RebelMatic, a New York City punk/hardcore band with a hip-hop twist, are coming out with their album, Elephant Amnesia, the next one after Prey for the Vulture. I asked them a few questions about the inspiration for the album and it’s cover:
1) In the wake of police brutality and killings of people like Kimani Gray, what specifically inspired you to write your latest single and video, “Survival Gathering?”
Survival Gathering was inspired the tenacity and perseverance of individuals who overcome a lot of obstacles. It’s really inspired by New York City. But, Survival Gathering was written and recorded and the video was shot before the Kimani Gray incident.
It’s inspired by New York City – the sounds, the smells, the people, the environment, the past, the present, the future, the rock, the funk, the hip hop, the punk, the jazz, the salsa – everything. When I say New York, it’s the diversity of New York, it encompasses all – the good, the bad, and the ugly.
It’s actually a juxtaposition of two events – the execution of Mary the elephant in 1916 and the lynching of Thomas Ship and Abram Smith in 1930. Mary’s body has symbolically replaced those of Thomas Ship and Abram Smith. Elephants are known to have a very good memory; Mary’s body signifies the not forgetting. Elephant Amnesia, although any oxymoron of sorts, brings to light a past that people pretend to not remember.
Unadulterated, honest music.
I don’t know if working with MF Doom and performing with Immortal Technique has influenced my work in any aspect. I respect both of them as artists, but I don’t think it influenced me at all. As far as creating music and writing a book, songs tend to be a lot more concise. So, both forms of writing need to be approached in very different ways.
We blend genres naturally. Our music is created very organically. And we’ve got a really good live show.
Touring overseas in the very near future. More videos. Licensing deals. Festivals. More albums.