I think most people who have seen Indubious or any other similar bands before will agree with me that witnessing them in concert is like stepping into another world. For me, every time I step into the WOW Hall for a show like this, for a split-second I always feel like I've just entered some giant tree trunk in a far-off mystical forest populated friendly tree-dwellers and fairy folk, which could just be one of the many reasons why this band keeps drawing me back, time and time again.
The first time I ever saw Indubious was in October, 2009. Made up of Transplants member Matty T Wells on drums and brothers Evton B and Skip Wicked on keyboards and bass, respectively, the band regularly tours up and down the West Coast, stopping in Eugene roughly every other month. While it would be impossible to fully describe just how amazing this trio is on stage, I can say with certainty that I was hooked from the very first song. Since then, I have seen them three times, including their most recent appearance at the WOW on January 12th where they played with long-time collaborator Alcyon Massive as well as the Californian group Tribal Seeds. It was on this night that I got to sit down with Indubious after their show and ask them a bit more about their music and their message.
"We decided to unite under the name Indubious [about 5 years ago]" began Evton B. "Indubious means undoubtful and sure of one's self, and it kind of relates to our motto, which is 'live indubiously.' And that means living without fear and without doubt.
Based out of Grant's Pass, Oregon, Indubious is but one of a handful of bands to emerge from the West Coast's New Age community along with artists such as the previously mentioned Alcyon Massive, Mystic Roots, and the T Club. Musically speaking, most people would probably classify Indubious as a reggae band, but as Evton B remarked, that's not wholly accurate: "It's funny, because, for lack of a better genre, we've been classified as reggae, and we play with other reggae bands. But we never really felt like we fit in so directly with them, you know? Because, what we're doing is really carving out a new niche in the music scene and creating a new genre, and until it's well established, we're always going to feel that way."
This statement is clearly reflected in the melodies crafted by the group onstage, which, while clearly influenced by reggae, also contain heavy elements of funk and on-stage improv which are uncommon for a traditional reggae band. As Skip noted, Indubious is a very musician-oriented band, with a lot of individuality among its members. "I don't think anyone is really interested in making a reggae band or a funk band. I think everyone's kind of doing their own thing, which makes for an interesting sandwich of fun," he says.
From the point of view of the audience, seeing Indubious perform is like taking mushrooms for the first time. At the back of the stage you've got Matty T Wells, drumming out a steady rhythmic beat which provides the backbone for the duo upfront, comprised of Evton's brainy synths and Skip's pulsating - and occasional mind-blowingly funky - baselines. Add this to the fantastic interplay of green, orange, and purple hues that cast the stage in a harmonious glow, the rampant odor of pot smoke in the air, and the hundred or so dancing bodies in the crowd (ranging from the dreadlocked and dirty to the most clean-cut of college students), all radiating positive vibes of love and friendliness, and you've got one spectacular assault on the senses. Speaking of psychedelics, I asked Indubious what their stance was on drug-use and spiritual enlightenment.
"We don't advocate drug-use. We advocate anything that feels like it gets you closer to god, or whatever you want to call god, and I don't advocate people going out and using things to run away. I don't advocate that at all. I advocate people going to seek what they want to find, and if people feel like they want to do that through the use of Ganja or psychedelics, I would say that those things have been known to help people reach new creative pinnacles in their lives and the true nature of the world" says Skip, "but like anything those things can be abused, they can be overused, and they can be blanketed as just plain okay, which I don't agree with."
"And the reason that alcohol is the drug that is legal," continued Evton B, "is because it's the one that keeps people dumb and slow, and keeps people sedated. You don't want to go change the world when you have a beer. You want to go change the world when you're frying on acid and you've seen god and you've seen the reality. That's why they demonize psychedelics. They don't want people to have those pinnacles, because it takes us out of conformity and into the oneness that is the reality of our existence."
As members of the New Age community, I was also curious to get these guys' thoughts on 2012, and what some people anticipate as being a new era of spiritual enlightenment. Skip took the floor:
"People are waking left and right; the world is waking up. The people that can't see that are the ones who are trying to deny the fact that the world is waking up. But here's something that you guys should all remember: your perception of the world is very based on what time you're alive in in this timeline of the creation of man and all this stuff. If you go back thousands and thousands of years, you have no reference, no frame of mind to those times. All you have is right now, and all you have is this time. And I'll tell you one thing, if you take this time out of context, it's the quickest time that people have spiritually awoken up to the truth. It's the darkest of times and it's also one of the most lit up times, and what I mean is that, time is speeding up so rapidly, and things are happening so synchronistically, that once 2012 hits it's like time is speeding up to this one pinnacle-"Tipping point," interjects Matty.
"A Tipping point!" exclaims Skip. "And what I truly believe 2012 will be is a time for everybody to learn that all of the things that we thought were important before, we can drop those. We can go back to ancient techniques. Technology can still help us, we can still use technology, but guess what? We've got to grow our own food, we've got to have our own communities, we've got to know our neighbors, and we've got to have love in our hearts. If we don't have those things, we're not going to survive, and people are going to have an apocalypse if they cannot truly accept those principles. So you're going to have the end of days for some, and the beginning of days for others, and I'm truly blessed to feel that it's going to be the beginning of days for Indubious."
In addition to being on the road, the group is also hard at work at home promoting their newly-formed label Righteous Sound Productions, which they are in the process of turning into a non-profit on which they released their latest album "Cosmic Seed" as well as Alcyon Massive's debut album "Dreaming the World Awake." As for touring, the band has stated that they are in preparation for an Islands' tour, followed by a possible tour of Japan. Ultimately, however, Indubious sees no limits in spreading the message of love, light, and community, and as Skip says: "There's beautiful people all over the world, and I just can't wait to meet them all."
So, whether or not you've heard of Indubious before or even like them, the message is clear. And while the group has no current performance date for Eugene as of yet, you can be sure to hear their music and find out more about them on www.indubiousmusic.com and myspace.com/indubious. See you at the next show!