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Maui Now Talks Story with Rebelution’s Eric Rachmany

September 11, 2012, 11:01 AM HST · Updated September 11, 5:05 PM
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By Vanessa Wolf

Eric Rachmany of Rebelution: Stephen Lashbrook photo

Eric Rachmany of Rebelution. Photo by Stephen Lashbrook/Courtesy of Rebelution.

Rebelution – with their special brand of upbeat, optimistic reggae – is coming to town.

Eric Rachmany,  Rory Carey, Wesley Finley and Marley Williams met while attending UC Santa Barbara in 2004. Together they formed Rebelution, and their debut album Courage to Grow was was selected as iTunes Editor’s Choice for Best Reggae Album of 2007.

Since then, they’ve released two more albums and been on a near-nonstop national tour for most of 2012. On September 21st, they are part of the Red Star Music Festival along with Collie Budz, The Grouch, and New Kingston.

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Eric Rachmany took a little time out of his busy schedule to talk story with Maui Now about the band, the tour, and which local style food offering he’s most looking forward to enjoying while they’re here.

MN: Four guys from California attending college in Santa Barbara: why a reggae band?

ERIC: We all come from different backgrounds. My dad was born in Iran and my mom was born in New York, but comes from a Persian family. We’re all from different backgrounds and different parts of California: reggae is our foundation, but we incorporate all kinds of music. Recently we hooked up with Khris Royal, a jazz saxophonist from New Orleans. He adds a whole new element.

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MN: Who’s your favorite musician?

ERIC: Don Carlos, one of the original Black Uhuru founding members. I saw his solo act close to 10 years ago in Berkeley. His music really inspired me and motivated me to write songs in a reggae format.

MN: Which musician would you most like to play with?

ERIC: The Dave Matthews Band. As far as learning how to play guitar, he was my biggest influence. Something about the percussive way he plays guitar is really inspiring.

MN: You’re coming to Maui as part of the Red Star Music Festival and will be sharing a stage with Collie Budz, The Grouch, and New Kingston. Have you ever played with any of these musicians before?

ERIC: We had the pleasure of touring with The Grouch six to eight months ago around the east coast. He’s a great, conscious hip hop artist from the Bay Area. I started listening to him back in high school: still do. He’s a poet, really; someone we look up to.

Budz put Bermuda on the map. He’s an international reggae star. I know them all through the scene, and I’m really looking forward to playing with all of them.

Rebelution: media shot

Rebelution. Courtesy photo.

MN: It looks like you’ve been here at least annually for the last few years. How is the reception on Maui?

ERIC: Maui is the first place we played in Hawaii back in 2007. Besides Santa Barbara where we got started, Hawaii is one of the places that really gets down with our music. You can’t tour Hawaii too often: don’t want to overplay the market. Maui is a beautiful island: beautiful people and beautiful scenery. It’s always vibing there and feels like we’re on vacation.

MN: There is almost a week between your Kauai and Maui dates. What are you going to do in between?

ERIC: We’re all splitting up and doing different things. For me, I’m thinking a little time on Oahu on the North Shore; maybe some time on Maui before our show. I’m not much of a surfer, but I’m trying!

MN: You released a new album earlier this year?

ERIC: Yes. We just came out with a new album Peace of Mind. It’s our third album and it is a triple disc. We did 12 tracks for the regular album, then we did 12 acoustic versions and 12 dub versions. Each one has a different vibe. The dub album is good for a beach day.

MN: Loco Moco, spam musubi, or halo halo?

ERIC: Loco moco because it’s a challenge to finish it: I’m 5’6” and weigh 150 pounds! However, I’m vegetarian these days, so maybe make it with a Boca burger?

The Red Star Music Festival is Friday, September 21st at 6 p.m. at the A&B Amphitheater at the MACC. Tickets are $35 for general admission or $80 for VIP. Tickets are available online through Thursday, September 20th.

Know of a great band, comic, artist, dancer or other event coming to town? Have an idea for a story? Please drop us a line at vanessa@mauinow.com. We want to hear from you!

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