Rebel Sound Radio are best described as a hard hitting three piece collective, unified by volume, distortion, high energy and with a drive to break away from the everyday grind. Formed to start something new and forge a totally different sound that will sent them apart. Terry spoke to Jessie James Hanright from Rebel Sound Radio for muzic.net.nz. Here's what he had to say:
New EP Regret Nothing has just been released. Is this your first release?
Yes it is our first one, we had recorded the Liberation single and a B side previously at Depot Studios in Devonport with Dave Rhodes. We decided to go back up and work with Dave to record four more songs and put it together as an EP.
How long have you guys been together, and how did the band form?
Somewhere Circa early 2015 is when the line up was completed and we started putting songs together. Both myself and Craig had been sitting around not doing anything too musical over the last couple of years apart from dabbling with covers and other musical projects that never really took off. We have both been in original bands before and missed writing and playing so it was a breath of fresh air forming Rebel Sound Radio. We got Ash in on drums and he fit in really well pretty much straight away, he made it easy and injected a good dose of energy into the band.
Could you please tell us about the writing and recording process that you go through as a band?
I used to write loads on a beat up old acoustic and take mostly whole songs to band practice in the past but due to having less spare time to work on material I have modified my process to make writing as spontaneous as possible. I will come up with basic ideas at home and take them out to band practice or just roll with ideas on the fly, I love throwing around ideas and seeing what sticks. I also find that the songs have more room to breathe and more natural energy when they have been forged in the jam room.
We are always working on material and will spend an hour or so working on new songs each practice and pull them to bits until we are happy with them, a lot of them get thrown out or recycled but the good ones will get the cell phone recording treatment in their current state and tucked away. We will leave a song a couple of weeks before returning to it to see if itís still up to par, we are pretty picky!
I focus a lot on the vocal melody and will use dummy lyrics until itís time to record, I donít like being restricted by the lyrics of a song during the process of fleshing it out. Usually by the time I sit down to finish the song I have a good idea of what the song is about and have my chorus lyrics already in place so itís just a matter of building the rest of the lyrics around the chorus.
Every band has their preferred method of recording but we practice the song until we are sick of playing it and will do all our pre production (tempos, guide tracks etc.) before we hit the studio. We record track by track Ė drums, bass, guitars, vocals and back up vocals and then do a final edit to strip any unnecessary filler out of the song (as we tend to make really long songs). Welcome to the Badlands was almost a 7 minute song and ended up 4:50.
Before we started tracking the EP we did some live demos in the studio and I loved the energy of the recordings, I may approach the next studio session differently and try cut whatever we are recording live to see how it compares.
What inspires you to write music?
I guess that I have always had something in me that I need to get out and music is my medium, I get fixated on ideas and I get irritated when I canít do something creative to reflect them. I get inspired for lots of different reasons- whether I have been having a shitty run of luck and need to vent out of pure frustration or Iím feeling nostalgic about past times / events, I just take whatever Iím feeling at the time and channel it creatively.
Who were some your first musical heroes?
I have so many musical heroes but the ones who really stood out to me when I a young teenager and just getting into music are Kurt Cobain, James Hetfield and Jimi Hendrix. Funnily enough they are all Frontmen and killer guitarists for completely different reasons. I also remember spending the early 2000ís getting into all these older bands from the 60ís and 70ís... Led Zepplin, Black Sabbath, The Doors all the really cool guitar based stuff.
What is your favourite Kiwi album and song you class as your Kiwi anthem?
My favourite album is either Shihadís General Electric or 8 Foot Sativaís Hate Made Me, both of those albums are great from start to finish and really stuck with me for some reason or another. As far as Kiwi anthems you canít go past Donít Dream Itís Over by Crowded House.
What is your favourite Kiwi venue?
Probably the Kings Arms Tavern in Auckland, but there is some awesome venues up and down the country. I havenít toured with a band for about 6 or seven years so my knowledge of venues outside of Hamilton or Auckland is probably a little bit lacking, some of the same venues are still around but a lot of my favourite venues have gone.
How hard is it to make music and play live in NZ?
I donít think itís particularly hard but there is very little support for smaller developing bands and very limited industry in place, it depends on what you are looking for I guess? Itís easy enough to get a good covers band together, play the same bars regularly and scrape a living but If you want to tour like demons, play every night of the week and be a full time musician playing original material NZ is not the country to do it in... We just donít have the population and itís too expensive.
What are the bands plans for the future?
Itís been a massive year for us and we have ticked a lot of goals off the list, we have the tour coming up and have plans for a big New Years gig but beyond that we donít have too much planned yet for 2017. Doing another video and releasing a second single from the EP and playing in a few more new places is the short term plan but for the most part we are already working on follow up material and already have a bunch of newer songs that we are crafting and shaping. We will probably sit down after Xmas and New years and set ourselves some goals for the year.
When can we see shows across the country and any plans to travel further abroad?
November on the Road Rage tour with our pals Poison Skies!
5thNovember Ė Blind Tiger, Wellington
18th November Ė The Mayfair, New Plymouth
19th November Ė The Royal, Palmerston North
25th November Ė Gravity, Hamilton
26th November Ė Backbeat, Auckland
We would like to do some Australia shows as some point, maybe next year if it works out?
Where can we pick up a copy of the EP?
You can pick up a copy at any of the previously mentioned gigs or head online and grab one from iTunes, Google Play or Amazon. All the links can be found on http://www.rebelsoundradio.com/
Could you please give us some words of advice for young musicians?
Hereís a few things that either took me a long time to learn or I have observed time and time again. I feel they are key areas for young musicians.
Be organised, no one is going to want to deal with you if you struggle to make it to band practice and show up unprepared. Donít be that guy.
Practice, Practice and practice some more, you have to be honest with yourself and know your weaknesses. Itís easy to get halfway decent and not push yourself to get any better. You donít have to be Steve Vai or John Bonham but you should be always trying to get that little bit better. Turn the TV off and hit those scales!
Surround yourself with positive supportive people and people who have been there and done it before, their knowledge and experience is invaluable and you can learn a lot if you take the time to ask questions and listen.
Most importantly, stay humble! Itís a small industry and word travels fast if you act like a douchebag.
Rebel Sound Radio were formed early 2015 in Hamilton New Zealand, a sleepy riverside city that has given birth to some of New Zealands biggest artists.
As both their previous bands had called it a day, a conscious decision was made by singer / guitarist / songwriter Jessie James Hanright and bass player Craig Turner to start something new and to bring a totally different sound that would set them apart.
They enlisted the help of drummer Ashley Goodare to complete the wild, untamed, three piece and set up shop writing and molding their new found rock and roll sound.