Text and photographs by Natasha Jeffs
Rewenge is a local, up and coming, four piece band from Stoke-on-Trent that I had the chance to sit down with and talk to at their rehearsal space. By often supporting other bands such as The Carnabys and Arcadia at places like The Sugarmill and The Exhange in Hanley, they are getting their foot right in the door of the music industry and I wanted to find out more. The band consists of 16 year old lead singer Ellis Gibbons, a 17 year old bassist named Jude Smith, 16 year old drummer called Archie Boyce and 16 year old guitarist Harvey Magher. Aside from rocking out at live gigs and home recording their own EPs in Ellis’ back garden, they are still in their first year of A-levels. I wanted to find out their history and plans for the future for themselves and the band.
When did you all know that you wanted to get into music?
ELLIS: I’ve been playing guitar for about six years but as a hobby at first.
JUDE: My dad gave me this music software which just gave me the inspiration.
ARCHIE: I wasn’t really involved in music until I met these. Well I played Piano but I didn’t really want to do anything with music until recently.
HARVEY: In year seven, I watched my high school talent show and thought this is shit, I can do better than that so I learnt guitar. True story.
When did you all meet and become a band?
ELLIS: Me and Jude met in high school. We got put in the same music class where we had to form a band so we did. At first I just played rhythm guitar because I was shit at guitar…
JUDE: you still are.
ELLIS: …but then we kicked out the singer and guitarist out over disagreements. So then I was like well I’ll sing and Jude played bass. Archie and a girl called Alex Mason joined the band and Archie learnt drums within a few months just for this one gig. Then we decided to carry on. Alex left due to creative differences so we needed another guitarist. We got Harvey to join, who was in my class.
How did your garden shed become the rehearsal space?
ELLIS: Well me and Jude actually built the rehearsal space. We made the flooring it’s on and the steps leading down to it which took us a good couple of weeks because of all the massive slabs and things. The actual cabin had to be fitted by someone else but we made all the foundation for it and stuff and even though we were building it for our own use my dad still paid us £5 an hour.
What genre of music is your band Rewenge?
ARCHIE: I’d class it as alternative rock. Two of our songs are kind of psychedelic but it’s mostly alternative. Some of the new stuff were working on is more like grunge though.
Where did the name Rewenge come from?
JUDE: you probably thought what the f…
ELLIS: Me and Jude are sworn to secrecy… okay let’s just say that we found it by watching a show and we loved the meaning behind it so we chose it. Rewenge means what you want it to mean, it literally has no proper definition.
Who are your musical influences?
ELLIS: It varies. It’s so weird.
ARCHIE: Mines probably Wolf Alice, British Sea Power things like that.
JUDE: Jaden Smith.
ELLIS: You’re joking right? That’s a joke?
JUDE: Have you heard his new stuff it’s actually really good.
HARVEY: Pink Floyd and stuff but mainly bands like Dorje and TOOL.
ELLIS: Nirvana mainly but obviously, Taylor Swift and all the classics… (he laughs). Arctic Monkeys as well. You can hear that style in our music. I listen to The Doors, I love The Doors cause I like the way Jim Morrison writes lyrics, it’s proper weird and I like that.
ARCHIE: Most people describe us as in between Elbow and Arctic monkeys.
What is one album that you could not live without?
ARCHIE: My favourite album is definitely Silent Album by Bloc Party
HARVEY: Centered and One by Dorje
What in your opinion is the best song that you’ve written and what is your most favourite to perform?
ARCHIE: Lost in the forest is the best one that we have written, falsehood is the best to perform.
HARVEY: Spiral Eyes and Lost in the forest.
What are your plans for an album and the near future?
ELLIS: Well I don’t think I want to go to uni, I want
to make an album and tour. I want the band to get big. Jude’s gonna rent a van and were going to tour. That’s a given.
ARCHIE: I don’t think college is going to work out well for me so I hope the band keeps going, it would be good to make an album.
ELLIS: We are about to record a new EP so there’s that.
Which venue in the UK would you love to play at?
ARCHIE: O2 academy in Manchester.
HARVEY: O2 academy Birmingham.
Do you have any funny/memorable stories about the band?
ELLIS: I tried to stage dive once and I think they caught me for about a second. So I just landed and got back on stage, it was awkward.
HARVEY: Some girl asked us to play sockets by Slaves cause we know that one.
ELLIS: I just completely forgot the words. I just said yeah without asking the others but then forgot it myself.
Where do you want to be five years from now?
ELLIS: To be honest, we don’t have a clue.
HARVEY: I’ll probably be wearing the same hoodie
JUDE: You’ll be in rehab Ellis! (laughs)… I’ll have a house, two kids and a lovely wife (they all laugh).
HARVEY: We like doing gigs, at least still doing that would be ideal.
Check out Rewenge on Soundcloud: www.soundcloud.com/revvenge