Sunday, January 3, 2010

Q&A: the Great Rebel Elle

I met Miss Rebel Elle when she played bass in a band called Responsible Johnny. She put on a hell of a show. Eventually she didn't play with RJ anymore and was playing bass in another band, as well as drums for Jane loves dick (with Kristen who is now with the Crazy Ivans), and I asked her to play bass with myself and 2 of the gals from the girl band Lovie for a special show at the Barley house, after which she also played stand-up rockabilly style drums for me at 2 other shows. She also mixed 3 of my music videos and is not only a close dear friend now, but she's also one of the most talented, creative, coolest, motivated, and driven gals you could ever hope to meet. Nowadays, she sings and plays guitar in a fine band called The Loosies along with a gal named Rachel (who plays bass, and played in Jane loves Dick with Kristen and Elle as well as played bass with Elle and I for the 2 shows Elle played drums, and is married to Rob of Responsible Johnny), and their very cool drummer Misti. I've been blessed with the chance to take photos of the Loosies at a few shows and Rebel Elle is very near and dear to my heart and I'm very pleased to see her new band gaining momentum with a nice opening slot for Girl in a Coma coming up soon. Read on and get to know Rebel Elle!

Q: what is it like to be a female rocker and frontwoman in a scene that seems dominated by men? how has this affected you and your music and attitude?

RE: It's awesome. It's nice to be one of the only few girl bands around. It definately gives you a different perspective when you're competing with a whole bunch of guy bands who have been around forever. But over the years I have been able to hang out with much of the talented men out here, and they seem to support me as much as I do them.

Q: do you get along with other girl rockers? is there any camaraderie that exists?

RE: Most definately, I think all girls love seeing another girl up there doing her thing.

Q: How does the music scene differ from Louisiana to Texas? What's the good and bad?

RE: I'm from South Louisiana and the scene down there is HEAVILY dominated by Zodeco and country bands. There isn't much of a punk rock scene. So it was a relief to get to spend most of my musical years in North Carolina where the music scene was really awesome at times. The Raleigh/Durham area has some really awesome girl bands. I was really excited to come to Dallas and find more of a "Scene." Although, now, it's not as promising as it was three years ago. I miss Bar of Soap. I saw many good bands come through there. I'm hoping with the re-opening of Trees, there will be better spirits in Deep Ellum. It was pretty bad for awhile. I think everyone was bitter and turning on each other. That is the only bad about the scene here in Dallas. With all the bars closing... instead of teaming together and trying to make things work, it felt as it was every band for themselves, and no one was helping anyone. Let's hope we can change that.

Q: You work in television. How has that affected your music and videomaking?

RE: It definately makes creating music videos much easier ;)

Q: How did you get started in filming and editing music video, and do you have any favourites you've done? I got started in college, it was my major. I've always wanted to make music videos. I'd sit and watch CMT and MTV all day when I was a kid. You would be surprised at how inexpensive it really is to make a music video these days. People think you need all this fancy equipment, when really, all you need is decent lighting, a home camcorder and basic editing software. At around 300 bucks you can be cranking out video after video.

Q: you've played in different bands. Tell us about some of your experiances you really enjoyed.

RE: Lots of different bands with lots of talented people. Touring was always fun, but very stressful. What most people don't know is that I did a few cool things in the country music world. I've gotten to play with Miranda Lambert and Sarah Evans. I've played on the same bill as Bowling for Soup, Evanecence and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. But at the end of the day, I gotta say, Responsible Johnny was the most fun I have ever had.

Q: Tell us about your current band: how it began, what you've done so far, and what's on the horizon.

RE: Ha! Its a very crazy and short story. I had just been given the boot out of another band. Cera from Screaming Red told me I needed to get over it and it was my opportunity to start my own thing. I had played witH Roxxxi in Jane Loves Dick and then I had jammed with Misti a few times. We were all pretty unsuccessful at finding a band that catered to the sound we wanted. One quick call to Roxxxi and Misti and that was it. Had a bassist and a drummer. Normally I would have gotten a singer, cause I cant sing, but after talking with the band we decided we didnt want to teach another girl "our" songs, we should sing them ourselves. That was in May, and here we are in September. So over 4 months, we have come a long way. We have an EP already in the can and we just finished recording another one this past weekend. It will be a split with an all girl band out of Kentucky called "Some Skank" They are pretty awesome. We will be playing House of Blues with Girl in a Coma on Sept 25th. We are super excited. Here is a promo video we shot just for that.

Q: you play multiple instruments. how did you begin playing? do you have a favourite to play? what do you like about each and what sort of gear do you use?

RE: I started playing drums when I was about 11, then shortly after picked up the guitar. I started playing bass, well pretending I could play bass when I moved to Dallas. Responsible Johnny needed a bassist, and I could play guitar so I faked my way into playing bass. My bass rig is a Fender Jaguar and Ampeg BA 115. My guitar rig consists of 2 Jagmasters and a Line 6 Spider 3 amp. Drums are my absolute favorite thing to play. My set is a tama 4 peice birch Superstar EFX kit.

Q: what inspires you to write music and songs, and do you have any personal favourites you've written and why?

RE: Bad breakups, love, Stupid boys.. anything that I'm feeling really. I guess you can say "Life" inspires me.

Q: what other bands and artists do you like listening to?

RE: Nirvana, Dandy Warhols, The Randies, Pixies, Bikini Kill, Huggy Bear, Bratmobile, Julie Ruin, Le Tigre.

Q: why does Responsible johnny have a song about you and does it bother you or do you like it?

RE: I'm flattered that Rob even thought I was that special to write it. L's on Lithium is an awesome song (and true story)

Random topic round.

Guitar hero:
I freaking hate guitar hero, it gets me drunk and I'd rather play guitar for "Realz bruh"

Adult beverages:
Lately, I have had this weird addiction to Bloody Mary's. I never really liked them until last Christmas. It's weird.

My favorite TV show of all time is "Welcome Back Kotter" but I can quote nearly every episode of "always Sunny in Philadelphia" and "The Sarah Silverman Program"

Lightning & Alligators:
I'm terrified of lightning, I won't go outside. Alligators are cool animals. I grew up around them and I am not afraid of them. Most people have a misconception about them. We had an alligator that lived in our drainage ditch for like 3 years, We fed him and he never really bothered us or tried to attack us. One day it rained really hard and he just swam away.

Find the Loosies online at: