American Rebels open Homegrown tonightWhen American Rebels formed three years ago, they were looking to fill what they believed to be an untapped musical niche in the Twin Ports: plain old rock ’n’ roll.
By: Christa Lawler, Duluth News Tribune
When American Rebels formed three years ago, they were looking to fill what they believed to be an untapped musical niche in the Twin Ports: plain old rock ’n’ roll.
“When we first started the band, there was like punk rock and art rock and noise rock,” said songwriter Kyle Maclean. “There wasn’t a lot that hearkened back to my childhood: alternative, indie, sonic and experimental. I wanted to be moved on a personal and guttural level.”
He’s talking bands like early Led Zeppelin, the Stooges, early Nirvana and some Smashing Pumpkins.
American Rebels play at 11:30 p.m. today at Tycoons Alehouse, kicking off the 15th annual eight-day music-art-video-kickball-in-combat-boots festival. Homegrown Music Festival starts with Mayor Don Ness issuing a proclamation and the cask release of Homegrown Hempen Ale. Music follows at Tycoons, Teatro Zuccone, Carmody Irish Pub and Pizza Luce.
The band — which also includes Scott Millis on drums and Heather Dean on bass — fiddled around for a year in an attempt to create its signature sound.
“We didn’t bring material from other projects,” said Maclean, who was last seen fronting a Billy Joel cover band. “We started writing singularly as a group before we had the bulk of a show. The first year we practiced one or two times a week, playing around sonically on what we wanted to focus to a fine point.”
Just before 2012 Homegrown, they added guitar player Bob Olson.
American Rebels recently released an EP and is scheduled to start recording a full-length album in June, Millis said.
As for adding rock ’n’ roll to the scene:
“I certainly feel like it’s picked up a lot,” Millis said. “Down here at (our practice space) there are a lot of them creeping through the woodwork.”
“We’re here to do something completely different,” he said. “There are no washboards, no banjos in our band.”