Rocky Mountain Rebel Music
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Rocky Mountain Rebel Music

Victoria, British Columbia, Canada | SELF

Victoria, British Columbia, Canada | SELF
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"Saskatoon trumpet player returns to her brass-roots"

There are few bands kicking around Canada’s indie music scene as unique as Rocky Mountain Rebel Music.

Hailing from Victoria, B.C., this 10-piece instrumental reggae-rock, funk, jazz, ska and hip-hop collective is as eclectic as they come. Using about every instrument fathomable, from trumpets, saxophones, two drum sets and keys, down to a dijiaridoo, RMRM’s sound appeals to a variety of musical tastes.

Comparable in size to Vancouver’s monster funk group Five Alarm Funk, RMRM often has trouble fitting their diverse group of musicians on stage at once.

RMRM will be making a Saskatchewan cameo on their Western Canadian tour “Uprooted,”? rocking Amigos Cantina on Aug. 25.

“We’re a grab bag of individuals who all bring something different to the musical table. We’re able to be pretty versatile,” said Carol Fong, RMRM’s trumpet player who is originally from Saskatoon. “We play amped up bar shows and outdoor festivals and have tailored sets to play family friendly community events and even the odd wedding.”

Fong, 27, has been playing the trumpet since she was in the sixth grade, getting her start with the University of Saskatchewan Wind Orchestra and the Saskatoon Brass Band.

“We have a lot of fun together creating new music and then showing off what we’ve created. I’m proud of what we do and we have a hell of a good time doing it,” Fong said.

Although Fong now calls Victoria home, she still has family in Saskatoon and loves to come back when she can.

“When life took me out West, Victoria turned out to be a great fit, so I stayed. I have a great love for Saskatoon though. I call both cities home. My parents and one of my brothers and sister-in-law are all in Saskatoon so I love coming home,” Fong said.

She credits the wide-ranging musical backgrounds of her bandmates for RMRM’s diverse sound.

“It’s difficult for us to describe us in a genre. We have musicians with backgrounds in ska, reggae, punk rock, jazz, latin, classical and hip hop music to name a few. What we present on stage is an energetic ska, reggae, rock, funky dance party,” she said.

RMRM’s new album Vic Sound System was released in March and Fong thinks the record does a good job of showing the evolution of the group.

“I believe we’ve changed a little attitude-wise and quite a bit musically,”? said Jesse Horwood, RMRM’s guitarist. “Our songs are getting a little bit more technical and I think the lyrics are starting to get a little bit more political. I really like both of those things.”?

“At the same time, with approximately seven different song writers we’re hard to pigeon hole,” he added. - The Sheaf


"Shake Your Butt to West Coast Music"


By Katie Ryan

“Too many cooks in the kitchen” is quickly becoming an overused phrase to describe Rocky Mountain Rebel Music. And it doesn’t even fit the band, said RMRM guitarist Jesse Horwood with a laugh.
The 10-piece Vancouver Island ensemble has many musicians, many instruments and one big sound to share. The key to keeping the group collectively engaged and working together – in the studio or on stage – is that no one can deny a good song, said Horwood.
“With everybody in the band, we can argue about songs, but the nice thing about having so many people and opinions is you know when a song is good and everybody agrees on it,” he continued.
Three years ago the band had a mere five members, but seven days before their first gig, the band broke up. With a show to play, Horwood said the remaining members quickly met a new singer and drummer, and both joined the band.
“We were able to keep the slot and go for it,” he said, noting the band rounded out to 10 eventually, with members from across the globe. “It’s definitely a totally different animal since we started.
“We are sort of a normal band, we just have two of everything,” he added, listing drummers/percussionists, singers, bassists and “horn blowers,” trumpet and saxophone, as well as an additional guitarist as members.
Though the 10-member strong band is only three years old, they’re already in good company with other mega bands such as Broken Social Scene – an indie musical collective that has as few as six and as many as 19 members – and Vancouver’s 12-piece groove juggernaut Five Alarm Funk.
“Everyone has jobs, but the fact that everybody altogether is able to get, over the last two years I guess it would add up to 100 days off, that’s a big sacrifice that everybody makes,” said Horwood.
RMRM is currently on their Uprooted Tour 2011 – 13 shows in two weeks, spanning Alberta and Saskatchewan – and they are scheduled to play at Phunkin Gruuve on Friday. Tomorrow’s concert will be RMRM’s first show on the border and with so many members, RMRM brings a kaleidoscope of influences to their music. But, Horwood said, the band produces a sound all their own.
“We are really charged by reggae and ska, and I would definitely describe us as a party band – come out and get ready to shake your butt off for an hour straight,” he said. “But we try to infuse a little bit of a break on the ears with some more smooth dub-music and a little bit more laid back (music) because we don’t want it to just be an onslaught for an hour straight. I’d say we also have a pretty big influence from classic rock and funk.”
With two albums and three tours under their belt, plus a strong West Coast following already established, Horwood said the band is looking forward to the tour and who they might meet along the way.
“We absolutely benefit from the generosity of others (on tour),” said Horwood, adding Phunkin Gruuve general manage Bret Pollard was instrumental in bringing RMRM to Lloydminster. “I think we’ve had a couple of tours where it was like 20 days or so and we didn’t pay for accommodation one night. We just got taken on by families, friends, strangers and just treated – given the real Canadian experience. That’s one of my favourite things about touring, you could stay in hotels and that would be OK, but I think getting really down into the heart of it, meeting some beautiful, generous people is what makes it really worthwhile for me.
“Between 10 people we have these contacts in different cities and it makes it a little easier to tour, but that being said, we’ve played many a show where our band was bigger than the audience,” he added with a laugh.
- Lloydminster Source


"CD Review: Rocky Mountain Rebel Music’s Vic Sound System"

Local ‘9-piece party orchestra’ RMRM have just released their second album, the well-recorded and (certainly!) energetic Vic Sound System. The scope of musical creativity is strong here, and borders are constantly being tested to escape any real generalization describing the sound. ‘Lion’ starts the album out with a crawl, and an oh-so-sweet brass section. By track three, "Nisky Business," we are treated to a hustle akin to "Do It Any Way You Wanna’"by ’70’s disco act People’s Choice (sampled on Tupac’s "Holla If You Hear Me"). Peppered throughout the album are moments of straight-up skanking, but it is always countered with something to affect it and escape pigeonholing. There are tracks for so many different feelings: whether I want to burn one down ("Set Free"), play video games ("RSIB"), slow dance ("Man On Earth") or samba ("Smoke"). Summoning a breadth of sensations, these nine personalities bring serious oomph to this set of songs – get ready for a full-on bash when they play Metropolis nightclub Nov. 25 (tickets are $12 and are available at Lyle's Place). Though Vic Sound System sounds great as an album, it will guarantee to bring some surefire spunk to the dancefloor. Also, head to their website (rmrm.ca) to check out the hysterical video for lead-off single "Man Down," featuring a gang of pirates looking for buried "Tresher." Spoiler alert: I was not surprised when the booty turned out to be lollipops. M - Monday Magazine


Discography

*New Album! Slated for release in 2013

-Rocky Mountain Rebel Music Live with the Black Seeds July 2012

-Vic Soundsystem 14-track studio release March 2011

-Single "Man Down" included on "All Skanadian Club Vol. 5" Compilation from STOMP Records 2011

-Rocky Mountain Rebel Music EP 8 tracks, approximately 38 minutes

-"Light it up" featured on Outer City Sampler;
-"Wild One" featured on 2009 Ska Fest Sampler
-"Try So Hard" featured on 2011 Ska Fest Sampler

Photos

Bio

Rocky Mountain Rebel Music is a high-energy 9-piece funky-reggae dance party orchestra! Charged by Reggae, Rock, Funk, Dub, Dancehall, Punk and World rhythm, Rocky Mountain Rebel Music delivers an original sound that defies comparison.

RMRM hails from Vancouver Island. They released their second album “Vic Sound System” this spring and caught the airwaves when they won The Zone 91.3 FM “Band of the month” and Monday Magazine’s award for “Victoria’s Favorite Band 2010.”

RMRM has played over 130 shows across Canada from Vancouver Island to Quebec City. In the summer of 2012 they rocked Shambhala’s Rockpit stage, “The Big Time Out” Music Festival, Keloha Music Festival, V.I.C fest, Calgary Reggae Festival, and (for the fourth time) the Victoria Ska Fest. Upon their return to Victoria they went into the studio to record their third studio album slated for release in 2013.

From outdoor guerilla concerts to packed clubs to the steps of the BC Legislature, ROCKY MOUNTAIN REBEL MUSIC is the soul behind the party and the party behind the movement.