Formed in London during the early 1990s, the band’s core members Jake Wherry and Ollie Teeba were inspired by soul, funk and in particular the then current hip hop emerging from America. Unfortunately, at that time, they didn’t know any rappers. They made up for this missing element by adopting an extra ingredient to fill the absence; a widescreen cinematic feel born of vivid imagination.
The Herbaliser attained their status as festival favourites quite quickly, with the weighty, hip hop drums which were such a highlight of their recordings added to by a live drummer, keys, guitar, bass and a punchy horn section led by Andy Ross and Ralph Lamb that would become known as the Easy Access Orchestra.
With each subsequent album release ‘Very Mercenary’ (1999), ‘Something Wicked This Way Comes’ (2002), ‘Take London’ (2005), ‘Same As It Never Was’ (2008), ‘There Were Seven’ (2012) and ‘Bring Out The Sound’ (2018), the formulation of The Herbaliser sound would be one which relied less and less on samples and instead more on the musicians they surrounded themselves with.
They eventually reached a stag e where samples were eradicated from their recordings, although Teeba and Wherry’s could still be fond manipulating their musicians in a way that was often indistinguishable from their earlier, sample based explorations.