The Return Of the Rhythm Doctors...

KYLE -     So how did the band reform? Whats the lineup by summer of 2000 at the Sierra Nevada festival?

MARK -     Yeah Lesterfari.. serious guitar player in general.  Reggae veteran.. who best to lead our new founded style?  He has played with James Brown to Jackie Mittoo, you can't touch him.  We had two singers Romy Dee and Malik Moore,  for the gig, and it was all self sufficent in the way where the singers were contained in the name the rhythm doctors. but the rhythm doctors were originally a instrumental group. looking to move forward.. always since the beginning..  so now we work with artists.. we had some great rehearsals lately doing April Wellers material.  She used to work exclusively with Scientist and did her backings for his shows...  now its a Korey and Ethan on the bass n drum..  these two vibe the best out of them all from the past.. myself and a sax/flute player named Evan Francis, and Lesterfari.. and the addition of Cypriano Rizla our dub engineer..  

KYLE -     What happened with Earl?

MARK -     He wanted to take a break and pursue computer work, but on his break, we found a replacement and liked him better..  

KYLE -  So this new lineup, you guys backed up Prince Buster didnt you?  

Prince Buster and the Rhythm Doctors

MARK -     Yeah we did.. dream come true. Had no idea I would do something like that.. from a little joke group in a basement to playing for 5,000 people and making and being part of reggae's history. Its a trip. I don't think the old group could have pulled it off the way we did it. Cramming for the rehearsals.. the level of play has increased. No doubt.. every leg of the journey.   MARK -     Eric Kohler from the Reggae Nucleus and Mark Gorney who helps the band with gigs and booking and manager advise.  Buster needed a backing band and he had a choice of us, Skatalites, Dominoes and Johns Browns Body..  I have a newspaper clipping from Jamaica.. talking about what we did and a little quote by me.. haha.  He wanted us to record "Downbeat Burial" in his studio, he was feelin out style on his songs..  

KYLE -     haha really? youre quoted in a Jamaican newspaper?  that must be a good feeling, capturing the real roots of the music.

MARK -     Yeah..  very cool

KYLE -     So did you guys end up recording with him?

MARK -     I think since the tours never happened he just abandoned everything..  spent alot of time with group talking to us..  it was super dope.  

KYLE -     yeah that must have been amazing.

MARK -     and later that year we work with Scientist and almost see a recording session happen.. just good things happening... in its own time.  

KYLE -  Wow, Scientist as well? I didnt know that, tell me more about the Scientist connection.

MARK -     Knitting Factory,  April Weller needed a backing band and Eric Kohler came thru again! Had one rehearsal and we did it. Scientist liked the group. loved the new demo,  let him hear the old album. He thought the organ songs sounded just like the Upsetters, but kinda laughed at Brians dubs..  then he kinda went crazy.. and ended the April connection and now we work with April without Scientist.  He wanted to record at USC for April and mix and dub our songs as well.  I wish the studio was available at the time! Man! That would have been super maximum dope ness

KYLE -     Yeah wow, Scientist is one of the absolute greatest when it comes to mixing dubs.   

MARK -     Talented guy.. Cypriano really took notice when he was helping him engineer..  

KYLE -     Can you tell me more about Cypriano?  

MARK -     Hailing from USC 's audio school.  He is my brothers roommate as well.. ..  musically talented..  recording the group since  the break from the old members..   dubs us live as well... its like another instrument..  

KYLE -     is there any strictly dub versions of any of your new songs that Cypriano mixed that people can check out?

MARK -     check out our mp3 site .

KYLE - I wanna ask you about the Steady Ups, because I heard that you were supposed to fill in on keyboards for the Steady Ups when they came down here in Sep of 2000, what happened with that?

MARK -     Never called me back.  I was into it.  I wanted them to play some of my songs.. as well. Maybe they didn't like that. Korey tried to get us to do a old RD line up show.. but Earl didn't want to play with Brian and Jesse..  but to be honest I don't think I would enjoy it..  

KYLE -     Oh really? What made Korey think to do that? were you into that idea?

MARK - Cuz I think he is the scene more than I, and sees people kinda copy what we did.. but most of that stuff we did was almost all of my ideas, like tying in songs.. thats just what other reggae groups do..

KYLE -     Speaking of other bands playing reggae, what do you think of this move towards reggae and dub thats happening in the ska scene these days?  

MARK -     Musical progression.  Glad to see it happen. Maybe they will do more styles as well.. non Jamaican!   thats what we are more geared to.. late 70s and 80s steppers riddims.. and open it more to hip hop as well.  

KYLE -     Yeah I have definitly noticed the 80s Rub-A-Dub dancehall vibe in your newer material with Romey Dee in there toasting.  Can you tell more about Romey and how he came to be in the band?

MARK -     He replied to a article saying we were looking for a guitarist..  he called me , that he is a vocalist.  Came down and vibed with the riddims and was down..  its good to see that we play in gear towards his style instead of playing an off tangent from his material.  

KYLE -     Was he doing a solo dancehall thing before he joined the band?

MARK -     Yeah.. he was.. and still is.. its Romy Dee  backed by the RDs,  he had a hit in the mid 90s  "Paugh Paugh"

KYLE -    Oh I see, so in a way there's Romey Dee and the Rhythm Doctors and then theres also just the Rhythm Doctors?

MARK -     we can do just a dub set by ourselves and do our own riddims.. too..  like the Roots Radics..  

KYLE -     Yes.  Do you still have any new songs played in that heavy organ Upsetters style?

MARK -     Its all in my head bro.  I can write ten albums.  All different styles of that style. not just one tempo and arrangement.  I will do another album like "Reggae Injection".  

KYLE -     Why dont you guys play as much in the ska scene anymore?  Are you totally breaking from that scene and moving or or do you plan to come back and play those shows as well as other types?

MARK -     Ska scene aren't into or want us to play...  or maybe Luis just doesn't think we fit..  I mean look at us now.  What new things we do and then look at the two guys that  are in SeeSpot.. back to the old...  i think ultimately thats what the scene is for.  People who love the old.  I don't wanna dog  on the old skool  cuz I have much respect for it all   i am very much influenced by it..  But as a musician, how hard is it to sound like someone else?..   Its much harder to make your own identity..  but you can still derive from the roots! thats what the Rhythm Doctors were meant to do! And do?

KYLE -     But dont you think maybe what the Rhythm Doctors do, it might open doors for sounds that people in the ska scene werent willing to try out?  

MARK -     Did you see us play the Troubador last?  

KYLE -   No i didnt

MARK -  We had Romy and April and Evan playing his flute and Cypriano doing his first live dub thing... maybe it was just coincidence but The Irie Beats played some show like a month later at Fais Do Do and they have a flute player and some black dood trying to toast over their riddims..  and they were doing dancehall.. as far as I know they usually don't do that.. so I think you are right. if we do play.. things will change.. maybe they don't want that.. ??

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Romey D