Interviews Dubplates(BrennanWesley)413(lead)

Published on June 14th, 2013 | by Ballard Lesemann


The Punch List with ‘Big Hair Dave’ Brisacher of the Dubplates

Metronome Charleston‘s weekly Punch List puts local musicians on the spot with a questionnaire that touches on music, venues, gear, records, vices, and more. This week, singer/musician “Big Hair Dave” Brisacher of the “traditional reggae riddim band” the Dubplates has a go.

1. What is your favorite local hang?

“Mex 1 [in West Ashley] and Loggerhead’s [on Folly Beach] are the two spots I am hooked on right now. Mex 1 has the La Pirata rum drink and the banging shrimp taco. The Loggerhead’s conch fritters are very addictive, and they have Purple Haze [beer] on draft. The staff at both these venues are close friends and take special care of the Dubplates.”

2. You know you’ve played an excellent show when…
“You look out at the crowd and everyone is waving their hands in the exact same way as the band. There is a feeling of power and responsibility when this happens. If Brady [bandmate Brady “Daddy” Waggoner] goes left and I go right, hundreds of people can end up slapping each other.”

3. What was the last show you attended that really got you fired up in a good or bad way?
“Yellowman always amazes me every time I see him perform. He puts so much energy in his performance. His band is ridiculously tight, and he has been performing for over 30 years with many major health issues. We opened for Yellowman at the Pour House about a year ago. He survived a severe case of jaw cancer many years back and shouldn’t be alive, let alone rocking the mic with an extremely high energy stage show.”

The Dubplates: Big Hair Dave at far left (provided)

4. Define your musical style in exactly 10 words.
“Dancehall, roots, dub, reggae with a funky hip-hop twist.”

5. What’s your theme song?
“Our version of ‘Final Countdown’ called ‘Playing with Fire’ [released as a collaborative singe with underground dancehall superstar Zumjay in 2012]. The intro gets us fired up to jump around on stage for hours at a time.”

6. Gear-wise, what’s is your irreplaceable baby?
“My Pioneer effects processor has been a crucial tool in creating the dub effects. I’ve had the processor for about six months. I can grab a horn line or a word from a vocalist and delay it however long I like. It puts a very hands-on feel to processing sounds.”

7. What’s the most overplayed album in your collection?
“Lately, it has been Blowfly’s greatest hits, Analthology-Best of Blowfly. Blowfly makes me laugh. He is the original dirty rapper. I had no idea he even existed not log ago. He’s been around since the early ’70s. Most of the music I listen to has a very positive message but Blowfly does not have a message. Keep your kids away from Blowfly.”


8. When was the last time you were genuinely star-struck?
“When we went to Kingston Jamaica with Zumjay [in 2012], he took us to Sean Paul’s nightclub where we ate birthday cake with Sean Paul, Elephant Man, and 20 other top reggae artists. The next morning, Zumjay took us to King Jammy’s legendary studio to meet King Jammy. That was amazing to be accepted and embraced by dancehall reggae’s royalty. Having a swim race with Prince Harry and Ryan Lochete in Vegas was cool, too.”

9. What’s your poison?
“As Future Fambo would say in the song ‘Rum and Red Bull,’ I’m drinking Rum and Red Bull. Future Fambo is a good friend of the Dubplates. We just released ‘Good Evening’ on ITunes with Fambo. His song ‘Rum and Red Bull’ is a hit. It’s fun to sing your drink order to the bartender.”

10. In 10 years, I will be…
“Getting my Joe Jackson on as the Children of the Dubplates will be performing around the world.”

Producer “Big Hair Dave” Brisacher and singer/guitarist Brady “Daddy” Waggoner have been jamming, recording, and performing funky sounds for years. They formed the Dubplates as a dancehall reggae group after fronting the Charleston-based Dub Island Sound System through the mid 2000s.

The Dubplates perform as either an 11-piece band or a scaled-down DJ combo. The full lineup features Papa Robbie (Robert Ellington) on vocals, Andy Masker on sax, DJ Trail-Mix on turntables, Ryan Becknell on guitar, Philaments (Phil Antman) on drums, Matt Thompson on bass, and Shawn Legree and Dub Denizen on percussion. Their latest album is a 199-track collection titled Live Inna Chalicetown Vol. 2.

Last year, the core members of the band worked with Kingston, Jamaica’s Zumjay, producing the boisterous anthem “Playing with Fire.” Zumjay will join the band on stage at their local shows this week and next.

Look for the Dubplates at Party at the Point at the Charleston Harbor Resort at 6 p.m. on Fri. June 14. The band headlines the “Reggae Nights” series at the James Island County Park at 8 p.m. on Sat. June 22. They’ll hit Loggerhead’s on Folly Beach at 10 p.m on Fri. July 5.

Visit for more.

Top photo by Brennan Wesley.



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About the Author

Ballard Lesemann

is a musician and writer. Born and raised in Charleston, S.C., he spent years playing in bands and working for Flagpole Magazine in the bustling music town of Athens, Ga. He returned to his hometown and served more than seven years as the Charleston City Paper's music editor. He's better at drumming than he is at playing guitar.

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