Felix Riebl

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Felix Riebl
Born (1981-05-01) 1 May 1981 (age 37)[1]
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Years active1999–present
Associated acts

Felix Riebl (born 1 May 1981) is a singer, songwriter, and composer based in Melbourne.[2] He is the co-founder, band leader and principal songwriter of the internationally acclaimed band The Cat Empire, who have made multi-platinum albums,[3] and are the 2006 winner of the World Music Aria Award for their album Cities.[4]

Early life and family[edit]

Felix Riebl was born in Melbourne to an Austrian father and an Australian mother.[5] He spent his childhood living in Europe before moving back to Australia when he was in his early teens.[6] Riebl's childhood was surrounded by music: his uncle, Thomas, was a professor of viola at the Mozarteum Salzburg, and family members, including his cousin Misty who was aspiring artist, studying at Victorian College of the Arts would regularly take him to sit amongst the Vienna Philharmonic.[7]

Of his family, Riebl said in an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald that

"My sister is a classical pianist, my brother's a singer, and dad's brother is quite a famous viola player in Austria. We listened to a lot of music and we danced a lot and sang a lot. The older I get, the realisation comes that a lot of this starts early in the family."[8]

Riebl's younger brother, Max (b. 1991), sang and played trumpet on the song "Miserere" on The Cat Empire's second album Two Shoes.[9]


Riebl co-founded The Cat Empire with Ollie McGill and Ryan Monro in 1999.[10] He was the primary songwriter on the band's self-entitled debut album, including being the sole writer of their first single, "Hello". In addition to his role as a musician in the band, Riebl had helped produce the albums Two Shoes and Cities.

Outside of his work with The Cat Empire, Riebl has composed music for the Australia Day Spectacular at Darling Harbour in 2013,[11] the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne 2006,[12] The Dream Festival on the Yarra River in 2009,[13] and Australia's first ever White Night in Melbourne in 2013.[14]

In 2011 he released his debut solo album Into the Rain.[15] The album featured a number of original compositions, as well as a cover of Bruce Springsteen's "I'm on Fire", whom Riebl cites alongside Mark Knopfler and Bob Dylan as influences on the album.[7] The album was a moderate success, peaking at No. 61 on the Australian iTunes albums chart.[16]

In December 2015, he also released the four-track EP Lonely Truth, as a teaser for his second solo album. The song "Crocodiles", inspired by a trip to Timor-Leste, was released as a single in January 2016.[17]

In January 2016, the Pilbara Project choir premiered Riebl's song-cycle based on the Pilbara.[18]

Riebl released his second solo album Paper Doors on 2 September 2016 to rave reviews.[19] Rolling Stone gave the album 3.5 stars out of 4, praising Riebl as "far more than the frontman for one of Australia's most enduring party bands".[20] Paper Doors peaked at No. 46 on the ARIA Charts and at No. 31 on Australian iTunes.[21][22]

In January 2017, Riebl released the tribute song "Ms Dhu" and an accompanying music video, following the release of the inquest into the death of Ms Dhu.[23][24]

Personal life[edit]

Riebl resides in Fitzroy.[8] Politically, he aligns himself with The Greens.[25]

He is an ambassador for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation, alongside authors Richard Flanagan and David Malouf, and didgeridoo player William Barton.[26] Riebl has also been actively involved in campaigning for 350.org,[27] Market Forces,[28] and the Australian Conservation Foundation on raising climate change awareness and action.[29]



  • Into the Rain (2010)
  • Lonely Truth EP (2015)
  • Paper Doors (2016)

With The Cat Empire[edit]


  1. ^ "Discogs: Felix Riebl". Discogs. Retrieved 3 August 2015.
  2. ^ "Alberts: Felix Riebl". Alberts. Retrieved 3 November 2015.
  3. ^ "Alberts: World Tour". Alberts. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
  4. ^ "ARIA Awards 2006". ARIA Awards. Retrieved 5 November 2015.
  5. ^ "Felix the Cat". catsuit.com.au. Retrieved 11 January 2016.
  6. ^ "Melbourne's 25 sexiest people". The Age. Retrieved 5 August 2015.
  7. ^ a b "FELIX RIEBL - MY SHORE". BalconyTV. Retrieved 3 August 2015.
  8. ^ a b "Lunch with...Felix Riebl". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 5 August 2015.
  9. ^ "Max Riebl". boysoloist.com. Retrieved 11 January 2016.
  10. ^ "Profile: felixriebl.com". felixriebl.com. Archived from the original on 26 August 2015. Retrieved 3 August 2015.
  11. ^ "Spectacular Start to 2013". Howards Fireworks. Retrieved 5 November 2015.
  12. ^ "Publishing Deal With Alberts". theMusic.com.au. Retrieved 5 November 2015.
  13. ^ "Dream Weaver: Felix Riebl". The Dwarf. Retrieved 5 November 2015.
  14. ^ "White Night Melbourne" (PDF). White Night Melbourne. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 5 November 2015.
  15. ^ "Felix Riebl – A Cat Empire To Solo Empire". Music Feeds. Retrieved 5 November 2015.
  16. ^ "Australian Chart Performance". iTunes. Retrieved 9 August 2015.
  17. ^ "Felix Riebl 'Crocodiles'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 13 January 2016.
  18. ^ "National Choral School Concerts 2016". Godwana Choirs. Retrieved 16 February 2016.
  19. ^ "Album Review: Felix Riebl - Paper Doors". theupsidenews.com. Retrieved 29 November 2016.
  20. ^ "Felix Riebl: Paper Doors, Kobalt". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 29 November 2016.
  21. ^ "Felix Riebl - Paper Doors (album)". australian-charts.com. Retrieved 29 November 2016.
  22. ^ "'Paper Doors' - Australian iTunes Performance". iTunes. Retrieved 29 November 2016.
  23. ^ Klippmark, Pauline; Crawley, Karen (16 October 2017). "Justice for Ms Dhu: Accounting for Indigenous Deaths in Custody in Australia". Social & Legal Studies: 1–21. doi:10.1177/0964663917734415.
  24. ^ Day, Lauren (10 January 2017). "Ms Dhu's death in custody case focus of new song by The Cat Empire's Felix Riebl". ABC News. Archived from the original on 13 June 2018.
  25. ^ "Inter:Mission Interview". Inter:MIssion Bristol. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 5 August 2015.
  26. ^ "Indigenous Literacy Foundation". Indigenous Literacy Foundation. Retrieved 5 November 2015.
  27. ^ "7 reasons not to miss global divestment day!". 350.org. Retrieved 5 November 2015.
  28. ^ "Big Four banks lose customers over fossil fuel gamble". Market Forces. Retrieved 5 November 2015.
  29. ^ "Felix Riebl is concerned about climate change". The Age. Retrieved 5 November 2015.

External links[edit]