By Nick Bynum of Rock Edition
Hawaiian trio Pepper has been around the block, to say the least. Forming in 1997, the group has not only released numerous studio albums, but they’ve also continued to tour extensively (with the likes of 311, Slightly Stoopid, and Flogging Molly, among others). After the release of ‘Pink Crustaceans and Good Vibrations’ in 2008, the guys were busy on the road and didn’t release anything new until their 2010 EP ‘Stiches.’ Rekindling the fire within to make another full-length and show their fans where they are today, Pepper’s sixth studio album, which was produced by Matt Wallace (Maroon 5, Faith No More, O.A.R.), will hit stores — or should we say shores? —on September 3. Drummer Yesod Williams describes it as a record that “feels very cohesive in a way our past releases maybe didn’t.” Maintaining their fun, beach-hangout sound, the trio’s new self-titled album broadens their style and reaches out to fill the ears of a wider audience.
Who came up with the band name?
Bret and Kaleo spawned it and then brought it to me where we had a long, deep conversation. It went like this: “Yo Yee, we thought of an idea for a name — Pepper — what you think?” And then I said, “Epic. Let’s practice so we can go surf after!”
Was there a selection process?
Not at all. We were like 16 or 17. I don’t think there was much of a process in any aspect of our life back then. [laughs] Especially being from Kona. “Hawaiian time” really equates at times to “going with the flow”.
Is there a particular meaning behind the name?
You’ll need to reference an SNL skit from the early ’90s that featured Kevin Nealon and Kirstie Alley as patrons in an Italian restaurant and their servers/bus boys, essentially the “pepper boys” (Adam Sandler, Rob Schneider, and more).
What’s the best name that you considered but rejected?
Big Night Jogging. We were a bit more ska back then on our first album ‘Give’n It.’
What’s the worst name that you considered using?
Any regrets about the name you chose?
Yes, and the “where’s salt?” jokes! But I’m pretty sure we can handle it. [laughs]