sually for these interviews, I call a musician and we chat on the phone. I hear bits and pieces of where they are and what they're doing, be it in a crowded van cruising down the highway or in the peaceful recluse of their own homes. But what I really love is talking to musicians in person—which I did recently with Evton Burton from the rock-reggae band Indubious. I got to see his extroverted personality and his hand gestures, before we got sidetracked talking about Bend neighborhoods and growth.
The day after, he sent me an email with exciting news: Indubious' new album, "From Zero," had landed at number six on the Billboard reggae charts, ranking it among the likes of Ziggy Marley, The Expendables and Major Lazer. That's big news.
"The whole philosophy around it is, it's coming from this 'from zero' mentality," Burton says of the album's themes. "It's that we all came from nothing, we were popped into this planet out of nothing and we're entitled to nothing. When you're entitled to nothing, essentially everything that you receive is a blessing. It's centering in the heart of gratitude and not expectation."B
urton, who calls Bend home, started Indubious with his brother, Skip Burton, who currently lives in Portland. In order to understand their "from zero" mentality, it may be helpful to note that both brothers were born with Cystic Fibrosis. The brothers came into this world with a grim life expectancy of 18 years. Now, in their early 30s, they persevere. Evton received a double lung transplant in 2011, making a full recovery.
"It's really shaped who we are because it's caused us to drop more into our purpose as opposed to living how most people live, which is caught in the drama of society of money and petty things," Burton says. "It's when you're faced with your own mortality, you go, ok, what's real here? What are we doing? What are we here to do? So from a very young age, we started on that mentality."
For "From Zero," the brothers blend rock, reggae and EDM to create what they call "Rootstronica." But genre doesn't mean much. The brothers try to transcend genre and create what feels good. With no pretense, the album dips into poppy realms and R&B, simply because that's where they feel comfortable.
"I think genres are interesting, tricky things; they aren't really my favorite thing," Burton says. "I think music is a representation of our spirit and our spirit is vast."I
ndubious releases "From Zero" at the Domino Room Saturday. The brothers love performing live; Burton speaks of the energy exchange that happens between the band and the audience. Performing live allows the floodgates to open, so to speak, pouring everything out, conveying their message.
"There's a certain magic that happens sometimes while performing, where you're well practiced enough that you can put your intellect to the back of your mind and allow the feeling to come through," Burton says. "You can channel things. Things come through. It's like this peak mystical experience where everyone is involved in this thing as it's happening. The energy plays back and forth off everyone in the room — it's a spiritual thing."
Indubious CD Release Party with Strive Roots, Zahira
Saturday, July 29. 8pm.
51 NW Greenwood Ave., Bend.