New England Revolution supporters have turned things up to 11 for the upcoming season—and a big part of the magic comes thanks to ska.
Recently three branches of the Revs’ supporters’ groups–the Rebellion, Midnight Riders, and Rev Army—linked up with legendary Boston ska-punk band Big D and the Kids Table to make some studio magic. The result? Four new boisterous, anthemic tracks, chant-ready for the MLS regular season to start at Gillette Stadium.
“It was just a natural fit for us being supporters of New England, and being so proud of where were from, hooking up with a band that is also proud to be from this area and proud to be ingrained in the culture,” says Matt Puglise, a Rebellion member who first got the ball rolling on this musical collaboration. “A lot of us in the Rebellion especially, and in the Riders and the Army, we’re all punk rock kids [who] grew up with that kind of stuff.”
Here’s how it all got started. Puglise was mulling over the desire for new chants in the Fort, the supporters’ section at Gillette. Then, one day, at the end of Big D’s annual Halloween show in Boston, he found a little courage. He approached some of the band members after their set, and threw out the suggestion that they should all gather at the table for a feast of sorts.
Puglise got some contact info and sent off an email. When he didn’t hear back right away, he just figured the band was understandably too busy to participate. But then, Big D lead singer David McWane wrote back.
“Little did he know, that’s totally up my alley,” McWane says. “It had the New England loyalty with the style of music I like to play. The supporters’ enthusiasm was infectious.”
The two exchanged ideas, rough ideas, and recordings. Then McWane asked Puglise to gather a ready crew and come down to track their vocals in the spirit of the Fort. Thus, the call went out to Rebellion, Midnight Riders, and Rev Army members.
As if it were match day, a pack of about 25 supporters showed up at Galaxy Park Studios in Watertown, Massachusetts, vocal cords gently lubed with some adult beverages and ready to get in an off-season workout. And despite some friendly ribbing between the groups, all members pulled through without inundating the studio techs with endless takes.
“We had a couple of beers to get the old vocal cords loosened,” says Tim Lambert, a member of the Rev Army who lent his vocals to the day. “A lot of the guys and girls that showed up, we’re all standing around in the Fort and we’re all pretty used to yelling the entire game. That’s what we do.”
The song “Trouble is Coming Your Way” proved the main anthem from the session, and will surely pump over the Gillette Stadium speakers this season. But three more tracks also happened to arise from the infectious project.
“Once the ball got rolling,” says McWane, “it was impossible to just do one.”
Big D and the Kids Table, as a band, has enjoyed an arc that’s paralleled the longevity of the Revolution. And both camps found themselves drawn in by the heady mix of local flavor.
“When you play in a band and you’re from a city you love, you go on tour a lot and sometimes you start to miss home desperately,” says McWane. “To be a part of something that is home, that is a big deal.”
Meanwhile, anyone who missed the recording session can study up before the Revs’ first home game.