Interview : Adam Shortreed-A Rebel Few

When did your band form?

A Rebel Few was formed in 2013

What do you do in your spare time?

I am a professional tattoo artist and an avid gun collector

What are you currently listening to?

Currently I am listening to The Cult, Dio and GnR’s Appetite

Have you discovered any new bands lately?

Black Stone Cherry is a killer band that I have never heard of until we were compared to them in a review lol. I downloaded them and they kick ass!

If you could tour any country where would you go and why?

Anywhere in Europe…..I’m a big WW2 buff. The culture, history and architecture are something that we can’t even come close to having here.

Is there any news/rumours about upcoming shows or tours the public does not know about yet?

We are currently planning a tour down south hopefully around October and are in talks with a few different people about some exciting stuff in the near future but obviously I cannot talk about anything until it is confirmed. We have recently been added to the WTFest in Brantford on June 25, featuring Billy Talent, Monster Truck, Saint Asonia, The Standstills, Ascot Royals.

What was the first concert your band performed at?

The first show we played as A Rebel Few we were actually on the bill as West Memphis Suicide opening for Blu Bones at The Rockpile in Toronto

Describe the song writing process?

We’re a jam band so someone will come up with a riff or Raposo will have an idea and we just start jamming until everyone puts their mark on it. Raposo is a lyrical genius.

Did you learn anything about each other while making your album As the Crow Flies?

Not really about us but we were lucky enough to learn a hell of a lot from Sterling, with a bunch of great stories along the way.

Can your name one/a few artists or bands that are your biggest influences?

Collectively as a band we are all massive Pantera, Black Sabbath and Lynyard Skynyrd fans.

What would be your bands definition of “hitting it big time?”

I feel like we have already hit it big time. If someone were to tell me in high school that I’d be buddies with Sterling Winfield and going to Vinnie Paul’s house for a BBQ I would have said they were full of shit.  Not to mention I couldn’t be more proud of the album we made!We have a loyal following of D.I.R.T. Bags and have been able to share the stage with MANY amazing bands.

A few examples of things in the Waterloo Region that best represent home to you and why?

Family and friends….its just a great place to be surrounded by them- DB4L!

The new album was supposed to be called New War for reasons relating to the band’s name change. Explain the reasoning for the actual total of As the Crow Flies?

Guerra Nova (New War) was one of the names going around in the beginning. That was one of the tentative titles that referred to the hurdles in the industry and our new frame of mind with how to eliminate them.  The old school way of writing good music and letting the people decide.  As The Crow Flies was just a very cool southern saying that we felt really gave people a sense of our sound without hearing it.  The saying refers to the shortest distance between two points which in the music biz is a mystical mindset because in our experience there is no such thing!  Its hard work, dedication and passion.  In true Rebel Few form we had to throw our twist on it so we had the crow dead with 4 flies surrounding it.  Why we did that is up for interpretation.

The new album began in 2014 and is released in 2016. Can you explain the length of time to release the album?

Since we are not signed to a major label yet lol! We had to be resourceful in raising the funds. It also took a lot of planning and scheduling to get Sterling up here and all of us down to Texas, but I think the end result speaks for itself so it was well worth it.

How has having Sterling and Howie on the new album helped your band in terms of how you view recording an album and also in terms of exposure?

When their names get mentioned people tend to pay attention and Sterling truly believes in what we want to do with this album. He has been selflessly promoting us on his own time. As for recording the album I was blown away by the attention to detail and skill level he has, his ear is a finely tuned tool.

On the new album you thank Brian Vollmer, Bobnoxious, and Russ Dwarf. As a Canadian, I love the music all of these guys have done. Can you tell us a little about those guys and what they each mean to you?

Brian was the first rock star I ever met when I was a kid. Helix came to a small record store in our town and he has been a big supporter of us since the beginning.

Bobnoxious is a great entertainer and we have done tonnes of shows with him over the years. He has always given us great advice and shown us a good time.

Russ Dwarf, what can you say, that guy is still a friggin animal on stage and has also been a wealth of information regarding this industry.

Can you describe your live show for those uninformed?

Honestly our live show is us having fun! We take our music serious but on stage we tend to joke around. We want everyone to see how much fun we are having and want everyone to be a part of it.

Can you tell us a story or two about some weird things you’ve seen on the road?

Well, there was this one time in Owen Sound lol that involved a girl and all the donuts in Tim Hortons…wait! I can’t tell that story hahahahahaha!!!!

Do any of the members do anything to get psyched up before a show?

Honestly were pretty laid back until we hit the deck and then it’s GAME ON!

Your motto is Driven Integrity Respect and Trust, and your fans are D.I.R.T.bags. Can you explain the perfect example of a true D.I.R.T.bag?

A D.I.R.T.bag is someone who is always true to themselves and those around them.   They refused to conform and always do what they know is right.

Other than Sterling Winfield and Howie Weinberg, are there any other producers/engineers etc. you would someday like to work with?

No one knows what the future will bring but Sterling is family and I can’t imagine working with anyone else. I hope he will always be involved with us in one way or another.

The same with another band. If you could choose one band to work with, who would it be, why, and name one song you would like to perform with that band?

Truthfully right now, with A Rebel Few, I get to play with my favourite band every night. If an opportunity comes up to play with one of our heroes you damn well better believe we will be getting up there to rock out with them!

There is one guy from my local radio station, 107.5 Dave Rocks, that keeps telling everybody how awesome your band is. I think you know who I mean.  Can you give him a shout out, and tell us how much this type of stuff helps your band?

It’s been great! We’ve been trucking along steady since day one, but when a legit radio station like 107.5 Dave Rocks and a badass like Darryl Law get behind you there is a definite boom in exposure and local pride. All four of us have been getting non-stop emails and texts since they’ve started playing our songs. We can never show enough appreciation to Darryl for what he has done for A Rebel Few.

Lastly a question from my fellow blogger, Mike Ladano.

Has the band ever run into any issues due to their tough, biker image? Booking clubs etc. Discuss

Lol not at all , we are who we are and I think within the first few seconds of talking to us people realize we’re not going to trash the place , respect goes a long way and the goes for bands and club owners alike .

Thanks Adam for taking the time to answer my questions. I wish you and the rest of the band all the success you deserve.

Click here for my review of A Rebel Few – As The Crow Flies

Album Review:A Rebel Few-As The Crow Flies (2016)

I heard this band for the first time last month on my local radio station. The DJ exclaimed the band was from Cambridge, Ontario. My first thoughts were “This sounds awesome”. I was reading others comparing the band to Pantera and Black Stone Cherry, so they were in lofty territory. The fact that they are a local band was a bonus. There was a cd release party the next night, but I couldn’t make it. I contacted the band through their Facebook page, and asked about buying a cd. They offered me the album in digital format, but I am too old school for that. I prefer a physical format. The band suggested I contact their agent and ask for a free promo copy. The agent was out of physical copies. It didn’t need to be free. I’ll pay for it. It took a while, but I was finally able to meet with the merch people and buy a copy.

Born Again – Pounding drums and funky wah pedal guitar begin this song off. To me, the vocals from Chris Raposo are kind of like a mixture of Rob Zombie and John Corabi. In other words, awesome sounding. The middle of the song has a wicked guitar solo that lets you know these guys mean business. Chris also gives us a brief guttural scream near the end of the song that would make a death metal vocalist jealous. The song mentions 4 words. Driven. Integrity. Respect. Trust. This suits the bands followers, the D.I.R.T.bags just fine. (The video below is a live version of this song, since the studio version is not on the interwebs yet)

A Rebel Few – Again with the pounding drums, but this time the guitars have a Dimebag/Zakk Wylde thing going on. The song is about not falling in line with the masses and standing tall.

Empires Fall – This song has hair metal written all over it. It sounds like it came right out of the late 80’s, early 90’s Sunset strip scene. I loved the bands that came out of that scene, so I was all over this song. The guitar solo in the middle of this song is pretty awesome too.

Dyin Breed – Neat start to the song in which the sound goes from left channel to right and back. Has kind of a southern Texas, bluesy kind of ZZ Top thing going on. If Billy Gibbons and company had done a faster, heavier song this might have been it.

Said n Done – Another neat starting where guitar starts and stops. The background vocals are a nice addition. They are throaty, deep and help set this song apart. I wish they were used more on this album. The guitar work about 3 minutes in is pretty wicked too.

Serious – This song starts off a lot slower and lighter than the songs previous. After the first minute though the pace and volume pick up. The first time I heard this song I kind of wrote it off. It didn’t resonate with me, but after a few more listens I got into it. “Are you for real? Are you serious?” isn’t exactly the best lyrical content ever, but as a whole the song resonates. The transition between the lighter beginning and the heavier end is a nice touch too.

Who Knows – This is kind of like a slower Volbeat song. The lyrics are about a “what if” scenario in which the band chose to go the 9 to 5 route instead of making music. I’m glad they went down the right path.

Bitter Man – Catchy tune with some cool woah ohh ohh’s in the background, and throaty snarls. Again with the cool guitar effects switching between speakers. This song has single written all over it.

Pure Revolution – Raspy, slower paced vocals start this song off. It picks up the pace a bit but still seems like a bit like a ballad near the beginning. Still heavy, and not cheesy though. There are slower/lighter sections and heavy/faster sections to this song. This song ends the album off with lighter vocals and piano, then pounding drums, wailing guitars and screaming vocals. A really good end to a really good album.

I put an extra effort into this album. At first listen it sounded a bit generic at times, and some of the songs started to sound alike. But because it was a local band, I spun it a few more times, and each time I liked it more. My suggestion is buy the album and spin it a ton. I am quite happy that a local band has made it good, and wish them continued success.

8.5/10.

Click here for an interview with A Rebel Few bassist, Adam Shortreed

For other reviews of this album please visit Mike at mikeladano.com and Aaron at keepsmealive.wordpress.com