In our ongoing series of SKAROUND The World, this time around I’m brining you one of my favorite bands – some of my favorites you’ve heard of and some you haven’t – I have another good one for you. This time, I’m talking about New York’s Coolie Ranx and his band, Pilfers.
If you’ve never seen them, you’re missing out! You are definitely in for a treat when you listen to the cool stuff from this killer band.
If you’ve heard of them, did you know they created a music genre? They call it RaggaCore… it’s a combination of ska, rock, hardcore, and reggae all mashed up together to create an incredible musical journey which makes for a damn good live show.
Ranx got his first big break when he joined The Toasters as a vocalist where he took part in 4 epic albums. About that experience Ranx said “I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for my time with The Toasters.”
Circling back to Pilfers, they have been around since 1997. The original line-up featured Ranx, and Vinnie Noble (former trombone of Bim Skala Bim). They completed this stellar line up with the Skinnerbox rhythm section of Anna Milat-Myer on bass and James Blanck on drums. They brought it all together with Nick Bacon of The Erratics. Damn, that’s a hell of a line up!
After their ’97 demo, they released their self-titled debut album in 1998. Between the hard work, live shows, and positive reviews, they were signed to Mojo Records where they released “Chawalaleng” one year later.
Like most legacy acts, they’ve had some line-up changes and all of the members have had wicked side projects. Ranx has done voiceover and motion capture work for “Grand Theft Auto IV” (he was Little Jacob).
Over the years Pilfers has been part of some genre spectacular festivals, such as the Supernova International Ska Festival which features some of the biggest names in the genre.
Pilfers was also scheduled to play Viva Ska Vegas, and then… you know what happened; COVID!
Ranx was included in the documentary “Pick It Up! Ska in the ‘90s” as well as soundtrack work for “The In Crowd.”
Seems pretty damn cool to get to do all of that while still having a solo career and be in some killer bands.
PICK IT UP SKA!
LIFE and LEGACY
“Music is culture, and culture is who we are.”
Ranx also founded RadicsFest, a tribute to Roy Radics of The Rudie Crew who passed away in 2016.
Ranx had asked if I (Jr Ska Boss) and my co-host (Selecta Scream) of Viva Ska Radio would DJ the event in 2020. Man! I was so stoked to be a part of the awesome event and to be a part of something that meant so much to so many people (COVID canceled it, of course).
It was definitely a huge loss to the music scene when Radics passed.
Talking about the event, Ranx said, “It came about from the death of a friend of mine from England who moved here and became a ska guy in a band called Rudie Crew… his stage name was ‘Roy Radics.’ He was the only person who knew of me from singing in London on ‘The Biggest Sound System in the World’ at the time called Saxon Studio!” Ranx continued, “Besides Buck from The Toasters Cos, I met him when I was in The Toasters at the time at Wetlands night club he brought his son. Radics was more impressed about my dancehall musical career than my ska!”
As if that isn’t enough, Ranx is in Jamaica singing, overdubbing and mixing. He also hosts “SuperNova Saturdays – Carsessions2035” on Facebook Live from 2:30 pm -3:30 pm Eastern EVERY Friday. This is an online variety show featuring an array of ska talents, ska affiliates, actors, comedians, wellness persona, etc.! “I am super proud of ‘Carsessions2035’ as it is joining onto a radio station in London called ‘Reel Rebel Radio,’” said Ranx.
TO FOLLOW CAR SESSIONS
Pilfers were heading out on tour and were supposed to make their way back to the west coast for Viva Ska Vegas 2020, but as you are sick of hearing, COVID made everything come to a halt. “Can you believe that it was almost a year ago everything was being shut down? Damn!”
Ranx went on to say the band plans to get back to touring and making the way out west to rebuild their fan base on the left coast once they are able to travel.
In the new year, we should get new music from Pilfers and Coolie Ranx has solo stuff as well. I can’t wait to see what 2021 has in store.
If you’ve never seen this band, seriously check them out as soon as you can. They are absolutely amazing and Ranx always makes sure you get nothing but a top-notch show!