Before Matthew Lindblad went solo as Rebel Revive, he toured with the big-name, Anaheim-based, power-pop outfit New Years Day as a gun-for-hire guitarist. Although he wasn't doing much in the way of writing for that band, he had a blast on the 2011 Warped Tour and the group felt like a nice fit. That is, until they decided to tour supporting Goth-poppers Blood On the Dance Floor, which prompted the guitarist to quit flat-out.
"They're pretty atrocious," Lindblad says, referring to some of the Goths' offstage behavior, about which he declined to offer any details on the record. "I had to draw the line somewhere." It turned out to be the right decision because, according to Lindblad, midway through the tour, after New Years Day confronted Blood about said road antics, the Goth band forced them off the bill halfway across the country.
Lindblad is confident his decision will turn out for the better. Poised for a 2013 breakout, Rebel Revive is coming off the release of their debut LP, XI, a six-song collection of tracks primed for rock radio, hearkening back to such millennial bands as the Used, Jimmy Eat World and Yellowcard. It's a deliberate move by the self-taught multi-instrumentalist.
"There were some really great bands from right around 2000 that I was into when I was 14 and 15 years old," says Lindblad, now 24, from the band's practice space in Mission Viejo. "Kids that age today missed out on all that, and people my age still are into it, so I'm trying to bridge that."
Lindblad plays everything on the album, and he recorded live drums, guitars and bass up in Sacramento, working with producer Colby Wedgeworth (The Maine, This Century, Lydia). The son of a musician, Lindblad started in music young; he spent his childhood in Orange County before moving to Minneapolis and Toronto for his teenage years, then returning to SoCal to attend school for audio recording. He has played in dozens of projects as a supporting musician, and this is the first time in his career he's had a project to call his own.
"Once I left New Years Day, I knew the time had come to take on my own passion project," he says. Lindblad recruited drummer Gustin Flaig and lead guitarist Chris Chavez to fill out the band, both of whom he had worked with while a session player for other artists.
Chavez will join Lindblad for the Warped Tour this summer, playing two-man acoustic sets and "pounding the pave," as he likes to call it, selling albums and promoting the band, guerrilla-style.
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"Every band I've been in, I've always made an effort to keep a DIY aspect to it. As nice as it is to have things just handed to you, I'd much rather be out there having a grassroots attitude toward the music I'm involved in," he says. "There's joy in the struggle, especially when my art is involved."
And speaking of struggle, when Lindblad isn't doing music or photographing musicians, his only "official" job is pounding the pave for OC Weekly doing street promotions. Before that, it was working the night shift at Wal-Mart, which he's thankful to have put in his past. "That definitely jacked me up," he says. "I'm a night owl, but having to lift things and be on my feet all night is a lot different than being home and recording all night."
Rebel Revive play with the Body Rampant, On Being Human, Assuming We Survive, No Bragging Rights and So Far Left at the House of Blues, 1530 S. Disneyland Dr., Anaheim, (714) 778-2583; www.houseofblues.com. June 30, 10 p.m. Free. All ages.