The legendary, wildly eccentric Lee “Scratch” Perry is hitting the Williamsburg Hall of Music for the Dub Champions Festival. He’ll be playing a set backed by Subatomic Sound System with opening sets from special guests. We got a chance to have a short chat with the dub reggae inventor and mentor to Bob Marley. Read that below, and head to the official Dub Champions Festival website for more info on tonight’s show.
Interview by Verbatum Jones
You’ve collaborated with so many artists in your lifetime. Are there any requirements for getting Lee “Scratch” Perry on a collaboration?
Yeah. When I work with people it needs to have spiritual vibrations. It’s all about spiritual vibrations. Feel it when people get together. The spiritual, spiritual vibrations. That feeling sensation, spiritual vibrations.
How long have you been performing your music?
You are in your 70s now. How long do you plan to keep performing music? What keeps you going?
A life of love and happiness, pure and perfect. We should be positive and explode. Explode positivity. Explode you know, like “boom.” [Laughs] A life with Jah. “Boom!”
What advice would you give an artist trying to find their sound?
Jah. God my father, who lives in I. My father Jah who art in heaven. My father Jah who lives in I. My father who art in heaven, who art in I.
When people in the audience are looking up at you performing, what are you feeling?
I feel the same energy on their faces. One energy shared. I feel the same. Spiritual connections. [Laughs] We are the same same.
What style would you say represents you best?
I represent Jah the father. I represent Jamaica. I represent My father Jah who art in heaven, and in I.