Interview with guitarist and vocalist Sammy Dee G
Interview conducted by Luxi Lahtinen
Date online: November 11, 2022
Rebellix is a 4-piece band from Helsinki, Finland, that has been around since 2013, trying to make their mark on the country's metal scene for some years now. With their two EPs, 2018's Final Decay and 2022's Serpent's Kiss, these lads have slowly been making a name for themselves, which resulted in them playing at the Tuska Festival in July 2022 in front of a packed audience.
They have the potential to become bigger and more well known around the globe, but it will take a lot of hard work and the right people to help them achieve these goals.
Yours truly witnessed the band playing live at the Tuska Festival this year and was so impressed by the band's energetic and wild live performance that I wanted to learn more about them. I reached out to the band's guitarist/vocalist Sammy Dee G, who was eager to share some facts about the band, both past and present...
Hell-o! How's life in Rebellix? Are you glad you are able to play live again after all this COVID bullshit?
Sammy Dee G: Hey there! Yes, we are really glad about being able to play live shows again. Our band is really live gig driven so without shows we get bored quiet easily. :D
Up next, we here at The Metal Crypt would like to know how you guys met each other and formed Rebellix? Was it as easy as friends hanging out and someone said, "Hey, let's form a band"?
Sammy Dee G: Yeah, pretty much the idea came up from Joel (the ex-singer of the band) and me. We were working together at the Hard Rock Cafe in Helsinki, and as I had just moved back to Finland I really itched for a band, and he was up to it. Soon after that we found the other members in our friend group and here is where we started our adventure riding the underground wave...
How easy was it to find like-minded musicians who all shared the same vision of what the band should be about?
Sammy Dee G: Well, we've changed a lot of members since the beginning and the other guitar player and I are the only ones who have been here since the start. Mikael (drummer) came on board about a year and a half after the band was formed and has been in the band for many years now.
Bass players have changed a lot. We just found a new bass player and fingers crossed we won't need to change the guy any time soon because he really rocks the shit out of his bass! We'll announce him next week. :)
DEMOCRACY REIGNS SUPREME IN REBELLIX
How do you share responsibilities as far as your songwriting process is concerned? Would you rather say you are a very democratic unit, in which each of you is allowed to bring ideas in, being either musical or lyrical?
Sammy Dee G: Basically, it's me writing the structure of the songs, then I bring an idea for the song to the rehearsal place and we stick all our hands into it and start creating the actual song.
Other times it happened that someone has a riff or some lyrics and then I start working with them to make a song. That happened with the song "Hail to the Sky." The lyrics were written by the drummer about something that really bothered him. He gave me the lyrics on a piece of paper and I started to work them into making a song.
I would say it's really democratic, it just happens to be me usually having the ideas for the songs. :)
You guys have been around since 2013, almost 10 years now, and you've released one demo, one single, and a couple of EPs thus far. How has the response been toward them both from Finland and outside of the country?
Sammy Dee G: Well, it's interesting because I have noticed that outside Finland, we have a lot of listeners and fans which was for us completely unexpected and inside Finland it seems like there has been some good feedback, too, which makes us very proud of our work.
I can clearly say that our latest work, Serpent's Kiss, has been the most successful so far, but I can also believe that comes from the fact that we actually put more budget into it for the recording and the music videos.
We are going to continue on that line for the next releases. We are currently working on a full-length album that we hope to release possibly next spring, keeping the same music vibe as Serpent's Kiss, if not a bit heavier.
REBELLIX? A BADASS CARTOON FIGURE OR WHAT?
Where on earth did you get the name Rebellix? It sounds like some badass cartoon to me, so could you enlighten us on the name a little bit?
Sammy Dee G: Hehe...well we've been asked this question many times, but we never actually gave a real explanation other than "because it sounds cool." Let's say the name comes from the fusion of the words "Rebel" and "Licks" fused together and given a little '80s twist. It speaks to the rebel attitude of the band, the rebel part of you that wants to tell people to fuck off when they bother you. We apply this concept to our music in the writing, too, since we try to write stuff that is mainly non-mainstream.
Musically, Rebellix obviously belongs to the second speed/thrash metal boom that started 15+ years ago and has produced tons of killer outfits. Where do you see your band in this second coming of speed/thrash metal, keeping in mind you've been around for quite some time already?
Sammy Dee G: Well, we definitely have a lot of influences from bands such as Slayer, Metallica, Annihilator, Kreator and Megadeth, but we also have influences from other bands and punk music. I would say the band is part of the more melodic thrash metal wave, although I'd say we don't play pure thrash metal.
Would you say Rebellix is more popular outside of Finland?
Sammy Dee G: Well, from what I've seen there are plenty of fans in South America and in Italy. I don't know if we're more popular somewhere else, but I believe there is that possibility if we get a good exposure, maybe with good promotion. :)
2018 - FINAL DECAY
Your debut EP titled Final Decay was released in 2018. How was the response to it? Do you believe you reached your goals for the EP that you set out to reach?
Sammy Dee G: Well, I love that EP, but I have to say that there were so many things that could have been done better, and it's something we tried to work out on the new EP.
I could say we were still experimenting with that EP and looking for the band's identity.
2022 – SERPENT'S KISS
What can you tell us about your 4-track follow-up EP, Serpent's Kiss? Does it follow the same musical recipe as your debut EP, or does it sound different compared to Final Decay?
Sammy Dee G: I would say it's much different from the first EP, as it is way more aggressive and has more thrash to it, plus I took over the lead singer role. I believe this is the direction we'll be trying to keep going forward.
Are you more satisfied with the songs on this new EP than the ones you did for your debut back in 2018?
Sammy Dee G: Hell yeah! I see the band's potential being much more obvious on this new one.
I guess it's safe to say that you'd like to see the new EP giving you a step up regarding the band's future comings and goings, like more recognition and more gig offers. What else would you like to reach with this new EP?
Sammy Dee G: We would love to tour at some point, that would be a dream. Maybe a European tour would be really a nice achievement for the band, then we'll see what's next, one step at the time.
The only problem was that this EP was released in the middle of the COVID pandemic, so basically it was cut off at the knees a bit. We didn't see that coming. :D
2023 – A FULL-LENGTH METAL MELTDOWN COMING UP?
Are you aiming to record a full-length album at some point in the future?
Sammy Dee G: Yes totally!! It's in the works. As I'm writing this interview, we have four songs ready and we're working on some others, too!
Everyone in the band has a day job, so it might take a bit longer than expected to complete the songs, but I believe the album should be ready by spring, so keep your seat belts tight because we're coming to blow your speakers soon enough!
How much label attention have you gotten over the years?
Sammy Dee G: We have had some offers and a deal before the recent one with Inverse Records from Finland, but, of course, we're always interested in new offers, so bring it on if somebody is interested in joining forces with the rebels. We're more than up for a talk about it. :)
I believe the band has great potential and with the right promotion could actually get way bigger. :)
What are some of your plans for 2023?
Sammy Dee G: The plan is to have completed the album in 2023 and possibly to be released in the same year, and, of course, we'd like to get many more gigs as well. Nowadays we have an agreement with Visigoth Agency being our agent, so I believe the next years are going to be much busier, and that's something we're all looking forward to.
Festival gigs are definitely something that we are looking forward to after the whole pandemic. Playing at Tuska Festival has been like a dream come true, so maybe another gig at Tuska would be really cool!
Thanks very much for your time and I'd like to wish you all the best with your present and future conquests. Any fitting closing comments perhaps?
Sammy Dee G: Let's rock the shit out and let's have a good time!
I'd like to invite people to support us by checking out our music videos on YouTube and by following us on Spotify.
We haven't been added to any major Spotify playlist yet so that would be a big help for us! Cheers and let's have a blast!
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