The drumming half of reggae musics greatest rhythm section, Sly & Robbie, who join Jamaica To Toronto star Jay Douglas to celebrate the release of his fourth solo album, A Touch Of Magic, at Revival (783 College), tonight (Thursday, April 26). $25-$30. www.majoreminc.com.
What record changed your life?
As a kid growing up, I'd spend all my money on the jukebox. There's a song by the Skatalites called Addis Ababa that's got a really great groove. Hearing the way Lloyd Knibbs played the drums is what inspired me to want be a drummer myself.
Which artist would you most like to collaborate with?
Well, we've had the chance to record with so many great artists over the years, including Bob Dylan and James Brown, and there are lots more really talented people working today - Dr. Dre is wicked, and respect to the Neptunes - but I'd really like to work with Timbaland. He's the greatest drum programmer in the world, so I think we could do something really good together.
What was it like working in the studio with Serge Gainsbourg?
When we were kids we used to listen to this song Je T'aime (Moi Non Plus), and we knew it was by some guy named Serge but we didn't know who he was or where he was from - it was just a good tune. When we heard a singer from France named Serge Gainsbourg was coming to Jamaica to record with us, I thought, "That's the Je T'aime guy!" But since Je T'aime isn't a reggae song, we wondered what he had in mind. We went to meet him in the studio, and he said he wanted us to play reggae. We started the tape and he started talking in French, so we just tried to match the rhythm and the beat to what he was saying. We couldn't understand one single word the whole time. He'd stop and say, "Yeah," then we'd move on to the next song. After a while he said, "It's finished," and that was it - no overdubs, nothing. It's still the biggest-selling reggae record in France to this day.
What's the secret of the Riddim Twins' longevity?
We have a lot of respect for each other, and we also never forget where were from and the struggle we've been through. We could go left or right, but we both realize we're much stronger doing it together.
Who would you like to see playing the lead role in the film The Sly Dunbar Story?
My favourite actor of all time is Sean Connery. He may be a little old for the part now, but I loved him in all the James Bond films, especially Goldfinger. I can't even watch a James Bond film with another actor... I may glance at it, but I don't really get into it.