The Rebel Kicks Confirm That Their Name Is, Indeed, From That Portugal. The Man Song

The Rebel Kicks

Over the four seasons of The Load Out music podcast, we’ve had a variety of artists on the show ranging from Rock-and-Roll Hall-of-Fame inductees like John Oates, Steve Cropper and Chris Hillman; to Grammy winners, alt-country stars, longtime record executives and noted rap producers.

On the latest episode, we welcome an up-and-coming band from New York City that’s a little bit rock, a bit pop, as well as electronic music—a very different twist for our listeners.

Rebel Kicks—comprised of talented, multi-instrumentalist brothers Anthony and Steven Babino—have shared stages with the likes of the Foo Fighters, Blink-182, Mac Miller, Iggy Azalea, Incubus and more. The band’s new EP features the well-received singles “Silhouette” along with “Electrophoria,” a hard-hitting, groove-centric track inspired by the recent growth of artificial intelligence.

The Babino’s are the sons of a professional jazz musician, and their earliest musical memories are tagging along to their father’s big band gigs where they soaked in the sounds of the Great American Songbook. Ultimately, Anthony and Steven cut their teeth gigging at a young age to fill out the ranks in their father’s ensembles.

“Our dad used to tour the world,” Steven recalled. “We would be lucky enough to see him with a big band, and I remember being a kid—like five-years-old, six-years-old—and knew that’s what I wanted to do.”

They would ultimately set out on their own path, making their way to Florida and then Los Angeles. But along the way, the brothers recognized their sound was evolving dramatically. They had an epiphany about the music they wanted to make, opening the door to the more experimental pop-based sounds with bold electronic soundscapes, melodic basslines, arena-ready guitar riffs, and soaring hooks. The Babinos knew a new brand for their artistry should be created to represent the evolution of their style.

Inspired by Portugal. The Man

“We were on the way to a gig and the song ‘Feel It Still’ by the band Portugal. The Man was on,” Anthony said. “Steve turned to me and said, ‘I really like that line in the song—I’m a rebel just for kicks.’

And thus, Rebel Kicks was born, with the band since drawing comparisons to modern alt-rock acts like Grouplove, Portugal. The Man, and The Killers.

So, enjoy a fun conversation with the brothers Babino—Anthony and Steven, better known as Rebel Kicks—on the latest episode of The Load Out.

Aaron Perlut is a writer, host of the Load Out Music Podcast, the front man for country-rock band Atomic Junkshot, and the founder of creative agency Elasticity.