Rex Haberman is a Minneapolis-based singer, songwriter, guitarist and founding member War Poets. Rex’s band has infiltrated the pop-rock genre using smart hooks and compelling narratives to gracefully invite listeners to consider their social and political perspectives.
The group has garnered favorable comparisons to Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Fleetwood Mac, and the Replacements. Like the aforementioned artists, War Poets draw on Americana, pop, and rock to achieve an aesthetic that’s refined but rootsy.
Table of Contents
5:02 – If you had to describe yourself as a band, song, or genre, what would it be?
7:22 – How did you get started in the music business?
18:20 – Looking back at your career, what stands out to you as your proudest moment?
23:49 – What’s been one of your biggest failures, and what lessons did you learn from that moving forward?
30:00 – Three things artists should be doing today to grow their fan-base and move their careers forward
If you had to describe yourself as a band, song, or genre, what would it be?
I would love to be characterized as a rebel. Someone who is willing to say things that other people might think, but not say. Someone that talks about subjects that are hard for other people to talk about.
How did you get started in the music business?
I’ve been involved in music for most of my life, even when I was younger. In college, I was a member of a rock band. We toured and basically built a cash business. As I got older, I became more serious and I tried to write music and record music and put it out for sale. Nowadays, things have changed pretty dramatically in terms of putting it out there. But I’ve been involved in the business of music for decades.
Looking back at your career, what stands out to you as your proudest moment?
We played in LA at the Viper Room. They have this curtain, and when you are ready to play, they announce you and open the curtain, and then boom, your playing. We did our set, and after the show I was talking with this guy that was a little older then me, and he was saying, “I loved your show, you guys are great.” And I said well thank you, thank you very much and I left it at that. So I got this email at about 3am from the same guy. He was the promoter at The House of Blues, and his email said: “We want you at the House of Blues in Hollywood.” That was really cool.
What’s been one of your biggest failures, and what lessons did you learn from that moving forward?
I was recording an album, and I had worked really hard on vocal techniques with a fairly well-known vocal instructor. I was going into the studio, and I said to the instructor, “Why don’t you come along with me?” So he comes into the studio with me and pisses the hell out of the producer. Like, who are you and why are you here? So we’re doing these vocal takes and the instructor is giving me advice, and the producer is swearing at him. And I’m sounding like crap. And I said to myself, this was really not a good idea at all.
Three things artists should be doing today to grow their fan-base and move their careers forward:
- Book and play as many shows as you can. Do some self-promotion via social media, but also work with the venues and ask them to promote.
- Never stop songwriting. Before you play, sit down and write something, anything. Then come back to it later.
- You have to stay together. One of the reasons why bands don’t make it, is because they get burned out, and they get tired of not becoming a big success. But if you stick with it, you actually have a chance.
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Paint You The Sun
Dulce et decorum est