By Rachel Angres
Rabble Rabble have been known to be minimalists in their formula as a four-piece Chicago band since 2009. They have recorded in true DIY style, from playing open-mic sessions at local dive bars and composing them into live albums, to setting up recording studios in a barn upstate with an 8 track tape machine and other vintage gear. The band released their latest tracks, "Why Not" and "Long Hook," as a 7" single last year and recently took a break for a few months, but are returning with new songs at a free show on Monday, April 30th at the Empty Bottle (with Heavy Times and Lion Limb--email email@example.com for tickets in advance).
We caught up with two of the four members--Ralph Darski (interesting fact: also the co-owner of Cafe Mustache in Logan Square) and Matt Ciarleglio (interesting fact: also works at the Empty Bottle and Bourgeois Pig Cafe):
WCR: Names and instruments you play?
Ralph Darski: Guitar, bass and vocals.
Matt Ciarleglio: Bass, Guitar, backing vocals.
Strangest venue or gig you’ve ever played?
MC: We’ve been pretty notoriously throwing Halloween shows the past few years that have been getting more and more out of hand. Three years ago some guy dressed up like Gallagher essentially threw an entire watermelon at us. And then some dude tried getting naked on stage and I punched him in the face.
RD: That Halloween show Matt is talking about ended up pretty much being a riot. With bottles getting thrown and fists all around. We managed to finish our set however. Another strange gig was one of the first shows we played on our first tour. It was in Kent, Ohio at a pizza/gyros joint. We were expecting to play the hip college bar in the town but the promoter double booked that night so we got moved to the pizza joint. Basically the night consisted of us gettin’ hammered, my amp setting on fire, our van getting stuck in the mud and then we had to argue with the kitchen manager to get some free pizzas as compensation.
Any old influences to speak of?
MC: No, other music doesn’t really influence our band at all. Kidding, of course...
This is never really an easy question to answer. I have early memories of my Pop playing blues/folk blues shit like Elizabeth Cotten and Son House.
RD: Yeah, I mean my parents always played Bob Dylan or The Beatles as I was growing up. But I think my brother had a huge part in influencing me to play. He had a huge tape and record collection and would always let me listen to any of his music. It started with well known names like Zeppelin or Sabbath, then he kinda got me into CAN and 13th Floor Elevators, etc.... He actually bought me my first guitar also.
What is the most memorable concert you’ve ever attended?
RD: That is a hard one. I’ve been to so many shows in the last few years. I would say the Jeff the Brotherhood / Ty Segal show that happened in the Ottoman Empire, a now defunct basement venue. It was right before both those bands got big and it was so packed and hot in that little basement. I was standing on some chairs or something and my head was sideways parallel to the ceiling, fuckin' just diggin' on the jams, seeing everyone one moshing and movin’. I love basement shows.
What are a few items essential to your “tour survival kit”?
2. Cooler with ice
3. Back up gas can--we have a tendency to run out of gas a lot
5. Chips (salsa opt.)
6. Foot spray (for certain smelly feet...)
7. Power inverted so we can charge shit
8. “The Nook” (a special spot in the van to sleep)
9. Our instruments. This is very important
10. A good attitude
What was the last thing you witnessed that traumatized/inspired you?
MC: I woke up with three new tattoos this morning. That was a little unexpected.
Fill in the blanks: Always wanted to _________ but _______ instead.
MC: Always wanted to play in a high school jazz band but took bluegrass guitar instead. Yup.
If you were to communicate using one word what would it be?
MC: “Ahhh!” That can really mean anything you want it too, as long as you’re good at body language.
Favorite kind of mustache?
MC: Ever seen that movie Hook? Dustin Hoffman has a pretty killer ‘stache in that one.
Who would be your featured soundtrack artist in your biopic?
MC: Gwen Stefani pre-Tragic Kingdom. Or Keith Richards on the 1975 U.S. tour. That would be so cool.
What’s more important, music or plumbing?
MC: Music is, obviously. You can theoretically take a shit anywhere, but if Nirvana never were there, we’d all be fucked!