Meet French Horn Rebellion

Video for ‘Up All Night,’ French Horn Rebellion
Words by Tim Cigelske

French Horn Rebellion stands out as one of Milwaukee’s best musical exports that’s still relatively unknown back home. Pardon the journalistic cliche, but that’s about to change. Seriously.

Mequon natives and brothers Robert and David Perlick-Molinari have been quietly building up a resume for years. David produced MGMT‘s EP Time to Pretend and Robert learned under the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra’s principal French Horn Player before studying music at Northwestern University.

After forming a two-man electro-pop-dance band in New York, they’ve grabbed attention as the CMJ Spotlight Artist of the week and opened for Bob Dylan and the Black Keys at the American Eagle Outfitters Music Festival. In March, watch for them on the front page of MySpace.

Musically, their style sounds like a collaboration between Daft Punk and The Strokes, with bona fide French Horn thrown in there for good measure. Robert and David spoke to Fanbelt about the music they describe as “the trials and tribulations of being a French Horn player trapped in a modern world.”

F-B: You’ve called your sound as electro-dance-disco-synth-pop-rock. Any plans to ad anything else to the mix in the future?

Robert Perlick-Molinari: Yes. As we go forward, we will be including more psychedelic influences in our music. It’s about travel, where you start somewhere and end somewhere completely different. The next album (due this summer) is all about that.

David Perlick-Molinari: It’s more of a spiritual introspective journey than physical. It’s about valuing yourself and letting yourself just dive into all of your own eclectic influences — and understanding that those personal influences are important. It’s important not to ignore yourself in this trip because this journey is a exploration of individualism and how it fits into the universal. Basically it is a chase movie where we’re not really sure what we’re chasing — but we meet a lot of new friends on the way.

F-B: One site called you “Wisconsin’s answer to the Flight of the Conchords.” Reaction?

RPM: I don’t know — the Flight of the Conchords are pretty funny. It’s a mighty comparison, but we’re definitely up for it.

DPM: That is interesting. My good friend Dax who conceived and directed the two videos that your referencing here is an absolute hoot and a gem. We have him to thank for all the smiles.

F-B: You’ve called your band “kind of a tragic paradox” because it’s the modern alternative to having opportunity to play venues with a French Horn. Do you see this changing on the horizon?

RPM: It’s still a tragic paradox, and probably always will be. Any time you play French horn, it’s a life changing event.

DPM: I always feel a bit of that joy and disappointment when Robert pulls out that instrument in the middle of our trashy dance sets. Well I guess they seem trashy because that’s how I think others might view them but I think they’re very liberating. So I guess it may not be a tragic paradox depending on your viewpoint.

F-B: You’ve said, “We make music on a computer, perform with one at a dance hall, and people’s heads are turned upside down.” Has there actually been any crazy dancing injuries or near-injuries that you’ve seen at your concerts?

RPM: There have been A LOT of crazy things that have happened during our shows. In Tulsa, OK, once the beat dropped for the first time in our set, people were dancing on top of the bar, and the bartenders had to force them off! In Frostburg, MD, we played at a sports bar, and everybody started jumping up and down off of the bar’s billiards table. Outdoor festivals can also be dangerous, especially when it’s a bit muddy– one time in Oneonta, NY a crowd of kids fell into a mud pool while dancing!

F-B: Any new albums coming up?

RPM: YES SIR! We’ve got the Up All Night EP coming out February 20 to be sold digitally around the world. We remastered the hit track, and have remixes by Database (Sao Paolo, Brazil) John Bourke (Oklahoma City) and others. Also this summer we will be releasing our second full length album. It’s going to be amazing!

DPM: It’s funny how you call it a hit track Robert when I’m not sure where it’s hitting right now.

French Horn Rebellion plays The Points East Pub (1501 N Jackson St) on Friday, Feb. 6, with Kid Color (from Chicago) and Beards of Paradise (a new band of Marquette University journalism students.)

MP3 ‘Up All Night,’ French Horn Rebellion


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4 Responses to “Meet French Horn Rebellion”

  1. cmp Says:

    FHR is the best, most fun, most relevant band in/out of MKE that I have seen. I accidently saw them at Mad Planet last fall, and I was blown away. It was essentially an indie/folk bill that night, and then these two guys started setting up keys/laptops/etc. Within a minute they had the whole place going, and the bouncing and sweating lasted the duration of their set.

    If you haven’t seen this band, make a point to do so.

  2. razzammatazz Says:

    i wanna meet French Horn Rebellion!!!

    looks like they love the ladies!

    maybe they’d think about a 4d probe!!

  3. TGIT: Our Weekend Picks! « Fan-Belt Milwaukee Says:

    […] French Horn Rebellion are indeed into creating a ruckus with brass (and laptops), as their name implies. Catch them when […]

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