New Zealand band The Rabble have been flying the punk rock flag for over 8 years now and have just released their most accomplished album to date, ‘The Battle’s Almost Over’.
We caught up with drummer Rupe Rabble to talk about all things punk!
Can we start with your name and what you do in The Rabble?
Rupe Rabble: Vocals/Drum-kit
Who’s your all time favourite punk band?
I don’t think I could narrow my taste in Punk Rock down to one group. There are so many amazing interpretations. At any one time I could be thrashing any and all versions of Punk and it differs based on the way I might be feeling at the time. If it’s say 3:00 am and we’re on the road after a show I might be found finding solace in The Clash and ‘Straight to Hell’ or the Mike Ness version of ‘Long Black Veil.’ Whereas if I was partying it up with the boys I might be thrashing Rancid’s ‘Up to No Good’ or the anthemic ‘True Believers’ by The Bouncing Souls.
Are they a major influence in your music? What else influences you?
The Rabble have a wide range of influences from music to life. We are always growing and maturing from our experiences as well as our musical taste. Life on and off the road is forever a struggle and the thin-line between finding a balance with the band and everyday-life proves to (sometimes) be just enough to fuel the lyrical fire.
Your latest album ‘The Battle’s Almost Over’ was released in February. Tell us a bit about it.
‘The Battle’s Almost Over’ is a 16 track album with a wide range of styles thrown into a blender to make what we feel is a very soulful Punk Rock album and our best offering so far. It is our second full length and a good follow up and progression from the ‘This is Our Lives’ e.p… We really worked together as a unit on this release and came together with the agenda of striving to inspire the kids to get back in the garage with the power of three chords behind them and an honest approach to music. We’re tired of bands imitating the latest trend simply because it sells… We feel that Punk Rock can offer positive changes to both people’s lives and the state of the world and we stand behind that with the approach of our music… “The battle’s almost over, but the war has just begun…”
What’s the reaction been like to the new album?
So far the reaction has been great. It is hard to build a name in this day and age without the backing of any major labels and it requires our 110% dedication to try and spread the word of the band’s existence. We are happy with the foundations we have laid so far and will continue to make the music we want to. We are looking forward to furthering ourselves as a touring band and feel the album is strong enough to stand on it’s own two feet.
You collaborated with Mark Unseen from Boston punk band ‘The Unseen’ for the video/song ‘This World is Dead’. Tell us how that came about?
We had the honour of supporting ‘The Unseen’ a few years ago in our hometown of Auckland, New Zealand. We made friends with Mark, he is a great guy. We put the idea across to him to feature on one of our tracks and after he had listened to ‘This World is Dead’ he agree’d and we simply set about making it a reality. We had to have Mark track his vocal over @ ‘The Outpost’ in Boston with Jim Siegel (where ‘The Battle’s Almost Over’ was also mixed) and after that was finished – we joked about doing a video to back it up. Surprisingly he was keen and we flew him over to take part. The clip can be found digitally enhanced on to the album and is a nice bonus in making the album a great ’09 Punk Rock release.
What’s the punk scene like in New Zealand? How would you compare it to Australia?
The Punk scene in New Zealand is pretty small and quite disbanded. There are the people involved who make it valid, but there are also those elitist wankers who tend to make the idea of “unity” a big joke. Unfortunately their spiteful ways seem to influence the young generation sometimes and we have a lot of people who come and go very quickly.
We enjoyed the Australian Punk scene whilst we toured in June. There were some great bands and people and I look forward to meeting more of you in the near future.
What does punk mean to you?
Be yourself. Create!
The Rabble are heading over to Europe throughout August. What are you looking forward to the most about these shows?
I’m looking forward to seeing the friends we made on our last tour and also making more. It is astounding the support touring bands receive on the road. It always amazes me when people invite a struggling group of tired and broke rockers into their homes and offer their hospitality. These are the types of people who make a Punk Rock scene work. It is really hard to fund and break even when touring and a lot of the time, there is no choice but to make friends and take advantage of their floors and showers.
What’s your most memorable tour to date?
We’ve only really started touring properly in the last couple of years. The ’08 ‘New Generation’ tour was our very first international stint and it was mind-blowing as well as soul-destroying. So far life on the road has been nothing short of amazing, although heart-breaking. Here, you can find happiness but also lose hope. Life’s a rollercoaster.
Favourite band(s) to play with?
We have played with and met some amazing bands. We have always been honoured to support the groups we learnt to play music to and have met some of our favourite musicians through The Rabble. The Casualties, The Unseen, Sick of It All, Agnostic Front etc.
What’s on the horizon for The Rabble?
We are currently on the road in Europe for a month and aim to begin work on the follow up to ‘The Battle’s Almost Over’ when we return home in September.
We hope to hit the States in 2010 after a tour based around our Cock Sparrer support in London in March next year.
What guest vocalists can we expect on your next release?
You’ll have to wait and see… We have approached people, but are still waiting to see how it unfolds.
That’s it mate, any last words?
Yeah, cheers for the interview and a huge thanks to all the Australian fans who made it out in June. We look forward to seeing ours brothers and sisters over the water when we return again soon.
The Rabble‘s new album ‘The Battle’s Almost Over‘ is out now via Crusade Records. For more info on the band head to their Myspace page.