Storming out of their hometown of Auckland, The Rabble are exploding out of New Zealand and into the hearts of punks worldwide. Harnessing the advantages of both experience and youth, this powerful and passionate band have been a band for over seven years but they're still only just out of their teenage years and are truly unstoppable. One listen to the gravelly vocals and infectious soulful punk anthems on their 16-track second album ‘The Battle's Almost Over' and you'll be hooked.
Formed in 2001 by brothers Chazz and Rupe at the young ages of 14 and 15 respectively, the first six years saw them honing their gritty yet catchy sound and seeing several bassists come and go, before settling on recent addition Jamie Douglass. Their DIY ethos has seen them independently release debut album ‘No Clue, No Future', the ‘This Is Our Lives' EP and the mighty sophomore full-length ‘The Battle's Almost Over'. Relentlessly touring all over New Zealand, the UK and Europe over the last few years alongside Agnostic Front, The Unseen and The Living End, to name just a few, they're also no strangers to festival stages, playing to over 1500 people at Auckland's Big Day Out and, more recently, to a crowd of over 2000 on the main stage at the Blackpool Rebellion Festival. Having given away a compilation of their best songs, titled ‘New Generation', with issue 102 of Big Cheese Magazine, their huge accompanying UK headline tour of the same name has recently won them many more fans up and down the country and spread the fire of The Rabble burning bright into the Northern hemisphere. So what inspired their several month-long mission to the other side of the globe at this time?
“We decided we were strong enough to take our music to the world now after all these years, starting with the UK and Europe. We have a new generation of punk rock music at hand. The UK deserves another round of real, honest and soulful music and we want to kick off that march!” vocalist/drummer Rupe confidently declares.
It's surely fate that The Rabble charge into England, as they meld the sounds of '77 legends The Clash with more recent American heroes Rancid, while adding inspired flavours of hardcore (‘This World Is Dead'), rock 'n' roll (‘Seeking'), rockabilly (‘Devil's Highway'), Celtic sounds (‘The Battle') and an irrepressible spirit all of their own. The album spawned four hit singles in New Zealand, with their songs and videos appearing on radio and TV, and, having conquering their homeland, they've now set their sights on the rest of the world. ‘The Battle's Almost Over' was again recorded by vocalist/guitarist Chazz in his own Number 8 Wire Recording Studio and mixed by Jim Siegel (Dropkick Murphys) in Boston, their latest record was a suitably international affair. The ambitious rabble-rousers even secured guest vocals by their new friend Mark Unseen, frontman Boston hardcore-infused punks The Unseen (who they have shared stages with), on the raging ‘This World Is Dead'!
“Chazz and I have been big fans for a lot of years,” Rupe explains. “We really got on with Mark and kept in touch over the internet and eventually thought why not ask him to sing guest vocals on a track we had coming up that was fast and hardcore?” Laying down his part in the US, Mark was flown over by The Rabble to appear in the video for the song too. “The whole experience was mind-blowing and we've made a lifelong friend!”
On ‘The Battle's Almost Over' the three-piece have a clear message. “The theme for the record is generally that freedom's battle is almost over, but the war is just beginning,” declares Rupe. The album is full of songs stressing positivity through perseverance and hope through struggle. “We have a soulful message that doesn't only concentrate on hatred. I think the world needs that. We don't ignore the negative, we embrace it and turn it around! We wanted to make an album that makes people take notice of their surroundings and help The Rabble put punk rock back on the map!”
The Rabble are doing just that, stamping their mark from country to country. With a deep belief in their songs and a dedication and determination to relentlessly tour and spread their music and message, it's no wonder that Rupe confirms, “the sky's the f*ckin' limit!”
“The Rabble is my life, The Rabble is my hope, mine and my brother's creation that is as beautiful as a red rose and as stand out as a black sheep in a field of white.”
Battling on and winning fans and friends worldwide, the war may be just beginning but The Rabble's awesome arsenal will see their punk rock army grow and grow. Raise your voice and rise up.