Interview made by Sander Nesta with the drummer of Rebelution, Wesley Finley
1. Greetings Rebelution, for the reggae fans that don’t know who is Rebelution, tell me something about the band? We’re a group of four Californian guys who met in college and decided to start a band after jamming together. The base of our music is reggae but we incorporate all sort of other influences like rock, hip-hop, and world music.
2. How did you guys chose the name Rebelution and what does it stand for? We chose the name Rebelution because it was an obvious play on the words “revolution” and “rebel”. With this name we intended to make a rebel out to be someone who works towards positive change instead of negative.
3. Rebelution making Reggae Rock, very good Reggae Rock. This term is used in the US but it is unknown in Europe. Where did Rebelution getting there influence and which artist belongs to yours favorit? Rebelution as a group has a strong influence of reggae, but the way we make reggae music does not come out as traditional roots reggae like most Europeans might know it. All of us grew up listening to different forms of rock music too so we just naturally combined both musics. Reggae Rock is a relatively new genre, many bands being from California, but we hope the movement continues to spread. My favorite artists are rock bands like Dredg, Thrice, Circa Survive, and Alexisonfire who have all toured Europe before I believe.
4. The First big hit of Rebelution was Courage to Grow. It was a big succes and in a few months Rebelutions fan base where growing and growing everyday. How important was this album for Rebelution? Courage to Grow was our first full length album so we took a long time to make it. We were very proud when it first came out but had no idea the music would go as far and wide as it did. The fact that it was so successful is exciting for us and other bands in the reggae rock genre. Playing a lot of live shows in support of Courage to Grow definitely helped the fan base to grow as well.
5. Was it difficult to produce a new album after the succes of a great album like Courage to Grow, with so many great tracks like Safe and Sound, Feeling Alright, Attention Span and Green to Black. Did Rebelution feels any pressure during the creation of the new album? We definitely felt a lot of pressure to live up to the hype that Courage to Grow created. In that light the second album is almost equally important because it shows the fans if the musical direction continued down the previously successful path. We felt like we did a good job with our sophomore release Bright Side of Life and the fans have responded positively.
6. Rebelution came to Europe this year for the First time but only for a visit of France for a few performances. How was this experience? Yes, we did nine shows in two weeks all throughout France, one of which was a big festival called Garorock in Marmande. The tour was a crazy experience to say the least! We were driving around six hours each day and sleeping in crowded hotels but it was well worth it. We played most of the shows with French bands Broussai and Danakil, who quickly became our friends.
7. Two other US Reggae bands Soldiers of Jah Army and Groundation are very populair in Europe and Rebelution is much bigger in this time in the US. Why isn’t Rebelution known by every reggae fan in Europe in this time? Well, we are a relatively young band having only been together for around 6 years. SOJA and Groundation have been around for twice as long as that and were smart to start sending their music and touring Europe as soon as they could. We are just starting to get recognition out there but we hope it isn’t long before we are touring Europe regularly too.
8. What is your opinion about the US reggae market and artists / bands comparing with the Jamaican market and artists? Here in Europe you have many people that listen to Jamaican reggae Music and it is much more populair then US Reggae Music. How is Rebelution thinking about this? It makes sense that Jamaican reggae would be more popular than US reggae in Europe. Reggae was born in Jamaica and still continues to be the hotbed for new reggae music and artists. Europe has a deep history and culture richness that goes much farther than the US so Jamaican reggae would be more apt to become popular there. US reggae still has a long way to come in it’s evolution and we are certainly a part of that.
9. When I listen Rebelution the First time it feels like magic in my ears and after a few months it still give me the same feeling. I really hope you will be as populair in Europe as Rebelution is right know in the US. What will Rebelution do in the past to make sure that all of them reggae fans knows who Rebelution is? We hope that our French tour earlier this year was a good stepping stone. We sold our music while we were there and did some interviews so we hope that a lot of people were exposed to our music and will take that with them to other parts of Europe. In the future, we hope that we can tour Europe once a year, every year, so that our fan base will continue to grow as it has here in the US.
10. At this moment Rebelution is touring in the US and you guys will visit a lot of places the whole year and thousands of people wanna see Rebelution. It’s sold out often when Rebelution will perform somewhere. When will Rebelution come to Europe again to perform in more countries like the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Italy and more? It feels like we are always touring somewhere! With the help of our management, we hope to get a comprehensive European tour going for 2011 and hopefully there will be thousands of people ready to see us when we arrive!
11. Rebelution went in Amsterdam a few days this year, in Amsterdam right? Did you guys like Amsterdam? And when can we see Rebelution on stage in the Dutch Capital? We did have a few days off during our French tour so we decided to spend the time in Amsterdam. We loved it! We went to the Heineken brewery, many coffee shops, the Marijuana and Sex Museums, and walked all over the city. I have to say that it was very, very cold when we were there but that didn’t stop us from having fun. We hope to one day perform at the Melkweg if we can draw enough people.
12. The last thing, why should the Dutch and Europe reggae fans listen to Rebelution Music? Dutch and Europe reggae fans should listen to Rebelution because we play a type of reggae that is new, exciting, and will make you want to dance. We think the Dutch will be very pleased if we can perform there someday!
Video by ReggaeRising09