If you have had the pleasure of seeing the bad-ass new band, The Rebel Noise, rockin the stage at AMFM fest or Bar on Palm Canyon, then you know the power of rapture they possess. If not, let me introduce you: The Rebel Noise is Leo Rodriquez on guitar and vocals, Collin Pintor on lead guitar, Ashley Kay Pintor on drums, and Ben Travis on bass.
Recently I was fortunate enough to catch up with these hotties and get the scoop on how they came to be, along with some juicy details of what they’re up to now. I showed up at the end of practice, quite pleased to catch these rockers dripping with sweat and fresh ideas. I was excitedly greeted and handed a cold brew.
“So who’s the leader?” was the first question I asked.
“We all collectively lead one another,” Leo says.
Indeed, they answer as a group, saying, “There’s no sheriff, we’re all deputies.”
The members of The Rebel Noise clearly feel an equal sense of balance as they feed off each other’s energy. Very cool guys! As I watch self-described “timekeeper” Ashley slug her beer, I find myself thinking there might just be a sheriff…
Amidst wild rants of laughter, I find these four are all California kids. Ben was raised in Idyllwild while the other three are from the Central Coast/Paso Robles area. Collin is Ashley’s older brother, while Leo and Ashley are a couple. Though Ben is neither a relative or a boyfriend, they nevertheless appear quite fond of him. And they’re all pretty fond of Palm Springs.
“Everyone here is ridiculously awesome!” Ashley says. “People are excited for whatever you want to be.”
Collin explains, “There’s a beautiful history here, along with an old-fashioned welcome.
“Everyone is still trying to live as hard as they can,” Leo adds. “You can make friends with anybody here!”
For Ben, it’s the “sunshine and the village atmosphere.”
Wow! Kudos to PS for having such a wonderful welcome wagon! I loved hearing all this positive input on our local community.
When I asked them how long they had been playing music, I was rather surprised to hear it had not been life long for all four of them! Although Ben grew up groovin to records being played at home (don’t make me remind you guys what records are please!), he was 20 when he first picked up a guitar.
Around age 30 he began to play daily and jammed with some bands. Taking up the drums has crossed his mind…um Ben, I don’t think that’s happening in this band! (Did someone call the Sheriff?)
Leo was always exposed to music, as his mother sang in the church choir. At 16 he bought a harmonica and spent hours playing into his closet. (Regular chick magnet right?!) At 20 he briefly tried the drums (need I say more) and shortly after finally bought his guitar. He remembers watching Collin and Ashley jam together back in Paso thinking “I know I can do this”.
“I’m unorthodox,” he says. “I confused the shit out of everyone when I first started coming up with songs. It made sense to me.”
He only began to sing 2 years ago! Who would know?
Collin and Ashley both played in the school band as kids. Mom had decided there would be no flute or clarinet for Ashley. Her girl was going to be a drummer. By the end of high school she was playing in an all girl except for one guy band called Romeo and the Juliets.
Ashley laughs, “I’m pretty sure people just showed up cause we had tits!”
Collin began playing with a guitar discarded by his sister. He never took any lessons which proved to be his best learning vehicle.
He explains, “I think outside the box immediately because I don’t have the parameters of the box to be stuck in.”
The Rebel Noise came to be in Palm Springs less than two years ago. Collin, Ashley and Leo had all moved out here and started seriously jamming together as much as possible. Their very first gig was at Dillon Roadhouse less than one year ago! Ben joined the band after a night they met him at the Red Barn in Palm Desert.
Ashley remembers asking, ‘Who’s the dude with the mohawk?”
From that night on they were a happy family.
As for musical influences, Leo says, “It’s very sporadic.” Collin adds, “Diverse.”
They go onto name Black Keys, Nirvana, Led Zeppelin, White Stripes, Wolfmother and especially Foo Fighters. All love Dave Grohl!
Ashley exuberantly dishes about the time she met Taylor Hawkins in a hotel lobby where she had gone for a job interview.
She explains, “I see this guy dressed like a homeless person but I recognize him then realize, it’s f**king Taylor Hawkins! I ran up and addressed him like he was my f**king best friend. I didn’t care about my bartending interview after that. I made the worst f**king cosmo of my life. Meeting him, that was HUGE!”
Now that they’ve all found each other, their music writing is a group project.
“At first Leo would find a melody that worked for him,” Collin explains.
Leo adds, “Now we have a grasp on what we’re doing. In the beginning, it was a rudderless boat…I would play the shit out of these 3 chords. I thought they were unique then later found them to be super basic.”
“We all have something different we bring to the table,” Ashley explains. “Just tonight we thought we had wrapped this song when Ben brought in a new sound.”
Says Leo, “Another set of eyes. Ah Eureka!”
“Mainly ears,” Ashley laughs. “Not so much eyes.”
Ben adds, “You can pitch it but not all come to fruition. … You know it’s good when you start feeling it.”
“You can’t get your feelings hurt,” Ashley explains.
“We mix it up, we don’t want to rock everybody’s faces off the entire set,” Leo says.
Jokes Ashley, “Except Odessa’s!” I will take it!
According to the group, their sound is “rebellious,” “original,” “new age rock.”
They’ve already rocked their fair share of venues in the desert, but when I asked them about their dream venue I could really see the wheels turning.
“Honestly when we played AMFM fest the capacity that could have been there was more than I ever dreamed of,” Collin reveals.
But basically, they’re happy to be in front of any crowd that’s ready and willing.
One in particular, at a recent show at the Red Barn, was especially amazing.
“The A/C had broken and we were sweating our balls off,” Ashley remembers. “It was packed. It felt so good. We destroyed our clothes!”
Guess we know what it takes to make these guys happy.
And they’re not going anywhere any time soon, with Ashley saying they’ll stick around until “the beer’s gone.”
Next up, the band is taking a mini tour in October, with dates below: 10/17 San Diego-Tin Can 10/18 Santa Barbara-Whiskey Richards 10/19 San Luis Obispo-TBA
After that, they’ll hit Portland and Seattle.
Ashley promises “tours, music videos, merch, social media,” in the future, explaining, “We want people to have fun and see what fun we’re having!”
For now, it’s just fun, but they all hope to make a career out of it.
“It would be awesome! No work?? Come on!!” Collin says. “Anything can happen!”
And they certainly deserve it. The Rebel Noise is by far the most humble, fun-loving band I have come across in my travels. Maybe I’ll become a groupie and join them on their mini tour. Keep the beers and tunes flowin guys and let the good times roll!
*The Rebel Noise wants to shout out a huge thank you to all who have helped, believed in and supported them thus far. They love you all!