Pepper In-depth Biography
Although Pepper}'s members are originally from Kona, HI, the trio doesn't play traditional Hawaiian music. Rather, Pepper}'s music is a melodic and accessible blend of alternative pop/rock}, punk}, and reggae}. Formed in 1996, Pepper} is hardly the only alterna-rock} combo that has been inspired by Jamaican sounds. But while other punk}-minded alternative pop/rockers who emerged in the '90s were greatly influenced by either classic '60s ska} or hardcore dancehall} artists like Stitchie}, Ninjaman}, and Bounty Killer}, Pepper} usually gets more inspiration from '70s and early-'80s reggae}, Pepper}'s sound could be described as the Police} meets Steel Pulse} meets punk-pop}. It isn't hard to see the parallels between a Pepper} song like "The Good Thing"} and Police} hits such as "Roxanne"} and "Don't Stand So Close to Me,"} but while Sting} and his colleagues sounded polished, Pepper} tends to favor a rawer, more rugged approach.
Two of Pepper}'s three members started working together in 1996; that was when singer/guitarist Kaleo Wassman} first joined forces with bassist/singer Bret Bollinger}. After going through quite a few drummers in the '90s, Pepper} decided that Yesod Williams} was the best man for the job. With the Wassman}/Bollinger}/Williams} lineup in place, Pepper} left Hawaii for Los Angeles and went on to be an opening act for shows by Burning Spear}, Shaggy}, Eek-a-Mouse}, Pato Banton}, and other major reggae} artists. Pepper} first entered the studio in 1997 to record a seven-song demo. But by 1999, the trio was signed to the independent, L.A.-based Volcom Entertainment}.
Pepper}'s songs appeared on various Volcom} compilations, including 1999 Summer Sampler} and The Early Poems of Volcom Entertainment}. The threesome's' first full-length album, Give'n It}, was released by Volcom} in 2000. The following year, Pepper} produced a sophomore album, Kona Town}, with Steve Kravac} (who has worked with blink-182}, Youth Brigade}, Guttermouth}, Less Than Jake}, and other alternative rockers). Volcom} released Kona Town} in 2002 and In with the Old} followed two years later, as Pepper} continued touring with the likes of 311} and Snoop Dogg}. The band also began their own record label, LAW Records}; its first release was a 2003 reissue of Give'n It}. A live DVD was issued in early 2006 before the guys returned that fall with the studio full-length No Shame} and a subsequent tour alongside Slightly Stoopid}. ~ Alex Henderson, All Music Guide