Sounds of the Beach

From the shores of Long Beach emerged the reggae rock band Ground Swell. Mat Layton, Mike Hanson, Joe Gallo, Nico Salgado and Mike Seggel have played together for 10 years now, playing hundreds of shows along the East Coast and in the Caribbean. They’ve shared the stage with a number of national and international acts, including The Wailers, Groundation, Wu-Tang Clan and Tribal Seeds and are getting ready to release their first full-length studio album.

Pulse Insider: How did you get your start in music? Was there a point at which you knew you wanted to be a professional musician?
Ground Swell:
We began playing together about 10 years ago. Basically some of us were back in college and playing music sounded a lot better than having to get a shitty job somewhere to support ourselves.

Pulse Insider: How would you describe your music to someone you just met?
Ground Swell:
We are a reggae, roots, rock band. People always say we sound like the beach!

Pulse Insider: Why the name Ground Swell?
Ground Swell:
The name came from a day out surfing. We were sitting in the lineup surfing a groundswell and the idea for a band name just hit us.

Pulse Insider: Who are your greatest musical influences?
Ground Swell:
We have diverse musical influences, but are definitely influenced by bands like Groundation, Steel Pulse, the Marley Family, Slightly Stoopid and Midnite.

Pulse Insider: What’s next for Ground Swell?
Ground Swell
: We are currently concentrating on finishing and releasing our first full-length album. We plan on taking a break from playing shows until the project is complete, but will be playing locally.

Pulse Insider What do you enjoy most about performing live?
Ground Swell:
We love playing live, whether it’s a concert venue, bar or (our favorite) back yard house party. We are known for having the police show up to just about every local gig we’ve ever played though, so get there early!