“For us the process is never ending. New music is always being created, having five different song writers in the band has its benefits.” – Ikaika Antone of The Green
After two successful full-length albums, The Green’s third and latest album, Hawai‘i ‘13, picks up right where they left off. Hawaiʻi ’13 brings a mix of lovers rock, R&B, island reggae, and sure-to-be hits. Sticking true to their roots, the eclectic collection also includes two traditional Hawaiian chants, a fitting representation of the place The Green calls home.
The Green’s very own, Ikaika Antone, took some time away from his busy schedule to answer some questions for us. The Kailua, O‘ahu native–now a Kona resident–keyboards and makes up 1/4 of the group’s vocalists. He can be heard throughout the album on tracks such as “Something About It”, “Forgive Me,” “Count To 3,” and “Always & Forever.”
Longtime fans are sure to be familiar with Antone’s melodic vocals, and from-the-heart lyrics from many previous hits, such as “Alive” and “Gotta Be.” There is no shortage of his talent being showcased on Hawai‘i ’13, as well as other bandmates, JP Kennedy, Zion Thompson, Caleb Keolanui, Brad Watanabe, and Jordan Espinoza (touring only).
Below, Ikaika Antone sheds some light with Trades Hawaii on the process of making Hawai’i ’13, the reason behind the title of their album and his much appreciated love for The Green’s fans.
TRADES HAWAII: How did you guys come up with Hawaiʻi ’13 as the name for the album?
IKAIKA ANTONE: The title Hawai‘i ’13 is an ode to a song we grew up listening to called Hawai‘i ’78 by Israel Kamakawiwoʻole. We wanted to pay tribute to the meaning of the song. Hawai‘i ‘78 speaks about the changes happening to our land, and how our ancestors would react to seeing buildings and highways built on sacred ground. We felt that everyone, not just the people of Hawaiʻi, could relate to this.
What was the inspiration behind the album?
Our music is always inspired by life’s situations and experiences, and of course our home, Hawai‘i.
How is this album different from previous albums?
Hawai‘i ’13 is the first album that we collaborated with producer/engineer, Danny Kalb, on the entire project. Working with a producer adds a whole other dimension to the music that we create, and I feel like Hawai‘i ’13 will stand out from our first two albums.
How long was this project in the making?
For us the process is never ending. New music is always being created, having five different song writers in the band has its benefits. As far as the actual recording of the album goes, we posted up at Hurley Studios in Costa Mesa, CA for three weeks tracking all instruments and vocals. We allow a few more months for mixing, mastering and manufacturing and boom. Finished.
What’s your favorite song?
I’m a big fan of “Power In The Words” written by Zion. It’s the anthem for sure! “Say hope, say peace, speak good words in abundance.” How you no can love that!
What’s next for The Green? Will you be going on a tour for Hawaiʻi ’13?
We will be doing two nights at The Republik on O‘ahu for our CD release shows. Then we hit the U.S. for 6 weeks on the Hawai‘i ’13 tour to promote the new album.
What’s it like performing now, compared to a few years ago, when your first album came out?
Way more raging for sure!! Hahaha…nah but seriously, we have so many fans of all ages and race that every show is different. I love the diversity in our fan-base. The fans make the show and one thing for sure is no matter how small or big the audience, we want to perform as if its the biggest show we’ve ever played!
MAHALO NUI LOA to Ikaika Antone of The Green, as well as the rest of his bandmates! We wish you continued success! Support The Green! Support Local Music!
To see if The Green is coming to a city near you check the tour dates and make sure to pick up Hawaiʻi ’13.
WORDS: Kalama Souza
Q&A: Trades Hawaii & Ikaika Antone
PHOTO: Mason Rose / www.thegreen808.com