Splinta and the Sabotage Sound System

The Big island band Pepper has enjoyed nationwide success over the past few years, touring the country, building a loyal fan base and absolutely ripping the live music scene. Recently going independent and starting Law Records, Pepper has brought along some of their best friends to share the music life with them.

Chad Campbell is better known for his surf films than his self-proclaimed "surf bum rap". As director of "the 5th Symphony Document" (along with Andy Carlson), the Blueprint, and as a chief editor on the "Vans Triple Crown of Surfing", Campbell has a solid resume that includes Best Movie at the Surfer Poll Video awards. In the past few years though, he has spent less time behind the camera and more time recording into a microphone.

In the following interview, Kaleo Wassman, a lead vocalist of Pepper, Dub aka Remy Derochemont, Pepper's soundman and fellow saboteur, and surf-filmmaker turned MC Chad Campbell aka Splinta talk about hip hop, Kaleo and Dub's new group Sabotage Sound System, surfing, and the surf / music life..

Splinta and members of Sabotage Sound System, Dub and Kaleo INTERVIEW CONDUCTED OVER THE PHONE …

Kaleo: So, you and I worked at the Chart House together and used to watch the waves and wonder what we were gonna do with ourselves…

Chad: Yeah.. I guess we knew that we didn't want to wait tables forever so we were on some scheme… you guys definitely took off and are doing what you love… I kind am doing the music thing but I'd be destitute if I tried to do that for a living…

Kaleo: Yeah, we've found a niche I think. We're doing pretty good.. So first off tell us how the music thing started for you

Chad: Well, really we were always listening to music, messing around on ukuleles and guitars and had friends in bands, you guys of course, but other guys too, Jamin Wong was in Ho'aikane, and Illco (another Kona hip hop group) have been around forever rapping.. so we were always around it.. freestyling, messing around. Then Dub, Hey Dub! (sabotage member and Pepper soundman also on the phone) and Tyler got a house, which became the Arena… the Arena was the party house of Kona for that time period.. pretty much any night of the week something weird was going on there.. but yeah, lots of freestyling and jamming and funny shit.. and Philly B pretty much was sick at that point.. so Tyler and Remy made some beats, and Philly and Ryan Coleman and me on a couple tracks made "Arena Mash", a mixtape and it kinda took off in Kona a little bit… You guys (Pepper) told us make a real album and that went down, and you guys took it around with you and it kinda gained some momentum from there.. People, especially in Hawaii seemed to like it…

Dub: Yeah, that album came out pretty sick.. fun Hawaii party vibe..

Chad: That's why it's called Aftaparty… late night playboy!

Dub: What inspires your writing and lyrics?

Chad: Oh, you know, the usual… the bender you and I went on last month was pretty heavy.. Nah, just life occurrences in general, stuff you see everyday, see on the news or whatever.. stuff happening.. girls of course. Surfing too. I'm a fan of the start to finish story, which is funny cuz I used to not care at all.. I wanted to hear was outer space rap, but now I like stories too. Yeah. on a lyrical level, other rappers or good writers inspire.. Slick Rick was / is a genius.. Aesop Rock's new album is mental.. Wordsworth, Redman, the Wu.. can't touch the Wu… too many.. I love lyricism, I love fucked up beats.. whoa, ok, Kaleo, cuz everybody knows you guys and nobody knows me, what's up with Pepper right now?

Kaleo: Well, currently we are in the studio recording our new album called, well, no gotta keep that under wraps at the moment. But Paul Leary, who has produced Sublime and the Meat Puppets is doing all the tracks which is sick..he's a legend. He was in the Butthole Surfers, which I think is the most influential American band since the Ramones.

Chad: I've heard some of the new songs in sound check and they sound mental… of course… guaranteed the albums gonna be good…but what's up with Sabotage?

Kaleo: Well, Sabotage is me and Dub, and Splinta sometimes! Or whoever you know? almost like a Gorrillaz type thing.. real raw and loose.. some of my overflow songs from Pepper, and stuff that I've been thinking about for a while.. no just as natural as possible, kind of a throwback to the fun, relaxed Kona vibe.

Chad: yeah.. well, like that song "Rely" that I'm on.. you guys layed the beat out pretty raw.. just kinda jammed it right? And then you freestyled that whole verse and chorus…

Kaleo: Yeah, and now that's the final draft!

Chad: yeah I like that though. I like the raw feel to it… what about you Dub?

Dub: Yeah, I make some of the beats, play some guitar.. engineer that shit!

Chad: Brah you sing sometimes too!

Dub: No one will ever here that.. that stuff is iffy at best(laughter all around)

Dub:Nah, but serious, I'm just trying to make some fun music that can be good forever.. that’s the goal. And get the party jumping!, but let me ask you some surf questions.. so any surf trips planned?

Kaleo: and! How many surf trips do you do a year?

Chad: ok, well.. I did the boatman thing on Tavarua last year and that was insane. One of the best things I've ever done in my entire life, so thanks Ka'eo for that! But yeah, I'm going back this summer.. super stoked.. getting tubed is pretty much the best thing ever made.

Dub: I'm Jealous!

Chad:…and I try to go on a trip twice a year… doesn't always work though.. money money. My credit card debt is solid though! What about you guys?

Dub: Trestles on my bike every day! (laughter)

Kaleo: I'm going to Samoa with some of the boys soon, super pumped on that…

Chad: yeah I heard it's pretty sick down there..

Dub: ok, well when is the next movie?

Chad: shoot.. I hate shooting surfing now. I love editing it, but I want to surf, I don't want to stand on the beach and film anymore.. so who knows.. I finished a movie called Zampa recently, but the funding kinda fell through so it's sort of in a state of limbo.. but I really like how the movie came out.. and we got mental waves in Japan.. which I filmed and got to surf so that was cool.. it was 4-6 feet, Hawaiian that is, cuz nowadays its all confusing cuz Hawaii's news is calling it by the face now.. anyhow, 4-6 feet, straight offshore, barreling left river mouth.. me, Jun Jo, and 2 other guys out.. I fully claimed a wave that day! It was just so sick… and I am just finishing up editing the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing for Windowseat Pictures though, and that is coming out pretty cool.. that will be on Fuel TV pretty soon.

Kaleo: so what's up next with the music then?

Chad: I don't know when are you gonna take me on tour? (laughter)

Kaleo: how about spring of this year?

Chad: shit, mark me down! Im down for tour.. But no for real, I'm working on more songs.. hopefully a new album this summer. Not quite sure where it's at right now, but definitely more songs on the way.

Kaleo: Yeah Chaddy, and its on for tour! But, eh, guys I gotta hele so, I'll talk to you later..

Chad and Dub: ok, later Klow, thanks for the interview.

Kaleo: Yeah of course

Dub: so, do you surf on tour?

Chad: you know better than that! Straight booze! (laughter).. and parking lot dirtball yoga…





sabotage sound system




Dub: Yeah tell us about that!

Chad: ha! Just you know, try to stay a little healthy, so.. just pull up wherever, El Paso Texas comfort Inn, get out of the bus, throw your yoga mat on the parking lot and get yogi about things.. blazing sun and cowboys looking at you funny! .. gotta try to stay in shape a bit though.. end up going home and getting pummeled on the reef!(laughter)

Chad: where are you guys anyway? It's loud..

Dub: We're in {{{Reno}}}, coming back from the {{{Tahoe}}} show.. slot machines and stuff..

Chad: did you guys go on a bender?

Dub: Nah, we just cruised, saw the Roots kill it, saw Pato Banton twice, went snowboarding.. it was good…. Ok, last question cuz I gotta go pretty soon. If you could blow up as a rapper, or you could surf anywhere you wanted for the next 10 years what would it be?

Chad: well, if I blew up as a rapper I could probably surf anywhere I wanted for the next 10 years anyway right?? Ha! Nah, well, I would choose surfing, cuz for sure I'm way more a surfer who happens to rap than some rapper that surfs.. I only barely consider myself a rapper anyhow..

Dub: what do you mean?

Chad: well.. I'm just not your stereotypical rapper guy. Which,, I don't even know what that means now cuz there is so many different styles.. I guess what I’m saying was by just looking at me or even talking to me you wouldn't know I’m a rapper.. I'm a surfer.. and plus there's a thousand other guys out there that spit better than I do so .. I kinda feel like I don't deserve being called that.. Actually one of the best compliments I get when I'm on the road is "wow, I couldn't really figure out if you are a rapper or trying to be a singer…" or something like that.. I just am who I am so I rap about being a surfer guy and try to use my imagination… but….all right I get one more: ideal life?

Dub: oh, a sick studio on the beach somewhere.. surf all day and make music at night.. Jack Johnson style..

Chad: Yeah, Jack Johnson is pretty much killing it.

Dub: Playboy style!(laughter)..

Chad: all right.. so couple plugs: pepperlive.com, folkloremovie.com, myspace.com/splintamusic, myspace.com/lawrecords, myspace.com/sabotagesoundsystemThat it?

Dub: yeah I think so.. thanks eh?

Chad: shoots..