Having impressed and staked their place as one of the best emerging rock bands on the British music scene with debut EP Two Worlds last year, Nottingham quintet Patriot Rebel release brand new single Propaganda August 3rd. Between releases the band has reinforced and increased their stature with numerous tours and festival appearances, playing with the likes of Tesseract, Jettblack, Skarlett Riot, Cornerstone, Earthtone9, Spirytus, and Violet along the way. Having been one of many bowled over by their debut, the news of a new single meant we had to know more, so we cornered the band to talk beginnings, Propaganda, Matt Ellis and much more…
Hi guys and welcome to The RingMaster Review. Many thanks for taking time out to talk with us.
There may be still some yet to discover Patriot Rebel so can you give an introduction to yourselves?
Yeah we are a five piece hard rock band from Nottingham. Our sound is heavy and riff based with melodic vocals which is rare these days as most frontmen just get up there and make a noise as if they are clearing their throats in some cheaply made Lockets advert
Your sound is drenched in flavour and variety at its core, what are the predominant inspirations for band, its sound, and you as a musician?
I think our sound benefits from the fact that we all like very different things musically. We can regularly be overheard telling each other how shit each other’s music is as we pull up to our practise studio. But it’s all in good fun and actually when it comes together really helps the song writing process. If everyone came up with the same stuff week in week out I can imagine it would get boring pretty quickly.
I believe the band started around 2007 but is it fair to say that things truly clicked and began sparking attention when the current line-up came together a few years later?
Yeah it was 2007 that the idea came about after a couple of us had been doing a few open mic nights around Nottingham performing cover songs. As we started writing our own songs we wanted to expand and round up a drummer and bassist to get the sound we wanted and Patriot Rebel was born. We fluttered around many different band members for a good few years and it wasn’t until just before the Two Worlds EP that we finally settled with five members that really clicked together.
How did you all meet, was it solely because of the band or is there history before and away from it?
Two of us were good friends from school and that was why we started doing the open mic nights. We were out in Nottingham most nights getting drunk and stumbling onto various karaoke bars before we decided to find a guitar and do it properly. We advertised on various websites and even scattered some posters around the local rock bars for band members. We were actually surprised at how quickly we managed to throw a band together but it rarely stuck until the final members were found. It can be very difficult to find five lads that can all get along and have the same sense of humour but we did and it’s been great ever since.
With those early days of the band; what was the spark predominantly bringing Patriot Rebel to life?
Mainly alcohol…..and of course it was all new to us. Playing at just a local pub felt as if you were playing something much bigger and just a group of 15 people felt like a crowd. It was very exciting to play your own music to people that wanted to listen and that’s why we do it still now today.
We discovered you through your excellent debut EP Two Worlds in 2013, a show stopper it is fair to say without blowing smoke up your egos ha-ha. August 3rd sees the release of new single Propaganda, how have you filled the time between releases?
We have been gigging the Two Worlds EP all over the UK. Edinburgh was a particular favourite of ours not just because of the show but the experience. We’ve modified an old transit van into a makeshift tour bus and it has made touring much more enjoyable than packing into numerous cars. Although sleeping in it wasn’t the best experience. It was very snug and it’s difficult to look each other in the eye after you’ve been ‘spooning’ the night before.
The new song is a beast of an anthem for ears and emotions, and a potent evolution to that first release. Where are the biggest differences between both encounters?
Well actually we have cheated a bit because Propaganda was recorded as part of Two Worlds. We are basically releasing it as a thank you to everyone who has supported Two Worlds and made a video to go with it.
Have you changed any specific elements in songwriting since the first release or is it just an organic progression fuelling your new endeavours?
Our song writing is always done on a feeling. If we feel like we are struggling to come up with something we tend to leave it be. Our best stuff tends to flow immediately and just clicks straight away. Sometimes we revisit old stuff and that works too.
Can you give some background to the lyrical side of the single?
It was written about an old work colleague of mine who would always try to belittle the younger lads and shit stir just to cause trouble. So Propaganda was my way of looking at it. People generally presume its war related but it’s not in the slightest…Although it’s good that some people take out of songs what works for them.
And musically any particular sparks brewing up elements?
Not so much musically. We tend to come up with various parts and then write the lyrics over the top. It’s not often the lyrics/song come first. But the music certainly matches the mood lyrically.
You recorded Two Worlds with Matt Ellis (Black Spiders, Terrorvision, Skarlett Riot), and the same again with Propaganda?
Yes definitely. Matt is brilliant at what he does. He doesn’t just record what we play; he actually makes suggestions and has ideas of how certain things could be done differently. I think that it is important to have this whilst recording. Sometimes a non-biased ear can help the way things sound without actually changing much at all.
He seems to have the touch in luring out every essence of your sound and its nuances?
He literally does it exactly how we imagine it should sound. We’ve used a couple of other producers over the years and none have come close to the sound quality that Matt gives us.
People might imagine one song would be a quick in and out of the studio to record and perfect. Give us the real insight to the single’s creation and journey.
To be fair Propaganda was quite quick in relation to some of the other songs. It has quite a raw sound and sometimes too much production can kill a song. It went really well but yeah recording can sometimes be quite tedious especially for the vocalists who have to wait until the end.
Is Propaganda the teaser for bigger things ahead too; another EP or album maybe?
That’s exactly what it is. We are booked in with Matt again at Axis studios for late July where we will be recording our next EP. We have a couple of potential titles for it but I’m afraid that’s classified information at this time. We will be working on more videos, merchandise and tour dates to coincide with its release which we hope will be early 2016
You said the song was recorded around the EP but does it still offer a real hint of your new songs or are there plenty of new surprises to anticipate?
A bit of both really. We will always have the unmistakeable Patriot Rebel sound but we have worked on new things which we think are sounding great. We are really excited about some of the new stuff and we think you should be too.
You mentioned it earlier so tell us about the video accompanying Propaganda.
It’s basically a mixture of band performance and storyline. We worked with our friend Chris Clough on this one and we are glad we did because his work is excellent…Really professional record quality. We also got the help of model Katie Wainwright to accompany the storyline sections of the video where she takes newspaper clippings and sticks them on the wall to create a twist at the end. We used Katy because what’s the point of making a video without a girl in a corset and short skirt right?
How was that experience in the making compared to the recording of songs?
It was really enjoyable for us; we had a great time making the video. We have done videos before but not to this quality. The last one we did was just taken from various live performances so it was an experience for us to do it properly. We shot the video on two separate occasions and the second part was done in the basement of a pub which is always good. The first part which was the band performance was actually shot at my workplace. Which is weird for me but it came out really well.
You touched on the next release but anything else ahead for Patriot Rebel and its fans you can share with us?
We’ve got plenty in the pipeline, some of which we can’t reveal yet. But we will be back gigging very soon. In fact we have a show in Nottingham as main support to Jett Black on the 29th August. It’s part of Degeneration fest and will also include The Treatment so it’s a great line up.
Once again big thanks for chatting with us. Any words or thoughts you would like to leave us with?
Always a pleasure…We would just like to thank your readers and anyone else that has supported us over the years. Cheers
Thanks to Garry at SaN for arranging the interview.
The RingMaster Review 19/06/2015