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Utah concert preview: Rebelution surfing a wave of success

Published August 22, 2014 7:53 am

Interview • Rock-reggae band wants audience to feel "kinetic energy, subwoofers."
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Rebelution, headlining Saltair on Friday night, is a rock-reggae band that began in Isla Vista, a college town for the University of California, Santa Barbara, where students cut class not to sleep but to surf.

"When I first experienced Isla Vista visiting a friend, I knew that I had to move here," said Wesley Finley, drummer for the band. "It was heaven on Earth — everyone was my age, riding bikes, living by the ocean, and there were bands and DJs playing at every other house. I still live in Santa Barbara and make it into IV every now and again."

Rebelution, though, didn't cut class.

"Were it not for a desire to further our education, Rebelution would not exist," Finley said in an email interview with The Tribune. "We all met each other in college classes and the college music scene that existed in Isla Vista. Even though the band started to take off, we made sure that everyone had graduated before pursuing this full time. I played in the wind ensemble in college and it helped me get serious about playing, too."

Finley, on behalf of the band, answered other questions posed by The Tribune about inspiration, dancing and staying connected to fans.

Can inspiration come from different places?

There is plenty of music out there that comes from places of happiness and remembrance. Our songs "Good Vibes" and "Lazy Afternoon" are examples of that; it also helps that they're in major keys, which adds an uplifting mood.

What do you want your audiences to feel at one of your concerts?

Euphoria, relaxation, connectivity, symbiosis, kinetic energy and subwoofers.

How do you stay connected with fans?

In the digital realm we have personal outlets besides the primary band one, so we will interact with fans on those platforms. Otherwise, we have meet-and-greets before every show and after-parties after the shows to connect with fans directly.

Thinking and dancing are two different things. How do you achieve that balance?

Everyone has their own method — some people intentionally think about their next move while others choose to let the mind wander and the body will follow or lead as it sees fit.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Believe it or not, I hope it's more or less the same. There will come a time that we reach the top of our mountain and begin to descend and I can only hope it's near the same place where we ascended. We are in a good place now — everything is independent and manageable. We're still in control and we want it to always stay that way.

How important is commercial success?

It depends on what you want out of life. We like to think that low levels of commercial success are helpful to spreading the music, which will carry the right message to a broader audience. At what cost is the question artists should ask themselves. If we can use a device to reach and affect more people, then I don't see the harm in it. —

Count Me In Summer Tour

Rebelution with Iration, The Green and Stick Figure.

When • Friday, Aug. 22, at 6:30 p.m.

Where • Saltair, 2408 W. Saltair Drive, Magna

Tickets • $30 at SmithsTix