The Rock and Roll Damnation of Rebel Priest
The Rock and Roll Damnation of Rebel Priest
Meet the almighty Rebel Priest – your own personal guides to Rock and Roll Damnation. A three-piece party machine ready to rock your world in nothing short of an epic way, Rebel Priest recently unleashed R’lyeh Heavy upon the world on large – now available through the Scrape Records compound. This Vancouver BC based collective has opened for the likes of the legendary Udo Dirkschneider and are more than ready to spread that hard rock and roll religion here to the States and beyond! Highwire Daze recently interviewed the one and only Jayme Black to discuss the auditory hellfire that is Rebel Priest. Read on…
Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Rebel Priest, and how long the band has been together.
Greetings earthlings!! I am Jayme Black of Rebel Priest, I command the thunder and occasionally scream about heretical notions. The basis for our religion started as a consolidation of three minds…hahaha, nah it started in 2016? We didn’t start doing live till later on, so I figure 4 years? Give or take?
Where are you based out of and what is the local music scene like there?
Riot city, Rain city, No fun city, Vancouver B.C. has had a lot of names some flattering, some not so much, but it has some wicked bands and a pretty loyal and dedicated scene(s). Tons of great bands like Dead Quiet, Black Wizard, Precious Dudes, blix, so many! Definitely killer tunes to be found.
Is there any overall story or concept behind the R’lyeh Heavy title?
Benny (guitars) and I love H.P. Lovecraft and certainly plays on words, also our album had a collection of stories, almost an anthology of sorts that were short but not without the defining moments of a good book, so it was a natural creature that was birthed from our short stories, with a touch of cheeky lyrics.
Select two songs from the R’lyeh Heavy and what inspired the lyrics.
I’ll leave out the easy ones to describe hahah
Emperor: In the 40k universe humanity has been jettisoned into the stars by a person that has an ambition bigger than his understanding of humanity, this ultimately turns out to be the least desired outcome and divides his empire. Trying to unify humans without the use of religion creates pressure and when the emperor falls, humankind falls back to the predation of flawed belief systems and abandons science. It’s based on really cool lore I read about almost every chance I get.
Sleeping Like A Hangman: This one is about personal battles with self and outside poisons, coming to terms with your flaws and accepting the evil that lives in us all, can’t have the day without the night.
Who produced the R’lyeh Heavy and what was it like working with them?
It was produced by Sean March and us, recorded with Cecil English (No Means No, DOA, Hexripper), mixed by our drummer Nate Pole and mastered by our good friend Jonny Wildcat. Working with our friends is a luxury and couldn’t have asked for a more wicked time, not very often your not ripping each other apart for a riff here or a take there, it was all just done off the floor, raw and dirty, just like us hahaha
Who did the cover art for R’lyeh Heavy and how much input did you have on it?
Our amazingly talented and good friend Fabricio Rezende did it, the concept came from us saying we want our dude riding Cthulhu, and literally a couple of hours later he had the rough sketch done which became our album, he did all the work and we couldn’t be happier about it, like a brother that guy will always have us in his corner!
What could one expect from a live Rebel Priest show?
Whiskey, sweat, action, monster trucks, giant robots, rock n roll, leather, weed, guitar solos, ninja turtles, barbarians, nipples, lasers, you know, regular stuff.
What was it like supporting the legendary Udo Dirkschneider and did you get to meet or hang out with Udo at all?
Man! Those dudes (The Dirkschneiders) are some of the most professional dudes but never turn down a drink, super wicked humans, Udo sounds like a million bucks still! His son is a monster on the drums, bass is sick! Super stoked to share the stage with a bunch of great guys like that!
If Rebel Priest could open for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
For me, Motörhead, cause They are the fucking best!!!
Has Rebel Priest ever played in the Los Angeles/OC area or plan to do so in future days?
Oh fuck yeah! We are working on it, did Japan before all this craziness and we were working on a couple of tours, but I guess until the venues start opening for shows we will have to wait unless you’re bringing us down!?!? Wink wink nudge nudge…
Tell me about the Bowie Ball and how you became involved with that?
We had a friend that was putting it on and asked us to be apart of it, this was before Rebel Priest was a band (we were going as The Toxiks) and we kept coming back year after year, we decided we would let other bands play it this year cause we can’t hog all the good Bowie songs haha
Having had cancer myself, I really enjoyed giving back to people I know are going through a hard time, and I believe nothing helps better than music (and I guess the money it generates).
If Rebel Priest was invited to record a song on a David Bowie tribute album, which song would you do and why?
It depends, we know a lot of em!! Hahaha
We covered “Under The God” by Tin Machine, his short-lived band in the late ’80s, but he’s got a lot of killer stuff, I really like playing “Hallo Spaceboy” and “Cat People”, his play on words and the bass is so groovy in those, plus the harmonies!!!! He was a force of nature, it’s like asking what water you like best hahaha
What’s up next for Rebel Priest?
Doing demos for the new stuff, working on videos and booking into the future, keeping busy and creative, modifying guitars, but we will be going back to Japan when this is all over if we are allowed and should be putting out a new single pretty soon, so keep an ear/eye out!!
Any final words of wisdom?
If you got the time, support those artists that are having a hard time right now! Go buy some candles from your friend! A piece of jewelry from your neighbour, get that sweet print from that artist you like overseas, get some new music in your veins! And most importantly: Don’t forget to rock n roll and have a fucking day!!! Hahaha Love ya!
Rebel Priest is:
Jayme Black – Bass, Lead Vocals
Benny Kemp – Guitars, Vocals
Nate Pole – Percussion, Vocals
(Interview by Ken Morton)
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