Rebelution Ride a Wave of Confidence Into Their Latest Tour
A rehearsal space adjacent to the Burbank airport is almost as far away as a band can get from the rigors of the road. It's also miles away from the last big SoCal date we saw them play, strumming stoned eighth notes before a massive crowd at the Cali Roots festival in Monterey, with a sea of cute blondes in Jamaican beanies and smiling flip-flop-wearing college dudes shouting along to every lyric from the mouth of front man Erick Rachmany. Wherever Rebelution decide to tour, a relaxed tribe of faithful suburban reggaeheads are sure to follow. That includes their upcoming back-to-back stint at the OC Fair this weekend.
When it's time to take a break from their sweaty inner sanctum, its walls adorned by Jimmy Page and Eddie Van Halen posters, Rachmany and group members Rory Carey (keyboard), Wesley Finley (drums) and Marley Williams (bass) put down their instruments and head outside to grab a seat on a nearby bench as planes scream overhead.
They act as though they're old friends who haven't seen one another in a long time--there's good-natured ribbing, backslapping and smiles. The members of Rebelution live up and down the California coast, from San Francisco to San Diego, but they have an intricate understanding of one another dating back to their college days.
For their fourth studio effort, Count Me In (released June 10), Rebelution say, they used a variety of methods to craft their songs. They sometimes used soundchecks as impromptu jam sessions, usually resulting in a lot of their new riffs. Despite the physical distance between them during their off time, they're still able to flesh out songs, some of which started as jams a few years ago.
"We have so many shows per year that whenever we can try to build on new material, we do it," Williams explains. "It can be like, 'Hey, remember that idea?'--and all of a sudden, Eric will have a bunch of lyrics, and we'll put something together."
While prepping this record, Rachmany zapped song ideas to his band mates via email or other file-sharing methods as they came to him. The band members agree the making of Count Me In was less stressful than that of their earlier work. They recorded the album at two studios, including at the Florida studio of fellow reggae outfit Inner Circle. "We're constantly learning how to be more comfortable than the last show or last album," Rachmany says. "We went in and enjoyed ourselves without any deadlines. Being yourself is when magic happens."