California band brings a ‘Rebelution’

While the members of the reggae group Rebelution have their roots in Southern California, lead singer Eric Rachmany said Hawai‘i is the band’s home away from home.

“A kid in Hilo heard one of our songs, and he shot it to the radio station,” Rachmany said. “People in Hawai’i knew us before people in Los Angeles or San Francisco.”

It wasn’t long before mainland audiences figured out what they were missing. The four-piece band hailing from Santa Barbara, Calif., mixes elements of rock and hip-hop to its Jamaican-inspired roots. Its message is one of positivity and encouragement.

Rebelution joins roots reggae band Steel Pulse in concert 7 p.m. Monday at Kilohana Pavilion.

While the band got its start performing at college backyard parties, Rebelution has performed in concerts and festivals in front of crowds 30,000 strong.

The current roster of the reggae-hybrid group includes Marley D. Williams (bass), Rory Carey (keyboards), Wesley Finley (drums) and Rachmany (guitar and vocals).

“Live audiences are great, because we feel we have such a good message to everyone,” Rachmany said. “Kaua‘i is known as one of the more mellow islands. When we come here, you can tell people are moving to the music.”

The band first hit the music scene with its 2006 five-track self-titled LP, which was quickly followed by 2007’s full-length album, “Courage to Grow.”

The band gained popularity at the end of last decade with their 2009 release “Bright Side of Life,” which reached No. 1 on the iTunes and Billboard reggae charts.

The band’s name reflects the nature of their music.

“We thought the word rebel has a negative connotation,” Rachmany said. “We thought (Rebelution) was perfect for us. We are trying to speak with our music and words in a peaceful and nonviolent manner.”

Rachmany described an “intense moment” he had with a fan who was stationed in Iraq.

“He was telling me how he and his buddies were listening to our music and how it got them through the day,” Rachmany said. “He said ‘Thank you for making music that encourages us.’”

The band is currently working on writing songs for its upcoming album.

“We have 80 percent of it done,” Rachmany said. “I’m trying to write three or four more songs and record it before the Slightly Stoopid tour.”

He added that the band is hoping for an early winter release.

After Rebelution wraps up its Hawaiian tour, the band move on to conquering the summer festival circuit before touring with Slightly Stoopid beginning in July.

“Life on the road is tough. You always have to find ways to feel like your home in your head,” Rachmany said. “All of us struggle at certain points, but what keeps us going is the message that we put out knowing the impact we are making on people’s lives.”

Visit www.groovetickets.com to purchase tickets.

Tickets also available at Deja Vu Surf Hawai‘i in Kukui Grove Center, Rainbow Gas and Mini Mart in Kapa‘a, Pono Market in Kapa‘a, City Liquor in Lihu‘e, Healthy Hut in Kilauea and Progressive Expressions in Koloa.

What: Steel Pulse and Rebelution

When: Doors open at 6 p.m.; show at 7 p.m. Monday

Where: Kilohana Pavilion

Price: $39.50

Age: 16+

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