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Interview: Wesley Finley of Rebelution

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Interview: Wesley Finley of Rebelution

By Mark Abell

WesDrumsPic[6]Rebelution, a California based rock-reggae band that radiates positivity, is a welcome departure from the cynical and morbid ethos of much of the recording industry. In 2009 the band achieved Billboard-chart status with their album Bright Side Of Life.” This week we spoke to drummer, Wesley Finley about Count Me In—their newest album released this last June—and their summer tour, which spanned eight western states.

Artvoice: Rebelution recently released a new album, Count Me In. How has your approach to recording music evolved?

Wesley Finley: With the development of music recording software in recent years, it’s been easier for us to share ideas with each other and develop the songs without all being in the same room, so we were more prepared going into this album. We’re also just more comfortable in the studio and willing to take more chances with this being our fourth album.

AV: You played at the Red Rocks amphitheater in Denver over the summer. Was it a particularly memorable performance?

WF: Most any performance at Red Rocks is a memorable one. This was our second time headlining there and selling it out, not to mention it was the last show of the tour, so it was an incredible night for us.

AV: You also played Lollapalooza over the summer. What was the synergy like with other bands?

WF: Lollapalooza is one of those top-tier festivals where every act there is a great act, so to be surrounded and playing alongside so much talent is both intimidating and humbling. The benefit of playing festivals is seeing groups you would probably pay to see ordinarily.

AV: What is the story behind the name “Rebelution” and what kind of Rebelution are you calling for?

WF: The term Rebelution is a portmanteau word that combines “rebel” and “revolution.” Here, we implied rebel as a verb, and really we just wanted it to have a positive connotation, to rebel positively for a positive revolution, and that is a running theme throughout reggae music.

AV: How do you understand Rebelution’s place in the history of reggae?

WF: I understand it to be one of the leading reggae groups of non-Jamaicans reviving the popularity of the genre and pushing its musical boundaries.

AV: How does the band get into a positive headspace when recording?

WF: We have a good workflow in knowing our respective roles and letting each other take charge at different times so there aren’t too many cooks in the kitchen. Once the meat and potatoes have been laid down and it’s time to experiment, we are supportive of each other and honest in expressing our opinions. Besides that, we like to eat healthy so as not to feel sluggish, drink yerba matè for focus, and light candles for ambiance.

AV: As an audiophile, I can’t wait to hear your albums at 192 kHz/24 bit. Do you see that happening anytime soon?

WF: Great suggestion! We usually leave such decisions to our trusty sound engineer, but if time, money, and technology allow it we will certainly consider it.

AV: What is next for the band?

WF: We have a couple more festivals to round out the season, including back-to-back weekends at Austin City Limits. After that it’s off to Europe for a tour, which will be good exposure for us, and then home for the holidays and decompression before we start up again in January for our annual Wintergreens tour.