Rebelmatic’s Creature Chats New Album, Systemic Racism, & the Pandemic

Rebelmatic’s philosophies are punk and their sound stirs up an angst only hardcore can—but this NYC-based fourpiece simply writes music to keep themselves going.

“It’s very honest, it’s naked at times, it’s social and political, [and] it’s all personal,” Creature, the lead singer of Rebelmatic tells BTRtoday. “We don’t even look at ourselves as a hardcore punk band—we’re not trying to reinvent the wheel, we’re not trying to make the perfect hardcore record, we’re just trying to make the music we like.”

The almost decade-old band’s sound has all the classic essence of hardcore with angry vocals, electrifying guitar riffs, and heartpounding beats. There are plenty of other influences that blast their way through, too—like metal, funk, and hip-hop. Creature says their sound is best described as “James Brown in a mosh pit.”

Rebelmatic “Insult to Injury”

Last Friday, Aug. 28, Rebelmatic released their newest album Ghost In the Shadows. The band’s energy is the forefront of the album, successfully capturing the essence of their live performance. No matter what volume you listen at, your mind, body, and soul are going to rage.

The new album’s lyrical ethos align perfectly with the current social climate. But Rebelmatic has been writing about inequality and injustice since its inception. This has always been their focus, regardless of what’s in the headlines.

“Historically, this country is built on a lot of these atrocities that are coming to light now—so, unfortunately, I don’t have to look at what’s going on and think, ‘oh I’m gonna write a song!’ I’m just wired like that, that’s how I grew up,” Creature says. “The dialogue that probably has never happened, is happening right now, [but] people aren’t really used to hearing issues from Black people [talking] about things that they actually go through.”

Rebelmatic “Blood and Gold/ Fire This Time”

Rebelmatic, like many other bands, is unable to go on tour due to the pandemic. They’re looking forward to seeing the effects of the world becoming aware of their struggles as a Black band within their hardcore punk community. In the meantime, they’re also working on streaming live shows. Hardcore punk thrives off the energy and crowd participation, so it’s not surprising that Rebelmatic misses the sweat and shout-alongs from their fans.

“People are resilient and, I know for our band, we’re resilient and we’re gonna figure out [how to provide that live show experience] one way or another,” Creature says. “I think now more than ever people need live music and they need music that reflects the times—[music] that’s honest, organic, and that’s not pandering.”

Rebelmatic is working on streaming more live performances and you can pre-order their newest album on vinyl here. In the meantime, listen to Ghost In the Shadows and the full interview with Creature on this week’s episode of The Music Meetup.