The Black Seeds

The Black Seeds

About The Black Seeds from Wellington

The Black Seeds are an 8-piece, Wellington band that have carved out their reputation on the back of two double-platinum selling albums, and a masterful 8-piece live show regarded as one of the finest in New Zealand.

On August 11, The Black Seeds independently released their highly anticipated fourth studio album ‘Solid Ground’ in New Zealand through Rhythmethod and DRM. Solid Ground is the follow-up to The Black Seeds’ third album Into The Dojo, which spent 5 weeks at #1, reached well over double-platinum sales in New Zealand, and garnered critical acclaim and strong airplay both at home and in Europe.

Hailing from Wellington, and led by the vocals of Barnaby Weir and Daniel Weetman, at their core The Black Seeds’ produce a boundary-crossing fusion of dub, funk, afrobeat and soul, mixed with a vintage reggae base. It is The Black Seeds unique style and ability of layering supremely infectious grooves and melodies over raw, undiluted roots music that has set them apart and now sees their music spreading quickly throughout the globe. Importance is placed on maintaining their own original interpretations in their music and staying true to their own local culture and values.

Lyrically the Black Seeds’ music expresses messages and sentiments on different levels. Personal triumphs and failures, the fear of Love, death and apathy, relationships - good and bad, and personal insights into their lives in New Zealand. But, ultimately The Black Seeds lyrics and music is always underpined with an optimistic undertone, even when confronting hard truths or lessons learned.

Onstage, The Black Seeds ability to connect with their audience has gained them a reputation as one of New Zealand’s finest live acts. Effortlessly gliding between big-beat funk and deep roots-reggae, their dynamic, supremely danceable, live show delivers a freight train of flavour to the people, on time, every time. Whether it’s a summer festival, or club show, the raw energy of The Black Seeds’ live show always hits the mark.

The Black Seeds’ headquarters is the legendary ‘Surgery’ studio in Newtown, Wellington. A former Karate Dojo, the condemned building won over the band’s sound engineer Lee Prebble, who took advantage of the cheap rent to set up the studio which has been responsible for churning out some of New Zealand’s most memorable albums (The Phoenix Foundation, Trinity Roots etc). The Surgery is the practice room, recording studio, and general hangout space for the band, with all four of their albums jammed and produced there.

The band first started turning heads with the release of their debut album, Keep On Pushing through New Zealand indie label Loop Recordings in 2001. The album received widespread critical acclaim and reached platinum sales on a tiny marketing budget. Keep On Pushing was released in Australia through Shock Records and in France, Belgium and Switzerland through Productions Speciales, with the first single reaching No. 29 in France’s ‘Groove’ charts and No. 100 in the overall French single charts.

The second studio album, 2004’s On The Sun, added a heavy dose of funk and soul to the dub reggae sound that underpinned their debut. On The Sun debuted at No. 3 on the New Zealand album charts, achieving double platinum sales and solidifying the Black Seeds’ status as one of the New Zealands’s premier groups. The single So True was one of the most popular and highly played New Zealand songs of 2005, while singles Turn It Around and Fire received widespread airplay on student radio. In 2005 On the Sun was again released in Australia through Shock Records.

In July 2007, the band released their third album Into the Dojo in New Zealand. Spending five consecutive weeks at No. 1, and 45 weeks in the album charts, the album has sold well over double-platinum sales and spawned four radio hits with singles Sometimes Enough, Cool Me Down, One By One and The Answer (Europe). While still retaining the band’s essential reggae/dub/funk roots, Into the Dojo showed a great deal of development in the group’s sound and saw song-writing duties shared between the band, with Daniel Weetman joining Barnaby Weir on lead vocals for the first time.

After signing a record deal with Berlin-based German label Sonar Kollektiv, Into The Dojo was successfully released in Europe in 2007, supported by two 12’’ vinyl EP’s. (Best Seven/Sonar Kollecitv)

The album received widespread critical acclaim and strong airplay, particularly in Germany and France where it received high rotate airplay and was featured as ‘Album Of The Week’’ on stations such as Radio Nova (France), Radio Eins (Germany) and more.

Tracks from the album featured on prominent compilations such as the highly respected Nova Tunes 07 (alongside songs from Radiohead, Jose Gonazales and others) and Best Seven Selections. The Answer featured as iTunes France’s ‘Single of the week’ and the album has achieved solid sales, resulting in ever-increasing attention for the band in Europe.

To support the release the band completed a third, 19-show European tour which included sellout shows in Berlin (x3); the Edinburgh Fringe Festival (x3); The Mean Fiddler, London; La Bellevilloise, Paris; a live performance on the BBC’s Craig Charles Funk and Soul Show; a performance at Holland’s biggest (60,000 people) festival; Lowlands, 07, and many more.

Into The Dojo was also successfully released in Australia through Remote Control Records. In December 2006 the band performed standout shows at Australia’s biggest New Year music festivals The Falls Festival and Southbound.


After spending the New Zealand 07/08 summer months writing, jamming and workshopping in beach-house locations around Wellington, The Black Seeds released their new, 13-track album ‘Solid Ground’ in New Zealand on August 11, 2008.

Joined for the first time on an album by trumpet player Andrew Christiansen and keyboardist Nigel Patterson, Solid Ground has come on the back of 2 years of extensive New Zealand and international live touring, resulting in a constantly evolving, 8-member creative process.

Recorded again with Dr Lee Prebble at The Surgery, the result is an album which truly reflects the sum of the parts, and that is more closely intertwined with band member’s personal lives and experiences – both musically and lyrically. Solid Ground is The Black Seeds most powerful, confident and heavy-hitting album to date.

Produced by Mike Fabulous, the album oozes with The Black Seeds distinctive flavour – from the heavy-hitting, Karma-inspired first single ‘Slingshot’, to darker reggae/dub-infused tracks like ‘Send a Message’ and ‘The Bubble’, to infectious reggae gems like ‘Love Is A Radiation’, ‘Come To Me’ and ‘Bulletproof’, and the funk/soul filled ‘Rotten Apple’ and ‘Afrophone’

The heavy-hitting, first single ‘Slingshot’ is now available and can be heard on New Zealand readio and TV. The video was produced and directed by Wellington company Mofresh and the video will be release to music TV from July 14th.

Solid Ground will be released simultaneously in Europe through Sonar Kollektiv. The Black Seeds will complete a 23-show European tour in July/August, including performances at some of Europe’s biggest festivals. (Roskilde Festival, The Lovebox Weekender, The Summerjam, Splash and Garance Festivals, the Rip Curl Boardmasters etc) before returning to New Zealand for a full, nationwide album release tour in September.

The band expect announce Australian release and tour details in the near future, and, after recently signing a U.S management deal with Loop North America, expect to release and tour the new album in the U.S in late 2008.

The Black Seeds are:

Barnaby Weir – Vocals & Guitar

Daniel Weetman – Vocals & Percussion

Mike Fabulous – Guitar & Percussion

Nigel Patterson – Keyboard

Jarney T Murphy – Drums

Tim Jaray – Bass

Jabin Ward – Sax

Andrew Christiansen – Trumpet

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