No Doubt began at the same place that most things took place in Southern California in the late 80s: At a Dairy Queen. Eric Stefani and his sister Gwen worked at the brazier restaurant when Eric had the idea to start a band. After gathering a full line-up, No Doubt toured locally wherever they could score a concert date. After attending one of No Doubt's first concert dates, Tony Kanal replaced the original bassist in the line-up. In 1987, No Doubt's lead singer, John Spence, committed suicide, leaving the singing duties to Gwen. Tom Dumont left his heavy metal band in 1988 and joined No Doubt as their guitarist, and the next year Adrian Young became the group's new drummer.
Impressed by the group's high energy concert dates, No Doubt was one of the first bands to be signed to Interscope Records. No Doubt's debut, self-titled album was released in 1992 but became lost in the shuffle of grunge music. The album failed to achieve commercial success and No Doubt set out on a tour without the support of Interscope. The label pretty much abandoned No Doubt and Eric Stefani left in 1994 to resume his successful career as an animator. No Doubt made one last grasp at straws by independently recording their second album, The Beacon Street Collection. They incorporated punk and grunge styles with their ska sound to appeal to a broader audience and the record ended up selling three times as many copies as their first effort.
Interscope's attention was immediately returned and the label produced No Doubt's third album, Tragic Kingdom. The record was released in 1995 and became a huge success, earning the band two Grammy nominations and prompting headlining tours. No Doubt released their third album, Return of Saturn, in 2000. The album became critically and commercially successful, despite not surpassing the success of their previous album. No Doubt pursued a different musical direction with their 2001 album, Rock Steady, which was heavily influenced by Jamaican dancehall.
No Doubt went on a touring and recoding hiatus in 2004 following Stefani's involvement in her solo project. Stefani made her records while the other members of the band contributed to projects by various other artists. By 2008, the band had announced that they were planning on reuniting and had begin preliminary work on new material. Three years later, the band has announced that recording has begun for the new album. Fans are elated, as a new album means new music and new music means many concert dates, despite the disappointment of no 2011 tour.
Nico Vega: For us Nico Vega is a way of life. We are 3 people who play music together. We write as a band and help each other develop our ideas. The root of the music is the relationship between us. Nico Vega is about collaboration. We are a family and we honor each other by listening and allowing each other to grow. We push each other to be better and to carry each other when we feel weak.
The Aggrolites: "The group's upbeat, soul-infused reggae attack puts the rock back in rocksteady. Mixing ska, Motown and punk-rock energy with Jamaican rhythm, The Aggrolites tear it up with the intensity of The Clash and the heart of the Caribbean." - Ink Magazine (February 2009)
The Aggrolites are more than a band they are a movement unto themselves. They carry a banner - one created with their own hands. This banner reads, "Dirty Reggae," and represents their signature fusion of reggae, soul, grit and determination. For seven magnificent years, this dirty reggae bunch has rolled from city to city, across the pond and up main street USA. They rally the kids, the parents, the students, the cops, the bosses and the drifters. The people come, they relish in The Aggrolites, the dirty reggae and the joy that comes with it all. The liberating rhythms and catchy grooves demand a return trip.
Out of the Los Angeles school of hard knocks, The Aggrolites have earned a Ph.D in "feel good music." On the road they educate with the thunder and punch of the reggae drums and bass, the ripping, soulful melodies of the organ and guitars, and Jesse Wagner’s voice - a gift from the heavens, a perfectly intact gift from Otis, Sam, Ray and Wilson.
The Aggrolites have a specific way of making music. They don't over think it, they don't obsess over pop culture demands, they walk onto a stage or into a recording studio and let "it" happen - a culmination of inspiration - from the road, from playing along side music legends, and from the energy and motivation of their die hard fans. A new album is due for release in June 2009 and they call it IV. It is a definitive chapter in The Aggrolites journey with 21 tracks; each one a story of their struggle to thrive and their quest to spread soulful music around the globe.
So, when you are in the mood to drop your troubles and kick your baggage to the curb, call on The Aggrolites. Forget yourself and feel the dirty reggae!
The Aggrolites are Jesse Wagner (vocals, lead guitar), Brian Dixon (rhythm guitar), Roger Rivas (organ) and Jeff Roffredo (bass).
They have three full-length albums to their credit -- Dirty Reggae (Axe 2003), The Aggrolites (Hellcat 2006) and Reggae Hit L.A. (Hellcat 2007), featuring the hit "Free Time." "A glorious, surprising treat. Ideal for your next soul shakedown party," raved Peter Relic from Rolling Stone about Reggae Hit L.A.
Their songs are featured on the 2008 Vans Warped Tour Compilation and numerous Give ‘Em The Boot compilations on Hellcat. In 2007, the band also collaborated with Rancid front-man Tim Armstrong on his solo A Poet's Life (Hellcat 2007) CD/DVD release.
The Aggrolites are well represented in film, television and video games. Their songs have been featured in NBC's Friday Night Lights, MTV's The Hills, Nick Jr.'s Yo Gabba Gabba, USA's Dr. Steve-O, MavTV's Rad Girls, the award-winning surf film The Pursuit, and Australian video game Cricket. The Aggros-backed, Tim Armstrong and Skye Sweetnam duet, "Into Action," is featured in Dream Works Pictures' Hotel For Dogs. Their renditions of The Specials' "Ghost Town" and Musical Youth's "Pass The Dutchie" will be heard in the upcoming teen surf comedy Endless Bummer, and "Free Time" will be in Walden Media's musical-romantic comedy Band Slam.
The Aggrolites have shared the stage with Social Distortion, Madness, Rancid, Flogging Molly, 311, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Dropkick Murphys, The Vandals, Against Me!, The Aquabats, Hepcat, The Skatalites, Prince Buster and Derrick Morgan. They have graced the stages at such notable events as Vans Warped Tour, SXSW, Bumbershoot, CMJ, Sundance Film Festival, L.A. Film Fest, Sunset Junction, Detour Music Fest, KROQ’s Weenie Roast, 94/9 Independence Jam and Ragga Muffins Fest. In 2009, they will add Coachella and Lowlands to this growing festival list.