Yesod Williams and his band Pepper have been cherished in the Colorado community since their entrance on the reggae-rock scene in the ’90s.  The group has their eighth studio album on the way and is taking on a huge summer tour this year. Included on this tour are two stops in Colorado, one of which will be at our beloved ARISE festival. 

ARISE Festival is just around the corner, and it is never too early to get to know the incredible acts that will be providing the audial entertainment for the best weekend of the summer. We chatted it up with Yesod Williams, the drummer for the group about what they are excited about and how they consider Colorado a second home.

303 Magazine: Thank you so much for chatting with us. Colorado has a big fan base here for you guys and you have played here often. Are you excited to return after last summer?

Yesod Williams: Oh yeah, we have always had such a strong response from Colorado. It has become a second home to us.

303: Since you were last here, you have said you are working on new music. How close is that new music to coming out?

YW: I would say right now we are about halfway done with our new album. We are hoping to have it completed by the end of this summer tour.

303:  How was the process for creating this new music different than with past projects?

YW: Every experience creating is different. With this album, the production is definitely much more stripped down from the ground up.

303:  You are playing the sixth year of ARISE Festival this summer. This festival is known as Colorado’s fastest growing music festival. What is exciting to you about being part of that?

YW: I mean, just that right there alone. Anytime we get to play Colorado outdoors is a treat for us. Especially with the other acts that will be there, like Trevor Hall. We are so excited to see some of our friends that are playing the festival.

303:  ARISE is known for being more than a music festival, as it encompasses all that is Colorado. What does a Colorado Festival mean to you?

YW: I think a Colorado festival is about more than music. It is about the people and people with like-mindedness.

303:  There is going to be yoga, workshops, theme camps, an art gallery and activism at ARISE. Do you think you will be joining in on any of the activities?

YW: Actually, I want to call Kaleo [Wassman] and tell him about the yoga! We love yoga, and he is a yoga instructor. We will be excited to join in on the activities.

303:  Are there any other acts that you are excited to share the stage with?

YW: So many, almost all of them. Probably most will be Stick Figure and Slightly Stoopid.

303: What else should fans know about Pepper as they prepare for ARISE?

YW: Probably just that we are so excited to meet everyone. Sometimes fans are afraid to come and say hi, but we love it. Come say hi, come bother us. Fans are ohana.

This interview has been condensed and edited for length and clarity. Information and tickets for the ARISE festival can be found here