There’s always room for more rock in the world. Here’s a bunch from Boston who are bringing their own brand to you…
We’re billed as from Boston, Massachusetts. Stephen grew up there and Vic moved here from New Jersey, while Rob lives in Chicopee MA. The “Narnia” of Massachusetts.
How did you meet?
Stephen found an ad on craigslist for a band that needed a singer. It took off from there. After a bunch of lineup changes, Rob filled in for a gig opening for Black ‘n Blue and the rest is history.
How long have you been playing as a band?
Vic and I have been going at it for over 5 years. Rob joined in July of 2017. So the current lineup has been plugging away for over 2 years.
Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?
No worries. We wanted something that sounded like “Rebel”, as we are pretty big Star Wars nerds, but we didn’t want it to be too close. So we chose Renegade. As for the Cartel part? We don’t sell drugs, but we are deadly serious. It’s also a bit of tip to the fact that we’re an Originals Only band, in a Cover Band/Tribute Band filled world. Yes, we know covers get you in doors. Yes those bands make good money doing their thing. But we need new rock and roll, don’t we?
What are your influences?
The band is influenced by Guns N Roses, Metallica, Slash feat. Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators, Stone Temple Pilots, Led Zeppelin. Yes we will admit we are inspired and enjoy Led Zeppelin! We aren’t afraid! Stephen loves Japanese rock artists such as B’z and X Japan, and Alter Bridge, The Darkness, King’s X, Mr. Big. Vic loves The Black Crowes, Thomas Wynn and the Believers, Josh Smith. Rob loves Kiss, Iron Maiden, Van Halen. These lists could go on forever!
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
We are just out there to play rock and roll. We’ve got some heavier stuff, we’ve got some more classic rock sounding stuff. We’ll give you some blues, and kick back in with a nice groove. We want to give listeners something to listen to, no matter how their feeling. I think our versatility helps for sure.
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
A lot of themes are about relationships. Not partner to partner, but the bonds or breaking of any human, being family, friends, platonic or physical. Then there’s a bunch about substance abuse. Depending on your poison, you might be able to identify and get along with the song. We do have some about succeeding and moving on. A little bit of hope in this bleak world.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
Gosh we try to play every weekend. Weekend Warriors as we’re called these days! We all work full time still, so we do Friday-Sunday for shows. We’ve played almost every weekend for a long time. And if we skip a week, there is usually a double header not too far around the corner. Being a power trio lineup, we have to really strip things down. So the production may not sound exactly like the record, but we try our best to fill the sound in, sonically, to make the best feel. We want you to feel like we’re able to rip down the walls and smash the windows.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
Nothing too wild yet, other than Michael Cox (Photographer friend and family) chasing me around. One time by active bass battery died, so I had to swap basses while carrying the mic around and try not to miss a beat. But hey, the show must go on! By the way, I’m hiring a bass tech. Will pay for 2 drinks!
What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?
I use Allen Eden Basses. I bought one because it was purple, and fell in love. After a year of using them, the owner asked me to be an endorsed artist. I have about 7 of them and I love them. Rob uses Pearl Drums. And Vic uses Gibson Guitars.
What, if anything, are you plugging/promoting at the moment?
Renegade Cartel has just released our first full length album “Dear World”. We are super stoked to have it out, for everyone’s listening pleasure!
What are your plans for 2020?
We plan on playing in support of the album over the Winter, then in Spring/Summer of 2020, we are hoping to put together a tour of some sort, and hop on some festival dates! A big push for the album!
If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!
Oh man. If I had my way, we would be opening for Metallica. James Hetfield is my biggest inspiration. Now opening for us? We have a ton of bands that we play with A LOT, and they’re all great friends of ours. I’ll save face by not picking one and pissing a bunch off, but we’d be blessed to have any of them.