The members of The Rebel Noise moved from their hometown of Paso Robles to the Palm Springs area in 2011—and only then did they have the idea to start a band.
Since that fateful decision, they have been a band on the rise—and they’ll be performing on Thursday, April 3, with War Drum and Brothers Weiss at Bar in Palm Springs.
The Rebel Noise is Leo Rodriquez (guitar, vocals), Collin Pintor (guitar), Ben Travis (bass) and Ashley Pintor (drums). The move to Palm Springs started with a job offer made to Collin Pintor.
“My company has two offices, and one of them is down here,” Collin Pintor said. “We vacationed here all the time when we were kids, so it just kind of made sense to make a move. It was a good time for me. The rest of the band followed about a year after.”
But they weren’t yet a band at the time. In fact, the only one who had played in a band was Ashley Pintor, who had been in an all-girl band in the Paso Robles area.
“We played a couple of shows,” Ashley Pintor said about her old group. “One of them was this saloon, and we actually opened up for the Kottonmouth Kings, which was super-weird, because our music style did not mesh at all. But that was it, and it lasted for about half a year.”
Another surprising fact about The Rebel Noise: Leo Rodriquez has only been playing the guitar for about two years.
“When we were all living up north, I didn’t know how to play guitar,” Rodriquez said. “I had just picked up my acoustic guitar and was learning major chords, and that was about it. I didn’t even sing or anything. (Collin and Ashley) used to jam all the time, and I’d just sit there in their band room and listen to them play. I couldn’t jam, because I didn’t know how to play anything. I stole my little sister’s acoustic guitar, and Collin showed me my first chords—and I would just play the shit out of it.”
Rodriquez moved to the area and had two weeks off between jobs; he used that time to learn how to sing and play guitar. He said he even wrote his first “terrible song.”
“We were blown away,” Collin Pintor said about Rodriquez’s musical talent. “We could see the potential. That was always one thing we were missing—a singer. We came out and we’re like, ‘What in the hell? You’ve never sang before? Ever?’”
Rodriquez said the band’s sound has been developing ever since.
“Every recording that we do, every new song that we write, it gets tighter and tighter, and it sounds better and better,” he said.
All the hard work by Rodriquez and his band mates has paid off, leading to some great songs and a unique sound that offers a mix of blues and hard rock. One of the band’s songs, “Possessed,” starts off with Rodriquez singing gently—and then shifts to full-on insanity, with a blast of heavy guitar and Rodriquez screaming. (Scroll down to see a video.)
“We actually just wrote that one,” Rodriquez said. “It was kind of on a whim. (Collin) had a lick, and we were just like, ‘We could write this song right now.’ We wrote that song in one practice.”
Rodriquez said the band members try to emphasize a diversity of sounds in their songs.
“It’s important for us to use dynamics in our songs,” Rodriquez said. “You can’t just rock out the whole time. It kind of becomes numb at that point. We like to bring it way up and bring it back all the way down to the floor again. We always do that.”
When they look back on their first live show—at the Dillon Roadhouse, two years ago—they cringe.
“We probably practiced for about two months before we played that show,” said Collin Pintor.
Rodriquez remembers that Michael Durazo from Slipping Into Darkness helped them land the gig. And how’d it go?
“We sucked really bad,” Rodriquez said. “I remember being so nervous before that show that I was shaking onstage, but it was fun, and it was a good first-show experience. I even have one video of one of our songs, and I watch it just to see how far we’ve come. Every time I watch it, I can only watch about half of it before I have to shut it off.”
In the two-plus years of The Rebel Noise’s existence, the band has earned love from many local bands.
“People are into the music scene here, which is nice,” said Collin Pintor. “The other bands here are really cool. We’ve met some of the bands where it feels like it’s very competitive, and they’re standoffish. But usually when we play down here, we hear, ‘Hey, that was a really good show; looking forward to your next one.’”
They also have the support of their neighbors around their home in Palm Springs. In fact, a neighbors’ daughter might end up on the cover of their debut album, which they hope to have ready during the summer.
“She’s actually listening to our song through a pair of headphones,” said Ashley Pintor. “She busted up her chin and has a Band-Aid on her chin looking all hardcore. It’s seriously awesome.”