Romantic Rebel Takes on the Chicago Music Scene
Interview Condudcted at Bada Brew Bar amd Grill in Crest Hill on February 19th, 2016
By Coren McLeod
Photos by Dan Locke
Unrated Backstage Interview with Romantic Rebel at Louder Than Life
Let me just start off by saying one thing: I am proud to be from the Chicagoland area. The music scene we have here is pretty dam diverse: Hip Hop (The humble Kayne West), 80s Rock (Yes, that band Chicago) and MetLet me just start off by saying one thing: I am proud to be from the Chicagoland area. The music scene we have here is pretty dam diverse: Hip Hop (The humble Kayne West), 80s Rock (Yes, that band Chicago) and Metal (One of my favorites, Disturbed.) From Bucktown to Wriglyville to the Mag Mile, the great people of Chicago are influenced everyday by different cultures and different ways of living.
Now, there is a band that came out in 2013 that is making their rounds to many different venues in Illinois. This female fronted band is called (a clever name in my opinion) Romantic Rebel. Fronted by the shy yet powerful vocals of KT (pronounced Katie) Paige along with her lead guitarist brother, Alex Vincent, this sister and brother duo went forth with their dreams of making music on their own terms. With the amazing help of Zach Smith on bass and the powerful beats of Ty Del Rose, Romantic Rebel brings a mixture of rock in all its glory.
My history with this band all started back in December of 2015 when Romantic Rebel opened up for Pop Evil in Belvidere, Illinois. I was highly impressed with our each band member had such confidence and brought on a stellar performance to an audience that most likely never heard of them. When the opportunity came about to see Romantic Rebel with Trapt in Crest Hill, Illinois on February 9th, 2016, I was truly excited to once again see this up and coming band play live.
If you have not noticed, I am all about female empowerment and love seeing female fronted bands. A few of my favorites are Meka Kyote from the amazing Art Metal Band Meka Nism, Lzzy Hale from Halestorm and Maria Brink from In This Moment. I love the fact that KT and her brother work so well together to bring great rock with their band Romantic Rebel.
After giving an epic performance to a crowded room of old and new fans alike, I got to sit down with the delightful lead guitarist Alex Vincent to talk about the future of Romantic Rebel and where the band sees themselves in the next few years.
Let's move on to the interview by Coren E. McLeod.
UnRated Magazine (Coren E. McLeod): So, thank you for speaking with me today. I truly love your band. Let us start off by asking how did the band get started?
Alex Vincent: KT and I started the band in 2013. The first year was basically the planning year. There was a lot of building and getting things ready. There was a lot of prepping. We could not go out of the gates unless everything was ready. Ty (drummer) and Zach (bass) joined us recently on our first tour. It is going great and I could not ask for anything more.
UnRated: The band seems pretty young. So, I have to ask: How old is everyone?
Alex: We are young. I am 21 years old ( Actually just turned 21); the bassist just turned 20 years old, KT and Ty are both 24 years old. (And this is where my ass felt like such an old lady... (laughing). All good!!!!)
UnRated: I know you guys are Chicago based, but where are you from exactly?
Alex: We are from the Northwest Suburbs... (Yeah! Yeah! That is where I am from...)
However, our bassist is from Spencer, WI. Which is about 4 and a half hours away. He makes it work and we are all dedicated.
UnRated: So, 95.1 WIIL Rock, you guys were featured on the 420 hit of the day for #TooFar. Is there new music coming soon?
Alex: Yes, new music is coming soon. We are doing a new EP. We are working with Johnny K that has worked with Disturbed, Sevendust, and Pop Evil. The new song just hit radio. It is not on iTunes yet because it takes a little to process. Too Far has been out for 2 days and it is #95 on the Active Rock Charts. We never even smelled the Active Rock Charts. It was a big deal for us. We are really excited and hopefully we take it to the Top 50. See where it goes from there.
UnRated: I am always interested in learning how a band comes up with the lyrics to the songs and the music. How do you guys come together and make music? (Just a little side note: Alex and I had to pause the interview for a few moments. Apparently, we were in a bad part of the outside of the building and had to move.... This cracked me up...)
Alex: KT and I really the bases of everything: the music and the lyrics. KT does the lyrics and I do the music. We get together and refine it. We bring it to the other guys and they write their parts. It is a group process and we have been doing a couple of group sessions with Johnny K. We get some new ideas in there. It helps us break away from our mold and our comfort zone. We love being challenged. We played a lot of the new songs tonight for the EP. We have 2 songs recorded and doing 3 more. Once that is done, we are going to put the EP out.
UnRated: Ok, so influences.... Name a few off for me:
Alex: Led Zeppelin for KT and myself. Aerosmith, Black Sabbath. We like newer bands as well. Some I listen to is Red Sun Rising. Asking Alexandria has some heavier parts I would like to incorporate into our songs. We are a completely new breed of music: Female Fronted, hard rock meets hard core edge. It is working and the songs are coming out pretty neat.
UnRated: With KT being the female lead of your band, you are going to be compared to other female fronted bands like Halestorm, In This Moment and others: How will Romantic Rebel stand out?
Alex: Even though we are not twins, I can answer this on KTs behalf. What we try to do is try to create an original brand of music. It is hard and we struggle with it. Everyone does, but what we are doing is becoming its own identity. With Maria Brink that is heavier and Lzzy Hale that is more rock, we are trying to find that medium level in there. KTs favorite singers are male vocalists. She really loves James Hatfield and Steven Taylor. Those are her favorite influences. That plays a big role on how she carries her voice.
UnRated: You play a killer guitar. When did you start playing officially?
Alex: I was 15 years old. I picked up a little before that. The band just started 3 years ago. I got more serious about it.
UnRated: I have never been to this venue before. (Bada Brew)
Alex: We played here at Bada Brew as one of our first shows ever. We had some of the same songs, but they were not where they are now. There were maybe 8 people here for our first show. Now, to play to a full house is very interesting. It was really cool to see so many Romantic Rebel shirts.
UnRated: When should we expect the EP?
Alex: I am hoping before summer. We are going to do the art for it. Get it pressed. We try to handle most of the digital artwork ourselves.
UnRated: Is there anything else you would like to say?
Alex: I guess I will have to say to our fans: Thank you for being there for us and supporting us for the past 3 years. It has been an amazing journey.
UnRated: Alex, thank you for letting me interview you and get some insight on a wonderful band. I cannot wait for the EP to come out so I head bang to your amazing music once the weather warms up in the Chicagoland area.
Just a suggestion, if you havent already, go like Romantic Rebel on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. I hope to see Romantic Rebel again very soon and jam out to their astounding music. #Cheers to KT, Alex, Ty and Zach!!!!! Thanks again and rock on!!!