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Marc Rebillet – The Loop Daddy in his own words

Marc Rebillet – The Loop Daddy in his own words

Luke Sharkey

Marc Rebillet has got a Wikipedia page now and that’s pretty close to the top of sentences that I never thought I’d write.

Not that Rebillet is undeserving of the fuss, more importantly, the acclaim that having a Wiki implies. Put on the spot, I’d say the semi-satirical Dallas musician is among the most exciting musical prospects to have broken out over the past two or three years.

He stands among the rarest of musical niches, comedic acts capable of hilarity but founded upon razor-sharp musicianship.

Rebillet has emerged from the endless expanse of niche online personas to performing headline improv shows across the world (including one in Dublin late last year) in little over three years. His unique live set-up, details here, is a thing of beauty.

Ahead of his forthcoming US dates,  billed as ‘The Comeback Tour’, Rebillet is playing a select few festivals in Europe this summer.

The Beatyard is one such festival. It seemed like the perfect time to get a chat in with an artist on such a high, so we did.

For the uninitiated, Marc offers a vivid self-description. “ I would say that usually, my tag line is Reggie Watts on bath salts. But if I had to package it… I’m a one-man show. That’s completely improvised, and your clothes might come off.”

The footage of him playing in the since defunct Tivoli Theatre is a good indication.

Marc seems to have just emerged from a massive adjustment period. The initial novelty of making a living in music is gone. In its stead, the nuts and bolts thoughts of a working musician. When I pick his brain, a lot of what’s on his mind is so practical. Foremost, the clothes game.

“You know, one problem that I had on tour is that I have so little clothes…I come from that, my dad worked in fashion his whole life. So I have a longtime love of fashion and clothes. When I’m on tour I can only pack like you know a small bag. I can pack like five days of clothes…I really would like to step my wardrobe game up on the road. I’m just trying to figure out the best way to do that. It really boosts the show”

It’s all part of the brand. A distinct audio and visual presentation Rebillet has been honing since the days of playing three improv sets to crowds of 30 or so wary customers at fish and chip restaurants in Dallas. Spare a thought for them. Imagine rocking up for lunch somewhere and it’s Marc Rebillet talking about being a “big monster” over trap 808s.

It’s an energy Rebillet thrived on at the start and still remembers fondly. “I’ve talked about this before and it’s absolutely true that the nature of the show is completely different than it used to be when I was playing for 20 people at a restaurant who had no fucking idea who I was. I really loved that energy.”

“I set off of that energy and I think it made for some really great material because there’s friction there. When you’re confronting an audience that doesn’t necessarily want you there’s a certain friction that you cannot manufacture. You can’t manufacture that kind of friction when there are nine hundred people in a room and they’ve all bought tickets to see you. They’ve seen your videos. They know what you do. It’s a totally different thing.”

Having a dedicated crowd at your gigs does have its benefits though, in terms of performance, it allows Rebillet to push the boat out a little further. On the change in the vibe at his shows, Rebillet adds “gow I reacted to that or how I’ve sort of changed the show to conform to this new dynamic is basically by going 200% harder and more intense in order to appeal to a large crowd like that. To try and ramp it up so that I can still hopefully surprise these crowds a little bit. Just by being that much larger and that much more ridiculous.”

Rebillet usually streams of a Sunday. For my money, it is the best way to become familiarised with what he does bar seeing him in person. There is a visual aspect to his work, it should be seen and heard. Though, for those of you who might be interested in a more curated body of work, Rebillet does have some material up on streaming services.

Most recently he released Loop Daddy 2. The mixtape is like a highlight reel of his streams, with the material uploaded directly from the session without post-fx. Being forced to focus on the music, it’s clear how dynamic a musician Rebillet really is. Check out nu-R&B gem ‘In The Summer’ off that project. Composed on the spot during a stream (here), built upon loops from Rebillet’s “crude” set-up.

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The process by which Rebillet selects the material to go out on the mixtapes is a conscious one. “I mean there’s a lot of songs that I have purposely chosen not to upload to streaming because I don’t think they work without the video. Either because I don’t think that musically it stands on its own strongly enough to just be listened to…or the subject matter doesn’t really make sense without seeing me.”

“I don’t really think of expectations. My deciding what I ultimately put out is entirely like qualitative to me. It’s very selfish and personal. It’s like ‘do I think this is really good?’ If I do I’ll probably put it out. I mean there are ideas upon ideas upon ideas. A lot of what you can see and hear on the livestream I don’t think would ever be good enough to put out as an isolated song and a lot of stuff that I just play around with on my own that will never see the light of day because it’s just not on the level. Not set to the standards that I have for myself here. Sometimes I think that hurts.”

“I think I maybe need to be a little less restrictive about that because I could be putting out a lot more material if I weren’t so picky. Yeah, there you have it. I get very anxious about putting something out that I don’t think is good enough.”

There’s an album on the way, one which he hopes to finish recording this summer. It’ll be the first time most of his audience will be introduced to Marc’s work away from the looper/improvised format we’ve become accustomed to. “I’m pretty pumped about that”.

The immediate future brings Rebillet’s set at the Beatyard. For that, audiences can expect the classic looper – midi controller improvised madness Rebillet’s success is built upon. “ I find personally that that having too big of setup really gets in my way. I get lost and I get too concerned with details when really what I’m trying to do with this performance is play out to the audience as aggressively, as quickly and as directly as possible.”

“The less I have in my way the more effectively and quickly I’m able to do that. I’m sort of sacrificing a lot of details and maybe musical depth in the service of being able could just connect with the audience on a more performative level. On a more direct level.”

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