Winchester Rebels: Straight Out Of Santa Barbara

Written by on January 26, 2012 in Interviews, January 26, 2012 - 1 Comment

Ready To Rock The World

Winchester RebelsWinchester Rebels have arrived on the rock scene with the goal of putting themselves on the rock ‘n’ roll map and moving onto the national stage where they rightly belong. As Kid Rock says, “it ain’t bragging if you can back it up” – and this talented rock group, as heard on their new album Three Sheets To The Wind as well as the band’s high-energy live show, can do just that.

Three Sheets To The Wind has just been nominated for “Rock Album Of The Year” by the 2012 (22nd Annual) Los Angeles Music Awards.

Winchester Rebels host and headline a Benefit for the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Barbara at SOhO Restaurant & Music Club, 1221 State Street, Santa Barbara, Thursday, February 16. 8 p.m. Buy tickets here: Also performing: Orange County band A Broken Opera and Seven Year War.

All Access Magazine (AAM) recently interviewed the band’s front person, Nick Hunt (NH). This is how it went.

AAM: Who are Winchester Rebels?

NH: We are a bunch of fun-loving guys that like to get a little sideways, do a burn out, a wheelie (Bike or moto), launch off something and get some air, and just plain rock out. We enjoy Coors Light, pizza, burritos, and a little sushi if we are feeling pendy! We are not trying to conform to the trends in music. We play what we like and what moves us and if you don’t get it then I guess you just don’t get us but we can still be friends!

AAM: Interesting name for a band, how did it come to be?

NH: Our ex-bassist Johnny “Reno” came up with “Winchester Radio” when he was living in Goleta on Winchester Canyon. I liked “Winchester” but thought the “radio” was a little too indie or soft so I came up with “Rebels” and that’s how we became Winchester Rebels.

AAM: The background behind how a group forms is often an interesting one, definitely something that doesn’t happen at the snap of a finger. What’s your story?

NH: Johnny “Reno” and I put it together. We had bands before but they were punk, indie rock, post hardcore, emo, whatever you want to call it and we decided to try and get back to our roots in 90’s rock. At least, that was my idea. Santa Barbara is one of those places where band members get recycled because truthfully there aren’t that many talented people in our small town. We got our buddy Nick Fitzgerald to play guitar. He got his old drummer Barry Carter to move up to SB from the OC to play drums for us. We tried out some second guitarists and had no luck when we remembered our buddy James Longoria was looking to jam. It worked out great. We knew we had something special after one practice.

AAM: Okay, so let’s talk about your new album “Three Sheets To The Wind,” what did you have in mind when this was recorded?

NH: We wanted to create a great hard rock album from start to finish. “Three Sheets To The Wind,” I thought, was an old sailing term that meant full speed ahead but it actually refers to the ropes that hold the sails being loose causing the boat to shudder and flop around like a drunken sailor. Either way, I liked it. We consumed a lot of alcohol during the writing and recording of this album so it was also very fitting in that respect (laughs).

AAM: Discuss the lyrics and meaning behind some of the songs that are on “Three Sheets To the Wind.”

NH:”These pills I’ve been taking have made me numb and I want to feel” (“Dining with Devils”). I wrote this after I had knee surgery. I was feeling like crap because of all the pain meds I was taking so I just stopped taking them and dealt with the pain instead. I think to heal, sometimes we need to feel the pain and not numb it with drugs. “Failing everything I try, never making grades with you” (“Down”). This line is about being frustrated in a relationship where you try to do the right thing to make someone happy but it just never seems to pan out. Some of the lyrics I write just come out unconsciously. A lot of times when we are writing I don’t really put much thought into words as much as the melodies but when I hear it back, it makes sense to me why certain words or feeling come out in my music. I guarantee if you like hard rock you will find a song on this album that moves you.

AAM: What kind of impact do the Winchester Rebels hope to make on the rock scene in the long run?

NH: We would love to be that new band that comes out of nowhere and takes the country by storm. We want to bring real hard rock back to the masses. We want to be the band that just keeps getting better and stays on your iPod or stereo for years and years to come.

AAM: Let’s talk gigs – where have you performed, what was the band’s best gig, what was your least favorite, etc?

NH: Mainly in Central and Southern California so far. We had a really good show at The Viper Room in Hollywood a while back….we also played a fun house party where we were crammed into this little living room and the house was packed with people rocking out. Basically any show with a good crowd makes for a fun show! I want to feel that energy from the crowd. That’s what makes it fun. Least favorite show we played was in Lompoc (Calif) at this place called the Shamrock. Let’s just say it was a trainwreck. We don’t like to even talk about it. Everything that could go wrong went wrong that night.

AAM: Going forward, what’s the 5-year plan look like for Winchester Rebels?

NH: Play some key shows with some big-name acts, get our music out to a international audience, get a record deal, record a hit record and just play our asses off!