05
May
11

the rebel spell – interview

Interview with THE REBEL SPELL from the Whilstler Question…

With The Rebel Spell, punk is far from dead
Band is back with first release in four years
The Rebel Spell play Garfinkel’s on Tuesday (May 10).
May 5, 2011

Four years after releasing their last album, Four Songs About Freedom, Vancouver punk band The Rebel Spell is back with on the scene with their latest offering, It’s a Beautiful Future.

“It took us a while to get this one done,” said Rebel Spell vocalist Todd Serious. “We wound up having a lot of pressure, we felt really nervous about releasing it and it turned out fantastic.”

According to Serious, a number of factors played into why the album took so long to be released.

“We’ve always been kind of slow at writing, but in the middle of it we were struggling with a personnel change where we lost one of our founding members,” explained Serious. “We kind of had to work around that and we were busy touring and Erin (guitarist/singer Empey) was finishing school, it was just one of those things where everything in life collides.”

On top of those issues, Serious explained that when work on the album began, the production side of things ended up being just another issue to overcome before everything would be said and done.

“We struggled with our engineer sort of pushing to be a producer,” he said. “We’ve always produced our own stuff, which I think is an important part of our sound, we wanted to take it up a little bit for this record but we ended up with too many hands in the kitchen there and it added to the struggles.

“A few lost friendships and a lot of arguing went into it, but it’s worked out and I don’t think I’d change anything now.”

With varying degrees of activism, frustration and social commentary, Serious’s lyrics lean more towards the politically-inspired side of punk music. One of the more common themes of the band’s latest album is the increasing feeling of living in a police state, something that Serious said he’s experienced first-hand.

“Certainly things like surveillance have steadily increased since I’ve been living in Vancouver and the laws have become a little more sneaky as far as where they can watch you, and so it’s pretty much everywhere now all the time,” said Serious.

And it’s that feeling of a loss of privacy and rights that plays a huge part in why Serious does what he does.

“Content-wise it’s everything. It’s a way of sort of exploring it, sometimes it’s cathartic, I just get to yell about it and sometimes I learn about it. So it’s definitely a huge influence on every direction.”

For fans of one of Vancouver’s most popular punk bands, all of the difficulties and writing seems to have paid off. According to Serious, since the release of It’s a Brighter Future in March, the album’s reception has been “surprisingly great.”

“We’ve had nothing but rave reviews about it so it’s pretty exciting,” he said.

Not bad for a band that hails from a genre that many have labelled as being “dead” ever since Maggie Thatcher was in power. But for Serious, the saying “punk is dead” is just that, a saying.

“Our Toronto show looked as good as our Vancouver show,” said Serious on how the crowds have been at recent Rebel Spell shows. “That was a big leap to be able to do really well out in those big cities and Ontario and stuff.”

Serious also said that the current state of the punk music scene is more lively today than it has been for years, and that things just seem to be getting better and better.

“When we started, things were on a downturn,” recalled Serious. “Things were still pretty good but then overall things died out, and they’re actually in a bit of an upswing right now. Little local scenes are starting to come together again and people are sort of figured out that they just have to do things on their own and the trends.”

As for playing in Whistler, Serious is excited to hit up the resort town for the first time in more than a year.

“The great thing about Whistler is that the crowds… (are) usually a pretty energetic and rambunctious group of people,” he said. “People are there to have a good time.”

The Rebel Spell play Garfinkel’s on Tuesday (May 10).

THE REBEL SPELL at Rebel Fest, March 2011:


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