Archive for April, 2014


the rebel spell want your money (

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)





Blog Stats

  • 41,408 hits
Follow Rebel Time Records on