Vegitation is San Diego’s solution to keeping reggae fresh and green. They produce original reggae songs instead of rehashing those Marley tunes that most reggae acts perform at local bars and clubs. Vegitation played for the evacuees at Qualcomm Stadium in October, the Ranchita Rocks Music Festival near Borrego Springs last September, and the environmentally conscious Sustainability Day at SDSU, also in September. They are regulars at Winstons and PB Bar and Grille.
Vegitation’s third CD, Family Strong, recently hit the streets. This June the band goes on its first nationwide tour.
The members of the group are Dandelion on lead vocals and lyrics; Mason Boogie on rhythm guitar and backup vocals; Japheth Ketcham on lead guitar; Jamie Thibodeau on percussion; Mike Lockrem on bass; Arturo Salido on keyboards, organs, and backup vocals; and the recently added Ishmael “the Peacemaker” on drums and vocals.
Mason: “House of Blues with the Wailers. We got there early for soundcheck and got to hang out with some of the original members. Al Anderson came up to us, sparked a joint, and passed it along…. Backstage was closed off to everyone except us, so we sat there smoking and watching our own private Wailers show.”
Jamie: “Charley’s in Paia, Hawaii. Good vibes, lively crowd, and we were in Hawaii!”
Mason: “We arrived at the UCSD Unolympics and were shocked to find about 3000 kids on the field yelling and screaming. Before we could set up, there was an announcement for the ice cream social just over the hill. We ended up playing to six people. One was listening to an iPod, and two of them left before our second song.”
WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO?
Japheth: “U2’s Achtung Baby. Probably the record I’ve listened to most. Great guitar tones; great photo art on the sleeve. The whole thing comes across as very European.”
Dandelion: “Burnin’ by the Wailers. It captures the power of Bob, Peter, and Bunny.”
Jamie: “Bob Marley’s Confrontation and Grateful Dead’s Europe ’72.”
WHAT DID YOU DO ON PROM NIGHT?
Japheth: “I didn’t go to prom because I was a repressed Jehovah’s Witness.”
Dandelion: “I don’t remember; check the police reports.”
Mike: “I took acid and didn’t tell my date about it. I had been trying to have sex with her for a year, and that night she was finally ready. I was so fried that I turned her down and haven’t heard from her since. Ah, prom.”
LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT…?
Japheth: “Don’t believe in it. Love is familiarity.”
Mason: “Yeah, I’ve had love at first sight. Usually it’s just lust, but one time…you know who you are!”
SEXIEST LOCAL PERFORMER?
Japheth: “Lindsay from Roses on Her Grave.”
Dandelion: “Definitely Mason Boogie.”
Jamie: “DJ SweetBeets.”
FIVE MOMENTS THAT SUCKED…
Mason: “George Bush fixing the election. George Bush fixing another election. Crackdown by DEA on medicinal dispensaries in San Diego County. When our first drummer left. Being stuck in a Turkish prison.”
FAVORITE DEAD CELEB?
Japheth: “Kurt Cobain.”
Jamie: “Timothy Leary.”
Mason: “Evangeline Lily — the people on Lost are dead, aren’t they?”
WHERE DO YOU SEE MUSIC GOING IN THE 21ST CENTURY?
Dandelion: “I see a lot more protest songs and music that carries a message.”
THOUGHTS ON THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE?
Mason: “[I hope that] Obama or Clinton can topple the Republican spin machine and lead our country back to where it should be.”
BEST THING YOU EVER DID DRUNK?
Dandelion: “Answer these questions.”