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The Black Seeds


Originating from Wellington, The Black Seeds have carved out their reputation through platinum selling albums, a masterful live show, and a sound that fuses infectious grooves and melodies with undiluted roots music. With numerous European festival tours behind them, and a successful 2009 North American album release, their following continues to spread quickly around the globe.

Led by the vocals of Barnaby Weir and Daniel Weetman, at its core The Black Seeds music is a boundary-crossing sound fusion of big-beat funk, dub, soul, mixed with vintage roots-reggae.

Described by Clash Magazine as "one of the best reggae acts on the planet", their legendary 8-piece live show brings the raw energy and good vibes wherever it goes. They have countless sell-out New Zealand and Australasian tours behind them, and regularly perform at many of Europe and North America’s biggest festivals.

Lyrically The Black Seeds music expresses messages on different levels. Personal triumphs and failures, the fear of love, death, apathy, and relationships, give a personal insight into the lives of the musicians. Ultimately though, their songs are always under-pinned with an underlying positivity and optimism.

Headquarters is, and always has been, the Surgery Studio in the capital city of Wellington. A former Karate Dojo and condemned building, the band’s sound engineer Lee Prebble took advantage of the cheap rent to set up the studio, which has since been responsible for producing some of New Zealand’s finest albums of recent years (TrinityRoots, The Phoenix Foundation). The Surgery is the practice room, recording studio, and general hangout space for the band, with all four of their albums having been produced there.

The Black Seeds released their debut album Keep On Pushing in 2001 and despite a tiny marketing budget the album reached platinum sales in New Zealand, as well as being successfully released in Australia through Shock Records.

The second album, 2004's On the Sun, added a heavy dose of funk and soul to their dub reggae sound. Debuting at No. 3 in the New Zealand Charts, the album achieved double-platinum sales with the single So True becoming one of the most successful New Zealand singles of 2005.

In July 2007, The Black Seeds released their third album Into the Dojo in New Zealand. Spending five consecutive weeks at No. 1, and a total of 52 weeks in the album charts, the album has sold well over double-platinum sales and spawned four radio hits with singles The Answer, Sometimes Enough, Cool Me Down and One By One. The album showed a great deal of development in the group's sound; and for the first time song-writing duties were shared between the band members.

Into the Dojo was also the start of the bands movement from their New Zealand base to the rest of the world. After signing a 2-album deal with respected German-based label Sonar Kollektiv, Into The Dojo was successfully released in Europe in 2007, supported by two 12" vinyl EP's (Best Seven/Sonar Kollekitv). The album received critical acclaim and strong airplay, particularly in Germany and France where it reached high rotate and was featured as Album Of The Week on stations such as Radio Nova (France), Radio Eins (Germany) and more.

Tracks from the album featured on compilations such as Nova Tunes 07 (alongside songs from Radiohead, Jose Gonzalez) and The Answer featured as iTunes France’s Single of the Week, all of which contributed to the start of a fast-growing fan base for the band in Europe.

"Ce nouvel opus des Black Seeds est une perle" ("The Black Seeds new album is a pearl") - French Reggae Magazine

Written and workshopped in beach-house locations around Wellington, The Black Seeds fourth and latest album Solid Ground was successfully released in New Zealand, Australia and Europe, between August – October, 2008, and reaching well-over platinum sales in New Zealand.

Produced by the bands guitarist Mike Fabulous (Lord Echo), the album oozes with The Black Seeds distinctive flavour – from the heavy-hitting, Karma-inspired Slingshot and darker reggae/dub-infused tracks like Send a Message and The Bubble, to infectious reggae gems like Love Is A Radiation, Come To Me, and the funk/soul filled Rotten Apple and Afrophone.

Spending 7 consecutive weeks in the 'Top 5' of the New Zealand music charts, Solid Ground was released in Europe through Sonar Kollektiv, supported by two European tours which included standout performances at many of Europe’s biggest festivals such as Summerjam, Garance, Lowland, Roskilde, and The Lovebox Weekender, as well as a live performances on TV shows such Canal Plus (France’s biggest music TV show).

"charmed… soulful 70’s styled reggae… single ‘Make A Move’ is one of the
snackiest reggae pop tunes on planet earth."
- Mojo Magazine – November, 2008

In July, 2009, The Black Seeds signed with top North American label Easy Star Records - masterminds behind one of the decade’s best-selling reggae albums: The Easy Star All-Stars' Dub Side of the Moon.

Solid Ground was successfully released in September 2009. Debuting in the top 15 of the Billboard reggae charts, the album has received critical acclaim including recently being named Soul Album of The Year by jambase.com’s Dennis Cook. Solid Ground also spent eight consecutive weeks in the Top 10 of CMJ's World Music charts, and five weeks in the overall CMJ Top 200.

In support of the release The Black Seeds completed their first major US tour in September 2009 alongside top U.S act John Brown’s Body. The 12-show US tour saw them performing to packed houses across America.

The band returned to North America on a hugely successful 17-show tour in July 2010 which included performances at major festivals such as High Sierra (CA), Camp Bisco & Grassroots (NY), and the Victoria Ska Festival. (Canada)

"a damn fine record… thoughtful, catchy songs rampant with horn lines and stomach shaking bass, not to mention Weir's excellent voice. Hard to turn off, easy to repeat." - Huffington Post - U.S.A – August, 09

In 2009 The Black Seeds' released their long awaited, first ever live album The Black Seeds Live: Vol 1. The album was released as both a digital download, and as a limited edition deluxe CD/DVD set only available from the bands website and their live shows.

In September 2010 the band released The Black Seeds Specials - a collection of remixes and out-takes from the latest album Solid Ground. The release will feature remixes from both local and international artists, as well as b.side material and alternate versions from the Solid Ground sessions.

The follow up to Solid Ground, Dust And Dirt was released in 2012 and captures The Black Seeds characteristic brand of reggae-funk fusion at its most authentic and fundamental.

Band Members:
Barnaby Weir
Daniel Weetman
Jarney Murphy
Nigel Patterson
Ned Ngatae -
including: Francis Harawira
Barrett Hocking
Lucien Johnson
Matt Benton


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