New Jersey’s heritage as a place for emerging rock bands has been important to the development of Roots of Rebellion, a five member New Jersey-grown band. Formed in 2001, the music of Roots of Rebellion has been characterized as “melodic hard rock”, utilizing a variety of instruments and rhythms to create a distinctively unique sound within the rock genre.
In 2004, the band released their debut CD, The Looking Glass which sold more than 1000 copies at live shows and through such outlets as CD Baby, Amazon.com, and Tower Records.com. In addition, the band’s music has been digitally sold through online distributors such as Magnatune.com and iTunes. The Looking Glass has received radio play on several college, commercial and internet radio stations. Five of the eight songs on the CD were honored by GarageBand.com as “Track of the Day”, based upon popular support from online reviewers.
In September 2004, the band was invited to play Locobazooka, a major outdoor New England rock festival attended by 25,000 fans and which featured such national bands as Shinedown, Nonpoint, Damage Plan, Crossfade, Tesla and Saliva.
In 2005, Roots of Rebellion played such legendary venues as The Stone Pony, CBGB (twice) and Starland Ballroom (twice). In a statewide “Battle of the Bands” featuring 200 of the metro area’s best emerging bands, Roots of Rebellion finished second in the competition. For the second year in a row, the band was nominated for the Asbury Music Awards in the Best Young Band category. In addition to traditional gigs, the band has played and organized several benefit shows for Katrina and Tsunami victims, and a former high school classmate injured in an accident.
The year 2006 brings forth Surfacing, the new CD featuring Declaration and Messenger. Various live dates are being planned at local clubs and colleges. Recently the band opened for progressive rock veterans Kings X at Starland Ballroom. College audiences are important to the band as members are represented at Seton Hall University, Montclair State University, William Paterson University and Lehigh University.
Roots of Rebellion features John Penola on lead vocals, Tyler Bissell on guitars, Rob Struck on bass, Kurt Wubbenhorst on drums and backing vocals, and Matt Cimiluca on keyboards and guitar.
Penola's own Last.fm account can be viewed at http://www.last.fm/user/JohnPenola.