I sat on the porch one mid morning talking with Rick from Shotgun Rebellion. We found we were kindred spirits on a lot of things. As we talked, I felt a bond developing with Rick and knew we would remain friends for a long time. Let’s get to know Rick (guitars/vocals), Jon (bass), Jared (drums), and Steve (guitars) from Shotgun Rebellion.
Hey guys, let’s open a cold one and find out about the origins of Shotgun Rebellion. How did all of this start?
Jon: “As Rick was playing with a band called Kill the Silence and I was with Echofist, our paths had crossed a few times. Over the next two years we’d swap emails back and forth discussing various shows and what all was going on in the Oklahoma music scene. When Echofist separated, the vocalist and I started a new project. Although I enjoyed what we were doing, there was just something missing. So I decided to put the word out that I was looking to do a side project that had a little bit more balls to it so to say. Well, Rick just happened to be online and within about twenty minutes of me posting a notice he called me.
As the issues within KTS grew, what was originally just a side project and a chance for Rick and I to work together, begin to evolve into the full-time ride. We thought for a short time about just bringing me in on bass and revamping the lineup for KTS, but after thinking it over we decided to go with our own identity as Shotgun Rebellion.”
As I was listening to the tracks you sent me I hear elements of country music in your songs. What were some of your country influences?
Rick: Not really what you would call traditional country. But more of an Outlaw country and Southern Rock like Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Hank jr. and Willy nelson were more of an influence to me along with blues.
Tying into the previous question I also hear metal in your songs, where did the metal influx come from?
SR: Sabbath, Zeppelin, Van Halen, Dokken, Wasp, Down, Pantera, Corrosion of conformity, Megadeth, BLS, Anything Ozzy, Motorhead and Pride & Glory Just to name a few.
As I have gotten to know about I have heard you guys referred to as “Outlaw Metal” what can you tell us about that?
Rick: Well I grew up in southern Oklahoma and my parents and grand parents always listened to country, Outlaw country, Southern Rock as well as Classic Rock. My dad Ronnie taught me to play at a young age, he cut my teeth on Southern Rock and Outlaw country tunes along with blues and classic rock songs. So on my own I was listening to Wasp, anything Ozzy, Van Halen and all that era’s Metal and hard rock songs. So I was taking the licks my dad taught me and trying to learn how to play the stuff I liked. About that time I met a Guitarist named Steve Parnell we formed a band in the late 80s early 90s even then Steve was a accomplished Guitarist he started teaching me a lot more of what was going on in Metal then. We’ve since added him to the line up of “Shotgun Rebellion” in the past year, you can hear his lead work on our songs such as “Emperor’s clothes and Killed by love”. So this half Outlaw country/Southern rock meets Metal/hard rock is just a natural thing for me. So we just coined the term “Outlaw Metal” to describe our sound.
Tell me about the writing process. I can imagine you all putting on some David Allen Coe and then some BLS, drinking a few and going from there. How do you guys go about writing new material?
Jon: “As a writer, anything can inspire you and that creative spark can hit at anytime, I’m always coming up with lyrics. I’ll send them to Rick, who is constantly working out something on his guitar. When he finds something that fits, he’ll record it and bounce it back to me. Or he’ll come up with some lyrics on his own and call me saying he’s sending a new track. Either way, once we have that first blueprint of a song, we all will start adding in our own little touches.”
It’s obvious you have a lot of classical influences, what are some of the newer bands that are catching your attention?
SR: Eye Empire, DevilDriver, Kill Devil Hill, Down and there’s a new southern rock band called Blackberry Smoke I like a lot.
You have shared the stage with some great bands, does any particular show stand out?
Jon: “Every show we do with Texas Hippie stands out just because they are brothers in arms, we’ve gotten to know those guys pretty good and are fun to work with. But as for me one show that really stands out was when we played with Warbeast, Forte, and Rev Jones at the Coca-Cola Center in Oklahoma City. We had honestly only been together as Shotgun Rebellion for a about a month, and as far as the crowd knew we came out of nowhere. Over the next few weeks, we received messages from fans and even the promoter who told us we had the set of the night, and that was only our second show after that first practice six weeks before.”
Rick: Sharing the stage with George Lynch twice when we opened for Lynch Mob was a big deal for me. I grew up in the late 80s as a teen and he was a big influence on my playing
What are the musical backgrounds of you guys? Any formal musical instruction?
Rick: I was taught to play guitar from my dad.There was alway instruments around the house if you didn’t play you wasn’t from my family. So it was just the way I was raised.
Jon : “I graduated from the Art Institute in Dallas with a degree in Music Business.”
I have been having fun reading the responses fro others with this question. Is there any music that you listen to that would surprise us? I happen to like the Bee Gees myself….
Rick: I sometimes listen to Motown soul and a lot of blues.
Jon: “I listen to just about everything. Whether its country, metal, blues, pop, jazz, or even Christian artists; I’m always hearing rhythms or lyrics that hit me and inspire me. I take that bit of inspiration and use it, then send it off to Rick who puts his own stamp onto it with what he’s been listening to and that is where that SGR blend comes from.”
If you had a chance to speak to a crowd of musicians trying to enter into the music industry what advice would you give them?
SR: Stick to your guns and don’t be fake, what I mean is play and write from the heart don’t just be what you think other people want to hear. If you do that it’ll come out fake so Stick to your guns and play what you feel.
Let’s have some “Devils Home Brew”:
There you have it, Shotgun Rebellion in the raw.
UPDATE: Catch Shotgun Rebellion on Bleach Bangs Radio tomorrow night (09/18/2012)