HomeInterviewsYesod Williams of Pepper on Local Motion, Two Decades of Music, &...

Yesod Williams of Pepper on Local Motion, Two Decades of Music, & Ohanna

Photo Credit: Keith Zacharski

18 years ago Pepper exploded onto the mainstream alternative scene with the undeniable ear worm “Give It Up.” It was such an infectious song with its sun-soaked backbeat, and its anthemic chorus of “Why Don’t You Have Some Dirty Hot Sex with Me?” As the kids today would say, it was a “bop,” and for those who call a beachfront area their hometown, or at the least their summer playground, “Give It Up” has become a staple of their soundtrack.

While many of their peers have faded into the ether of obscurity, Pepper is still out their touring, writing music and bringing their ohanna to the masses. This dedication is what helped score the band a brand new hit record with 2019 release, Local Motion.

Recently we spoke with Yesod Williams the drummer of Pepper to discuss Local Motion, their longevity, their own strain of cannabis, and their wild national tour as they get set to perform at Mulcahy’s in Wantagh, NY tonight, and this weekend at The TLA in Philadelphia.

Local Motion dropped last year, and had a terrific run on the Billboard charts. Can you talk about how this record stands out lyrically and/or sonically from your previous releases?

Man, we are so happy with everything right now, the sound, the vibe, the show, the Ohana, it’s all forcing on all pistons over 20 years deep so I think all that positive energy came out in this record. It was also a main objective (hence the name local motion) to make this album a “community opportunity” and bring everyone together in the genre, which was a major difference. Instead of getting a producer or two, or even self-producing, we looked out to our peers in the genre for production, sort of a challenge, what would our music sound like through them filter off the genre, it worked.

You released the record on your own label — can you talk the freedoms and the stresses of being your own label?

There are no restrictions which is amazing, but that fact alone is the only thing that can be a drawback, you can’t get lost in the freedom. Benefits beyond outweigh though, we are very grateful.

You’re going on a fairly ambitious, zig-zagging nationwide tour this winter — how do you physically and mentally prepare for an intense tour like this with so many shows in a row?

We’ve been touring most of our lives so it’s second nature to us, we just look forward to getting out from the digital world and going and seeing the Pepper Ohana in person, playing music, laughing, smiling, crying if we need to with them! It’s very apparent to us that none of this magic would be possible without the fans so I guess it’s the excitement and fulfillment that completely pacifies any gruel.

Will we see you touring in the summer? 

1000% YES! Stay tuned.

Can you talk about the bands opening on the tour for you — Kash’d Out and The Elovators

Kash’d out is actually on our record label LAW records. They are from Florida and are probably the most feel good band in the genre! The Elovaters are dripping with vibe! They come from the Stick Figure camp which is very close to us and are from the northeast, so we’re starting the party in their home!

Let’s talk longevity. You guys have been doing this for 20 years. What has been, in your opinion, the secret sauce that’s kept you in the hearts and ears of fans around the world for two decades? And what’s kept you in this band for so long — 20 years is a long time to dedicate your life to something. 

Our love for each other and the gratitude we put first and foremost for even calling this a reality!

You guys have expanded outside of music to develop your own wine and “Hawaiian Pepper” Cannabis strand. While, wine isn’t something out of the ordinary for bands to do, a cannabis strand isn’t your everyday thing. Can you talk about how you developed this strand, and what separates it from the rest. 

The Hawaiian Pepper was a limited release, reason behind it was we found some growers up north that had some OG Hawaiian sativa that we hadn’t seen since we were kids so it only made sense! On that same note though, we are about to launch something brand new in the cannabis world so we are VERY excited about that and you should be too!

What are you most stoked for in 2020? 

It’s a new decade, the possibilities are endless but mainly excited about new music and tours this year!

Catch Pepper Across the US on Their Nationwide Tour:

FEB 14 – Mulcahy’s @ Wantagh, NY
FEB 15 – TLA @ Philadelphia, PA
FEB 17 – Union Stage @ Washington, DC
FEB 18 – The Blind Tiger @ Greensboro, NC
FEB 20 – Culture Room @ Fort Lauderdale, FL
FEB 21 – The Plaza Live @ Orlando, FL
FEB 22 – Jannus Live @ St Petersburg, FL
FEB 24 – White Oak Music Hall @ Houston, TX
FEB 25 – Scoot Inn @ Austin, TX
FEB 26 – Deep Ellum Art Co. @ Dallas, TX
FEB 28 – Sunshine Theater @ Albuquerque, NM
FEB 29 – The Mission Ballroom @ Denver, CO
MAR 2 – Knitting Factory Concert House @ Boise, ID
MAR 3 – Neumos @ Seattle, WA
MAR 4 – Wonder Ballroom @ Portland, OR
MAR 6 – Cornerstone Berkeley @ Berkeley, CA
MAR 7 – ACE of Spades @ Sacramento, CA
MAR 8 – The Catalyst @ Santa Cruz, CA

Bill Bodkin
Bill Bodkinhttps://thepopbreak.com
Bill Bodkin is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Pop Break, and most importantly a husband, and father. Ol' Graybeard writes way too much about wrestling, jam bands, Asbury Park music, HBO shows, and can often be seen under his season DJ alias, DJ Father Christmas. He is the co-host of the Socially Distanced Podcast (w/Al Mannarino) which drops weekly on Apple, Google, Anchor & Spotify. He is the co-host of the monthly podcasts -- Anchored in Asbury, TV Break and Bill vs. The MCU.

Most Recent

Stay Connected