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"Anti-Crew crosses hip-hop, indie genres -"

The band Anti-Crew describes its sound as hip-hop/alternative.

What exactly does that mean? Well, if you guessed that Anti-Crew has a stage show that features rapping, singing and musicians playing instruments kind of like The Roots, you'd almost be there.

"Essentially, Anti-Crew is a cross-genre band with a live instrument band (and) hip-hop at its core," Jeff "FlareDaRebel" Shafer says. "I tell people that if The Roots and Rage Against the Machine had a love child, that would be Anti-Crew."

Fans in South Bend will get their chance to hear Anti-Crew's genre-bending sound when the band performs at the Golden Gnome on Thursday.

Anti-Crew's sound came together when the band's members met at Columbia College in Chicago.

"Originally, me and (the group's) DJ (who is no longer with Anti-Crew) moved to Chicago for college," Shafer says. "They had these battles of the bands and we entered, but we kept on losing because we didn't have a band."

What the two music students did have was residence in a college dormitory filled with talented musicians looking to play in a band.

"My roommate played bass and the DJ's roommate played guitar," Shafer says.

Those two musicians, bassist Cambridge Darnley and guitarist Patrick Davies, were in-house additions. The band had to go outside to find a drummer.

The band's drummer, Patrick "Arch" McFowler, came to an audition and blew everybody away, Shafer says.

The band was ready to compete in the battle of the bands. The audience responded positively, and soon the members began thinking about expanding their sound.

"The thing about it was that all of us had really eclectic tastes in music," Shafer says. "That is why we all love Chicago."

Shafer, for example, was into hip-hop and indie rock music, while the bass player Darnley gravitated to hip-hop and funk.

"It's really a sound that moves across genres and styles in a way that is really appealing to our fans and besides that is really fun to play," Shafer says.

Anti-Crew's latest project is the album "Foundation: Expansion Plan." Shafer says that the album started out as a seven-track EP called "Foundation."

The group wrote more songs and changed the name to "Foundation: Expansion Plan."

Shafer can't give a direct answer if somebody asks how much the record costs.

"We decided to make the album 'name-your-price,' and you can download it for free if you want to," he says.

Doing that, Shafer says, is a statement of the band's appreciation for the fans who have supported the group over the years.

Anti-Crew is not the first group to set up a payment honor system by allowing fans to download songs for free. Of course, plenty of groups still rail against piracy.

Shafer says that Anti-Crew's decision to allow fans to set their own price for "Foundation: Expansion Plan" is a realization of the changes taking place in the music industry.

"People are going to get access to the music, and I am not going to fight them," he says. "If you want to get to the bottom line, if more people hear our music, then more of them will want to buy Anti-Crew merchandise. And if more people buy our merchandise, then maybe more people will come to see an Anti-Crew show."

Getting fans to see Anti-Crew perform live remains the ultimate goal, Shafer says.

Bands that can put on a good live show will develop a following and will make money, he says.

"You have to be able to back up your project with the kind of live performance that will blow people away."

Staff writer Howard Dukes: 574-235-6369

In concert

Anti-Crew performs at 9 p.m. Thursday at The Golden Gnome, 1902 South Bend Ave., South Bend. Admission is $5. For more information, call 574-277-6651 or visit the website - South Bend Tribune


Progressive Movement: A Step Forward
Anti-Crew Presents: Dat's Wassup Mixtape
Foundation EP
Foundation: Expansion Plan



Chicago-based band Anti-Crew combines genres with a conformity defying sound that wins over fans wherever they go. Lead MC FlareThaRebel, guitarist Pat Attack, bassist Cambo, and drummer Archangel each come from a different musical background, which creates an eclectic style that knows no boundaries.

Their newest release, Foundation: Expansion Plan, is Hip-Hop at the core with a cross-genre sound that encompasses the essence of live instrumentation blended well with original sampling and turntablism. Combined with lyrical versatility, it’s hard not to fall for the slew of catchy grooves and harmonizing hooks that get stuck in your head after the first listen.

In addition to their recorded music, Anti-Crew is known for their highly energetic live show. With rock star charisma, Anti-Crew is among the best when it comes to crowd interaction and capturing an audience for the first time. They are fierce performers that are otherwise the laid back group of guys you grew up hanging out with. “Anti-Crew captures a stage essence incomparable to most, giving the audience something they can walk away from with a lasting impression. – Moda FG (Chicago)”