They teamed up to form Early Morning Rebel less than a year ago, but bandmates Nate Blumenfeld-James and Dustin Bath have been friends since middle school -- when they decided to make music their lives. Since then, they've relied on art and personal experiences as inspiration for their alternative sound. With their single "Life Boat" making waves on hit TV shows like 'Grey's Anatomy', this duo is about to hit it big.
J-14: How did you come up with your band's name?
Early Morning Rebel: We used to play a game about creating band names. We'd sit around and text each other silly ones, stupid ones, gross ones. We just kept a list! Some of them were great, some of them were ridiculous. So we picked this one, Early Morning Rebel, and it just resonated. It made sense for the music and the vibe of the whole project. It was just right.
J-14: How would you describe your music to new listeners?
Early Morning Rebel: One of our friends calls it 'indie-pop-noir.' It's a kind of rock/pop, but it's alternative. It's a little bit edgy.
J-14: Where do you find inspiration for new songs?
Early Morning Rebel: From life experiences. It could be anything from the first time my heart was broken to a painting. It can be a piece of clothing. Sometimes I'll just be like, "Wow, that's a really cool jacket!" Or some gorgeous girl walks by with amazing shoes and you're inspired, like there's nothing happening in that moment except for this song. Our single "Burn Us Down" is about coming up from the fire after being burned and always fighting through. The more you draw from your own experiences, the more authentic it feels for the listener.
J-14: Your song "Life Boat" recently played on 'Grey's Anatomy'. What was that like?
Early Morning Rebel: I love 'Grey's Anatomy', and I love what they do with music. They really champion bands and support the music on the show. [Life Boat] has a sad quality to it. It's about losing someone who's suffering in your life, and trying to reach out and help them.
J-14: What advice would you give to aspiring artists?
Early Morning Rebel: When you're doing something you love, it doesn't always go the way you want it to go. But if you really love it, then go for it and do not give up. Do [work] that you believe in- that's the most fulfilling thing. And surround yourself with people that you trust. Persevere.
J-14: How does music relate to other forms of art?
Early Morning Rebel: We surround ourselves with fashion. A lot of our friends are designers, and it's part of the community that we're in. We feel fashion inspires music and vice versa. You can see the process of the two worlds; as a designer, someone's designing an outfit, and as musicians, we're designing songs. If you ever go to a catwalk fashion show, the music is what really gives the show a pulse, and it changes the garment. Music and fashion have the same quality. They both make you feel something.
Photo: Courtesy of Nicole Mazza/J-14