The Steady Rebels are an 8-piece alternative reggae group formed in Mississauga, Ontario. Built around a core of friends with a history, they are quickly becoming recognized for their musically explosive and articulate anthems. With such a large diverse group and collection of instruments, you could expect such a band to be conspicuous in a community where 5-piece indie rock & hardcore bands seem to flourish.
Their recently released EP entitled “MOTION” shouts their mission statement outright. An inclination to keep people moving onward, whether it be through positive action, increasing awareness, or even dance. Propelled by this common goal as well as a drive to improve as musicians, these up and comers continue to thrive and build upon the amazing feedback they have received in the past two years. Largely influenced by bands such as Passafire, John Browns Body, and Groundation, they fuse a vigorous sound to a positive message and stuff it with funky horn lines, in the pocket groove, screaming organs, & soulful vocals.
The band was formed after front man Sean Feltoe became seriously ill. Diagnosed with a blood disorder called Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis, he was hospitalized in Cincinnati for 7 months. Music was a driving factor in the recovery and mental well being of Sean throughout this traumatic time. Back in Mississauga and feeling much better with his new found love for reggae music, he contacted high school friend and drummer Damian Kai. Trumpeter Lisa Hartl and bassist/vocalist Mike Crupi were then recruited, as well as old friend and percussionist Ryan Luke. The next year showcased several versions of the band, including genre experimentation and member turnovers.
The summer of 2013 would see the band finally sowing it’s seeds for future growth. The acquisition of skilled soloists Brec Hansen on Guitar and Mike Glendon on Saxophone gave them freedom to experiment as well as incorporate Jazz, Blues, and Funk influences into their music. This also brought Sean to the front of the stage to focus on vocals. Throughout the fall the band turned heads, despite their short practice period and unfamiliar lineup. The final addition of professional keyboardist Darryl Joseph-Dennie in late 2013 filled the void and made the Rebels a true ensemble.
The band continues to expand their loyal following with memorable riffs and lyrics that encompass principal themes. While there’s no shortage of this (not excluding a barrage of talented reggae artists) there’s always the need for a new generation and a contemporary voice. The Steady Rebels have played shows all over Toronto and the GTA and are consistently exercising their song writing abilities in and out of the studio. Some of the venues they’ve played are The Revival, The Cental, The Tranzac, and Failte Irish Pub. Keep an eye out, in the future you can expect much more from this 8-piece reggae wrecking ball.