Wie wir die Welt ein bisschen besser machen können – ein Interview mit Zigo von Dub Inc
Geschrieben von Luna Baumann Dominguez an 2023-01-02
Radio Q Reporterin Luna Baumann Dominguez hat am 3. Dezember 2022 die französische Reggae Band Dub Inc im Zenith in Paris – bei ihrem letzten Konzert der Tour 2022 – interviewt. Zu Besuch waren um die 6000 Besucher*innen. In einem sehr persönlichen Gespräch konnte sie unter anderem erfahren, welche Lebensphilosophie die 7 köpfige Band pflegt und wie sie dazu beitragen, die Welt wenigstens ein bisschen besser zu machen.
Radio Q: At the moment you’re at the end of your tour. How is your energy level right now?
Zigo: Right now? Right now I think I’m a bit tired. I have to say that I don’t really like the last day of the tour, because it’s always sad. We’ve spent, I think, six months on the road. From South America to the USA and Europe. So it was a really great tour, honestly. Before we stopped touring two and a half years ago. That’s totally unusual for us. And that was hard to stop. So, finally we went back on the road and we didn’t expect so many people around us because we stopped communicating during Covid, even on social media. So when we finally realized that there were some people in our show it was so great because the energy is great. And we know that it’s going to be a crazy show tonight. But I don’t like to expect to stop after the show, so it’s a mixed energy.
Radio Q: Oh that sounds good but also sad. I can imagine. What was the vision of Dub Inc when it was founded in the late nineties?
Zigo: At the real beginning? We were three band members performing in high school. It was just a band made of friends. And we mixed dub and metal music. So there was no real vision about a career. Just trying to make some good music and having fun. But then everything came quickly. This version of Dub Inc stayed for one year. Then Bouchkour and Komlan, the two singers, joined the band. And then suddenly everything changed. Especially we did more reggae music with Arabic influences. And then at the first show in 1998… I remember exactly how I felt that day on stage… I said: Wow, something is happening! Because we really made it exactly the same way on stage. And after the show, we say, okay, now we have to spend our life on the road because it was too great. It was like a first shot for, you know, drug addict? So 25 years later we were still there and having the same fun while making music.
Radio Q: So you didn’t expect to become successful like this with music?
Zigo: No, Never.
Radio Q: Interesting! Hakim says in your documentary, you all work differently. When you’re producing, how do you manage to combinate your differences by making music?
Zigo: It’s just talking together and accepting each other and taking time to think. But there is no key. Sometimes your ego wants to be first, but then you realize maybe the others are right. So everybody listens to everybody. That’s all. Now it feels natural for us. Just at the beginning, sometimes we had some arguments. But now when we start to work on a new album it is going easy. … Yes, I think the idea is to take time. Sometimes we have a good song, but maybe we have to take a step backward and come back and suddenly someone has an idea. He thinks he has the super good idea, but if not everybody feels it, you just have to accept and let the magic be first, you know?
Radio Q: Maybe you have the luck to have this magic and harmony in your band!
Zigo: I think so, because I think there is not so much ego, just a bit. Everybody has his own ego. But not enough to argue. When you feel that you’re in the wrong way compared to the others, you just let them do. But we also trust each other a lot. For example: Sometimes I do my drum parts and someone says “Oh I’m not sure about it. Maybe it’s too much.” Maybe the day after I will change it. But if I tell them no. Trust me, I’m sure about it. They will let me do. And that’s for everybody the same.
Radio Q: This is very nice! Let’s talk about your music. It is very political. For example the song “À Travers Les Vagues” you also did with Mellow Mood. It’s about migrants drowning in the Mediterranean. And today, unfortunately, this is still a topic. And for example, in the middle of November, I guess 234 people were saved by Ocean Viking and they were brought to France. But many of them should be deported. And for the organization SOS Méditerranée you have donated 40,000 Euros. What statement would you like to make about this situation?
Zigo: Well, just three days ago We were on the Ocean Viking, to meet the people again. And this is probably our main fight for 20 years. We help a lot of different organizations. But this organization is probably the one that touches the most of us. It would be too long to talk about it. But, I will make it short: We need to help people, and that’s something we have tried to do since the beginning. We tell the people: Open your mind. Just watch us. We are seven different people from different social origins, geographical origins, and we make something positive together. So we try to say that, and after that we say, help each other. But it’s a long topic, because this organization makes something natural and something about the law. You can’t let somebody sink in the sea. It’s international law, but as people coming mainly from Africa, we don’t want to save these people. And this is something absolutely inhuman. And I will say that people who let them sink will be judged someday, like people who made war in the Second World War, they will be judged because we notice everything about who let them sink in the sea. So it became one of our main fights now.
Radio Q: I know you are doing a lot of projects. But are you planning new projects to help people in the future?
Zigo: We do. Every day. We sell plastic glasses to drink at every venue in France. You pay 1 Euro and you have your own Dub Inc glass. We also asked this venue to sell our glasses tonight. We give the money to different organizations like Sea Shepherd or yesterday it was some organization that buys ski chairs for people who don’t have legs. We always support different organizations. Another day it was hygiene articles for women who don’t have money to buy them. So we try to make different things every day. Or for students who can’t afford food. Every day on the tour we ask the venue to take part of this. We try to choose a local project every day.
Radio Q: So you have different projects. The money you get goes to different organizations.
Zigo: Yeah. For years we have been doing this. We made a special page on our website just for the people to know, because sometimes people don’t know whom they want to help. So there’s a page where you can see every organization we are helping and you can link them and help them and also see where the money is for. For example SOS Méditerranée. Sometimes people ask “How can we check where the money goes?” So they can check our website and see.
Radio Q: Very nice! Let’s move to another topic. How did you get inspired during Corona to make new music? Because normally you are traveling through Africa and other countries to get inspiration. But during Corona – people can also see this in your documentary – It wasn’t possible for you.
Zigo: No, but it’s a topic itself. I mean, this situation made us see that, for example, things can stop sometimes. And we discovered that we also can stop and take time. We realized also for the environment that it could be good sometimes that the modern world stops a bit. And I would say more generally that we dig more deep inside of us about personal things, personal situations, and also the writings of the two singers have changed a bit. There are two meanings sometimes in what they write.
Radio Q: You mean they have been more creative during this time?
Zigo: I think so, yeah. Because, usually when we travel, they have immediate inspiration about this or that, and then they have to dig more inside. And I like this album for that because the way they write it is a bit different from the usuals.
Radio Q: And maybe you also get inspiration from other artists? For example Alborosie. You also did a song with him.
Zigo: Probably for the album it was maybe different because it’s a more simple song about bad boys and people who pretend to be bad boys. In my opinion it is a light topic but in a very sound system style. And that’s what we wanted to do. But there are some like “Allons Leur Dire” which is the first single we made, and has a double meaning. For example, it’s a one positive message and also one message saying that the world is probably going, by the way. It says that the next generation has to stay positive to make the world good.
Radio Q: This answer is perfect because I also want to talk about your album “Futur”. It’s much about cohesion, future and that people should unite. And I really like the song “Melodie Rebelle”. In this song are sentences like “we fight to make life more beautiful” or “we stay in peace, even if the world is brutal”. Is there a connection to actual situations in the world?
Zigo: It’s a very deep question. And this song is also very deep. I couldn’t answer right now.
Radio Q: Okay. But I am sure you can answer the next one: What would you say? How can people fight to make life more beautiful?
Zigo: My vision is that, in this world, actually, right now, with social media, your life has to be perfect. You see only perfect things on Instagram. So that’s very brutal for the young generation, because nobody accepts that, people have filters all the time. People are rich. If you go on Instagram, everybody is rich, everybody is beautiful, everybody does a lot of crazy things all day. But in my opinion, happiness is not that, because happiness stays in real things, in real life, in real feelings with people, going outside, making things and simple things. I mean it’s where you find happiness, in my opinion. So I don’t remember the question now [Zigo lacht].
Radio Q: How can people fight to make life more beautiful?
Zigo: For me the first step is to just stay simple and be kind with each other. It’s the simple thing and not big goals immediately, you know. For example, for the environment, you have to start with the simple things. And if everybody makes simple things, the world can change. That’s what happened with COVID. Everybody suddenly stops. We make simple things and things could change, you know?
Radio Q: So you think, the good things are the small things in life?
Zigo: Yeah, exactly. It starts like this, and then things can grow. But that’s the way I think. Sometimes it feels like people are waiting for one big change immediately. It won’t happen like this.There’s no button to make this happen. A good world or bad world. Things have to change step by step and slowly.
Radio Q: Yes of course. I guess if you’re… for example you’re in the metro and you see someone who’s smiling at your face. If you are happy with the smallest things, this will make your day better.
Zigo: That’s what I was gonna say. It all starts with a smile and positive energy. I try to teach that to my kids. Just spread some smiles. You will get some smiles back, for sure!
Radio Q: (smiling) My mother also teached me this [beide lachen]. So, now I want to talk about the album cover of “Futur”. I mean it’s very colorful. And in the middle you can see seven skeletons. Obviously, it’s you and the band. And what I thought is … – so it’s my interpretation. You can say if it’s true or not – For me when I see it, it represents people how they felt during Corona. Maybe after Corona, life comes back. And this is why the cover is so colorful. There’s like a horizontal in the middle; it’s like a plant, I guess. [Zigo lacht] And maybe this describes the world was so terrible in this time and people sometimes feel like dead but life still goes on.
Zigo: No [beide lachen] … the interpretation is just a bit more – maybe – naive. In the middle there’s a volcano spreading some nice colors and we are there. We are skeletons because the music will stay. So even after we pass, the positive music will stay. It’s a social message, still staying positive. And so that’s the way we try to say something. But it’s also an art piece that everybody can interpret by itself. Exactly like the music we made in this album, because with the double meanings you can interpret by yourself. Some songs are really personal and deep for us. You can also take it to your own history.
Radio Q: Yeah, exactly this is art. And can you tell me what was the most beautiful feedback you ever got from fans?
Zigo: Two weeks ago, I went in the crowd to see the opening band, and there was a couple coming to me and the woman told me she offered me a gift and she told me: “we lost our child, two years ago. And your music saved our life because we listened to your music all the time to stay positive.” And this is the kind of compliment that I wanted to cry when I heard this story. But also, it reminds me that music can help people sometimes.
Radio Q: Do you want to give a special message to the people who are reading this interview?
Zigo: Well, we always have the same message: Keep having an open mind, be kind with people, spread good energy and, maybe, shut down the cell phone sometimes. I did it personally. Since this summer, I’ve stopped social networks and I try to focus more on real life. I don’t mean that you don’t have to go on Instagram. But real life is the one which is important. Instagram is not real life. So go to the concert, have fun, meet people, be kind with people, help people. We always think that we don’t have enough money. But even sometimes one Euro can help people in the streets. Don’t judge people like this and stay positive and keep on listening to reggae music. I think reggae is the best music in the world.
Radio Q: Okay. Thank you so much.
Wenn ihr mehr über Dub Inc und vor allem die Produktion des neusten Albums “Futur” wissen wollt, dann schaut mal in die folgende Doku “Jamais Seul” rein.