The only band to play all 3 nights at Heaton Park alongside the Roses themselves are The legendary Wailers, a band who’s music has inspired the world bring their epic set list to next weekends shows, still touring and playing hits like ‘Could you be Loved’ and ‘Stir it Up’ there led by their also legendary anchor man Aston ‘Family Man’ Barrett who served as Bob Marley’s right hand man for so many years, LTW got the chance to put a few brief questions to the man himself and singer Koolant about the upcoming shows
Real pleasure to be able to put a few questions to The Wailers, for a start where are you now and what are you doing
Koolant: We are in Jamaica right now and are heading back to America for a few shows before going to the UK. For me, right now I am in my garden, holding a meditation and making more music.
Aston Family Man Barrett: We have just arrived in Richmond, VA to play a show tonight.
One of the best surprises for Heaton Park shows was the announcement of The Wailers playing all 3 nights, are the band looking forward to playing the biggest live UK event this year…
Koolant: Oh yes, we are so charged and looking forward for these three shows- to fill people with songs of redemption.
Fams: Oh yes- they wanted us to play three nights straight. It was so good that they asked us- it was like magic. It is going to be the same magic for three nights- power in unity.
The Wailers will definitely get much love from the Heaton Park crowd/Stone Roses fans, like you do playing all around the world, what’s that like to have generation after generation constantly finding, loving and being influenced by The Wailers music
Koolant: Well I think that generation on top of generation in time can find this music that is so great. It’s positive that people are listening to the message the wailers are bringing.
Fams: Yes, it is like the prophecy is fulfilled. The mission to spread the messages of roots, culture and reality for the healing of the hurt. It must be done. We are chosen for that mission.
Are ‘Family Man’ and the band aware of The Stone Roses music, all The Stone Roses especially front man Ian Brown and Mani who apparently learnt bass playing to Reggae tunes, which no doubt would of been some of Family Man’s bass lines, are all big fans..,but what do you know of them
Koolant: I have picked them out on YouTube already and I think they are great musicians. I love them so much. I can’t wait to see them performing.
Fams: On being a musical influence for The Stone Roses: That is good- Reggae’s got soul, funk. R&B, thunder, and jazz. Reggae music is a mix of all types of music of different cultures, which is why people love it so much. It is the language of the people.
When was the last time you played the UK,…The Wailers have always had a strong connection with the UK haven’t they
Koolant: The last time we played in the UK was last year in the summer. Yes, we have a lot of interest in the UK and many countries. It is one of my best places to perform because they greet our music with so much love. Reggae music will last forever.
Wanted to ask about the good work the group do with the United Nations ‘World Food Programme’, it seems being in The Wailers is about giving some thing back, a band that know about peoples struggles and have even released music to raise money for the programme
Koolant: The Wailers being a part of the United Nations’ World Food Programme is a positive move and a brave one for the Wailers. We believe that people must have food to eat, especially the children, who are our future. We are trying to sing the WFP songs and we sell the wristbands at the shows, and by buying them you are supporting the organisation. Being a part of that WFP movement is a big step in life because it is important to pass along the feeling of hope for the next generation.
to ‘Family Man’; Talking of struggle Family Man and the older members of the Wailers have been through so much, especially in the early years, just to get your music out, but whats got you through it all in all those years
Persistence- I never give up, I never give up the fight. When you want good to come, you put your shoulders back and go through whatever you need to do to bring it.
Also, the message and the concept of reggae. I am the architect of reggae. When I was getting involved in the music when I was young, I was listening to the local music of ska and rock-steady. I wanted to take the music to the next level because reggae has a message that needed to get to the people of all ages. Reggae is for all people, all ages, and all times- past, present, and future. Reggae is coming down from the throne of King David and King Solomon- the chief musicians of the Psalms in the Bible. We were chosen for this mission. That is what got me through- to carry out the mission I was chosen for.
The Wailers have also collaborated with artists like Sting and Stevie Wonder, many artists I guess would love to work with The Wailers, but which artists or bands would you like to collaborate with?,…The Wailers getting up to do a number with The Stone Roses at Heaton Park would be pretty cool
Koolant: I for one (and I always hear Family Man talk about it too) want to work with great reggae bands like Steel Pulse, Mighty Diamonds, and a lot more great bands. We look forward to collaborating with great bands because no man is an island. No man stands alone.
RE: performing with The Stone Roses- I’m not sure but we’d like to. Music is a natural thing so it has to be in the moment. Putting minds together and deciding at the time.
Fams: Well, I would work with anyone when they are ready. We had talked about working with Alpha Blondy, but his manager does not seem to realise the necessity. The managers must know the responsibility of the music.
I would have loved to work with John Denver, but he has passed. We had also talked about working with Michael Jackson before he passed. It was so sad when he died.
I am wide open, my arms are wide open. As soon as the message touches them (an artist), I am ever ready to work with them.
to Koolant; Great voice and the live performances look really good, are you looking forward to singing to the Heaton Park crowds over the weekend, where else are you playing this year and for you whats the best thing about touring
The best part about touring is to go in front of millions of people and sharing the love and the joy of the music I am singing. Sending positive vibrations toward mankind.
Lastly, The Wailers have been with us for so long yet the groups sound keeps evolving, moving forward with new members, new sounds and collaboration’s, as well as the work you do for’ The World Food Programme, would you like to think The Wailers will always be around and keep going in one form or another doing what you do
Koolant: Well, as I said, the music that we do will live for eternity. And even when we are gone, the music will be wailin’ with other members, and it will be wailin’ the same way for eternity.
Fams: I am the Wailers- I own that name. I earned it. But they cannot manage themselves. I am the chosen one to bring this music to life and bring them to the great success of music. Everyone thinks they can make it on their own, but we must do it together.
Wasps come to the bees to teach him how to make honey, but they cannot because the bees were the chosen ones. Like them, we were chosen for this mission.
The Wailers live