Most St. Louisians missed the opening acts on The Warped Tour, either because they were stuck in lines trying to get in, or they were taking the edge off the hundred degree heat and arriving late to catch the bigger bands. What a loss! Opening up the main stage was Canada’s Bedouin Soundclash—probably one of the best progressive world beat/punk fusions out there, and certainly the only one on the Warped Tour.
From Toronto, Canada, the 2005 Warped Tour is the first time the band has gotten a chance to tour throughout the United States. We pulled the boys aside to ask them a few questions about their experiences, their message in their music, and what’s ahead for Bedouin Soundclash.
Aside from being on the mainstage, one of the highlights of the Warped Tour for the band, or at least for Bassist Eon Sinclair and drummer Pat Pengelly, was seeing The Transplants live.
“I have waited a long time to see the Transplants, and to be able to see them everyday given what we’re doing is awesome,” said Pat.
“We did South by Southwest this year, and a little kick-off party in California for our CD release party,” says vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Jay Malinowski, who is also a successful artist/painter who did the artwork for their latest album. This second CD, Sounding a Mosaic [Side One Dummy Records] was produced by Darryl Jenifer, the bassist for Bad Brains, and was released in mid-May. Infused with all sorts of world influences, pummeled with punk and post-punk, and reeking of that cool, Jamaican reggae beat, Sounding a Mosaic is finding its way onto radio playlists in all sorts of genres—never mind Internet and satellite stations.
“We like to be truthful to where we came from,” adds Jay, who says they all met at their University in Ontario. “We’re incorporating music we grew up with. Being Canadians, there are certain scenes that are very much tightly rolled into where we live. Like in Toronto, there is a massive West Indian population, so people from Toronto grow up listening to Reggae. And Canada is not really known for that, so you want to add something new to our influence, from Reggae to punk, to electronic, to world [music]. I think we make something that is uniquely ours. We try to bridge a gap between a point where Reggae and punk touched briefly during the 80s, and the present day. We try to revive what is great about that scene but still making something new with what is going on today.”
Living up to their name, The Bedouin Soundclash are on sort of a mission, in fact: to mix up cultures and sounds, educating the world through their music to look beyond the obvious and experience the diversity of the world.
“It is not our goal to sell a certain amount of records,” Jay says. “I mean, we do really hope that those who want to hear it, hear it. As soon as you start concentrating on those types of goals, you forget about what you are supposed to really be doing, which is making music. Then the music has lost meaning to you.
“The types of people we get are the fringes from every group,” says Pat. “We don’t fit into anything easily. We don’t have a scene. It is less easy for attack. When you get to a festival like this (Warped Tour), that is geared toward a genre of music and a specific type of listener, and a certain demographic that is not as open at some points, maybe they will be in the future.”
Eon, whose parents came from Guyana, nods in agreement. Eon brought the band its feel for soca, hip-hop, and the dancehall toasters of his roots.
“Not being part of one scene could be a blessing and it could also mean you never have a home. We definitely don’t, but that’s not why we started making music. It could go both ways,” laughs Jay.
Funny, the Bedouin Soundclash’s music seems to go every way. And since when has this ever been a problem for them?
Visit Bedouin Soundclash online at www.bedouinsoundclash.com.