The members of Sweet Leaf enjoy some relaxation on the beach before kicking off a week long party at the Victoria Ska and Reggae Festival.

Living the SWEET life

Local group Sweet Leaf have just launched a new album and are stoked to play Ska

The members of Sweet Leaf have been jamming together for a while, but they only recently recorded their first album Stress Leave earlier this year.

“We rented some office space in Esquimalt and sound proofed it then just party and record, party and record, lather and repeat, you know?” says Chris Jones, guitar and vocalist.

Victoria-based Sweet Leaf includes Zak Knippel on bass, Mike Luis on drums, Spencer Lee on trombone, Jason Ramalho on sax, Nick Brandle on percussion and backing vocals, Tyson Crabb on trumpet and Nick Taylor on backup vocals.

“We could have another if the keyboard player ever showed up,” deadpans Jones.

Knippel and Ramalho started the band some four years ago and Jones joined after answering an online ad.

They’ve lasted through five drummers and Taylor was added after the album was recorded to help fill out their sound, says Jones.

Band members’ musical interests vary from metal to punk and reggae and some of the guys are “not into ska” at all, but they play like they love it.

“Victoria has a good scene. People come out and skank it up at a ska show,” says Jones.

The Sweet Leaf sound is not straight up ska, he adds. “We cross a bunch of different barriers. We’re not just ska or ska influenced. We rock, reggae, we play funk too. We play some pretty funky riffs and genres will change in the middle of a song. There’s hip hop influence in some beats, jazz.”

This is the third year in a row Sweet Leaf will hit the stage at the Ska and Reggae Festival which runs July 1 to 5 at a variety of locations.

“It’s super fun. And we get to play with some of our favourite ska bands – that’s kinda why we do it. You don’t make a lot of money as a band but the payoff is meeting these super talented and influential artists.”

Sweet Leaf plays at Sugar Nightclub July 1. See the full Ska and Reggae Festival lineup at victoriaskafest.ca

 

Just Posted

Juxtaposition key to art in The Lines Between at Gage in Oak Bay

The artist will be on hand for the opening reception on Sunday, April 29

FILM REVIEW: Violent vigilanteism helps cast disquieting spell

Robert Moyes offers his take on Joaquin Phoenix and You Were Never Here

Tickets go quickly for Tom Cochrane show at Elements Casino

Multi Juno Award-winner rejoins Red Rider bandmates for grand opening concert

Rockin’ steady with Phonosonics

Victoria roots reggae band looks to attract wider audience with appearance on Rise Up TV show

Sooke man pursues music for a lifetime

Al Pease has been playing music for over 65 years

Shania Twain visits Canadian Armed Forces base in B.C.

Canadian country icon thanks members of CFB Esquimalt for their service

Royal baby: It’s a boy for Kate and William

The Duchess of Cambridge has given birth to her third child, a boy weighing 8 pounds, 7 ounces.

Ballet Victoria soirée fundraiser a prelude to final show of season

Company winds up its 15th season in the city with Peter Pan next month

Dinosaurs taking centre stage at National Geographic event

NatGeo Live series finale May 2 at the Royal features renowned paleontologist

Celebrate Earth Day with guided walks through Beacon Hill Park

Local naturalists explore Garry oak ecosystem on Camas Day

Shania Twain set to visit CFB Esquimalt

Country music star is meeting members of the Canadian Armed Forces

Blue Bridge Theatre kicks off it 10th season with fun Russian farce

Unique spin on Chekov classic promises surprises

Cochrane alters lyrics to honour Humboldt Broncos

Rock singer, performing at the Elements Casino grand reopening May 5, changes up ‘Big League’

Who’s afraid of Friday the 13th?

Is friggatriskaidekaphobia harmless fun, or should we be proceeding with caution today?

Most Read