Myrtle Beach will rock once again this Friday as the latest installment of the House of Blues local music series Myrtle Beach Rocks! Reggae takes the stage at the North Myrtle Beach venue.
This showcase — the first to highlight the humble vibes of the Reggae genre — will feature four of the regions hottest bands including local acts Treehouse and Jah Harvest, Charleston’s The Dubplates and a New Jersey group with S.C. ties called Simple Minded Budz.
Seeing as we’ve recently featured both Jah Harvest (
) and Treehouse (
), we decided to catch up with vocalist/guitarist Joey Collepardi of Simple Minded Budz. The New Jersey native — who lives in Myrtle Beach while attending HGTC — is one piece of the Jersey-based quartet which also includes Mike Crosson (drums), Ray Worrick (bass) and Henry Wimberg (guitar).
With today being 4/20, we talked with Collepardi about not just his band’s music but also their love of smoking marijuana and why pot is such an important part of the Reggae music culture:
Myrtle Beach Music: Simple Minded Budz
Tell me a little about your background and how Simple Minded Budz came together?
We started the core of us, me, the singer, guitar player, drummer and bass player met when we were freshmen in high school. I came from a different town and went to their high school and we just started playing and been doing it for about 6 years now.
When we were younger we kinda just started smoking a lot of pot and, you know, we just started listening to a lot of Reggae music at that time and it just expanded from there.
How would you categorize your sound?
We describe our sound as a newer kind of Roots Reggae. Like a future Roots Reggae band I’d say. But really it’s a little bit of everything from Reggae, we like all styles.
What are some of your influences in the Reggae community?
Jah Brown, Groundnation, Steel Pulse, Tribal Seeds, SOJA and probably just all the Marleys.
What’s been your experience playing in Myrtle Beach?
Well, I’ve actually lived here fro the past two years going to school here at [Horry-Georgetown] Tech.
But we’re actually not local. My band came down here during first semester and we played a lot but they went back to Jersey for second semester and I’ll head back there to play some shows.
Then when I head back in the summer we have an agent and we’ll get booked back in and around Jersey.
What’s it like playing in Jersey, is it really all just Jersey Shore wannabees, or is there a big scene for Reggae music up that way?
[laughs] Well, there’s really more of a scene where I’m from for Rap and Hardcore, but I’d say that Reggae is starting to become really popular. Our generation is definitely building a strong fan base for Reggae music.
I would say it’s definitely more popular here in South Carolina, but it’s starting to grow a lot.
Myrtle Beach Music: Joey Collepardi of Simple Minded Budz
How did you get the name Simple Minded Budz?
Originally our name was Global Chill way back in the day. S.M.B. was just something we’d tag all over school and on the walls, and then eventually we came up with a name for it.
I would describe what it really means as “simple-minded” meaning not needing much and being thankful for everything and humble. And then “budz” is really just a double meaning for friends and also incorporating the weed for the Reggae vibe.
So you guys are obviously pot smokers. Is it something you’d say that you do just for fun or is there something deeper to smoking for you?
No, it’s definitely not just a fun thing. I mean we’re always smoking when we’re playing and it definitely inspires us.
Bob Marley used to say that marijuana opened up a spiritual door which allowed him to become the artist and poet he was meant to be. Do you feel like getting high helps you to write or perform your music?
Most definitely. It’s just something we do every day and it’s good for all things really. It’s good for relaxation, it’s medication, it’s meditation. Playing music in itself is meditation, but when you’re smoking and playing it’s kinda an ultimate meditation.
We’ll do an album and there’s definitely a lot of different things we’ll throw in about smoking weed, but not really. To us, it’s more about sending a good positive message in our music than it is just talking about smoking all the time.
There’s really only one track on the album that’s about smoking and how we feel about it.
You have a song named “Roll A Dub,” do you remember the first time you tried to roll a dub?
“Roll a Dub” is an old recording we did back in high school. [laughs] I do remember the first time I tried to roll a dub...it didn’t come out too good. It was definitely a little sloppy.
But we just smoke strictly glass now, it’s better for you.
Do you have any favorite songs about smoking pot?
Oh, dude that’s a tough one. I’ll have to send you around the room for that one. [Asks around] We’ve got “Legalize It” by Peter Tosh, “The Garden” by Tribal Seeds...I don’t know there’s a lot of good ones.
Do you think the U.S. will ever fully legalize marijuana?
I do think they’ll legalize it. I don’t know when, but we’re hoping tomorrow. But yeah eventually I think everyone will realize what’s up.
Do you have any special plans for 4/20 this year?
Well, once you get out of class it’s just right to the smoking. And of course before class too. Right when you wake up in the morning you gotta wake and bake you know.
Right on. To reign it back in to music a little, where are you guys at in the process of releasing an album?
We’re done with all the songs and writing them for the album. We have about 3-4 great recordings that have all the instruments — the horns and the kayboards and everything — ready to go.
We’re hoping to finish the album, which should be about 14-15 songs, in May. Right when I get home we’ll go at it and then we’re going to start playing shows again.
What about touring? Any plans to come back down this way over the summer?
Yeah well, we’ll be back in Jersey all summer, but we want to plan some kind of tour of the East Coast from South Carolina to Jersey with stops in Virginia, Baltimore, etc. We’re hoping to set that up for next winter.
And what can fans expect from the live show on Friday night?
We’ve never played in a place as big as the House of Blues. We played a big show one time in Philadelphia on South Street, but that will be second to this one. I’m really excited for this.
We’ll just bring a lot of energy and good vibes. And we actually have a saxaphone player down here that goes to Coastal — he’s in the jazz band — named Josh Maxwell and he’ll be playing with us too. So that will be cool.
or find more info on the show at