Wassabi Collective is on stage Friday night at The Royal.

Wassabi returns to Nelson stage

Wassabi Collective fans might be wondering what will happen to the reggae-fusion band now that two members have left Nelson.

Wassabi Collective fans might be wondering what will happen to the popular local reggae-fusion band now that two of its core members have left Nelson.

Both the band’s lead vocalists, Melissa Meretsky and Brent Hongisto, are living in Vancouver, and the remaining three members have no plans of moving.

But Hongisto says the distance won’t hurt Wassabi. If anything, he expects it will force them to be more productive when they are together.

“When we saw each other all the time, it was easy to put off recording and say we’ll just do it next time,” he says. “Now our time together is precious. We won’t have the luxury of procrastination.”

Wassabi is currently in the middle of a two-week tour performing at public schools across the Kootenay. Tonight they take a break from that to celebrate 420 with a show at the Royal.

And while Hongisto is, of course, thinking about putting on great live shows, he also wants to make the most of his time with his band.

“We need to figure out what songs we want to put on our next album,” he says. “This tour is really about catching everyone’s vibe again, and seeing what songs we want to record. We’ve written a lot of stuff since our last album (released in 2010).”

Hongisto took over a home recording studio in Vancouver—one of the main reasons he made the move—and he hopes to set a time to have Wassabi work with him there later this year. He’s also been developing the band’s social media presence to build their fan base.

“Being in Vancouver, I’m kinda the band’s liaison with the outside world,” Hongisto jokes. “It’s forced me get with the modern era.

“My time in Nelson with Wassabi, that was like the band’s gestation period. We could find our niche without the struggle of trying to make it in a big city,” he continues. “Now we have a chance, with the connections we build on the coast, to try to take the band to a different level.”

Check out Wassabi Collective at the Royal tonight, 9 p.m. doors, tickets $10.

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