Behind the Beat: Quick and Deadly

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Thursday, August 30, 2012
Joanna Chattman, Chattman Photography
Rebel Base

Spawned from "drunken barroom jukebox fist-pumping and diplomatic talks over snow-monster shaping in January, 2011," Greenfield band Rebel Base is ready to fight the good fight for mankind, even if it means venturing to the far reaches of the galaxy.

"The name [Rebel Base] was modeled after our sci-fi lyrics and themes," says guitarist and vocalist J.D. Hairston. "A nod to Star Wars, but more specifically the saga of protagonists ever present in our songs, the two 'Human Rebels of Earth' who endeavor against the ill will of the gigantic 'Looming Shadows of Evil, the Planet Swallowers, the Lords of Venus.'"

Together with bandmate Anika Balaconis (drums, vocals), also a co-owner of Greenfield restaurant The Brass Buckle, Hairston not only makes time for defending the planet, but also manages to create some proud and unabashed metal songs that cross Black Sabbath with the two-person attack of the White Stripes.

Hairston says, "In a weird, semi-trance state I will often call upon a riff that's fallen through our atmosphere and brandish it loudly in our remote abandoned mill practice space. Anika will then intuit, appropriately, what kind of drumming best accentuates every note of every song. We have a strong sense of making every single part of every song stand out, as if every vocal or guitar or drum or harmony part is a solo. Every element is designed to be ultra-catchy and mind-boggling."

Indeed, tracks like "The Chosen Ones" and "Woman of War" possess an unhinged garage rock feel, but take on new life during live performances. Hairston offers a litany of other activities that audiences can expect to see as well.

"Flailing, forceful pummeling of drums and guitar in a 'rock classique' style, solos, brain melting, and intergalactic messages," he lists. "Quickly and with deadly force. We've been tightening up our loop-based solo sections and working on sounding huger while remaining a two-piece."

The band also hopes to record more of its ear-shattering sound in the near future, since the last material it recorded is currently riding around the country with another band.

Hairston explains: "Last summer, while traveling through Austin, Texas, we recorded on one-inch tape in a hot and sweaty garage with our friend Hans Zimmerman from The Young, who are signed to Matador Records. Whenever they've stopped touring and being Rolling Stone rock stars, we might get the tape. Otherwise we're still trying to find someone from around here who feels like working with us."

In the meantime, interested parties can track down the members of Rebel Base at The Brass Buckle, where they may or not be singing while they work.

"Most of our practice is done by singing our parts out loud while busting out breakfasts and coffee drinks," Hairston says "If anyone wants to see about booking a show with us, they should come see us at the restaurant."

For more information on Rebel Base please visit




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