New Port Richey quintet Die Rebel Scum found each other through a Craigslist ad in late 2011. Their union — an amalgamation of distinct personalities, senses of humor and musical influences — beget a five-headed love child that bites and spits a punkish-edged mishmash of genre-jumping jingles.
In the midst of balancing day jobs, rehearsals, performances and recording their debut album, the band — vocalist Tim Potts, guitarists Ryan Batche and Sean Gillen, bassist John Philie and drummer Alex Stuchell — is also competing in Ernie Ball's online Battle of the Bands contest to win a slot on the 2013 Warped Tour.
Batche and Philie filled us in on their current goings-on.
You mentioned that the band was started though ads posted on Craigslist. Which one of you put out the ad?
Batche: We tried to figure that out before; we can't remember. I think Sean put out an ad and I found it. It was a guitar player looking to play punk and reggae.
That brings me to the next question. When listening to DRS, I had trouble exactly pinpointing how to describe you. What genre or category of music do you feel you fall into?
Philie: It's really hard to put us in a category.
Batche: We have a couple of doo-wop songs, we have punk songs, ska, reggae. … We're into heavy metal, we have a couple of those. We're all over the place. … Pretty much anything we like that interests us.
What does interest you and what are your influences?
Philie: Michael Jackson.
Batche: He's not even joking; he LOVES Michael Jackson.
Philie: Michael Jackson is GREAT.
Batche: I like old-school punk and rocksteady. First and second wave ska. … Timmy's a metal head. Alex likes pop music. Sean likes everything. One of us is a Katy Perry fan, but I'll leave him nameless.
Your name is obviously a Star Wars reference. Are all of your songs' subject matter Star Wars-related?
Batche: Just one of them.
Philie: So far.
Is your band name a direct quote from one of the films?
Batche: We're nerds; we were sitting around playing a Star Wars video game and the (character) kept screaming it. It was just like, "What about Die Rebel Scum?"
Philie: I had nothing to do with it.
Batche: I think he hates the name (both laugh). We get some shit (at shows) from good ol' boys sometimes. They think we're talking about the Confederate flag. They say, "Oh, I don't know if I like your band name!" And we're like, "No! It's not those kind of rebels." Depending on where we're going in Florida sometimes we'll just tell people we're called DRS.
Tell us about the Zombie Prom you're playing.
Philie: It's actually a Voodoo Zombie Prom. It's at the Rocky Horror Picture Show; which is at the Tampa Pitcher Show off of Dale Mabry. It's this Saturday.
Are you playing any Rocky Horror songs?
Batche: I hope not.
Rumor has it your shows are … interesting. Could you enlighten us?
Batche: A lot of our shows we try to come up with stupid themes, like we had a Pajama Night where everyone brought pillows and we had a big punk rock pillow fight.
Philie: Also, we've all dressed up like women and had a Ladies Night. That was pretty funny, we got some pretty good pictures from that.
Batche: We wanna do one called Narc Night where everyone dresses like cops; but I don't know if we could get away with that anywhere.