Tell us about your tour vehicle. Any notable breakdown stories?
At the moment, we always rent two sprinter vans. We always group the same band members in each vehicle every time we travel. It’s part of our routine. We have van group 1, and van group 2. We never change up who rides in the vans. We bring all our horns, drums a luggage on the road with his, so a typically sprinter van is packed with gear.
We’re blessed to never have any break-down moments, but two weeks ago we did have one of our vans broken into in San Francisco while we were performing an in-store pop up performance in Amoeba Record Store.
How do you eat cheaply and/or healthy while on tour?
We do our best to have a healthy and balance life style and eating habits. Some of the band members are active with gym work outs. We always try to have a balance of healthy salad, vegetables and lean protean at meals. We do not snack on pizza and sugary foods. We’ve made it a point to try to be conscious of healthy habits and eating.
Where do you rehearse?
We rehearse weekly in New Orleans when we’re not touring. Our weekly band practice is at the famed New Orleans venue, Le Bon Ton. We rehearse during the daytime at Le Bon Ton every Thursday, going back decades. It’s our home, and space we feel comfortable in to rehearse, practice and create music.
What was the title and a sample lyric from the first song that you wrote?
I think music has always been there for us. Music is in our DNA. It’s in our blood and culture. There isn’t one moment to recognize as a first song, as music and creating music and art has always been there from childhood for many of us.
Describe your first gig.
One of our first gig was actually when we determined out band name. The Soul Rebels didn’t have a name until Cyril Neville saw our opening show for the Neville Brothers at Tipitina’s in the 90’s. That night, Cyril told us we sounded like musical rebels. Cyril thought our sound and style was deeply funky, innovative and soulful, and he gave us the name Soul Rebels. We’ve always rebelled against the stylistic norms, and the band name Cyril proposed really aligned with our philosophy and vibe, and it stuck with us.
What was your last day job? What was your favorite day job?
Most all of us have been musicians our entire lives. Some of us have worked in restaurants, mobile phone stores, working for the city, counseling and teaching. In the past, we’ve all had a range of jobs. But we’re now solely focused on music and entertaining today.
What one thing do you know now that you had wished you knew when you started your career in music?
Music is very much a reflection and response to overall life. Family, our community, culture, and the ups and downs of life all inspire our musical journey. Being aware of how important, influential and inspiring over-all life is on music, is a lesson that one must experience and grow into understanding. Also, being aware that life is chess not checkers. A career is a long game. And building meaningful relationships is the heart of what’s most important; relationships within the industry, with our fans, and with each other. Relationships are very powerful, and having awareness of how important relationship building and maintaining is a foremost priority.