BLACK BOTTOM LIGHTERS KNOW NO BOUNDS
by MARK SIMPSON
Your body thirsts for water in a scorching, desolate desert the same way your ears long for the refreshing sound of new music. This longing is thoroughly satisfied by Arizona’s own Black Bottom Lighters. They have perfected a sound not yet put into a single genre; reggae beats, hip-hop lyrics, with rock, pop, Latin, and even island influences.
The band’s lineup has been solidified, having changed several times since their inception in 2010. Their high-energy, upbeat frontman Stilly, heads up the vocal duties with slick rhymes and positive vibes. Backing him up is T, truly defining the BBL sound with his smooth voice and sweet guitar rhythms. Jose Aquino assumes all things bass, but he is also highly versatile; playing guitar and singing backups on several songs. His unique style as a slap, pluck and all-around groove-filled bassist strongly backs the beats set forth by hard-hitting drumming machine, McPhatty. Kelyn Weaver, a classically trained jazz pianist turned dubstep/electronic keyboardist, and Rush DJ were added later to help the perfect the layers of their dynamic style. The last, but not near the least piece of the puzzle was the band’s ‘secret weapon;’ atomic guitarist, Phil, who brought their sound full circle with the amazing depths of his talent on his 6 string Gibson.
Black Bottom Lighters traveled along the West coast throughout California and into Oregon in support of their self-titled EP. Also appearing in several music festivals around the US with such artists as 30 Seconds to Mars, Stone Temple Pilots, Jimmy Eat World, Wiz Khalifa, The Flaming Lips, among many others. But the most interesting about this exciting group is not so much as where they’ve been as much as where they’re going.