Rebelution to perform at Wooly’s

Celeste Welshhons

Reggae band Rebelution will play at Wooly’s in Des Moines on April 13 with opener Common Kings.

Lead singer Eric Rachmany started out playing the piano when he was five years old, but switched to playing guitar around age 13. He got an interest in Reggae music while in high school.

“I really got into reggae music at the end of high school, and then when I got to college I met a couple other guys that were into reggae and kind of in the scene. We got together and formed a band. We just started playing parties, back yard shows, and set up stages, and just played Friday nights for the people we would see. Eventually it led to bigger gigs,” Rachmany said. “It kind of happened slowly but surely. There was never really a big jump for us, we’ve just been learning every step of the way.”

For the show at Wooly’s, fans should expect songs spanning Rebelution’s career.

“We’ll actually mix it up. We don’t wanna just play old stuff or the new stuff; we want to do everything really. We’re playing a few new songs on this tour, songs that haven’t been released yet, and it kind of keeps our longtime fans engaged. I think our set list is really refined, and that people will dig it,” Rachmany said.

Along with the array of songs, fans should also expect a nice production with lots of lights.

“We have a great lighting show…we’re just really proud of our operations. Also, we’ve become better performers, and better musicians along the way,” Rachmany said. “I think that if people have seen us before, (they) will see an upgrade each time they see us.”

Rachmany remembers playing in Des Moines in the past, but it has been at least a couple of years ago.

“I just remember it was a great show; it was packed, and I couldn’t believe how many fans we had in that state,” Rachmany said.

Rebelution has played some bigger festivals already including Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza among others. This year, they will be heavily expanding on that list.

“I’d say there’s probably about seven or eight festivals we’re doing this year; Lollapalooza is on that list,” Rachmany said.  “There’s a big festival out here in California called County Roots Festival. [There’s] The Sierra Nevada World Music Festival, there’s Sunfest in West Palm Beach which is coming up soon. I think we’re looking to play a few more … We always look at festivals because it’s usually summer time and people are outdoors having a good time.”

The latest release for Rebelution was their 2012 studio album “Peace of Mind.” They will release their upcoming studio album, “Count me In,” on June 10.

“To start, it’s just going to be one album. I did record an acoustic version of this album, but I don’t think we are going to release it along with the regular album,” Rachmany said.  “I think maybe we’ll start just releasing different tunes here and there, maybe a bonus track, or some pre tracks. We haven’t quite decided yet, but we’ll definitely try to give some supplemental versions of these songs at some point.”

The sound of this album will be similar to that of “Peace of Mind” in that there is not overall theme.

“I think we’re always trying to do something we haven’t done before. Reggae is the foundation of our music really. There’s not really a theme to this album; every song was different, the lyrical content is different. I think ‘Peace of Mind’ is actually pretty similar; it was a pretty diverse album,” Rachmany said.

Sound engineer Errol Brown was the band’s choice for this album. He has worked with the likes of Bob Marley as well as his son Ziggy, and many other reggae artists out of Jamaica.

“We were really fortunate to work with our sound engineer Errol Brown who is a legendary engineer out of Jamaica,” Rachmany said. “We hadn’t been able to work with him on a past albums as much as we did on this album, so that was pretty special.”

The band plans on doing a lot of touring for the rest of the year, and hopefully reach some new overseas markets.

“We have a big summer tour planned. We just announced the first leg of our summer tour with the bands Iration, The Green, and Stick Figure; it’s going to be called the Count Me In Summer Tour. We’re gonna release this album, we’re going to tour pretty relentlessly on top of it, and then I think we’re going to try to get to some overseas markets,” Rachmany said.

Rebelution has played in Europe once already as well as Brazil, Guam and New Zealand. Reaching new markets is the biggest goal of all right now.

“I think I would really like to just get to some different parts of the world. We’ve seen people send videos of themselves playing our music from places like Indonesia, and the Philippines, and Brazil. It’s crazy to see how the music can carry out to those places in the world,” Rachmany said.  “It’s hard because to make it work there’s a lot of factors that go in to making the show happen. I think one day we’ll get there.”