About Me

Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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July 2010 - January 2013
Coolie Ranx Will Change The World With Ska Music
Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Ska is characterized by its reggae roots, big horn sections, and skanking audience members. Pilfers lead singer Coolie Ranx is looking to add one more quality to that list - the ability to change the world.

Ranx’s quest began after he was, in his words, “rescued” from a childhood of bouncing around various foster homes in England. When discussing the woman who saved him, and who he now refers to as his mother, he says, “That kind of kindness from her, from that beginning, was incredible, and her example actually fostered all of my wanting to see better in the world. That started right there.”

When Ranx started Pilfers, after leaving his previous band, The Toasters, he spoke with his mother about his goal. “I called her up,” he remembers, “and told her what I wanted to do. I said I don’t know how I’m gonna do it, (but) I want to unite the world.” According to Ranx, his mother had a supremely supportive response. “She said, you’ll come up with an answer.”

Coming up with an answer has led to more questions for Ranx, who has called New York City home for quite some time now. “It’s always a question of when you’re seeing so much terror, fear, and not enough love when you’re looking in the world today as it’s being presented to everyone else. You don’t see the goodhearted, the goodwill, stories as much as you see gloom and doom. You gotta ask yourself what is this all about? Why are we here? Are we just here for that, or can we actually make something of ourselves for others? It’s a constant question for me because I struggle with it, too.”

As Ranx searches for the answers to those questions, he feels new music might be on the horizon. “When I’m discovering more of who we are, why we’re here, and all that, that stimulates conversation, and needing to express myself again.”

The last time Ranx expressed himself with Pilfers was in 1999, when the band released Chawalaleng. The album, along with the band’s eponymous debut released the year before, is considered a ska classic by fans who are still dedicated followers of the band despite not hearing any new music from them in over a decade. Ranx has an idea as to why the Pilfers have experienced such longevity despite having such a small catalog. “I think the secret is writing real music,” he explains, “writing real life stuff, and something that strikes a chord in people’s hearts.”

Ranx and crew will be looking to strike a chord in people’s hearts next at The Apple Stomp, which is a two day ska event being held at NYC’s Irving Plaza on May 31st and June 1st, with Pilfers performing on the first day. Ranx says fans should expect his usual high energy show, saying, “I don’t know how to do it any other way.” He adds that the energy isn’t one sided, as the audience plays a huge role. “The energy is something that bounces from back and forth,” he explains, “it could never just be me going up there and jumping around for myself. It’s me engaging with the audience, and just trying to have a good time. It’s high energy because we’re giving energy off of each other.”

Far more than just an energy boost, the ska audience initially gave Ranx comfort after he arrived in America. He notes that growing up in a West Indian household in England, “I didn’t experience the prejudice as I would say I did in America.” Ska became his oasis. “Going into the world of ska, I couldn’t believe it ... Life in the world of ska is the way I like life, but outside of ska, it’s not necessarily like that anymore. You search to find that world, or you have to create that world around you.”

Through his music, Ranx looks to create that world every time he performs. “Music is one of the biggest tools that we have in the world,” he explains. “It can be used in good, or it can be used in bad. It can be used to fight wars. It can be used to rally people to stand up for themselves.”

For Ranx, he’s using his music to attempt to make the world a better place, and that’s something a lot of people like the sound of.

Interview originally ran on Arena.com.


posted by Adam Bernard @ 2:47 PM  
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