On the heels of Apple Gabriel’s upcoming release on Ras Records, I was fortunate
enough to have a brief phone interview with this legendary vocalist. In our few minutes of
conversation, among other things we touched on his upcoming disc and tour, and his
break-up with Israel Vibration.
We began by discussing the soon-to-be-released CD. “Yeah, it’s gonna be a great
sounding record,” said Apple. “On the two songs you already have [“Another Moses” and
“Be As One” - both killers - were released on a CD single] I wrote and arranged them and
played everything on them; the bass, the horns, keyboards, horn overdubs, all the vocals
including the harmony. Yeah, mon, everything. The record also has Flabba Holt on bass
and Tee Bird on keyboards, from the Roots Radics. The other musicians beside Flabba
and Tee Bird are John Screw on drum extra's, Tuff Lion on rhythm guitar, Peter
Williamson and Garfield Wray on keyboards, Duane Hoilett on Guitar and Billy Johnson
on guitar as well.
“My band’s name is the Zionites. We also have two female background vocalists,
Tia & Aziza, and both have backed name-brand entertainers. The Zionites is a very
professinal package and above all the vibes amongst each other are smooth. Concerning
the tour, right now it is in the early stages of being put together. Nothing confirmed yet,
but we’re looking to tour all over, mon. Spread the message through Europe all the way
to America. My manager, and tell everyone I have the best manager in the world! [Lisa
Marie Edwards], when the album come out on the street she’ll make sure everything will
I then asked him if he’d be willing to discuss the break up.
“To tell ya the truth, Professor Skank, I really don’t wanna talk about that right
now, y’understand me? A lot of people keep coming to me wanting to really get into it.
But it’s like I don’t really wanna get into that right now. Right now, I’m just all about the
music. And if people listen to the music, then they’ll eventually know everything that they
want to know. Because the music is what I use to talk to the people. So in the music, the
people will find all their answers to all their questions. As far as getting in a conversation
with it, and debating it and stuff, I don’t really wanna get into that. It’s bad things why the
group mash up, which most likely everybody knows that, bad things mash up group. It’s
not good things mash up group. The time to talk about it, I’m not ready yet. The time will
come, yes, when I talk about it internationally. But I’m not into the vibes right now or
anytime soon to really get in this conversation of why Israel Vibration mash up.”
In response to my question if it’s a problem that Wiss and Skelly are using the
Israel Vibration name, Apple continued. “Yeah, mon, that’s a big problem. That’s why I
don’t wanna talk about anything yet. Ya know, two people don’t own that name. Three
people own that name. They don’t have no right going around using the name Israel
Vibration when it’s Apple, Wiss and Skelly who is Israel Vibration. See, I go out there
and use my name. I could use Israel Vibration, too, ‘cause I own the name, I create the
name. But I don’t want no problem with the people and the confusion it brings. But we’ll
deal with that down the line and straighten out things, ‘cause they don’t own the name.
The two of them alone is not Israel Vibration. They’re supposed to go out there as “Wiss
and Skelly, members of Israel Vibration.” Just like I have on my record, “Apple Gabriel,
original member of Israel Vibration.”
I then asked Apple if there was any chance the group would reform in the future
(since they did have a six-year hiatus in the ‘80s).
“No, no, no, this group is history. Like the Wailers and all the rest, is history when
they break up, this is history, too. It will never happen. 100% it will never happen again,
Sad news, for sure. I ended our brief talk by asking him what he’d like to tell all of
“I wanna tell the people, ya know, craven choke puppy dog. Don’t be greedy.
Love and respect each other. Love and respect the most high. Always be good to your
Brother and Sister. Don’t covet your brother. Don’t blaspheme aginst your brother. Just
do the right thing as the Father said. Love your brother and sister the way you love
yourself. Serve no other God but the one true and living God who create the whole
creation. That for me is what it’s all about. Love and respect for all people,
“That’s what me is all about, peace and love for the whole world, mon. Me love
and respect ALL people. Black people, white people, Chinese people, Indian people, red,
yellow, blue, pink people. Me love and respect ALL people. And me can’t wait to come
inna your area and meet the people. Yes, mon, Apple Gabriel and the Zionites are looking
forward to meeting everyone throughout the world and spreading our message of peace
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