The Aggrolites sound and musical influence can best be summed up as Late 60's Jamaican Reggae (Skinhead Reggae), recognizable to reggae fans into Upsetters, Hot Rod Allstars, Jackie Mittoo, Chrystalites, Studio One reggae bands. Their music is heavily mixed with American soul and funk and influenced by the Meters, James Brown and Wilson Picket.
Prior to this debut release on Hellcat, the band independently released their debut CD and LP titled Dirty Reggae, on their northern California affiliated AXE record label. A punk/reggae classic. The title cut apeared on the Give Em The Boot IV CD and received support on L.A.s Indy 103.1fm radio station.
They have shared the stage live with Hepcat & Rancid among dozens of others from the punk, ska, funk and reggae scene, and have received overwhelming response to their powerful, funky, energetic show. The crowd call and response factor is always prominent at their concerts. They are infectious and have the dance floor rocking. The band members are seasoned reggae performers who all hail from the punk, ska and hardcore scene. Led by guitarist Brian Dixon and frontman Jesse Wagner, the band effortlessly blends the most authentic 60’s Jamaican sound with their own brand of raw intensity and grit. The recipe calls for a heap of Lee Perry and WAR and Toots for good measure. It’s a viscous stew called Dirty Reggae. The incomparable, enigmatic Scott Abels (Hepcat, Lars Frederiksen and the Bastards) joined the band on drums for this release.
The Aggrolites have extensive knowledge of the idiom having backed such seminal reggae artists as Scotty, Robbie Lyn, Joseph Hill, Derrick Morgan, Cedric Brooks, Prince Buster, Phylis Dillon, Everton Blender, King Terror, and Dean Frasier. The band cites influences as far afield as Steely Dan and the Meters. They come from such bands as: The Rhythm Doctors, The Vessels, See Spot, King Apparatus, Dub Street Rockers, and Kingston 10. It’s a thick blend of rhythm and melody, seasoned by years of love and soul.
The Aggrolites – a name combo that pays homage to the Aggrovators and the Crystalites – came to be almost as a lark. Brian Dixon put together two bands to back Derrick Morgan: one ska and one reggae. The reggae sessions went so well that Brian asked if the gathered musicians were interested in doing more gigs after the Morgan tour wrapped up.
In June 2003 the band backed Prince Buster at the Sierra Nevada World Music Festival. This was only the second time Prince Buster has ever performed in the US. After the set Prince Buster said "It reminded me of the old days, I can't believe that this young band from America could play my music just as good as the day it was recorded".
It's common to see hard core reggae fans, punk rock kids, older punk rock fans, older and younger club hipsters attend an Aggrolites show, sometimes that depends on the venue, but not always. Sometimes the audience is mixed with all of those types of music fans.
They are hard working and are best known to fans in Southern California, where they're based and consistently play shows, but they have also toured and played clubs and bigger size venues extensively up and down the West Coast, most major markets of the U.S., All over Europe and Mexico where their following continues to build and crossover to a diverse fanbase at a remarkable pace.