There’s an old Saturday Night Live skit where a husband and wife eat at an Italian restaurant and encounter the lecherous pepper boys. The skit shows two exaggerated Italian brothers groping the poor man’s wife under the pretense of merely grinding her pepper. In defense, she assuages her husband with, “Oh honey, don’t worry! It’s just their custom!” Having seen this skit, three reggae loving Hawaiian boys, instruments in tow, had finally found their band’s name. Pepper is signed to Volcom Entertainment and consists of Bret Bollinger on bass and vocals, KaleoWassman on guitar and vocals, and Yesod Williams on drums. Their “Kona-dub-rock,” as it’s been coined, melts’80s influences like the Police with the classic reggae of Steel Pulse. They’ve been on the road promoting their most recent release, “Kona Town,” and prepare to invade Santa Barbara’s Velvet Jones on Sunday night. Williams takes a few moments while driving somewhere in Arizona to fill Artsweek in on how these Hawaiian imports are faring.
ARTSWEEK: So, you guys are pretty familiar with playing in Santa Barbara?
YESOD: Oh, fuck. We’ve been there tons of times. A bunch of our friends from high school moved there and lived on Sabado Tarde [Road]. We’d play at house parties a bunch and we just always knew people out there.
ARTSWEEK: So… what do you think of our little scene?
YESOD: It’s got a certain bug. Something in the air get into you and you just want to go nuts.
ARTSWEEK: What are you guys up to right now?
YESOD: We’re touring right now and preparing to go on a pretty big tour with Slightly Stupid next month. We’re still promoting for our album, and after the tour ends in May, we’re going to go into the studio and make a new record.
AW: Any memorable tour moments thus far?
YESOD: Colorado was nice, but fucking freezing. It was like 11 degrees. We also played some Triple Crown Surf Fest with Pennywise and a bunch of other bigger bans. It was one of the biggest shows in Hawaii, so it felt like a good homecoming.
AW: How was playing with huge reggae stars like Eek-A-Mouse and Burning Spear?
YESOD: It’s like one of those childhood dreams. You’re super pumped when it finally happens and you get to see all your favorite artists for free.
AW: How was the boombastic one, Shaggy?
YESOD: Oh, Shaggy was epic. It was before he was super huge though. He’s got good charisma.
AW: Tell me an awesome memory from the Warped Tour you guys were on.
YESOD: Definitely Me First and the Gimme Gimmes’ tiki bar. It’s Fat Mike from NOFX’s cover band. They were on it the same year  and they had an open bar backstage. They’d wheel it out of their trailer every day and this one chick bartended. They were the stiffest drinks ever and she’d just get you wasted every day.
AW: What are some of the band’s influences?
YESOD: Oh, the Clash, the Police and a lot of reggae. Growing up in Hawaii, reggae is super big. Artists like Yellowman, Gregory Isaacs, UB40 and stuff like that. Also, we like Tool, Sublime and harder stuff like Megadeth. We like everything, except we’re not too into country music.
AW: How would you define your sound?
YESOD: Reggae with a rock twist and some punk rock thrown in there.
AW: What will the next album sound like? Will it be much of a musical departure from the usual sound?
YESOD: There’s going to be a little more rock on the album, but I don’t think it’ll be a difference where people will be like, “What the fuck!” But, we’re actually naming our next album after [Megadeth’s] first album, to tell you the truth.
AW: Besides the album, what future plans lie ahead?
YESOD: We’re tightening up the business a little bit. I think we’re going to be on the Warped Tour again this year and maybe go to Japan sometime. That’ll be sick. But, just keep playing really.
AW: On your band bio, it cites the “indecent” live shows. What does that mean?
YESOD: You never know what’s bound to happen at a Pepper show. We’re not into just getting up on stage, playing and leaving. That’s so boring. We just like to get the girls involved, you know, and sometimes it gets ugly.
AW: So should Santa Barbara expect one of these indecent shows on Sunday?
YESOD: Oh yeah, always. Especially when it comes to Santa Barbara.