Through my association with Trapped In Static, I’ve gotten to know bass guitarist, Gina Rebelo.
She stands out on stage, not because she is the only female of the band, but because of her amazing talent, great energy, and excellent fashion sense!
I remember the first time I saw Trapped In Static perform at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia. This cute blond came out on stage in a posh black dress and leopard print heels, with a pearl white bass guitar. She rocked out so hard that she eventually kicked her heels off while performing (picture below). Watching her on stage reminded me of how strong and kick-ass being feminine truly is. Which is why I am extremely excited to have the opportunity to interview her. So without further ado, read on below for the full interview!
***Don’t forget to check out the action shots below, of Gina and the band rocking out during rehearsal.***
Kate: I love the fact that your last name is Rebelo. The “Rebel” part of it really stands out to me. Did you ever have any cool nicknames growing up or on stage?
Gina: ohhh soo many! “G-Rebel” was my stage name for a long time.”G-Funk”, “Little G”, “G money”…haha and the list goes on, it’s ridiculous.
Kate: Where are you originally from?
Gina: I’m originally from Los Gatos, California. So that’s in between San Jose and Santa Cruz, Northern California.
Kate: What brought you to New York?
Gina: I came here for a job opportunity. At the time, I was working for San Jose Mercury News, and I had a lot of clients in New York. So I was going back and forth a lot. Finally I was like well let me check out New York, I want to see what it’s like. So I got here, got a job at the Daily News, I met really cool people, crossed paths with awesome musicians and I just fell in love with New York. And here I am, 9 years later!
Kate: How are you able to manage a successful career while still pursuing your passion for music?
Gina: It’s tough sometimes. I’m really lucky that I have a flexible schedule, my bosses are awesome, everybody in my office knows that I play bass and they support me. So It’s not like I’m hiding one life from the other. Obviously I love being on tour with the band, however it doesn’t always make sense with my work schedule. So yeah, it’s a fine balance, but so far it has worked out!
Kate: When did you realize that you wanted to be a musician?
Gina: I’ve been playing music since I was five. My parents especially encouraged my musical career. I started off playing piano, went on to play flute for a while, and then I finally ended up playing bass guitar. I was originally in jazz band, then I fell into a rock band, and at the age of 13 I recorded my first album. Ever since then I just continued playing bass and kept finding different bands to play with. Throughout high school I was in 4 different music ensembles, and then 2 separate bands and so it just became my life.
Kate: What made you choose bass as your instrument?
Gina: So before I started playing Bass, I was playing Flute. I wanted to be a part of the jazz band but there were no flutes in jazz band (laughs), so my band instructor said to me, “We really need an electric bass player.” And that’s when it all started…I must of been like 11-12 years old at the time.
My brother helped me learn how to play the bass by teaching me all of the basics. From there, I tried out for the Jazz band, and I got in!
I was so lucky. Had everything in my life not fallen into place the way it did, I would’ve probably never continued playing. All of these pinnacle moments in my life wouldn’t have happened if I wasn’t a part of the bands I’ve played with throughout the years. Trapped In Static, Three Day Threshold, Conductors Groove, Babareef, & Wrench to name a few.
Kate: What is something that you’ve overcome as a female musician?
Gina: I’ll never forget, In my early 20’s I was playing shows constantly. And after a show one night, a guy came up to me and said “Wow, You are soooo good for a girl!” And I was just like “Wait..what?…what do you mean?!” (laughs). I was so shocked and appalled by the idea of this mental block some people had, that you had to be male to be good at something. I don’t want to be “good, for a girl”, I want to be a good bassist period.
So I’ve overcome not focusing on what people are thinking and just focusing on my instrument, and doing and being the best that I can be. Whether you are a musician, an artist, a business person, whatever, just be the best that you can be, regardless of your gender. Don’t ever limit yourself.
Kate: Where’d you get your musical influence from?
Gina: My dad was a sick guitarist, he spent the majority of his life playing guitar. It wasn’t until I was in college that we started to jam out. He was always playing music at home, we were always waking up to The Beatles every morning. And my brother who is a musician as well, played like 5 different instruments. Growing up in a musical environment definitely influenced me.
Kate: Who are your favorite artists and genres of music?
I really love music that just makes you want to dance. I love funk, soul, r&b, classic rock, reggae, country, old school hip hop & break beat. I love all types of music really. Listening to so many different styles of music really opens up my ear, to learn and be a better musician.
My favorite artists are James Brown, Prince, Rolling Stones, Beatles, Led Zeppelin, John Paul Jones, Grace Potter, G.Love, Tina Turner, 311, and the Beastie Boys.
Kate: Are there any plans for the future, any upcoming shows?
Gina: Yes! We are playing at The Bitter End in NYC this Saturday night, at 10:30p.m.
Our calendar is filling up fast and I’m psyched to play this year. I’m excited to play great shows, meet people, gain more fans, and just really getting back into playing more music.
Kate: Where would you say you get your Fashion Sense from?
Gina: My style has definitely evolved over the years. I always try to be conscious of my style, and because I’m business during the day and music at night, It’s a bit tough sometimes. It’s funny because even my boyfriend tells me “You don’t know how to dress casual!” (Laughs). I just started wearing jeans, literally 3 years ago. I love a perfect blend of “fashion chic” with a touch of rock & roll edge, without trying too hard. I want to feel comfortable, whatever I’m doing, wherever I’m playing. And that’s just what’s most important to me. Being comfortable in my skin and in my clothes…and being able to rock out in a dress or in my Rubberband Stretch jeans!
Gina is wearing Sarina Skinny in Onyx