Rebelution –one of the most successful reggae bands of the 21st century–has released their highly anticipated sevenths tudio album, In The Moment,a s a joint venture between the band’s 87 Music label and NYC-based Easy Star Records. The band has released three previous singles including “Satisfied”and “OldSchool Feeling.” and “Heavy As Lead.” Recorded remotely in the midst of the pandemic, In The Moment is deliberate and wide-ranging, infusing the quartet’s soulful, exhilarating brand of modern reggae with addictive pop hooks, alt-rock grit, and hip-hop grooves. The performances are bold and self-assured, and the production is equally ambitious, drawing on swirling reverb and trippy delay to create an immersive sonic universe that’s both futuristic and vintage all at once. DMCWORLD grab a world exclusive with the band’s Eric Rachmany…
Congratulations on your 7th studio album, what is the main message and inspiration behind this release?
Thank you, I would say that the main theme for ‘In The Moment’ has to do with time. It deals with this question of whether we have enough time in life and we need to be patient, or life is short and there’s too little time. Each song has a different perspective on time. No matter what, we felt like ‘In The Moment’ was a good title for this album just because however you look at time it’s important to be present.
How do you keep the writing and recording process fresh? Are you as excited about this part of your career as you ever have been?
Yeah, the recording process and the writing just gets more and more exciting every year. I feel like the sky is the limit for me personally as a writer and for the band, performance wise. It’s amazing to see this band keep on growing. It doesn’t seem to be slowing down, even though we’ve been a band for 17 years now. It’s pretty crazy to think about. As far as recording and writing this particular album, it was a little bit different because of the pandemic – everything was done remotely. I had to work by myself for most of it. It was challenging but also really fun and different. I really enjoyed it – I say this about every album that comes out but this one is my favourite and I can’t wait for the fans to hear it.
How has lockdown been for you as a band? Has it influenced the new album?
It’s been tough in that we’re used to being inside the studio together and recording live, and we weren’t allowed to do that for this record. It posed different challenges and thankfully we live in a time where everything can be achieved digitally – our touring guitarist Kyle Ahern played a huge part in this album, he was able to take all of these files and produce them. Being home during the pandemic, you find a different creative source. I’m used to being inspired by travelling on the road and hearing people’s stories, different cities, different landscapes – all that stuff is very inspiring. But this time being at home and trying to find that inspiration was a change. Having a baby boy was very inspiring, it inspired me to write about time watching him growing up, as well as looking back at the last 17 years.
‘Old School Feeling’ is definitely the sunshine everyone needs in their lives right now, can you tell us about the single and its deeper meaning?
It was initially an instrumental sent over by Kyle Ahern. It reminded me of an old Gregory Isaacs song or a Roots Radics’ rhythm, and it’s got that timeless Lovers Rock feel – I never get sick of that music. It felt appropriate to write the song about that old school feeling, about those classic Lovers Rock riddims that came from amazing backing bands. I definitely have to give a shout out to the Roots Radic’s on that one for the influence.
You have a huge UK following and a massive tour booked – do you plan on visiting the UK / Europe in the near future?
We don’t have anything planned, and it’s really tough for me. I see the fans comments and every time we go it’s incredible. We haven’t been for so long, and I know our fans have increased since then. I just remember being in London and Paris and playing for a crowd of under a thousand people, but it felt like ten thousand people. Because we don’t get out there too often, the vibes of the show are just incredible. Everyone makes the most of the shows, both us and the listeners. We definitely plan on coming back, we just need to find the right time. The pandemic slowed a lot down for us, so we need to focus on getting back around the USA, but we definitely want to come and play some of those festivals in Europe. We want to play Summerjam, Rototom, and more of those big reggae festivals. As well as playing the club shows in some of the big cities across Europe. We do plan on it, we just don’t know when.
How does this album translate live? Has it been an easy process getting the live feel after a year off the road?
Well, we haven’t got together to practice them live, we’re going to very soon. We don’t write a song unless we know we can perform it live – so even though this album was recorded and sent digitally, we made it with the notion of being able to play it live. We were a live band before we recorded anything, we were a cover band back in the day, so the live scenario is really where we shine. It’s definitely going to translate live, there’s no doubt in my mind.
Can you recommend three reggae artists we should all be following right now?
That’s a tough one. I really love Mellow Mood from Italy, they don’t often make it to the US. I’ve seen them a couple of times, and I’ve been in touch with those guys, really really talented, love them. I really like a guy called Rikjam from Jamaica and the Irie Yute Records crew and also part of that crew is EarthKry – check those artists out.
Good luck with the release!
Much love DMC World, thank you for covering this band, and we’re really excited to get this album out. We’ve been together for 17 years, with 7 full length albums out. We don’t plan on stopping at all, we’re going to keep on going until we physically can’t do it.
So thank you to all of European fans that are reading this, we really appreciate your support. Thanks.