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July 30th, 2013 || KROQ Studios

Pepper - "Mess Around (All Night)"

Pepper performing "Mess Around (All Night)" live via webcast from KROQ's Red Bull Sound Space in Los Angeles, CA on July 30, 2013. Subscribe:


Pepper aren’t afraid to spice it up with their onstage repartee. The veteran reggae-rockers from the Big Island of Kona (“You know where that coffee come from,” joked Brett Bollinger,” That Starbuck.”) sum themselves up perfectly when they call themselves three handsome men from Hawaii wearing white t-shirts. Tan faces and constant joking made them a favorite with the ladies who had come to see them at the Red Bull Sound Space at KROQ. Every naughty quip they turned out received quiet squeals of approval and one “nervous” fan (who quickly became feisty and asked a “saga, not a question”) asked the band who is the “dirtiest.”

Quick to give a coy non-answer, Kaleo Wassman shed his self-asserted “wholesome” reputation and replied, “That is a trick question. What time of day is it? I usually get the 8am to 12pm shift. Ye takes it there from 5. And Brett just shuts the night down.”

“You’re just going to have to spend the whole day with us,” he flirted while someone mentioned that they are a “team.” But it’s clear from the awesome music that Pepper out, which has garnered them a big-time record deal with Island Def Jam for their newest creation, that it’s not just talking up the ladies that Pepper is good with as a team effort. They also have a very collaborative vibe to their music which they attribute to them being from “a very small community.”

Pepper // Gabriel Olsen, La Guerre Eternelle

“We were playing house parties all over Kona and we played this one bar for $100 for four hours,” explained Wassman to host Stryker. “You’re really comfortable in Kona. You’ve got a waiting job. You wait from 5-10pm, making $250-$300 bucks a night. Meeting tourist chicks. And then you surf all day the next day. It was perfection. And then we just decided, ‘You know what? Let’s take a gamble. Let’s go out. Let’s really try this.’ We all put in our two weeks on the same day after we paged each other. “

The story is inspiring to young musicians because Pepper say that they had no conscious idea that their risk would amount to anything. But, subconsciously, they “just all kind of knew.”

Pepper // Gabriel Olsen, La Guerre Eternelle

“It’s really hard to explain,” continued Wassman. “It was like, ‘Hey. We gotta get out of here now or else we’re never going to get out.”

“It’s like we knew but we didn’t know,” agreed Bollinger.” We really didn’t know anything. It was just on whim.”

Pepper // Gabriel Olsen, La Guerre Eternelle

Now the band has played once-in-a-lifetime gigs like late night television shows and “are really keeping the dream alive,” when once they were just a bunch of dudes “parked in a circle” and “wearing different waiter outfits.”

“We’ve been your problem ever since,” said Bollinger to the audience because they played “Give It Up,” “No Control,” “FKARND,” “Ashes,” and a song from their new album entitled “Hunny Girl.”

That’s a problem that we’re sure Pepper fans don’t mind.

Pepper // Gabriel Olsen, La Guerre Eternelle

–Nadia Noir, CBS Radio Los Angeles

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