the rebel spell want your money (www.straight.com)

Another fresh article about The Rebel Spell and their upcoming plans…published on April 10th in the Vancouver Straight. Interview by Allan MacInnis.


trs-cropWhen I first interviewed Vancouver political punks the Rebel Spell for Razorcake fanzine in 2008, conversation turned to the difficulties of spreading their message—rooted in a concern for environmentalism, animal rights, indigenous self-determination, and social justice—while remaining true to their ideals. “It’s so hard on the road,” singer Todd Serious said, adding that he would “starve to death” if he tried to maintain his ideal vegan diet while touring. “It’s funny, because the band is the reason I own a car. The band is the reason I’m not vegan. It’s just kinda fucked up.”

Flash forward six years, and Serious has found at least one solution to this conundrum. The Rebel Spell now tours in an environmentally friendly, veggie oil-fueled bus, converted, in typical punk rock DIY-fashion, by Serious himself.

“We’ve been running vegetable oil since 2010,” he tells the Straight, reached by cellphone at his home in Lillooet. “Basically, you need a diesel vehicle. The idea behind the diesel vehicle, originally, was to make a motor that could run on a fuel that farmers could grow themselves.” (Such as peanut oil.) Serious had heard “that you could get free fuel by either taking used vegetable oil and turning it into bio-diesel, or you can run it straight into the motor without first converting it.”

He ultimately decided on the latter option. “The vehicle starts up on diesel and once it’s warmed up, you basically throw a switch and start running from your vegetable oil tank,” he explains. How do they get their oil? “Just dumpster it, collect it from the garbage. I have a centrifuge system to filter it, a pretty simple thing as well, and it spins the water and dirt out of the stuff, and you just dump it in the tank and burn it up.”

The process of converting the van took something like 30 hours of work, but that was mostly “trips to the fitting store to buy little pieces of brass or something that I needed,” Serious says. “It’s like any sort of home project, where you’re not totally sure what you’re doing yet, and you’re figuring it out, and it’s like: ‘Oh, I need one of those, or one of these,’ y’know? I’m sure I could do it much faster now.”

Besides doing what he can to look out for the environment, other causes Serious remains committed to include his support for “the small local Native movements around B.C.” (He describes the pipelines that may someday cross them as “another step down the path in the wrong direction.”) He’s also active in dog rescue, though his activities at present are mostly kept low-key and Lillooet-based. “If I’ve got a dog that really needs a place and it can’t work within a personal network, I mostly just use Facebook,” he says. “I try to keep it local, that way I can check in with the adopted home.”

This spring and summer, however, the conscientious lead singer has another cause to concern himself with: the recording of the Rebel Spell’s yet-to-be-titled fourth full-length, which will be their first to draw on crowdsourcing. “The band is not a business… but it’s nice to recoup your costs, or some of your costs, so you’re not spending thousands of dollars to put out something for people. Crowdfunding is kind of neat, because it brings that up to the front. People want this? Help us pay for it. And people seem to be keen to do that, so…”

The Rebel Spell goes into the studio with Jesse Gander starting May 5. “We’re hoping to have everything done by the end of June, and get it off for mastering so we can release in October,” Serious continues, adding that hopefully we’ll see a vinyl addition at some point. (Serious explains that vinyl is expensive and complicated, but that the band would “love to press vinyl with everything” where possible. Thus far only their debut album, 2005’s Expression In Layman’s Terms, is available on wax).

The singer feels particularly confident about the current batch of songs, which they’ve been writing more or less since their last album was completed. “We’ve got at least fourteen songs that are looking good, and we’ll probably put twelve on the record,” he says, including a collaboration with Vancouver dark folk musician and fiddler, Jeff Andrew. “It’s a historical ballad, focused on an event in the gold rush-era Chilcotin, west of Williams Lake. It’s referred to historically as the Chilcotin War.”

Also known as the Bute Inlet Massacre, 1864’s Chilcotin War involved the killing of several white laborers working on a wagon route between the gold fields of Barkerville and the Cariboo Road. When brought to trial, the defendants—all Tsilhqot’in people—described their actions as an act of war, not murder. The folk elements to the song should make for an interesting follow-up to the Rebel Spell’s cover of Leon Rosselson’s similarly historically-themed “The World Turned Upside Down,” which deals with agrarian socialists the Diggers, from 2011’s It’s a Beautiful Future.

The Rebel Spell’s fundraiser for the new record, where a few songs from the upcoming album will see their Vancouver debut, is set to happen Friday (April 11) at Lanalou’s Rock’n’Roll Eatery (362 Powell), with support from the Flagpolers (whom Serious describes a “good pop-punk band” consisting of Irish friends who all live in Vancouver) and Frank Love (“a female-fronted hardcore punk band” that Serious himself is looking forward to seeing live for the first time). The fundraiser tour will continue on to Victoria and the prairies thereafter, if the veggie oil holds out.

Oh, by the way: by the time that Razorcake interview was published, a few months after the conversation took place, Todd Serious had totally gone vegan and has never looked back.


interview with todd from the rebel spell (from beatroute magazine)

A brand new interview with Todd from The Rebel Spell!


trs-cropGetting to interview Todd Serious from Vancouver’s most political punk band the Rebel Spell is rare these days but so are their shows in Vancouver now.

“It’s hard. I miss Vancouver a lot but then it’s so much more awesome when I get here. It’s constantly changing, definitely moved out of the pseudo-commercial venues it was in.”

Coming back from a whirlwind of a tour – 22 shows in 24 days in five countries and the band is already planning to go back to Europe again in November of 2015. They had help booking with a little record label out of Ontario called Rebel Time.

“When G7 was folding up, we were looking for something when we were going to release this new album. And since our first tour we’ve known the people that started Rebel Time. They just offered to help us out. It’s just some support in Eastern Canada. They’re helpful there and they are connected in to some good networks in Europe, so both of our European tours have been booked by Rebel Time Records. “

February 2003 was their first show ever, so they just passed 11 years as a ban. Asking Serious about his latest bug, he goes a bit dark.

“Honestly, I’m working hard to resist falling in to a nihilistic mental state. I feel really overwhelmed with the trajectory of society. And I’m sure a lot of people feel that. But I think it’s super important to maintain a positive outlook. Remember that even though the big picture is really bleak, individuals like you and I, and everyone, can make a difference day to day in just keeping things a little bit better. And really, that’s what’s within our power so we should strive for that. And I’m striving to keep it positive in an overwhelmingly negative context; my friends go that way, I go that way. Support each other, because that’s all we’ve really got.”

rebelspell06The conversation turned to increased paranoia over surveillance culture as the subject of their song “It Can’t Be Just Me” and a great video to accompany it. “I feel this stuff all the time. It’s just cathartic to yell and have people yell along with you.” The song has a good warning about the future: the kids won’t realize what is gone and what we had (freedom).

“Now, you’re afraid to talk on your cell phone openly. As a society we’ve been bred and led to expect something different like we’d be able to speak freely. But honestly, you’re walking around and you can feel that there’s cameras on you now in a lot of public places. And that makes you feel a little weird and then you realize that your words could easily be recorded all the time on your cell phone and out of context. Not to get all conspiracy and paranoid, but that stuff’s happening and becoming easier and easier. That’s that trajectory that we’re talking about. We’re going in that direction.”

Right now the Rebel Spell are currently gearing up to record a new album and Serious spilled the beans.

“We’re really involved in building a new record right now. It’s such a process for us. It’s not easy. We start recording May 5th. We’re doing a handful of shows before then, trying to get some money together. ”

While The Rebel Spell are a veteran act in the Vancouver punk community, they are not one to stay stagnant and aren’t afraid to mess with the formula.

“The neat thing about this is that we decided to switch things up. We are working with Jesse Gander out of a studio called Rain City Recorders. He is more of a punk producer than in the past and we should have a couple of new songs ready for this show in April and show people what we are up to.”

NYB Presents: THE REBEL SPELL (album fundraiser) w/ Frank Love & Flagpolers


stage bottles: ‘having a laugh and having a say’ in canada…


Frankfurt, Germany’s STAGE BOTTLES are headed our way and will be playing a few shows in Ontario and Quebec.

Some of the dates so far are: 

TORONTO (Sneaky Dees) on APRIL 18TH, with Bitter Grin, The Deliquents and Action Sedition

MONTREAL (Coop Katacombes) on APRIL 19TH with Jeunesse Apatride, Scarlet Beast and Mayday

OTTAWA (Dominion Tavern) on APRIL 25TH with Shotcallers and Machine Gun Dolly

HAMILTON (This Ain’t Hollywood/Matinee Show) on APRIL 26TH with The Fallout, Overpower and Come Out Swinging

If you aren’t familiar with the band, here’s what a few reviewers have had to say recently:

..STAGE BOTTLES play melodic Oi! with a distinctive saxophone and strong, sussed political ideas…

…the STAGE BOTTLES form an important anti-fascist alternative. What sets the band apart from the pack is Olav’s saxophone. It gives the band an eerie BAD MANNERS feel to their skinhead punk beat associating them with anti-racist scenes of the past. But the band is a straight up hardcore punk band with loads of melody. Think BAD MANNERS meets the politics of ANGELIC UPSTARTS meets the sound of BLAGGERS ITA…

…think of the best of early BUSINESS (“Official Bootleg” era) and early BLITZ (first album) combined with above average lyrics, and a healthy dose of sax, and you’re away…

…band with a real infectious street punk sound that borrows heavily from pop sensibilities (as far as song structures go: verse, chorus, verse kind of thing). Like a UK Subs/Bad Manners collaboration of sorts on the surface, but yet the STAGE BOTTLES end up sounding more and more like Leatherface’s singer fronting Infa Riot; the lyrics are straight-up working class and of the anti-fascist variety but still Oi! to the core….


Here’s what the band has to say about itself:

“The Stage Bottles were formed in 1993. We started with a complete different line up compared to now – except Olaf.

The band was born as an anti-fascist Skinhead band with roots in classic punk-rock and Oi! from England. But we always gave a fuck about where good music comes from.

The Stage Bottles are a sub-cultural band. Being involved into sub-cultures like Punk, Hooligan or Oi! we make a stand against capitalist society and its ignorant and killing effects. Our aggression is the result of a critical attitude to what ordinary people do. We are not ordinary, and people who like Stage Bottles aren’t either, we hope.

But our attitude is not a result of racist or nationalist propaganda. We don’t like everyone, but we also don’t hate everyone. It doesn’t matter where anyone comes from or what colour of skin the person’s got. We’ve got friends/comrades all over the world.

But we know some people are acting in another way, so we’ve got to react. Our music and the lyrics are a reaction to this. We can’t cut off our music and lyrics from experiences we had. So we are anti-fascists and we support anti-fascists and sometimes we feel like revolutionaries.

But never forget: antifascism and a revolutionary attitude has got to be fun as well.

The Stage Bottles act in a political way to prevent bad things and to support good things and to save and build freedom.

The result may be a better world with much more fun and without arsholes.

You can call it: Aggression for fun in a positive way.

But as a small band like us with a little effect, of course. With your support the effect may become bigger!”
Power For Revenge

Corruption And Murder (Full Album)






the class assassins: upcoming shows


Our very own THE CLASS ASSASSINS have announced a few shows (with more to come) as follows:

*FRIDAY MAY 30 – Foufounes Electriques (Montreal) The Class Assassins (with The Angelic Upstarts and more)
*SATURDAY, MAY 31 – The Hardluck Bar (TO) The Class Assassins (with The Angelic Upstarts and more)
*SATURDAY, JUNE 7 – TBA (Windsor) The Class Assassins and more
*FRIDAY, JUNE 27 – Bovine Sex Club (TO) The Class Assassins and more
*SATURDAY, JULY 19 – Jimmy Jazz (Guelph) The Class Assassins and more

If you haven’t heard their latest 2-song digital release “The Addiction & The Solution” you can check it out/buy it at their Tunecore page and/or Bandcamp page, or give it a spin right here!

As one reviewer noted, this release”…starts off with “The Addiction” which has the power that I expect from their releases, great gang vocals, raspy lead vocals, chiming guitar playing that has a touch of THE CLASH to it, pounding drums, bass playing that fits perfectly in tune with the drumming and a chorus that is huge, and “The Solution” starts off with some acoustic guitar, some feedback and then the band kicks you in the teeth with its hard-hitting street punk that has great gang vocals, and playing that will get you moving whether you want it to or not…”

Here’s the band doing one of our favourites, “Urban Rebel”…




spanner – the mirvat session bootleg

From the desk of Spanner:

“Coming soon – ‘The Mivart Bootleg’. This will be a pay what you want download release featuring bodgy barely mixed live recordings of some of our older tunes. Here is a little teaser!”

History lessons

Important people make history, so we’re always told
Generals, presidents, conquerors, kings and queens of old
But look beyond the facts we’re given and the books we’re allowed to see
That they’ve used to keep us in the dark, to wipe out our memory
History is re-written by liars, thieves and cheats
But we’re the ones who make it – it comes up from the streets
Sometimes it seems from nowhere, other times well organised
But insurrection spreads like wildfire when we see through their lies

They can change colours, go by a different name
But all government’s violence just the same

Calls for freedom throughout the ages have always been met with lead
By murderous governments everywhere piling up the dead
Whether it’s the minions of the market or defenders of the crown
By sword or club or machine gun fire they’ve always put us down
The force of order wastes no time to go in for the kill
Learn the lessons from the past coz our enemies certainly will
Betrayed, imprisoned, masacred – history gets repeated
But the struggle for a better world has never been defeated

There’s no way they’ll stamp out our ideas
Though they’ve been trying for so many years
Though it may seem hopeless and all the odds are stacked
Every day there’s more of us fighting back
To create the sort of world we want to see
Where all government is history


HISTORY LESSONS – action sedition and spanner


Songs of protest and resistance. Rebel tunes for rebel times. Relevant, radical, topical and timely tunes. That’s what you get in ‘History Lessons,’ a 7″ EP with download card coming shortly and featuring 2 songs each from Action Sedition and Spanner.

In the spirit of international solidarity, we’re especially happy to be working together on this release with rad labels like Iron Column Records, Jobsworth Records, Maloka Records and Riot Ska Records.

‘History Lessons’ includes a 7″ platter with one song from Action Sedition (Histoire D’un Printemps) and one song from Spanner (Always Antifascist), PLUS a download card with not only those two songs but another song from Action Sedition (Classe Contre Classe) and another song from Spanner (Impossible).

It’s no secret we’re big fans of both bands. Action Sedition and Spanner really do exemplify, via their music and message, actions and ideals, what Rebel Time Records is all about. These songs (and these bands) are inspiring and incendiary, positive and purposeful. Their songs are infectious, catchy-as-heck  clarion calls-to-action and we can’t wait for you to hear them!

You can find more information on both these bands here on this blog…just scroll down a bit!

Here are live versions of three of the songs that will be on ‘History Lessons’…



 New measures of austerity
For the well-being of the economy
This time it’s the university
Whose price the state wants to increase
As soon as the increase is announced
A social movement comes to life
Struggling for free tuition
Education does not have a price
A spring unlike any other is on the horizon
We will fight until they back down
Sides are quickly drawn
As the media, cops, and bosses
Side with the government
Against the people
At night, confrontations
In the morning, injunctions
The youth are rising
We will not ask for forgiveness From Victoriaville to the streets of Montreal
Fear changes sides, the police flee
Who would have believed that after that spring People would vote like fools?
Believing that change could finally come
Through an election…


Class against class
We will always fight on
Class against class
We will never back down

The local factory is shutting down
Hundreds of jobs are lost once again
Anger is building inside of us
Families find themselves on the streets

Between killing, drinking or shouting
I’ve decided to fight for my dignity
They’ve humiliated my class
Time for revenge has finally arrived


Welfare is not enough
Landlords won’t accept credit
It’s a return to underemployment
Precariousness enriches them

Unions do nothing
Infected with bureaucracy
The power of the bosses spreads
The more we scratch, the more rot we find

Class against class (x8)

Yet we don’t have much choice
If we want to break our chains
We must organize for the fight
Capitalism must be eliminated

We will win through the struggle
The bourgeoisie and its servants
We will overthrow the balance of power
Because there can be no peace between classes




It’s a tired old story when times are harsh
the fascists and racists go on the march
with twisted faces and ideas
misplaced anger, ignorance and fear They go for easy targets and never aim high
Believing all the bullshit and swallowing all the lies
yeah they can shout loud but they’ve nothing to say
just the same old bigotry that never goes away
Repackaged as radical, new and improved
but so many times it’s been proved
they’ve got nothing to offer but division and hate
and power and strength to the nation state

Raised fists antifascists help the fightback spread
and the only good fascist is one that is dead
Militants in resistance we know our enemies
and we know that our best weapon is solidarity

Police and fascists march side by side
it’s always been the way, it can’t be denied
waving batons or St George crosses
they’re working for the rich and the same bosses
So there’s plenty of violence to protect “Free speech”
for the fascist scum and the filth they preach
their “right to protest” is always ensured
while antifascists feel the force of the law

Liberals without a clue
trying to tell “the movement” what to do
follow the leaders from a to b
and let’s pretend we got unity
Stirring speeches keep people still
as designated protest pens are filled
miles from the fascists behind police rails
playing it safe and doomed to fail

We know that fighting fascism means sometimes we have to fight
not pacified, dead end demos where everything is so polite
It’s not about being macho, elite or supertough
but a look at the history of fascism should tell us enough
It’s confidence and strength will grow if it is unopposed
so with barricades and whatever it takes we’ll make sure the road is closed
Wherever they start we have to stop them to make sure they have no chance
there’s many ways to beat the fascists and push back their advance
We’ll never accept the rise of the right or fascists on our streets
and we won’t follow leaders on the long road to defeat
In memory of fallen comrades we will never forget
nor do we forgive so our rage is fueled to destroy the fascist threat


rebel fest 2014




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