Rebel Rebel was born in 1988 based in California. We caught up with them to ask them a few questions about a new release they have coming up.
Metal Empire: Hey there, how are you?
Rebel Rebel: Doing well, enjoying the California sunshine.
Metal Empire: What is your role in the band? Who are the other members?
Rebel Rebel: I’m Teddy Heavens, I play guitar in and manage the shock rock band Rebel Rebel. Jet is on lead vocals, Marcello on Bass, Tim Shelton on drums and Erik Lancaster on samples/vocals/sound efxs.
Metal Empire: What is the band up to at the moment? Is there something you are working on currently?
Rebel Rebel: Rebel Rebel has a new release via ITunes and CD Baby coming out called “Hollywood Comes Alive”, which is a live release recorded this year at the Whiskey A Go Go in Hollywood, Ca. We also continue to do shows in the Southern California area and are working on a documentary movie.
Metal Empire: So your from Los Angeles, do you feel your location have any effect on the music you make?
Rebel Rebel: Los Angeles is the bomb when it comes to Rock N Roll and partying, but it doesn’t influence our music and attitude as much as certain bands and movies have. We dig the Plasmatics and Kiss for the show they put on, and Motley Crue and Van Halen for the partying. We also dig the Stooges and GG Allin and punk stuff for the attitude and movies like Clockwork Orange and The Road Warrior for the imagery.
Metal Empire: Can you talk about your production process, how do you go about writing your music?
Rebel Rebel: Our main songwriter is our singer Jet, so he comes in with the basics of a song and we all add our own flavor to the tune. It’s the same if someone else writes a song, we basically jam on the main riffs and arrange it as we go. We are usually pretty prepared when we get to the studio and pretty much play live for the basic tracks and then add the vocals and guitars as needed. Our producer Brian Kehew likes to give us time to do whatever we want in the studio, so we take advantage and add cool guitar and samples. For our live releases, we have the club record on their recording rig and then I remix the tracks at a local studio, keeping it raw.
Metal Empire: You have a documentary film being made by Grammy nominated producer Brian Kehew spanning your 25 year career, how did that come about, and when will it be released?
Rebel Rebel: Brian has been a fan from the start of the band and has even played drums at a couple of gigs for us. He plays keyboard for the Who on occasion and produces and remixes a lot of classic records by The Ramones, Alice Cooper, etc., and most recently he produced the latest Black Oak Arkansas record. He’s a cool guy who knows us inside out and has witnessed numerous gigs and wants to get into the movie business, so he partnered with Todd Lampe, who is a local film maker and fan of the band, and the rest will be history. We are digitizing all our footage taken through the years, stuff that has documented our 25 year existence, arrests, destroying clubs, fights, groupies, all the usual stuff. We have to be the longest continuous playing Hollywood band, signed or unsigned, we just have not stopped playing, we love what we do that much. We are not sure about a release date, we work around Brian’s schedule, when he’s not on tour with the Who organization, he’s working on movies as a consultant or producing or remixing, so we are at his mercy.
Metal Empire: I heard you played in Paris with your friends Undercover Slut, what was that experience like?
Rebel Rebel: Playing in Europe for us was a dream come true. We went to Paris to play a showcase for a record company with Undercover Slut, and the show was packed and sold out. It was a trip seeing kids waiting outside the venue early in the day, because at the time UCS were huge and we were middle of the bill, so it was great playing to a large crowd who were very receptive. We got offered the record deal but passed, and as luck would have it, the UCS sound man recorded our set and sent me a CD of the show 6 months later. It sounded so good I decided to chop it up and release it as the “France Comes Alive” CD, also available on ITUNES. We have toured with UCS in the States for years, so they are our boys and we had a blast messing around Paris and partying and the promoter treated us like gold, so the whole experience was the best for Rebel Rebel as a band.
Metal Empire: Is there any band or artist you would give anything to play with, and if so who and why?
Rebel Rebel: I think the original KISS line up would be cool, Sigue Sigue Sputnik, Alice Cooper, original Van Halen, a big festival in Europe, any band that has a cool audience. Any band that was an influence would be cool, we just love to play and we do not turn down a gig, ever!
Metal Empire: So I hear you have a pretty wild stage show, you’ve even been banned by most clubs in Los Angeles. What effect has that had on your career? Do you feel that your wild antics can be more trouble than they are worth? Is there anything you’ve done onstage that you think was a step too far?
Rebel Rebel: We do have a crazy and messy show, we break stuff up, tar and feather the place, do whippings, all kinds of crazy stuff. We used to do a lot of fire and burning stuff up, but clubs don’t really allow that anymore due to the Great White band fire from a few years back. Sometimes being banned is a drag because it limits where we can play, but usually the clubs give in and we get booked again. We were banned from the Whiskey A Go Go for years, but we just recorded our live release there, so in the end it’s all good! Our stage antics are a part of what the band is about in a live setting, so when we are able to do a “full” show, it really fulfills the need we have for artistic expression. There is no such thing as going too far!!!
Metal Empire: I once heard someone say that being in a successful band requires all of you to be like family or best friends. Do you agree with that statement? Please tell us about your own experiences being part of a band.
Rebel Rebel: Rebel Rebel has been together so long due to the fact that we are all like brothers. In fact 2 of us are brothers and our bass player has been with us for 20 years as well and our drummer and samples/sound efx guy were fans and friends before joining up. We travel and party together well, but we do live separate lives with spouses and day jobs and mortgages and all the other things that a grown up life brings you. We have an easy band work schedule and rehearse only before gigs or recording, so we allow each other space, just as you should in any successful relationship, so when we do see each other, it‘s all good.
Metal Empire: Do you receive much fan mail, and if so what is the weirdest or creepiest or coolest thing you have received?
Rebel Rebel: We get a lot of email, but not so much snail mail anymore, but back in the day we used to get a lot of risqué pictures from girls, which was always cool. These days people bring gifts to live shows, and I have personally received some nice vintage amps and cool clothing. We never got anything too creepy except for a fan letter from serial killer Richard Ramirez.
Metal Empire: Thank you for taking the time to speak to us about what you do. Any final words?
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