Thanks to the good people at the Redstar 73 Antifa Blog for the interview! It’s a great site with plenty of great interviews and more…they’ve previously interviewed Rebel Time Records bands like Spanner and Section 4!
Please can you introduce your record label?
Sure! Rebel Time Records is a label based in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Rebel Time Records was started in 2008 in order to release socially-conscious, politically-charged, left-radical political punk rock, with an emphasis on Canadian bands. We like to say we deal in songs of protest and resistance and songs of love and rage…our motto is Rebel Tunes For Rebel Times and our bands are inspirational, incendiary and insightful/inciteful!” To date, we have about 13 releases, with more on the way. We’ve released great material by bands such as Action Sedition, The Class Assassins, The Rebel Spell, Section 4, Spanner, Broadcast Zero, The Rotten and more.
The name? Hmmm…as I recall, “Rebel Time” was a phrase I heard in a song by the band Klasse Kriminale…I thought Rebel Time Records sounded good and had a nice ‘ring’ to it. Our label graphic (our ‘mascot’) is the wrench-toting, balaclava-wearing person giving the ‘thumbs-up’ sign. We use this as our label-graphic for a few reasons…a wrench / spanner is a handy tool that can be used to tighten things up / create / build things, and, yet, it can also can be used to loosen things up / destroy / tear down things. We hope that the music on our label can be kind of like that wrench! Also, the fact that our mascot is wearing a balaclava makes it ‘every person,’ underneath the mask, it could be you, or it could be me, it could be her, it could be him, it could be anyone…it’s inclusive. We hope that everyone will see themselves, to a certain extent, in this graphic. And, hey, who doesn’t like getting positive affirmation or acknowledgment in the form of a ‘thumbs-up’ once in while!
What’s up next for Rebel Time Records? Any new releases on the horizon?
Rebel Time Records: At the moment, we are taking things kind of slow. Running a record label (especially one that deals in such a selective and specific genre or ‘niche’ like political punk), is really an ‘expensive hobby’ these days! It’s a labour of love, that’s for sure! Most recently, we have released some amazing music from Vancouver’s The Rebel Spell, Ireland’s Section 4 and Montreal’s Action Sedition I think our next release will be ‘The Mivart Sessions,’a collection of 12 “bodgy and barely remixed’ live-off-the-floor tracks from militant ska-punk band Spanner (from Bristol, England). Just a fantastic band who, can, in our humble opinion, can do no wrong. We’ll be cooperating with a couple of other labels on this release. The band assures us the finished tracks will be in our hands shortly!
Also in the near future, we’ll be releasing some new material from one of our all-time favorite local bands, The Fallout. ‘Straight-up, stripped-down political punk rock’ is the best way to describe these guys. They’ve been around for quite a while and have worked with Longshot Records and Insurgence Records. Stoked to have them on Rebel Time Records. Check out their classic album “Turning Revolution Into Money” online…there is talk of releasing a remixed/remastered version of this too… Further down the line, we look forward to working again with Action Sedition, they just keep getting better and better…anti-fa oi/streetpunk at its best…
How important is the DIY idea and politics to you?
Rebel Time Records: I think that, both for the label and for the people involved in it, both the ‘staff’ and the musicians, DIY politics and ideas are important, integral and essential! The Rebel Spell, on their first CD “Days Of Rage” said “trying to abide to strong morals and ideals to maintain a positive Do It Yourself ethic is sometimes exhausting, but the ones that live it and survive it, get to live proud.” Very true words. I’d like to think that the bands on Rebel Time Records and the people who make up the RTR Collective can take and have taken pride in their political / DIY stance.
Folks involved in Rebel Time Records have been doing things positively DIY and ‘hands on’ (and getting those hands very dirty!) for most of their political / musical lives…everything from publishing magazines covering left-radical struggles to tenant organizing, to volunteering at social centers and union organizing, to putting on shows, demonstrations and political events, to setting up tours for bands and political speakers to building home recording studios, etc, etc!
I’ll end this answer with a quote from Byron, singer/guitarist for The Fallout: “D.I.Y is not waiting for the right time, place or circumstances to come along and take care of you. D.I.Y is making your ambitions happen right here, right now.” So, yeah, get busy!! Create! Build something great!
OK, just one more quote from Byron: “If you aren’t getting what you want then get off your ass and make it happen. There’s no reason you can’t.” Words to live by!
How is the scene in Hamilton?
Rebel Time Records: Ahh…Hamilton…known world-wide at The Hammer, The Steel City, The Ambitious City, home to the Hamilton Tiger Cats football team (Oskie Wee Wee, Oskie Waa Waa, Holy Mackinaw, Tigers… Eat ’em RAW!! )
The scene in Hamilton is pretty darn good! Politically, Hamilton is home to a very cool anarchist social center called The Tower which hosts plenty of amazing events such as skill-shares, discussion series, reading groups, movie nights etc. The space also has a lending library and a print shop. In a nutshell, The Tower aims to support and provide a resource for local activist groups, community organizations, revolutionaries, and anyone sympathetic to anarchist principles of direct action, mutual aid and solidarity, voluntary association, prefiguration, equality, and autonomy.
Musically, Hamilton is, and always has been, home to a vibrant music community. In fact, some of the first punk bands, such as Teenage Head and The Forgotten Rebels, came from Hamilton and Hamilton’s best punk club/bar/venue, This Ain’t Hollywood, is named after a Forgotten Rebels song. We host shows there once in a while and it’s also home to Rebel Fest. Besides Rebel Time Records, Hamilton is also home to Schizophrenic Records, purveyors of punk rock both local and international. The Schizophrenic folks also own and operate a (literally) underground record store called Hammer City Records. Well worth a visit! Also well worth a visit is Crash Landing Punk and Music store, owned and operated by long-time local punk rock scenesters. So, yeah, Hamilton has everything we need…venues, record stores, a social center and a ton of amazing people involved in punk and politics! Defend Hamilton!!
Any last words?
Rebel Time Records: Thanks very much for the interview. Much appreciated.! In closing, I’d just like to pay respect and homage to two members of the Rebel Time Records family who we lost earlier this year. Angi Orchard, drummer for The Rotten lost her battle with breast cancer in May and Todd Serious, singer for The Rebel Spell, passed away after a rock-climbing accident in March. Both were amazing individuals, caring, compassionate and committed. Both were passionate people, deeply involved in punk and politics and both shared a commitment to animal welfare and animal advocacy.. Just a few days ago, Propagandhi released a cover of The Rebel Spell’s song “I Am A Rifle,” with all proceeds/donations from the sale of the song going to two causes close to Todd’s heart, The Wildlife Defence League and the Unistoten Defence Fund. The song is available on Propagandhi’s bandcamp page. Buying the song and thus contributing to these causes would be a great way to remember both Todd and Ang…