Naples, Fl-based reggae-rock band SOWFLO are releasing their latest album New Shoes on March 15th and their lead singer, Jacob Dorris recently took some time to talk to us about its production and the history of the band.
ALTWIRE: For our readers could you please tell us about yourselves, the history of the band, and your musical style?
Jacob Dorris [SOWFLO]: SOWFLO is a reggae-rock band. Our band name is an acronym for the area we’re based out of, Southwest FL. We’ve been nationally touring the United States for about 5 years and we’re about to release our 2nd full-length album titled, New Shoes on March 15.
ALTWIRE: Who have been your greatest musical influences?
Jacob Dorris [SOWFLO]: Our musical influence comes from many different styles of music. You’re guaranteed to hear a few of those styles come into play on this new album. I would say, for the most part, our introduction to reggae at a young age was mostly through Bob Marley, Sublime, Slightly Stoopid… (like most American kids discovering reggae for the first time), but we all pretty much grew up listening to a lot of rock & roll too.
Nowadays, each of us is listening to way different music than the other, but this makes for great writing sessions & even better for 14-hour van rides. We’re also constantly picking things up from other bands who we play with on the road and adding them to our sound. The learning never stops.
ALTWIRE: What has been a major highlight throughout your career?
Jacob Dorris [SOWFLO]: SOWFLO traveled to Kingston Jamaica to record a song called “Farmer In Suburbia” at Bob Marley’s, Tuff Gong Recording Studio. That would probably be one of our biggest honors and highlights to date. Our last album, Such Is Life reached the top 5 on Reggae Billboard charts and was a huge accomplishment for us because we did that with almost no resources, no label, management, PR, etc.
We may have had no idea what we were doing at the time, but our work ethic made up for our inexperience. We are proud to have accomplished what we have thus far. Now that we’ve teamed up with Space Duck Records, Earshot Media, and Ingrooves, there’s no telling what we can accomplish in 2019!
ALTWIRE: What was the writing process like for “New Shoes”? How did you decide which songs to choose for the album?
Jacob Dorris [SOWFLO]: We brought 25-30 songs to the table. Whether it was a completed song or just a half-song with a verse and a chorus, with our producer (6-time Grammy winner) Marc Lee, we carefully selected our 10 best tracks. Much of the music for New Shoes was written while we were at the recording studio, though not all of it. Some of our ideas came from old voice recordings we had on our phones from the last tour, and others from songwriting sessions leading up to this album.
Lyrically I’m more inspired when the band is out on the road. You can’t pay for that experience, and it fills me up when I’m out there. I wrote the lyrics for “Hitchhiker”, “Armagideon”, “New Shoes” and probably most of the songs from this album all while we were on tour.
ALTWIRE: What message would you like to send your fans?
Jacob Dorris [SOWFLO]: Go pick up the new SOWFLO album, New Shoes everywhere you stream or buy music. And check out our social media (@sowflo) to see when we’re going to be touring in your area. We’d love to see you out at a live show! Much love.