Rabble Rabble to release 7-inch in May

By HermineBloom

In the past two years, local psych-punk band Rabble Rabble played approximately 200 shows in Chicago. After releasing their debut LP “Bangover” in 2009, the group took a do-it-yourself approach to gaining a following by playing at any venue that would have them and recording on their own. In 2011, however, the punk outfit is evolving by setting their sights on recording in a studio in the fall and playing more selective gigs.

Co-owner of Logan Square’s Cafe Mustache, 2313 N. Milwaukee Ave., singer and guitarist Ralph Darski founded the band four years ago with friend and fellow singer and guitarist Todd McCafrey. Along the way, the pair picked up Matt Ciarleglio on bass and Kaylee Preston on drums, ultimately forming Rabble Rabble with a sound aptly and consistently compared to The Stooges.

Taking a break between playing eight shows at South By Southwest Music Festival, Darski caught up with The Chronicle to talk about the band’s 7-inch EP release in May, the benefits of recording in a studio and their record label, Commune Records.

The Chronicle: Are you guys playing a ton of local shows?

Raplh Darski: We’ve slowed down a little bit just to focus on new material. We’re going to be releasing a 7-inch in May—screen printing album covers and that kind of thing. But we’re trying to get into our next record, too. We’ve been more selective about the shows by trying to play with bigger bands.

The Chronicle: Are you burnt out from the past two years of playing shows


RD: We’re definitely feeling that a little bit. But we’re on the road, and we’re not going to stop or anything right now. Once we release the 7-inch, we’re definitely going to go on tour for a week for that. We’re going to come back and play a few Chicago shows and maybe some festivals. We’ll go out again for a tour in the summer—probably for week-and-a-half jaunts rather than a three-week-long tour we did last year. That was good, but we thought we could do better splitting it up this time. In the fall, we’ll probably start recording our next album.

The Chronicle: Can you tell me a little about your record label, Commune Records?

RD: It was basically started because we tried to pitch our record to a bunch of places and there was interest, but they were always like, “Oh, we’ll release it in a year,” and we were ready to go for it. So we had our friends—The Great Society Mind Destroyers—and they were trying to release material, too. So, we were like, “Well what’s the point of trying to compete and pitch our records to these labels when we could get this stuff out together?” It grew from there. We found other bands, like Dark Fog, and everyone was like, “Yeah, let’s do this as a community and help each other out.” You know, give what we can when we can. Everyone has different skills whether it is recording, screen printing or promotion.

The Chronicle: What should we expect from the 7-inch in May?

RD: We recorded that with Stephen George, who was formerly [the drummer] in [the band] Ministry when we were on tour in New York. We did an 18-hour session straight and knocked these two songs out in a bar. It’s going to be on his label, Gimmie That Sound Records. He was nice enough to help us out. We’ll release that at the Empty Bottle, [1035 N. Western Ave.], on a free Monday in May. It’s the two songs we wrote directly after we wrote “Bangover.” They’re in the same vibe of our record, but it’s a stepping stone toward new material. It’s a little more layered, more complex in arrangement. It’s definitely a lot heavier or fuller sounding. It leans more toward psych-rock than the dancier punk stuff we’ve done.

The Chronicle: Where do you guys generally record?

RD: Other than the 7-inch, we’ve always done it by ourselves in our practice space. We might go into a studio this time to get that fuller sound. We really enjoy recording ourselves, and we’ve learned a lot about our sound doing that. But it’s nice to have another ear. It lets us focus more on our musicianship if we have someone else helping us out with the recording aspect.

Rabble Rabble will play at Pancho’s Bar, 2200 N. California Ave., for the White Mystery record release show on April 20.