|This article needs additional citations for verification. (June 2010)|
|Origin||Isla Vista, California, United States|
|Genres||Reggae, reggae rock, calypso, roots reggae|
|Labels||87 Music, Controlled Substance Sound Labs, Hill Kid, Raise Up Music, Red Distribution|
Marley D. Williams
Khris Royal (tour member)
|Past members||Matt Velasquez|
Rebelution is a band from Santa Barbara, California. Founding band members Eric Rachmany of San Francisco (vocals/guitar), Matt Velasquez (vocals/guitar, former), Rory Carey (keyboard) Wesley Finley of Prunedale (drums), and Marley D Williams of Point Arena (bass) met in college while residing in Isla Vista, a beach-side community in Santa Barbara. The seeds of Rebelution germinated in Santa Barbara’s college town of Isla Vista in 2004. A student named Marley D. Williams had recently switched from baseball to bass guitar when, walking to choir practice one night, he heard strains of roots-reggae coming through a door. The fellow reggae enthusiast turned out to be Rachmany, a devotee of roots-reggae and dancehall, and especially the music of Don Carlos and Black Uhuru.
Throughout 2004-2005, Rebelution began to build momentum through consistently playing local shows and by independently releasing an EP. All four current members graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, getting degrees in religious studies (Rachmany), anthropology (Finley), film studies (Williams), and business economics (Carey).
Rebelution released their first full-length album Courage to Grow in June 2007, which would become the breakthrough album for the band. The album was praised for its crafty melodies, socially-conscious lyrics, and savvy musicianship. Courage to Grow went on to garner mass downloads and radio play on stations such as San Francisco’s Live 105 where their single "Safe and Sound" was played on heavy rotation, with spins on San Diego’s 91X and Los Angeles’s KROQ. The album was selected as iTunes Editor’s Choice for Best Reggae Album of 2007. In addition, Courage to Grow peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard Top Reggae Albums chart.
Two years after their first album, Rebelution released their second full-length album Bright Side of Life. On 4 August 2009 Bright Side of Life was officially released and dominated the iTunes charts, reaching the 1 spot on iTunes in the reggae music genre, and the no. 3 spot for top albums downloaded in the United States in all genres of music. The album reached no. 1 on the Billboard Top Reggae Albums chart and no. 34 on Billboard 's top 200.
The release of Bright Side of Life marks the first release under Rebelution’s newly founded record label "87 Music" (named after their address while attending college at UCSB: 6587 Del Playa Drive), in association with Controlled Substance Sound Labs, the California based music collective.
The band also played at the Rothbury Music Festival, in summer 2009.
The band performed at the 2010 Harmony Festival in Santa Rosa, California along with other well-known acts such as The Expendables, Slightly Stoopid and Lauryn Hill. They also performed at All Good Music Festival, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits and Wakarusa music festivals in 2010.
On January 10, 2012, Rebelution released their 3rd studio album, Peace Of Mind, through their own label 87 Music. The label, in partnership with Controlled Substance Sound Labs, simultaneously released two additional versions of the entire record as a multi-length triple album. Peace of Mind: Acoustic features all twelve original album tracks stripped down acoustic as well as Peace of Mind: Dub remixed by Easy Star’s Michael Goldwasser (Dub Side of The Moon, Radiodread, Easy Star’s Lonely Hearts Dub Band). The album debuted at no. 13 on the Billboard 200 charts, no. 1 Independent and no. 1 Reggae, and the #4 iTunes album overall, selling 16,000 copies its first week, despite giving away half the album free to their fans over the 6 weeks prior to release.
In May 2014, Rebelution performed as a headlining act at the California Roots Music and Arts Festival in Monterey, California. In September 2014, the band will be performing as a headlining act at the California Roots: The Carolina Sessions Festival as well as The Reggae Rise Up Festival in Tampa, Florida. RRU has quickly became one of the largest and respected Reggae festivals in the country.
Count Me In, the band’s fourth full-length release on its own label 87 Music, and partnering for the first time with Easy Star Records, marks its tenth year together. Released on June 10, 2014, Count Me In debuted as the #14 album on the Billboard Top 200 albums and the #1 Billboard Reggae album. The album, which features contributions from Don Carlos and Collie Buddz, gave the band its third consecutive #1 album on the Billboard Reggae Albums chart. Rebelution is currently on the Count Me In tour with supporting acts Iration, The Green, and Stick Figure.
Said guitarist/singer Eric Rachmany about the band in its decade milestone: “we still have the same energy as we did as a young band, if not more. The more experience we had doing this, the more inspired we became.”
Rebelution has formed a large, ever-growing, and dedicated fan base by staying genuinely connected with fans through social media, after-show parties, street teams and charitable events, just to name a few. The band tours heavily and now plays 100-120 shows a year. Tours have taken them to South America, Guam, Aruba, New Zealand and Europe. They’ve performed at many world renowned music festivals including Bonnaroo, Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival, Glastonbury Festival, Lollapalooza, Hangout Music Festival, and Austin City Limits Music Festival. They’ve headlined and sold out Red Rocks and the Santa Barbara Bowl, and have done all this with no backing from any major label and very little media support.
Rebelution bassist Marley D. Williams explains: “Our music is meant to move people physically and mentally at the same time. When people are really dancing and really thinking, that’s a double threat.” Among other things, he adds, it evokes “It’s a ‘one love’ spirit and we’re doing it in our own style, influenced by the diversity in California and the people we were surrounded by growing up.”
Still, at heart, the story of Rebelution is a pretty easy one to understand. As the band embarks on its second decade, Eric explains, “Rebelution is a great example of four friends who got together to play music for the fun of it, and still do that today. We just play music that we really enjoy.”
- Eric Rachmany - Guitars, vocals
- Marley D. Williams - Bass
- Rory Carey - Keyboards
- Wesley Finley - Drums
- Khris Royal - Sax, percussion (touring member)
- Zach Meyerowitz - Trumpet (touring member)
- Matt Velasquez - Guitars, vocals
- Rebelution (2006)
- Remix EP (2011)
- Comingore, Aly (14 August 2013). "Rebelution’s Good Vibrations". Santa Barbara Independent. Retrieved 3 July 2014.
- Rudis, Al (February 16, 2011). "Rebelution's reggae roots come from California coast". Long Beach Press Telegram. Retrieved October 13, 2014.
- "Rebelution Billboard Albums". Allmusic. Retrieved June 18, 2010.
- Jackson, Kevin (2014) "Rebelution on Top", Jamaica Observer, 20 June 2014. Retrieved 22 June 2014