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The Rebel Wheel History

The Rebel Wheel V1

From 1987 to 1993 David played with a collective of musicians in Toronto that jammed in a garage in Scarborough every week-end. They called themselves The Circus from Hell. Mostly as a measure to avoid bothering the neighbours, but also with a fascination of new technology, the musicians used midi controllers, drum pads, keyboard synths, guitar synths and samplers and played directly into a mixer, monitoring themselves with headphones. It became easy therefore, to incorporate the then novel approach of using sequencers smpte'd up to tape machines as recording devices. As the musicians all had a strong performance sensibilities and didn't want to quantize their performances more than necessary, they rigged up the machines to track multiple midi and audio sources simultaneously so they could perform and record in real time as an ensemble. From those weekly jamming and recording sessions, the vision for The Rebel Wheel was born.

As David's career as a composer for TV, film and concert began to demand more and more of his time, the next decade was spent almost entirely in studios recording and producing scores and doing sessions. In 2003 he felt the need to get out of the studio and play music with players in real-time again so he dusted off some of the music he'd written and recorded during The Circus from Hell days and got in touch with old friends, bassist Pelle Vadim, drummers Cab and Per Lind and keyboardist Nils Bell to create the first official Rebel Wheel release, "The Rebel Wheel"

The Rebel Wheel V2

In late 2004 David decided to try and take the CD and make a live band. In short order he met Chuck Ho, Gary Lauzon, Greg Kampf and Christina Abrahamson. The band called themselves Casse-Tete but over the course of several years split up and evolved into seperate units. At this point ex-Mahl drummer Alain Bergeron joined Gary and David and together the three of them drafted Paul Joannis and Angie MacIvor. In 2006 The Rebel Wheel V2 was up and running and by 2007 recorded the dramatic and modern sounding, "Diagramma" .

The Rebel Wheel V3

In 2008 the band broke up and again Gary and David looked for musicians. They found drummer Aaron Clark and with Angie MacIvor from the previous incarnation formed The Rebel Wheel V3. They gigged heavily around Ontario and Quebec and by 2009, started working on the new album and went to Shattered Wings to record. Unfortunately early in the tracking sessions Gary left. Thus ended V3 of the band.

The Rebel Wheel V4

The remaining members soon found ex-Mahl bassist Claude Prince and in the course of the next year in various studios in and around Ottawa, recorded the successful, epic and angular, "We are in the Time of Evil Clocks"

The Rebel Wheel V5

After playing Progtoberfest in 2009 Claude Prince left the band. Looking at a new direction, Aaron and David got together in a cold, dank, smelly cigaretted basement and jammed. They did a free-form, odd-metered, aggressive and wickedly angular type of music that sowed the seeds of their long-lasting punk-jazz approach. Later that year they drafted ex-Mahl bassist Guy Dagenais into the fold and created a prog power trio. They did a lot of gigs around Ottawa and reached a new level of performance intensity for the band. Aaron and David were excited and David began writing the next album in earnest. Running the band had never been easy and although there were few internal conflicts (mostly scheduling and creative differences) the band imploded after a disasterous gig in Toronto. Oddly the band performed incredibly well but stress from a series of external life-changing events got the better of the band. Guy left the band and once again Aaron and David continued on.

The band live @ Zaphod's.

Check out our video page for more of the trio live at Zaphods.

The Rebel Wheel V6

In mid 2011, the band got a call from the Progday organizers who wanted them for Progday 2011. They had already found a bassist from one of David'd other bands, The PepTides so they quickly drafted keyboardist and Nathan Mahl leader, Guy LeBlanc and pressed him into service. The fit was amazing. David was already been in Nathan Mahl at the time and had played with Alain, Guy D, and Claude, so it only seemed fitting that the leader should join too. The band rehearsed for 6 weeks and went down to North Carolina where they acquitted themselves amazingly. Shortly afterward the band began rehearsals for their next album Whore's Breakfast which took the jazz-punk attitude Aaron and David unleased in the basement from hell and fused it with the more traditional Prog stylings from the Diagramma era.

The band live at The Atomic Rooster

During the recording Guy LeBlanc was diagnosed with cancer to which he eventually succumbed. He was obviously unable to finish the CD but contributed some amazing performances on Satori In Bayshore. Additionally, the band, in a not uncommon turn of events, became increasingly busy with other projects (Auto Racing, The PepTides, The Rapids) so David recorded the album himself.

The Rebel Wheel V7

From 2013-2017, the band really only consisted of David. During that time he recorded the classic Prog track North By Northwest, two tracks for Musea's Decammeron Project, the Filth Therapy CD and the 12-tone rock song song Crawlers. All of these songs ended up on either the Musea CDs or on Rostfrei's Filth Therapy , 3rd Wheel , and Five Epics

The Rebel Wheel V8

In 2018, David decided to recreate a performing version of the band. He had recorded the Bag Of Snakes album for Rostfrei Records, which had a strong hard rock meets Prog feel. In order to perform some of it he drafted Alex Wickham and Andrew Burns, both of whom David had a long-time association with from his time in The Rapids and The PepTides. During the project it became more and more apparent that these should be the new basis for V8 of the Rebel Wheel, so in November of 2018 it was decided to start preparing material for a new album called Simple Machines. Right now the band is in rehearsals and pre-production is in full swing.

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