|Get your copy of 'Rock & Roll In America' today.|
2014 Rock ‘n’ Roll Rumble participant and Boston Music Award nominee for ‘Punk Artist of the Year’, Rebuilder rips open the preconceived stitches of punk rock to deliver their expansive, mature, and complex sophomore album, ‘Rock & Roll In America’. Their debut full-length on Panic State Records, “RNRIA” reinvents the self-proclaimed gnarly rock band’s sonic footprint, transcending the traditional three chord punk progression and showcasing the evolution of the band’s collaborative writing styles. Passionate, stirring and with a ‘never say die’ attitude in the same vein as Frank Turner or Against Me, Rebuilder’s live shows are packed with the resilient emotion of DIY music inspired by the honest truth, the instinctual reaction and the second wind that holds you back from the brink of exhaustion.
We sat down with the band to talk about their debut full-length, how Allston Christmas shaped the concept behind ‘Rock & Roll In America’ and hashed out the definition of ‘gnarly rock’.
“We weren't trying to take ourselves too seriously with the title ‘Rock & Roll In America’,” explains lead singer Sal Ellington. “We’re obviously more pop punk than classic rock but there’s something iconic about that genre. AC/DC, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Bob Seger, Bruce Springsteen all had this quintessential rock and roll vibe. The records were passionate. The artists were influencers. Because of bands like these, rock and roll is in our blood. We wanted an album name that really reflected everything we believed in as musicians.”
With the music tracked and the album named, the band just needed the right imagery to package their concept. “We brainstormed for a while. ‘What is Rock & Roll In America?’ Graffiti, beer, a van about to leave on tour, honestly anything could be considered, but nothing stuck.” It wasn’t until Allston Christmas rolled around that the band found what would later be the image of ‘Rock & Roll In America’.
|The beginnings of RNRIA. (image credit)|
Frankie Nash is a local skater and graphic designer. On September 1st of 2014, he and a few friends set out with a video camera and their skateboards to film the madness that is Allston Christmas (check out the video below). The crew spent the day recording their adventures in between U-Hauls, IKEA furniture and students. “We posted a few edits from the day on Instagram. The picture Sal saw using the hashtag #allstonchristmas was of my friend ollieing over a disco ball we found,” Nash tells Bishop & Rook. “He wanted to use the photo but I had shot it on my phone and it wasn't the best quality to use for a cover. We had to recreate it.”
A few weeks later with a disco ball and photographer Alexsandra Wiciel in tote, the band and Nash met to recreate Allston Christmas.
“It was rad and I was hyped to do it. I met up with them and hopped in the van. We went around to a couple spots they had scouted out and I ollied the disco ball about 40 times that day.”
“Frankie’s Allston Christmas Instagram really embodies our theme,” Ellington adds. “A skater jumping over a disco ball abandoned on a street can be taken so many ways. The death of music, disco sucks…overall a great image.”
Rock & Roll In America was established. It was red, white and blue. It was shiny disco balls. It was creativity and collaboration. Counterfeit money, skateboards, tattoos and tacos. Punk, cheap beer and DIY. Overall, it was gnarly. That being said, we just have one last question for the band. What is ‘gnarly rock’?
“Mood lighting with Lucero.”
“If someone took over a fraternity and had basements shows with the one kid who liked Fugazi.”
“Yes! When revenge of the nerds takes over the fraternity.”
“When you open some cheese and it’s spoiled and you’re like, “Oh, that’s gnarly.”
“When someone did a kick flip and you thought, “Oh that was gnarly.” When people see us, we want them think the same thing.”
See Rebuilder at O’Brien’s Pub on June 22nd with Toys That Kill, Nato Coles & The Blue Diamond Band and Me In Capris (tickets available). A limited run of ‘Rock & Roll In America’ is now available for purchase via Panic State Records on Red/Blue/White Splatter, Ultra Clear w/ Silver and Black vinyl options as well as digital. Follow Rebuilder on Facebook and Twitter for additional information and future show announcements. Stream 'RNRIA' on Bandcamp.
You can see Frankie Nash’s artwork on Instagram, at Refuge Cafe (155 Brighton Ave. Allston), and at Orchard Skateshop (156 Harvard Ave., Allston).