in Bob Marley’s studio was almost too good to be true.
“Going there was incredible,” Astro said.
“Because we’re the second generation of reggae musicians in our family, our father was playing at a very early age – it was the late ‘70s when he started playing so Bob Marley was at the forefront then of bringing that sort of music to the world.”

You could say then it was almost a spiritual experience, being there?

“Oh, definitely,” Aden said.

“One hundred per cent.”

The brothers brought the world back to Jamaica for their recording sessions, with Astro playing didgeridoo in the studio – paying homage to their Indigenous roots.
“[Our heritage] is one of the big driving forces,” Astro said.
“It’s one of the reasons why we do what we do. This is the first time though we’ve incorporated a little bit of didgeridoo. So we got to play the didge on a couple of these tracks.”

“I think they were wondering what he was holding,” Aden laughed.

“They loved it though hey,” Astro added. 
“I think they were kind of blown away by how you can play it like that. I mean it’s the world’s oldest wind instrument.”

The boys said working with each other and their father creatively was cause for fewer arguments these days then when they started the band, which will be 14 years in December.

“I think we work really well together and everything is just happening now, I guess that’s why we’re doing this album now – it’s been a long time coming,” Astro said.

“It’s just the time, everything is working fine and we’re all happy. We’ve got a good foundation with our style and the way we work now.”
“Sometimes we’ve just got to agree to disagree,” Aden interjected.

“I think everyone puts their injection into the songs and depending on the songwriters really depends on who gets the final say, you know?” Astro said.

“We give space and control to whoever is writing the song. Sometimes it’s together and sometimes it’s not but we all just give our best to that song.

“Sometimes we’ll work together if we agree on the beat and we like the tune and melody, like we don’t tell the other writers, ‘oh you should say this and don’t say that,’ it all sort of happens naturally. We just pick a topic and get a groove and we’ll write a chorus and everyone just has their bit of it, an extension of the chorus or whatever the song is about.”

Zennith’s new album, currently titled Ancient Warrior, will be released at the end of July or early August.

“It’s coming soon,” Astro said.
“We’re just in the process of the final mixing and production.”

“Our main focus at the moment is getting the album done, so then we can work on a tour (before the end of the year),” Aden added.

The band will perform their first show in two years this weekend at Tanks on Saturday night the 10th May.

“We haven’t really played that often over the last couple of years, so it’ll be good to play at the Tanks and show everyone what we’ve been up to.”

Tickets available through Ticketlink

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