Music Interview: RantMusic not a bunch of celtics

By Nathan Atnikov

RantMusic are a lot of things. A rock band with fiddles, punk band with mandolins and folk band with electric guitars, but most importantly, they are road warriors living out of a bus for the past five years. Vocalist Ramsey Reid shuffles adjectives like a deck of cards when talking about his band, but it’s impossible to come up with one definitive statement to describe what RantMusic is. And that’s just the way they want it.

In love with confusion, the band members’ information on their website is fake and each member of the band is identified with a fake name, so you don’t know what to call them. Is there a method to this madness? When you can’t find out anything about a band it forces you to focus on the music. Just don’t call it Celtic. Originally McGnarley’s Rant, the band changed its name when realizing it tied them to a genre they desperately wanted to distance themselves from.

“Our music was changing,” says Reid. “We were tired of showing up at the gig with not only our name spelled wrong, but just having it say ‘Celtic folk-rock.’ It was just misleading.”

Among the many adjectives used to describe RantMusic over the course of a 15 minute conversation, Reid uses “gypsies” because of the tour-heavy schedule the band faces year in and year out. Over the last five years, the band has played over 800 shows, but you don’t get the feeling Reid would take any of that time back.

“It’s important to keep coming back to Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver and everywhere in between,” Reid says. “We’ve tried really hard to get a strong following out west and it’s really starting to work now. I think people are starting to catch on, they can just come to our shows and let loose and rock out.”

Inevitably, when you play the kind of music RantMusic does, not everyone is going to get it. You can almost hear Reid grin when discussing the band’s so-called failures.

“Regina, Saskatchewan! We cleared that bar,” Reid laughs. “It was awesome. I mean, as much fun as we have when people enjoy it a lot, it’s so funny when people just get up and leave. We just order another round of drinks and it becomes us on stage being friends and hanging out.”

Clearing bars every once in a while may be good for a laugh, but RantMusic should enjoy it while they can. Their relentless touring is finally paying off, playing shows all over the world to good responses. That, and trying to empty out a bar isn’t exactly a sound business strategy.

“We are interested in expanding all over the world,” says Reid. “We’ve been as far as Croatia, Belgium and Holland. I think it’s important for us to get our name out all over the place. So when the time comes and we finally get some international recognition, the whole thing will just take off.”