You were the first reggae act to gain international fame. A lot has changed since then. What are your thoughts about today’s state of reggae music?
I thank G-d and I thank people and the man who came and put together the music group, [Bob Marley]. One good artist always is inspired of another. We are artists with our instruments, you know? So we got out instrumentals and drums and sequencers and that is it. That is our reggae. We do not do commercial reggae. We always keep our music artistic style.
As far as the band itself, how has The Wailers Band changed?
Changed? You know time change we didn’t change. Reggae music is art of people for people. It’s universal language. It’s message of raw culture and reality. And it’s for all ages and all times. It’s past, present and future. It’s for us and our children. And we say ‘the older the womb the brighter inside’.
Back in the ‘60s and ‘70‘s sometimes the voice of reggae music was the only voice used to communicate the troubles and misfortunes of the ghetto. Now with TV and newspapers everywhere do you feel that your messages have the same power as before?
As I said earlier is that reggae music is art of the people. It’s the universal language. And we are the chosen ones. The kind of music that we play is coming from [above]. So we play always [as before].
As a band you have been doing a lot of shows but not a lot of publicity. Why is that?
We don’t want the commercial spotlight. When we play it’s for people, straight and no commercial. And that is it. We figure it out and we thank the Almighty for strength, wisdom and knowledge.
You are a world known base player. Do you do independent work outside of Wailers?
Early years I used to do a lot of independent work. Now we all decide to work together for a while. Now we do things with other artists like us, like Burning Spear, and we are in early stages of doing other things in Jamaica.
Many reggae artists, like Junior Reid and Sean Paul, have done collaboration with Hip Hop artists. Are you interested in doing any work with Hip Hop music?
Yes, I did music with Junior Reid and I did chorus lines with him. I also do work with other [artists].
Wailers haven’t put out an album in a long time. Are you working on something now?
Yes. We are working on 3 different sources now. I’m working on album with some distinctive guests from USA. I’m also working on new Wailers album. It’s coming at ya.
Is there anything you’d like to add?
This is Aston Barrett from The Wailers Band, we do it for the people and we walk on the wild side.