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Rebel - Interview

  by Dominic B. Simpson

published: 13 / 2 / 2010

Rebel - Interview


Dominic Simpson talks to distorted country blues artist The Rebel, who will soon be opening the Pennyblackmusic Bands Night, about his musical career

The opening act at the next Pennyblackmusic night, on 20th March at the Half Moon Herne Hill in South London, remains something of enigma. Yet The Rebel needs little introduction. Formerly the frontman of legendary loved/hated (in equal measure) ‘art-punk’ band the Country Teasers way back when, since going solo The Rebel has unleashed songs such as ‘Why Must I Pay?’,‘Tammy Payton Likes a Boy’, ‘Scarlett Johansen Conceiving the Design’, ‘Iran’s Nuclear Threat’, and the dubiously-titled ‘Kissing and Touching the Void Hem of the Cloth/Fuck Syngenta’. He’s also released an album, ‘Kit’ on Hook Or Crook Records. When this writer has caught the man in action previously, he’s occasionally been unaccompanied, occasionally with various accomplices who’ve supplanted his booming frame with motorik rhythms and keyboards. Some of those accomplices have now joined him in his other band, The Devil. Pennyblackmusic decided to chew the cud (so to speak) with The Rebel to find out what makes him tick. Get there early on March 20th to hear the man’s booming lyrical genius. PB: What made you go solo after being in the Country Teasers? The Rebel: Well, it's not quite like that, I was solo before the Country Teasers, and am still in the Country Teasers. But I like to play solo live because it is so much easier. I don't have to worry about the other members. PB: Can you tell me something about the band that you were in before the Country Teasers? TR: I wasn't in a band before the Country Teasers. I was in the Male Nurse at the same time for a few years there in Edinburgh and London. PB: How would you describe the difference between The Rebel and the Country Teasers? TR: The Rebel is pure ego with no filters or external censor or quality control. The Rebel churns out material all day and night. Those songs by the Rebel which are good enough for the group the Country Teasers get taught to the group, and if the group likes them they survive; but many die. PB: Can you tell us something about The Devil? TR: The Devil is a democracy where the songs are co-written by James Edwards, Sophie Politowicz, and myself. It is harder music than even tThe Country Teasers, which I tried to make pretty hard. It’s also a bit more difficult. But people like us (live, I mean – we’ve got no recordings except on our Myspace page) because we are quite a good band. PB: What influences The Rebel’s music? TR: Sade, Phil Collins/late Genesis, Elton John, Tears for Fears, Brainbombs, ABBA, Ween, Status Quo, The Shadow Ring. PB: What can we expect from The Rebel’s live set? TR: Carter Family covers, simple songs with funny lyrics, maybe some Gameboy noise. PB: What is the song 'Why Must I Pay' about? TR: It’s about having to pay for things all the time. The second half is about the human race wasting money on wars and funerals. PB: Hmmm….thank you.

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