Interview with Th3rd Coast Roots – Mark & JB

Reggae music, in my opinion, is about positive energy, good vibrations, and spreading life through a certain rhythm that just hits a part of the soul untouched by other genres. That being said, a reoccurring theme in good reggae is positivity.  Again, my opinion, but there is nothing more positive then the ability to wake up in the morning and chase your dream. Whatever your dream is, as long as you have 24 hours to chase it then you are blessed. This is a core fundamental of a solid reggae mentality. The other night Reggae 360 had the pleasure of speaking with a man who is chasing his dream, along with a shared dream of his band. Jayton Lening and his band Th3rd Coast Roots are releasing an album on Friday. You need it. Trust. The story behind this album is one of fate, devotion, going all in, a lifelong love of good music, sheer grind, hard work, appreciation, the alignment of stars, a unification of diverse styles, and a unbelievable positive spirit ready to conquer all challenges.  Hopefully you enjoy the conversation as much as we did. Check the album “Not Afraid” out on all streaming platforms this Friday the 29th. Respect.


John 360: First off, I listened to album… its fire! It’s diverse, unique, fresh, well done, and polished… it’s good vibes. You guys have such a unique composition and it really comes out in the sound. That’s my take on it at least, I’m curious how would you describe the album? Perhaps to someone who has never heard it before?

Jayton: If I were to explain to someone what to expect, I would probably say- expect the unexpected. Almost every song is a different sub genre of reggae in a sense. We keep it reggae no doubt but there is definitely a serious influence from every genre you can think of. That’s the whole premise of the album, it’s called “Not Afraid” and seeing as it is our first studio album we wanted to deliver a good amount diverse style. It’s a multiplex of reggae subgenres and all of our influences blended into one.  It’s all of that but also keep in mind that we worked closely with E.N Young on this project. He brought a specific nuance that only he could supply. He really helped us dial in and gave us that extra edge to keep it with in the lines of reggae rock.

Mark 360: So understanding how unique this group is, can you tell us about the dynamic of the band and how each member contributes something different?

Jatyon: Sure man. I’m someone who will listen to pretty much everything and anything you can think of musically. When I create music, I like to create music that a broad amount of people can listen to. I gravitate towards creating music that as many people can listen to as possible. I think that’s because of the multitude of different genres that I grew up listening to. For a long time I was a serious metal head and if you ever see us live you’ll hear some of the technique that I had back then. That’s my background guitar wise. When it comes to creating music I want it to be as catchy as possible, the melodic line, the lyrics, everything. I come up with chorus lines by free styling. I don’t write out chorus lines but I do write out my verses. For the chorus, if I don’t just spit it out by feeling the vibe of the song and memorize it once then its not catchy enough. Our female vocalist, Marissa, has so much natural talent. She has a popular music background and that gives us an additional edge. Her tone and the way she writes comes out and it has a mainstream vibe. Our bass player Liam is super into reggae roots and it comes out in his bass lines.  The combination of those two helps pull us back from going to far one way stylistically. Our keys player Chris grew up playing a lot of Ska. He played in a ska punk reggae band growing up that actually toured nationally; he is dynamic. Our drummer Hunter is into roots but more new age style stuff like Jessie Royal or Chronixx and Protoje. His style is crucial to making this work. Our new guitarist Mike grew up playing a lot of punk and alternative rock but he has a hidden passion for reggae music. He is also a drummer, which makes his guitar parts so interesting because he is so in touch with the rhythm of the drums. As you can see, everyone brings something different to the table.

John 360: You mentioned E.N Young’s involvement on this album. Can you talk about what its like to work with someone like that and his influence on this project?

Jayton: We went out to his studio in Imperial Beach Cali; Imperial Sound Studios. He recorded this album for us over the course of four days; pretty much all day long each day. He has that something special that adds so much and gives brilliant tones and this crazy edge to everyone’s music. We’re just a reggae band coming from Texas so working with E.N Young had to be the best process of creating music that I have ever dealt with in my life. I’ve never met someone with such patience and positivity with every sentence and every word he said. I remember walking into his studio on the first day and saying to him “We have never recorded before on a level like this and we need some guidance” he said “don’t worry guys, I got you. I am going to take you down the path” and that’s what he did. I can’t tell you how
unbelievable of person he is as well as his family; they are such great people. So grateful.

John 360: So you mentioned being from Texas. I gotta believe, low-key, you guys have a good reggae scene. I’m curious, from your perspective what’s the scene like down there?

Jayton: Actually it’s fairly sparse in terms of local bands. Here in Texas it’s not necessarily flourishing but it’s definitely a growing scene. There are certainly some local bands that are on the come up. I will say though there has been a massive increase in bands from around the country touring in Texas which has been huge in growing the scene. The fan base is blooming.

John 360: Hey I mean that’s perfect for you guys to capitalize and lead the charge.

Jayton: That’s what I’m hoping man. I mean its not a competition, were not playing football or something. But no matter what you do in life you should probably give it 100%. If you’re truly about it, you need to be giving it 100%. I think that’s something we, as a band, have been doing. The amount of work we have been doing behind the scenes. For example- thinking “what can we do next to improve out sets?” or sending e-mails to managers, contacts, booking agents. I am pushing to get our name out there. You can’t sit back and do nothing, you have to grind and honestly it’s the best job in the world. Yes its work but I enjoy working hard for something I love.

John 360- When did you know, in process of forming this band, that you might be on to something big?

Jayton- Technically, truly, we have only been officially together since November. I have played with two of the members before that but we are still fairly new. So far we have all been about the mindset “if you don’t take it serious, nothing is going to happen”. From the jump, we were all kind of down to be in it but we didn’t know what it was. When we first realized that people were about our music was when we played two shows here in Houston with two local reggae bands, we brought out a good crowd even then. In December we landed a local headline show at a spot called the Scout Bar; a lot of people have come through that venue and went on to have success. That show specifically brought out a decent crowd and it was only based on our two previous shows. I was like “wow, people are responding to this and we are bring people out”. I remember thinking about what could happen once we keep getting better and we made the commitment to double down on this.

Mark 360: You describe yourself as a band for fans made by fans of reggae music.  How would you describe the feeling of playing shows with bands like Bumpin Uglies, Dirty Heads, Iya Terra, The Movement, The Green, and others?

Jayton: Yeah first off, it’s the most surreal thing for me personally. I remember what started me wanting to really get into playing music. Sublime was a mainstay in my life for years and years and years. I don’t care what anyone says Sublime made some of the best music ever. So, I didn’t actually get to see Sublime with Rome but I did see Badfish play here in Houston with Fayuca. Oh man, Badfish put on a show and they played the songs that I have loved for years. I was like “dude, this is speaking to me in such an intense way, like why don’t I do this, why don’t I attack this, why don’t I chase this even on a minute level?” I remember thinking how cool it would be if I could even open for some of these bands and here we are a year and half later and I’ve done it. Like, the fact that I got to open up for Dirty Heads. I remember seeing them in ninth grade in a super small room in Houston with like 30 people and I remember being there and thinking “holy shit, who are these guys? Like I had heard of them a little but, I was like- why are they not bigger and if they’re not big yet they are going to be big” and dude sure enough look at them they are monsters in the  scene. Playing with those bands is just super sick. I have memories of these band’s music imprinted in my brain and to be able to open up for them and meet with some of them it has been unbelievable and unreal. Special shout out to the guys from Iya Terra, they have been so awesome and super helpful. They have given me as much as I think they could in terms of information and advice. I could not say enough good things about those guys; they’ve been a huge influence. Their trajectory today is the sky, they are just killing. I’ve loved these bands for years, its unbelievable. It’s tripping me out.

John 360: Obviously you guys are at a crucial point with the album coming out. After you drop what is next on the agenda for you guys? Touring? Festivals?

Jayton: So as much as our plan is flying by the seat of our pants on a day to day basis, we are actually planning on some big things. Pretty soon here we are having a live set filmed to be released on YouTube. That should be available in the next month or so. We are planning on hopefully filming a music video in July. Also in the process of getting some tour dates lined up with some known artists like Vana Liya and Seranation. There is a Tribal Seeds, Iya Terra show in Houston we will be playing at. Also look out for some shows with Resinated and Tatanka. I’ve also started looking into getting back into the studio; we actually have new music already written. Finally look out for a single or two to be dropped by then end of the year.

Mark 360: To end on a positive note, who do you want to big up?

Jayton: Ahh dang obviously fans and family number one. On my end, my wife and my child have been supportive literally 100%. Currently I’m working for the Fire Department as a paramedic so I’ve had a stable job but to take a leap of faith like this and to have my family be behind me has been super nuts. My wife has always kind of seen what this was and she said she always knew it was a matter of time; she’s been on board. Dude… All the Iya Terra boys. E.N Young and his family no question, they are unbelievable, and honestly big up to all the bands that have influenced us. Without bands like Pepper, Slightly Stupid, Dirty Heads, Gregory Isaacs, there’s just so many that have helped us. Also Brad from Proof of Life, without him there would be nothing, he is killer. Yeah, big ups to everyone.

Reggae 360: Bless up Jayton. Thank you, good luck. Let us know how we can help with your journey.


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