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Lone Ranger interview (conducted by Djouls)

the lone ranger
The Lone Ranger - Interview - Dec. 2004
(the interview takes place in Grant Phabao's appartment in Paris)

Any historical biography details to mention?
Chester (Synmoie, Ranger's friend and manager) should be the one with the details, the likkle parts that I might have missed out... :-)

How did you meet (with Phabao)?
Through Fata (from the Soul Stereo Sound System, with whom Lone Ranger has been touring in Europe these recent years), who said "my friend is coming to Jamaica, you two should meet". So Phabao went to Jamaica, and that's where we met up. He wanted to do some recording with me and the crew.

The Crew?
My friends Danny Dread, Ray I... the crew!

Oh. And how did you introduce him (Phabao) to "The crew"?
I simply told them "someone of my people is here". That's enough. 'Cause Fata sent him. And Fata is my crew, my people, from the musicians, studio business. So Phabao is from my people too. But he wanted to do some recordings of new songs, not specials. So I told my friends to listen to some tracks and choose a riddim.

Did you finally record some sessions all together in Kingston that summer 2003?
Yeah! We located a studio in St Thomas, a studio which was facing the sea, on the east coeast. We were there, played tracks. I recorded, then Danny Dread recorded, then Ray I recorded. Some good work. You could have the choice on your riddim to sing on. Nice. Phabao had brought 3 CDs full of riddims! But at one point, all of us were on the same track... :) Anyway Phabao kept two takes on this riddim and back in Paris he reconstructed both of them in two wicked trakcs! Eh eh...

This was different from the (Studio One) riddims you're used to?
Yeah, kinda different flavours, a lot of ideas. Once a Japanese guy came to us with some techno. Four years ago. It was weird. Wizzz kritchchpluk pfffisss... But I managed. I voiced it! It's wacko... "Kill and Die" was the name i think.

At the end of the year (2003) you came to Europe for a new tour. What's the reaction from the european audience to the art of the Lone Ranger?
Hexstatic! Yeaaah! Many shows were booked, but a lot of them finally didn't confirm. What saved the tour was Germany. Feedback is excellent there. Good response. They're into rub-a-dub flavour. They love it. They're into it.

You did some sessions in Paris at that time?
Yes, with Guillaume (Méténier), with Seven Dub meets Boxohm Station. We did "Ain't No Sunshine", "the Herb" and "It doesn't Matter" with a girl singing... Angélique. Guillaume gave me a CD this year but I gave it to Carlton (Livingston), who left with it before I could even listen to it! I need to get another copy from Guillaume...
We did some tracks with Phabao too. "Fever", "Sweet Talking", "Ethiopia", "A Who", "Aya So We Deh".

What did you think of "La Pinède"? (TIMEC studios in Paris)
Wicked! A good studio. Clean studio. Good vibrations working in there.

Can you tell us a bit about this new european tour you're into right now? (Dec. 2004)
It's like a roadshow. "Lone Ranger & Carlton Linvingston - The Rub-A-Dub Partners". Eighteen show for the two of us plus 2 extras for Ranger. i'm going to Israel. I will be steppin' in the fatherland for the first time. :)) I'll do a show at new year's there. If it's good, the rest of the year will be good!
In Italy, Roma was wicked. A mashed-up place. Jump-up audience. People came to party that nite! We did Belgium, Switzerland, Spain, South of France... Douarnenez! On the edge of the sea, on the edge of the world! It's a village under the sea, artists who play there call it the melting pot.

What did you have for food there?
Hum... Just french fries. And ketchup. They drink everything there! A lot!!

You told me you enjoyed the Spain shows?
Spain was incredible. The audience was incredible. Hot. In valencia there was a guy showing pictures on the wall with a computer thing. There was a big picture of the Kulchaklash album, all over the wall, and my logo from the website besides it. I hadn't even stepped in Spain that images and music of The Lone Ranger were already spreading there. Man it's another country where people know me there before I even go there!! :-))

What do you think of this "Kulchaklash" album by the way?
The Kulchaklash concept-album is very good. This is the Lone Ranger going back to some original flavours, recreating the original rub-a-dub vibe flowing... The artwork is really beautiful. TIMEC did some good work on there: you can't miss Chester! Ray I you catch him good too.

You did some sessions again this year with your people?
Yes, we did some tracks with (Grant) Phabao and Carlton (Livingston). But I kept it the original flavour this time. I choose different riddims (than last year), more for Carlton to sing on. It's a different vibe. Those tracks are Jamaican tempo this time, not Phabao tempo. More based on original Jamaican tracks, so...

What are your plans for 2005 with TIMEC?
I hope to get a big deal to produce 2-3 albums a year a do a big tour all together. It could happen if Kulchaklash happens big time...

What do you think of your artist website?
It's a plus in a career. PLENTY, plenty of fans are WORLDWIDE. They must be wondering where the Ranger is, what's he's doing. This is where the answer is. People sharing musig is just promotion.

So you don't feel robbed by downloaders and file-sharers?
Not really. It's what's going on. You have to live with it. When the web thing started you felt "Damn! I'm being robbed!". But now it's common. It's like listening to the radio. That's what I see in it. It's no problem: the more people hear my songs, the more I'll be requested for live shows.

You told us Dancehall was not happening that much anymore in Jamaica, the New Roots is what's hip now?
Yeah, some rasta youth are rising up now, like I Wayne, Natty King or Warrior King!...

Where do you fit in between all this?
We're the teachers! The young can listen to old riddims and tunes, find the love, peace and good vibes there is in there, and educate themselves with the songs and riddims, you know. So in the end the business is coming right back to my hands... :)
Grant Phabao

Author: Grant Phabao

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