Interview with Adam of Rebel Inc. By: Matty

March 9, 2012 by: admin
By: Matty
To my readers, this was an amazing interview that I was lucky enough to conduct with vocalist Adam Armstrong of Baltimore-based band Rebel Inc.  Before the interview, I last heard about Rebel Inc. playing at a rally in Washington D.C. for the political action group Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans Against The War, and they all came out in support of Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul.  (This is not a public endorsement for Ron Paul, the viewpoints of the interviewer and of Rebel Inc. doesn’t reflect the viewpoints of this publication.)  It was so refreshing talking to a friend that is about spreading the message to the masses instead of hearing another mainstream rock band talk about sex, drugs, and rock & roll into their music.  This band has been fortunate enough to share the stage with the likes of Seether, Psychostick, and Fuel, amongst other bands.  Without further delay, here’s my candid, yet authentic to the core interview with Adam Armstrong of Rebel Inc.
Matty:  Sorry about the little delay there.  I was getting a phone and taking my business elsewhere.  Thank you for taking the time to talk with me.
Adam:  Hell yeah man, thanks for keeping us in mind.
Matty:  So are you guys involved in the Occupy Wall Street Movement and other forms of protest?
Adam:  We’ve totally support the Occupy movement, man.  I think it’s been a good forum for people to come together we’re all over the country discussing poltical things, and adding social parts to the system, everybody is part of the Occupy Movement for different reasons.  If you think about it, there’s Occupy The Fed, Occupy Wall Street, and Occupy Your City, it’s really spread out across the board for kind of this movement.  There’s no leader in this Occupy movement. The people are the leaders.  They’ll try to turn the tables on the movement and make it out to something that they’re not, during the fight of the Occupy movement, you saw the press interview people that were not the most well educated, and they base their story on what one person said, “well, this person said that this is what the Occupy movement is all about.  No, no that’s not what its all about, it might about that to that person, but that doesn’t mean that that is what the Occupy movement is all about.  The movement is about occupying in order to make change, let’s take something over, let’s sit down and let’s be heard.  And you have another group of people that wants to put 100,000 people in the Fed or at the White House, and they’re thinking “let’s shut something down”, let’s show them how powerful we are.
Matty:  Absolutely, I’m more about the action part of it, I mean, to get people to pay attention to the people, the people have got to hit them in the pocketbook.
Adam:  That’s absolutely true man.  Once you hit them in the pocketbook and then if, IF, they decide to make change because of our demands, now we have to maintain that, because they are going to find the first little loophole that they can get into, and they can turn it right back around, but make it look like something else, make it look like something different.  It’s almost like The Joker and The Penguin of Batman.  It’s like The Joker being caught and he just changes his clothes into The Penguin. (laughs)
Matty:  Absolutely.  I’ve noticed there’s a media blackout in this movement.  I read an article recently that our country is now ranked 45th in the world in freedom of the press.  It’s like where heading down a path to where…I don’t even want to know what we are heading down towards.
Adam:  Yeah, it’s a shame bro because some people just don’t care, by people I mean the majority of course, I don’t mean everybody, and the reality of it is this, unless they witness something affecting, and there’s truth behind something affecting them, then there’s something there.  They(the majority) don’t realize that “hey it could be their neighbor, or hey it could be their family member”, and they realize now that “hey it is affecting them”.  The majority will also assume that it’s not affecting me, then I’m just going to assume that whatever the government says, or whatever the media says, or whatever the politician says, because “I don’t have the time to research what it is about or ask other people what this is about to try to disprove it”, they’re so wrapped up into their lives.  People should look at what they have to do now in order to pay their rent, work two and three jobs just to make it, in order to try to feed their family.  People need to start realizing that it’s time to wake up man, so many closed minded people, straight up closed minded, and there’s another group of people that realize that something is going on but they don’t feel the need to do something about it.  It’s a shame man, because the average person doesn’t realize that there are media blackouts, there’s revolution and riots going on in Greece man, but the media is not reporting on that.
Matty:  Because it upsets the establishment and it upsets the status quo.
Adam:  Yeah, and if they do report on it, they’re not really giving the facts and the reasons why the revolution is going on over there unless they are hurting the Federal Reserve banks and the international banking cartel, and they are raising the tuition for college by 80%.  College education costs so much more because of the debt system.  Debt, debt, debt, debt.  We can’t get away from debt, man.
Matty:  Some would even argue that there’s a blackout towards Ron Paul because he upsets the establishment and strikes fear towards the status quo.
Adam:  Exactly!  I agree with just about everything Ron Paul stands for.  He’s a guy that is 76 years old and he’s been around the block in terms of being a 12 term Congressman, and he has the insider information on why this is happening and if people realized how qualified this man is to be a President of this country, and I’ll tell you this man, I’m not a politician supporter because they’re all slime to me bro, they’re lying and deceitful, I haven’t really picked up anything from anyone else that isn’t that.  It’s been that way forever.  I’m not a politician supporter but this dude is against the grain.
Matty: He definitely is! (laughs) You should check out the YouTube video where he makes the Chairman of the Federal Reserve very squeamish.
Adam:  The one with the silver coins?
Matty:   Yeah, the one with the silver coins.
Adam:  That silver coin that Ron Paul holds up when talking to Bernanke was given to him from a group out of Boston called the Silver Circle.  They made that movie.  It’s about the fraudulent banking system and they gave that coin to him actually out of the Porcupine Freedom Festival out of New Hampshire.  Have you heard of that?
Matty:  I haven’t, what’s the festival consiste of?
Adam:  It’s a big freedom festival and we played the festival last year and the people from the Silver Circle movie wanted the song “909 Revolution” to open the movie and they gave that coin used in the movie to Ron Paul.
Matty:  Holy cow that’s awesome.  So, tell me about the “909 Revolution” song.  My readers might not be familiar with this song.
Adam:  Well, it’s talking about history repeating itself man and people not knowing their history.  You know, there’s been tyrants all throughout time, the presidency, dictators, how ever it may be, that hold people down and literally oppress people.  For example, if you’re a homosexual, you feel oppressed by this society, at the same time too people who are in debt to the system, and they feel oppressed because they’ve got to slave away all day every day, even if they are not literally borrowing money just to pay, but working just to survive, and people are not educated on history and history is constantly being re-written over and over.  It’s still a mirage and full of incorrect things that are labeled as facts that are taught to us as kids.  We tend to accept things as facts even though they may not be.  “909 Revolution” is talking about the stories that have been told over and over again.  Oppression is eventually going to rise up and take back the liberties for people, take back human rights.  If so, they will do it by force, you know, I think everybody wants peaceful revolution, and the majority of people are peaceful, however, when you deal with tyrants, they don’t give up power peacefully.  There comes a time where peaceful revolution needs to go another step, and revolution and liberty cannot be accomplished by peace, there’s only one more level to take it to, and that’s by force.  That’s why on “909 Revolution” we mention about burning the city down, well the city can be rebuilt man.  There’s only one way to get rid of evil man, and that’s to abolish it.  So if you have to burn some things to the ground to rebuild and to start fresh, then that’s the steps that need to be taken, but it’s all about the people coming together in the communities, rising up, and taking back what is rightfully theirs, take control of the planet, as human beings.
Matty:  As messed up as oppression is and as messed up as the system is and can be, what are some other things that drive the songwriting in Rebel Inc., and how does the writing process work?
Adam:  I think in terms you’re talking about what the inspiration is in terms.  The inspiration is constantly around us.  All you gotta do is look at the world and read between the lines and see what the world really is and watch these leaders of the world say one thing and then turn around and literally do something the exact opposite, and the people say “well they said that they were gonna do this”.  Yeah, but they’re not doing that, and there’s the opposite that says, “oh, whatever”.  It’s like, man what do you mean whatever? (laughs)  But the motivation is constantly there, the world needs change, and the more and more that people are willing to sacrifice themselves in their daily lives, in terms of what you might consider the American Dream, or the dream of any random person period, and that might mean sacrificing the now, and to get our ducks back in a row, and that’s start heading towards the direction that we should be heading, and that’s prosperity and liberty for all of us.  As far as songwriting and everything man, Kevin and I do a lot of the songwriting.  Kevin builds pretty much everything, and he’s a phenomenal musician in my opinion, and he builds the structure, and we have programs that put together drum beats, and Kevin will build a drum beat and that drum beat in turn will give him a guitar and start playing and then he’ll kind of build this backbone to a song, and then he’ll typically bring it to me and then we will start working on lyrics together, and we bring it to the whole band because they want to feel the energy of live performing of real drums and real bass as opposed to computer drums and computer bass, then we plug it in and see what kinds of energy that everybody gets from it, in a sense freestyling some of this stuff and if its got that great energy and makes everybody feel positive and get goosebumps, then we got something here man, and we start putting everything together and we keep it rolling, and that’s when we are ready to perform it live for people.
Matty:  That’s a really interesting writing process there, very creative.  You talked about freestyling in some of your vocals, who do you draw your influences from as a vocalist?
Adam:  As a vocalist man, I grew up as a singing singer, but I’m influenced from everything from R & B artists to hip-hop of course to metal as well.  One of my favorite singers of all time is Philip Anselmo from Pantera, and the reason I say that because that dude can sing!  He’s got a great voice, and he can also scream.  I really look up to Philip Anselmo, I think he’s a phenomenal singer, being a Rage Against The Machine fan, as well I love Zack de la Rocha was a huge influence to me.  There’s a lot of people that say that I sound like him, but that’s my voice, I can’t do anything about my voice. (laughs)  But I do look up to Zack, I do find him as an inspiration, and then you have people like Marilyn Manson who can sing as well and also let out some screams.  Chester Bennington from Linkin Park is a great inspiration as well that can mix these things up, that can sing solidly and at the same time dig down into his gut and scream and have it be that deep growlly, that angry passion that comes across on the record and that it comes across on the live performance.
Matty:  That’s what I’ve noticed in the “Sold, Sold, Sold” album.  That’s what I call that album anyways. (laughs)
Adam:  Yeah, that’s what certain distributions have called it, but for us it’s a self-titled album, but that’s cool, call it whatever you want! (laughs)
Matty:  I’ll call it an awesome album! (laughs)
Adam:  That’s cool! (laughs)
Matty:  Why should people get that album if they haven’t done so already?
Adam:  I’ll tell you what man, that entire album has been played all across the world, via internet radio, terrestrial radio, now Pandora radio.  We’ve also have gotten some pretty good accolades to go along with it.  We’re not recording artists, when we write our music, we write our music to be performed live.  We’re very raw, we don’t have background tracks playing, we don’t have this “filling in the gap” and putting background guitars in while we play live, like have a guitar solo on top of background guitars.  We’re raw, and we are just as raw when we record, yeah we will add something in the music to make it sound nice and full, and to change it up a bit here and there, but we don’t over produce anything, we very rarely add very much to it, what you hear on the album is what you will hear live at a Rebel Inc. show without these background tracks.  We are very cut and dry, very raw, and we don’t record in a five million dollar recording studio.
Matty:  Where does Rebel Inc. do their recording?
Adam:  We record at a studio in Annapolis at a guy’s house, it’s a very nice studio.  We get great mixes out of them.  In fact, the entire first album wasn’t even mastered, and people from the radio stations and the newspapers come back and say, you know the mastering is well done, and we’re like, “we didn’t master it”. (laughs)  We mixed it evenly in order to keep the dynamics of the songs, the radio nowadays is so compressed, and they mess with all of the dynamic changes of the songs, that you can keep without mixing it and without squishing it down.  You know, I think that rawness makes Rebel Inc. stand out from these overproduced, super colorful CDs that are coming out, these $20,000 albums that people are spending their money on to put some songs together.  We’re raw, cut and dry, passionate into everything that we put in to the album.
Matty:  I always enjoy hearing about the writing process of a band, I want to talk about a song that has a YouTube video called “Killing The Future”.  It has a lyric that seems so simple, yet so powerful, “taking back the future” as a band and as a vocalist?
Adam:  Well, Kevin, the guitar player, wrote that entire song.  He had a job one day that they did something that he didn’t agree with what the job was doing, I can’t state what the job was, but it inspired him to write this song at his job, he came back to us a couple of days after he wrote it and stated that he wrote this song at his desk, and he went into why he did it, and then we started jamming it, and he was so motivated and inspired by it, that he went into work within the next week or so and said that he was done working here, and that he didn’t want to be a part of this crap, which is part of his whole evolution of him as an individual, which is awesome, but he pretty much shares the same view that we don’t want to let all of this stuff continue to go on that if we continue to let these leaders of the world continue to do what they do, then we are the responsible ones for literally killing the future, for literally killing our children’s future, enslaving our children, and setting them up for disaster.  Taking back the future means that we need to start paying attention to what’s going on because what has happened in the past is what we should be learning from and with history being twisted and constantly being rewritten into lies, people aren’t getting the true history, we should be learning to change now so that we can have a better future.  So the people need to really pay attention and when we see something that goes wrong, we are the responsible ones, and we need to stand up and say “no, we are not going to let this happen, period.  We are not going to wait for a judicial system determine whether or not it’s going to happen, we are the people, we put judges in power, we remove judges from power, we are the absolute controllers of our destiny, of our lives as people.  That’s the reality, we need to stand up and we need to take back the future.  People are all like, “we need to do this for the kids, do that for the kids” when it’s not a kid’s world, however, we should all care enough about each other, we need to make sure that our children are going to be put in a situation that is better than the situation that we are in now.  I don’t agree with making all these laws that are regarded as “safety and security laws” for the children.  Guess what, I’m an adult man, they’re trying to take away something that I have the right to do, I’m not a child. (laughs) It’s our responsibility as adults, not just as parents, to instill these characteristics into children, not our own children.
Matty:  I agree that we complain about the change yet we re-elect the same politicians that bring about more of the same.
Adam:  That’s kind of unfair to say.  I believe that the election process is rigged at all levels, whether it’s presidential elections or whether it’s a city councilman election.  The powers that be on the top can make whatever happen happen.  Meanwhile, we are being led to believe that our vote counts whereas the elected are doing whatever the hell that they want, whether it’s ballots missing, ballots being miscounted, all of this kind of stuff that is going on, whether it’s the local level, the county level, the state level, the regional level, and the national level.  At the same time Matt,  I do agree with you that people make uneducated votes a lot, especially when it came to voting for Obama.  I think that people just jumped onto a train, having no idea who this guy really is, what he stands for, and is going by what he is saying, and there’s the people that voted for him that way they can say, “hey, I voted for the first black president” rather than saying “hey I voted for this guy because he’s the most qualified”.  And it seems that you can’t disagree with Obama without being labeled as a racist.
Matty:  For sure, I believe that there is no elected official that is above criticism.  I noticed that Rebel Inc. does a lot of work for various causes, what are a few of the causes that your band has supported?
Adam:  Well, we play for all different kinds of reasons man, we really stick to the things that we believe in.  Our most recent thing, I told you that we played the Porcupine Freedom Festival in New Hampshire, which we got a great response to.  It’s all about personal liberty, being united, and being good to each other, which is everything that Rebel Inc. stands for is being the change that we want to see, obviously positive change, but we must recently played in Washington D.C. for veterans and active duty troops who support Ron Paul.  I want to say around 400 veterans and active duty troops marched in formation, plus another 1,000 to 1,500 supporters marched from the Washington Monument to The White House, and they were facing the White House and turned their backs on The White House and saluted for one second for every loss of life that was lost since Obama took office, that includes soldier suicides.  And for people that are not aware of the amount of soldier suicides from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars exceeds the number of soldiers that have been killed in battle.  Our brothers and sisters that are brave enough and courageous enough to at least believe that they are fighting for the right reasons, they hold a special place in our heart, and those that realize that, “Whoa!, I’m breaking my oath”, and they come back from these wars, those, to us, are the true heroes because they are laying everything on the line to basically say, “I am a hypocrite”.  But, I evolved from this, I evolved from being a hypocrite, and thinking that I was doing the right thing, and started doing the math and realizing that I’m not doing the right thing, and I’m going back home to do the right thing, and that is to tell people what really happened, to tell people what’s really going on, and telling people to end it now. We played that show in Washington D.C., turned their backs on The White House, turned their backs on Obama, and we had a big after party, at the Rock & Roll Hotel in Washington D.C.  That was a great success, and Rebel Inc. opened that show, which was weird because we are pretty heavy, and an in-your-face band. (laughs)  We opened the show and no joke man, we were so well received that we sold out of albums, at the Veterans in Active Duty for Ron Paul show.  That show, it felt like family bro.  We shared this very similar energy and it was just beautiful, and it was an honor to be a part of it.  We support other groups like Iraq Veterans Against the War, Veterans for Peace, and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans Against the War.
Matty:  Where can people find your music?
Adam:  The best place is , there’s links to everything there, there’s links to our YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, links to all that kind of stuff.  We are on I-Tunes, for people that pretty much just use I-Tunes.  We’re at Zune, Amazon, CDBaby, it’s all over the place.  For people that want to support Rebel Inc. and what we stand for, you can get everything directly from us on our websites, for a hardcopy album, we pack it up and we mail it out to you, t-shirts and all that kind of stuff, you can download it directly from us, and I’m saying that for people that believe in not supporting these corporate giants.  The most important thing for us is for people to hear this music and to get inspired from it, without feeling like they’re sacrificing their honor and integrity, the message needs to get out now.  The best place to follow us is on Facebook probably, for tour dates and upcoming songs, what’s being released, and all that jazz.  We got a new album coming out in the next month or two, which we are stoked about.  That will definitely be updated on the Facebook page.
Matty:  Can you tell us about the new album?
Adam:  Absolutely man.  This album is going to be eight tracks, maybe nine tracks.  We’re going to put the final wraps on it, do the final vocal recording, and to finish up on the mixes.  We’re going to do eight songs.  “Killing The Future” is on there.  We got a handful of songs that people probably haven’t heard that will be on YouTube, but they’re ready to perform live.  Once we are ready for them to be released, we start rocking them live, whether the album is out or not.  We have a song called “Justice”, “A Time To Kill”, “Bring The Dead Out”, “You Said”, “G.I. Resistance”, “Killing The Future” is going to be on there, and the next album is going to be called “A Soundtrack to the Revolution”, and we are extremely excited about it, and we think that people’s heads may explode. (laughs)  This album really gets in touch with the anger, justified anger of course, and we believe that other people should have as well.
Matty:  Not the Korn type of anger, where I say “mommy and daddy didn’t buy me ice cream, so I hate everything.”  Sorry, that was a bad joke.
Adam:  Absolutely.  Totally justified anger that comes from love, and we have people that come up to us and say man you all seem so pissed and sounded so awesome, and we have people that come up to us, and say that I hear love in your music.  And I smile and say, “I’m glad that you hear that”.  We love our brothers and sisters so much that we made the ultimate sacrifices so that we can do this and we love our brothers and sister so much, and that it means that if we have to sacrfice ourselves and our well being for us to do the right thing, then we are going to do it.
Matty:  When do you turn 35?
Adam:  Why do you ask?
Matty:  So I can vote for you for President?
Adam: (laughs) I was actually class president my senior year of high school.  I wanted everybody to have a good senior year and I wanted to have a good senior year, and I don’t trust anybody to do it but me.  (laughs)  I ended up winning, and we had a blast of a senior year, and with this band and the class reunion coming up, that reunion has gone down on the list of things that I need to do.  (laughs)
Matty:  One more question before I let you go, if you could tour with one band right now, who would you tour with and why?
Adam:  Oh man, that is a really tough question.  I would personally say, I don’t speak for the band in this regards, I would probably pick Linkin Park.  And I say that because Linkin Park does have some political and social content. I believe that they are very well received, our message is very domestic in regards to America, however, that same message can be carried throughout the entire world, especially when this country has an effect on every other country in the world.  But I believe that our music fits very well together and I think that people would absolutely love it, and at the same too, I think that putting together huge crowds of people in which Linkin Park does, just helps build that energy and build that inspiration to take action in their lives, whether it be social or political, so I think teaming up with Linkin Park would put Rebel Inc. in a whole new category, and at the same time help people give more appreciation.
Matty:  Thanks so much man for the interview, we should defiintely chat again.
Adam:  Thank you man. It’s really appreciated.
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