By Annie Licata
Editor in chief
20 Watts’ editor in chief caught up with with Marley Williams, founder and bassist from the popular reggae band Rebelution. The band will play the Westcott Theater on Wednesday, Oct. 10.
20 Watts: How’d you come to be the founder of Rebelution?
Marley Williams: I played baseball at Santa Barbara City College, and when I quit I really wanted to start a band. I wanted to make the party happen instead of having to be hooked on iPods or buying a bunch of beer. I wanted to get people dancing. It worked out better than I ever thought it could have. I’m really blessed.
20W: Other bands like Passafire, SOJA, and The Expendables…are you all in a network? I feel like you’re all friends.
MW: Our music is about good times and inspiring each other, being motivated, and being aware and conscious of everything going on as best as we can. And I think, with that, all the bands do rally around each other. We’re kind of like one big family.
20W: That being said, what do you think about the 311 cruise? Do you guys see yourselves ever doing that?
MW: There have been talks about doing it. Sometimes the timing is just hard. I’m sure we will do it at some point. Hopefully this year — we’ll see. To be continued…
20W: Tell me about Hill Kid.
MW: Hill Kid is a passion to integrate art, athletics, and nature to versatile music and apparel. It’s a brand that I decided to start because I felt like there needed to be a clothing brand that intertwined these areas in life. I’m labeling it as “active art.” It’s not just a clothing brand; it’s a reminder to be balanced in life. There are things in the athletic world, in the artistic world, and in the world of nature that we all grow up with and they’re strong principles that we need to keep going, and I wanted to make a brand that represents that. It goes hand in hand with Rebelution.
20W: How’d the title of your tour, “Give Thanks,” come about?
MW: We were trying to think of good tour names and we always do a fall tour, and in the fall there’s Thanksgiving. The saying “give thanks” is very present in reggae music and we’re just trying to start a tradition.
20W: How do you think Rebelution is “changing up the system?”
MW: We’re about — well, Rebelution to us is — if you want to rebel, there’s different ways to do it. You can rebel and be all gnarly and violent, or you can rebel with your mind, and I think that’s the most powerful thing. People say it’s being like a Jedi. I love Star Wars. That’s really what changing up the system is. It’s being conscious and aware. Words are strong and you have to use them.