Rebel Emergency in Toronto and It’s All Good

Cover Jan 11-2010

by Sandy Graham

When you first speak to Roddy and Geoff of Rebel Emergency, you can feel their synergy with each other and their music. “We went to the same school, but didn’t know each other that well”, Geoff Willingham says. “That is right”, Roddy agrees, “I was in high school then and jamming with Neil. We found we had some good melodies and fine tuned the current lineup and sound. I met Geoff and he said he was going to play guitar for the rest of his life, and I thought he is the guy we are looking for to round out the sound.”

They both agree that there is homage to be paid to the artists that influenced them in their younger years. Bob Marley, Toots and the Maytals, Jimmy Cliff were a few names bantered about in our conversation of their early immersion into the world of reggae.

Rebel Emergency started out as a basement band in Scarborough, Ontario and have developed into
an innovative band whose sound is an eclectic mix of rock, reggae and ska. Labelled the “Next Best Thing” in music by Edge 102, one of Canada’s leading modern rock stations, this unique sound, combined with great vocals and strong songwriting skills, it is no surprise these young, talented musicians would catch the attention of the music industry.

Their debut self-titled EP was a collaboration of Rebel Emergency and Grammy Award-winning Producer/Engineer Commissioner Gordon Williams (Lauryn Hill, The Fugees, Santana) and the final outcome is a top notch CD that is sure to please their fans and pave a way to their emergence to the international music scene.

“I was so impressed with this band, I couldn’t wait to get them into the studio in New York and get this talent on recording”, Commissioner Gordon tells Cashbox. “They are refreshing and talented and we are already planning a second CD project together. I have come to realize that Canada has a tremendous wealth of talent yet to be exposed to the rest of the world. Rebel Emergency has staying power. I have confidence in this band and their future.”

‘Sunriser’, the first single off the CD is currently getting a great reaction on the Hot A/C market.’Love Ain’t Free’ is a funky, cut time tune that shows their early influence of reggae, but has a style all of its own. ’Summer Gold’ and ‘Take Me’ show their diversity, while ‘So Long’ has a haunting vocal and strong lyrics, with harmonies and drum parts to match.

Cashbox asked Roddy and Geoff about the writing process for their music. “Everything changed for us with our visit to New York. We were together 24/7 and a creative bond happened in New York. We have cool dynamics between of all us and we work it thru with trust. Everyone is involved with the songwriting of Rebel Emergency, some songs more than others.”

When asked what advice they would give up and coming new acts, they both agreed to the same comments. Keep going , keep doing it. Lots of lessons we learned the hard way, learn for yourself, keep pushing thru, it’s all about maintaining relationships, nurture them all. That is the beauty of social media right now. We love our fans and appreciate each and every one of them”

Rebel Emergency consists of: Roddy Colmet (lead vocals) Geoff Willingham (guitar) Neil DeCiantias (bass) and Jeremy Kleynhans (drums)