There are few bands kicking around Canada’s indie music scene as unique as Rocky Mountain Rebel Music.
Hailing from Victoria, B.C., this 10-piece instrumental reggae-rock, funk, jazz, ska and hip-hop collective is as eclectic as they come. Using about every instrument fathomable, from trumpets, saxophones, two drum sets and keys, down to a dijiaridoo, RMRM’s sound appeals to a variety of musical tastes.
Comparable in size to Vancouver’s monster funk group Five Alarm Funk, RMRM often has trouble fitting their diverse group of musicians on stage at once.
RMRM will be making a Saskatchewan cameo on their Western Canadian tour “Uprooted,” rocking Amigos Cantina on Aug. 25.
“We’re a grab bag of individuals who all bring something different to the musical table. We’re able to be pretty versatile,” said Carol Fong, RMRM’s trumpet player who is originally from Saskatoon. “We play amped up bar shows and outdoor festivals and have tailored sets to play family friendly community events and even the odd wedding.”
Fong, 27, has been playing the trumpet since she was in the sixth grade, getting her start with the University of Saskatchewan Wind Orchestra and the Saskatoon Brass Band.
“We have a lot of fun together creating new music and then showing off what we’ve created. I’m proud of what we do and we have a hell of a good time doing it,” Fong said.
Although Fong now calls Victoria home, she still has family in Saskatoon and loves to come back when she can.
“When life took me out West, Victoria turned out to be a great fit, so I stayed. I have a great love for Saskatoon though. I call both cities home. My parents and one of my brothers and sister-in-law are all in Saskatoon so I love coming home,” Fong said.
She credits the wide-ranging musical backgrounds of her bandmates for RMRM’s diverse sound.
“It’s difficult for us to describe us in a genre. We have musicians with backgrounds in ska, reggae, punk rock, jazz, latin, classical and hip hop music to name a few. What we present on stage is an energetic ska, reggae, rock, funky dance party,” she said.
RMRM’s new album Vic Sound System was released in March and Fong thinks the record does a good job of showing the evolution of the group.
“I believe we’ve changed a little attitude-wise and quite a bit musically,” said Jesse Horwood, RMRM’s guitarist. “Our songs are getting a little bit more technical and I think the lyrics are starting to get a little bit more political. I really like both of those things.”
“At the same time, with approximately seven different song writers we’re hard to pigeon hole,” he added.