INTERVIEW: Tropidelic Reflect on Their Busy 2017 & "Heavy Is The Head"
Cleveland, OH's Tropidelic might be far away from any oceans or tropical islands, but that doesn’t stop them from dishing out fun-loving mix of reggae, hip-hop and high energy funk for audiences across the country. With their newest album, Heavy Is The Head out now, the six-piece are diving into some of their most personal and uplifting material yet, with no topic off limits. It's just what listeners will need to keep spirits high throughout the gloomy winter months.
2017 has been an incredibly busy year for Tropidelic, with festival dates throughout the summer and tour dates that just wrapped up last month. Now, the band is looking forward to their hometown New Year's Eve show next month and even bigger plans for 2018.
Interview by Shannon Shumaker
Can you tell us a little bit about Tropidelic for any readers who might not be familiar?
Matthew Roads: We are a funk / hip-hop / reggae outfit from Cleveland, OH. In some circles, we are known for our antics, on and off stage. We don't take ourselves so seriously that it ruins the fun. There is no pretentiousness with us.
You’ve been incredibly busy this year with tour and festival dates throughout the summer, and even just wrapped up some more headlining shows last month. What have been some of the highlights of 2017 for you guys?
The whole experience of performing at Electric Forest was pretty incredible. It was also amazing doing a few dates through the midwest with 311. Overall, the year has been killer.
This month, you released your new album, Heavy Is The Head, as well! What are you the most excited for fans to hear on the album?
My personal favorite is "The Recipe" though I think "Highs & Lows" will resonate with a lot of people.
You’ve mentioned that you wanted to touch on a wide array of emotions and personal and political topics on this record, as well. Was there anything that you were able to discuss on this release that you maybe haven’t had the chance to touch on in the past?
We focused on making a positive song or two lyrically. The songs have always been upbeat and funky but the lyrical content tends to be darker, much if it still is but we snuck a few inspirational songs onto the album.
Were there any songs on the album that were particularly challenging or difficult to write?
"Lorain Lorain" was an interesting production. We went back and forth on some ideas before layering in some sousaphone and violin, it was something outside of the box of us.
On that note, what was the most rewarding aspect of the writing and recording process?
The most rewarding aspect is hearing people sing your lyrics or tell you how much the songs mean to them. Several of the songs we've been playing for quite awhile before the record came out and already had people expressing how much they dug the tunes.
You also recently released a video for “Dollar Saved” from the album. What inspired this song?
Generally speaking, we've been the underdogs and the little guy in so many situations. A lot of the song alludes to the tipping point for the down trodden and overlooked.
What do you hope listeners take away from Heavy Is The Head?
I hope it gets people to FEEL something, hopefully, something good but eliciting emotion I believe is the goal of any art.
Do you have any other big plans for the rest of 2017 or beginning of 2018?
We have our massive New Year's Eve show in Cleveland and some major tour announcements coming soon for 2018.
Thank you for taking the time to chat with us! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
We are incredibly grateful to our fam or supporters for helping the release reach #1 on the iTunes reggae charts. Stay tuned for more big things on the way.