Rebel Alliance rocks the Berkshire galaxy
Although they've been together only about a year, it may already be too late to describe the North Adams-based band Rebel Alliance as "up and coming."
In May, Rebel Alliance won the Strangecreek Battle of the Bands, held at Camp Kee-wanee in Greenfield.
They've already played in venues throughout the Northeast and are scheduled to play another music fair, the Wormtown Festival, in Greenfield on Sept. 14 (their set starts at 3 p.m.)
Locally, Rebel Alliance will play the Underground Pub on Saturday from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.
The band has a live recording, Live at Chameleons, available on its website, rebelalliancemusic.com.
The band is composed of drummer Michael Wood and guitarist-vocalist Mike "Woody" Wood; guitarist Wes Childers; bassist Nate Muir; and keyboard player Aaron Nackoul.
Drummer Wood said the band differentiates between him and the "other" Mike Wood by calling him Michael and his bandmate "Woody."
The irony, according to Michael Wood, is that the two met several years ago in North Adams, because they often ran into people who knew one or the other.
"Yeah, I'd be talking to someone and he or she would say, ‘You know, there's another Mike Wood in town, and he's a musician, too," Michael Wood said, laughing. "You two should meet. We did, and we hit it off pretty quickly.
"I think it was sort of destined to happen," he said of the two forming a band about a year ago.
In a recent interview, Wood talked about music, his influences, and where the band got its "Star Wars"-ish name.
Q: The first question is obvious: What's with the name?
A: Most of us are unabashed Star Wars fans. I'm not as big a fan as some of the other guys. But in addition to that reference, the name really fits our music and philosophy: musicians with diverse influences coming together to play.
Q: How would you describe that music?
A: We call it reggae-influenced jam rock. The interesting thing is, all five of us pull from very different places, with very different musical tastes.
Q: What is the percentage of original music and covers?
A: I'd say about 60-40 between originals and covers. Our covers are Peter Tosh, Bob Marley, the Wailers. But we play covers that you might not hear a reggae-influenced band do.
A: We do a Pink Floyd cover, Breathe, off "Dark Side of the Moon." And we do a cover of Jimi Hendrix's "Voodoo Child." Different stuff like that.
Q: The band already has played in the Northeast a lot. Any favorite places in the Berkshires?
A: We've played at Cham eleons in Pittsfield. And we're excited to play the Under ground [on Saturday].