By Ben G. Rowin
Originally from Santa Barbara, CA, Rebelution has been showing up everywhere I look! I just caught them performing twice in the last month, once at the Spring Gathering in San Bernardino, and then again at the OMBAC Coming Out Party in San Diego. Both shows were amazing! What I find most appealing about the band is their uplifting, inspiring music that makes the listener feel empowered!
They made me wish I would have listened to my little cousin, who brought me a copy of their first full length album â€œCourage to Growâ€ over a year ago. But I thoughtâ€¦ what could this girl know about music? My bad! Rebelution has now become not only one of my personal favorite bands, but can also be heard coming out of the speakers in the art department and in the front office of NUG!
Everyone on the staff has become huge fans of Rebelution and we were stoked when their publicist reached out to us to see if we wanted to do an interview with the band. First letâ€™s give you, the NUG Magazine readers, a little background on the band.
The band was originally formed in 2004, members Eric Rachmany (vocals/guitar), Rory Carey (keyboards), Wesley Finley (drums), and Marley D. Williams (bass). The guys met while attending college. All were living in Isla Vista, a beachside community in Santa Barbara, which has a lot to do with their laid back, worry free sound.
â€œCourage to Growâ€ was heavily rotated on San Diegoâ€™s 91X as well as other major stations across California. The album hit an all time high when it was selected as iTunes Editorâ€™s Choice for Best Reggae Album of 2007. In addition, â€œCourage to Growâ€ has been in the top 10 iTunes Reggae Album sales since its release two years ago. It remained in the Billboard Top Reggae Album Chart for 36 weeks, and peaked at #4.
On August 4th 2009 their second album â€œBright Side of Lifeâ€ was released and shot straight to the top of the iTunes charts, solidifying the #1 spot on iTunes in the reggae music genre, and the #3 spot for top albums downloaded in the U.S. in ALL genres of music. The album also debuted at #54 on the Billboard Top 200, #7 on the Billboard Indie Albums, and #1 on the Billboard Reggae charts. â€œBright Side of Lifeâ€ joined the likes of top artists such as Modest Mouse, Colbie Caillat, Whitney Houston, Black Eyed Peas, and Kings of Leon.
The release of â€œBright Side of Lifeâ€ marks the first release under Rebelutionâ€™s newly founded record label 87 Music, in association with Controlled Substance Sound Labs and Silverback Music, the California based music collective, which is also home to local artists Slightly Stoopid and Pepper.
NUG: First off, I want to thank you for taking the time out to tell us more about the band!
REB: Iâ€™m Rory Carey and I play keyboards in Rebelution.Â We started playing music together in college in Santa Barbara, CA in 2004.Â By the summer of 2007, everyone finished school and we began touring full-time.Â We started gigging in just California and Hawaii, but now we go all over the US and just recently completed our first European tour.Â We basically want to play everywhere in the world that we can!
NUG: Who chose the name Rebelution and how did you come up with it?
REB: A couple of the guys were driving one day and the word â€œRebelutionâ€ just popped out.Â Everyone thought it was a catchy play on words and it stuck.Â Bob Marley referred to Reggae as â€œRebel Musicâ€, so itâ€™s perfect.
NUG: Who are some of your biggest influences?
REB: Bob Marley is and forever will be my biggest influence.Â His dedication and work ethic is pure motivation to me.Â I also love plenty of the original Jamaican Reggae artists like Don Carlos, Michael Rose, Junior Reid, The Gladiators, Israel Vibration, Eek-A-Mouse, Gregory Isaacs, and Peter Tosh.Â Iâ€™m also heavily influenced by the New School bands of my time like Tribal Seeds, SOJA, and Ooklah the Moc.
NUG: What inspired your new album Bright Side of Life?
REB: BSOL came out of the need for positivity in this crazy world.Â Itâ€™s really easy to be stressed out and unhappy with our current reality.Â Itâ€™s important for every individual to recognize the great things in life and not dwell on the bad things.Â No matter how bad of a day someone has, there will always be a better one in the future.
NUG: After the huge success ofÂ Courage to Grow, did you feel any pressure during the creation of the new album?
REB: We donâ€™t really feel pressure when creating songs because we love what we do!Â When we are working on new tunes or recording in the studio we like to have fun with it.Â If we started being too serious I think the music would suffer.
NUG: What are your goals for this album and beyond?
REB: We want as many people to hear and feel our music as possible.Â And we are just getting started.
NUG: Can you tell us about your new record label 87 Music?
REB: Weâ€™ve released all of our albums independently, so with BSOL we figured it was time to officially start a label.Â We all lived at this house in college where the address number was 6587, so thatâ€™s where 87 Music comes from.Â We played our very first show there, so itâ€™s a special place for us.Â Right now itâ€™s just Rebelution releasing under 87 Music, but in the future people can expect some other bands on the label as well.
NUG: We heard that you grew up in San Diego. What do you think of Americaâ€™s Finest City and its music scene?
REB: I feel very lucky to be born and raised in San Diego.Â The Reggae scene is incredible and I wouldnâ€™t be doing what I do today if I didnâ€™t grow up there.Â I was able to see so many of the A and B Reggae acts and that changed my life forever.Â San Diego also has the super dank nugs!
NUG: Where is your favorite place to perform live when you come to San Diego?
REB: I love playing outdoors, so one of my favorite shows was at the Wave House last summer.Â It was a free show and only 1,000 people could come in the venue but several thousand showed up!Â Everyone was piled on the beach right outside the venue and it was crazy.Â The cops almost didnâ€™t let us play!
NUG: Are there any must visit food places that you have to hit up when in San Diego?
REB: I always have to eat at Pokez Mexican Restaurant downtown.Â The best vegan Mexican food ever!
NUG: How was your experience at Dr. Greenthumbâ€™s Spring Gathering 2010 hosted by B-Real?
REB: That was a very great day for me.Â I did a celebrity stoner panel with B-Real and Tommy Chong about music and marijuana.Â I was listening and watching these guys for years and there I was on a panel with them!Â I can check that off my life to-do list!Â The awareness those guys are raising for cannabis is really important for the whole movement.
NUG: How have you seen the evolution of your music in the cannabis community?
REB: Reggae music and cannabis go hand in hand.Â You can get high from using cannabis and you can get high from listening to Reggae.Â Put them together and you have the most powerful conscious awareness tool there is.Â Cannabis makes you think and our music is supposed to do the same thing.Â We have two pro-cannabis songs called â€œGreen to Blackâ€ and â€œSo High.â€Â These ones are loved by the cannabis community because they shed light on the value of this truly remarkable plant.
NUG: How do you feel about cannabis? Are there any personal stories that you can share with our readers?
REB: Cannabis is a very important part of humanity.Â Itâ€™s been used as long as mankind has existed, especially because of the medicinal qualities.Â No one has ever died from consuming cannabis yet people die from â€œlegalâ€ substances everyday.Â People in power donâ€™t like the masses using herb so they let things like alcohol be legal to suppress conscious thinking.Â I have used herb for 14 years and I will always support it and talk to anyone about the benefits of this plant.Â Society and the government have done a great job keeping the real facts away from the general public.Â Thatâ€™s where Rebelution steps in . . . to tell people the truth about cannabis.
NUG readers can find more information about Rebolution by visiting the following websites:
You can now download a free iPhone app with the latest songs, photos, and videos from Rebelution.
You can also download their latest song â€œSo High (Remix)â€ on their site.