THE BOXER REBELLION
Just sometimes, good things come to those who wait. In an era of overnight success, where last year’s Next Big Things are often forgotten a mere 12 months on, The Boxer Rebellion offer convincing proof that the only success worth having is the kind that is earned the hard way. The London-based quartet are about to release their new album, Ocean by Ocean, their fifth in a career now into its 15th year. Fifteen years is more than most bands manage; it’s more enduring than the average marriage.
That Ocean by Ocean is an accomplished, beautifully orchestrated and impeccably freighted album should hardly come as a surprise – this is, after all, an act that knows precisely what it is doing, and how to do it – but there is a depth of emotion to every one of these 10 songs here that lift each towards the hymnal. And so surely, this time, it will indeed translate to the masses, for like other great cult acts before them – Elbow, The National – their time has come, their crossover imminent.
The Boxer Rebellion are a London quartet that never did quite conform. The singer is from Tennessee, for a start. Nathan Nicholson arrived in the capital on the cusp of a new century when he was barely out of his teens, and hungry for the kind of culture he felt was largely absent from America’s south. “I’d been a huge fan of British pop and rock, and Britpop in general,” he says, “and I came wanting to immerse myself in the scene as much as I could. ”He points out that he did try to do this at home first, but it didn’t go down too well. “I used to wear my Clarks Wallabees everywhere I went.” He laughs. “I guess I looked a bit of a douche bag.” In London, he looked less of one. And it was here he met three like-minded individuals: Adam Harrison on bass, Piers Hewlett on drums, and Todd Howe on guitar. In 2001, the band was officially born, and quickly came to the attentions of Alan McGee, who signed them to his short-lived, post-Creation label, Poptones. “If nothing else,” says Piers, “it brought us a lot of mainstream attention.”
Sisters Anna, Katie, and Erin Rauch-Sasseen spent their youth moving from Northern California to Kansas City to coastal New Jersey, with occasional periods of time overseas. Along the way they soaked up a caravan’s worth of musical influence. Records by The Beach Boys, Michael Jackson, The Roches, Indigo Girls, No Doubt, James Taylor and Ella Fitzgerald were mainstays growing up.
Ry has traveled the world capturing arresting visuals for music videos, documentaries and commercials with his partnership, Good One. He’s also written some songs along the way. The ethos behind both passions is “Live good stories. Tell good stories.” Whether putting it on the screen or into a microphone, Ry wants to honestly represent the places he’s been and the people he’s encountered along the way.