The Rumble Strips interview
The Rumble Strips are from Tavistock, Devon and got together in 2004. Since the release of their debut album ‘Girls & Weather’ the band have gone from strength to stength building a loyal following along the way. The band are about to release their sophomore album ‘Welcome to the Walk Alone’ produced by Mark Ronson which looks set to catapult them to premier league status.
What would you say were the main influences on the bands music?
Everyone in the band has their own influences. They range from Talking Heads, to Adam and The Ants to The Kinks, but the one band we all agree upon is Gorky's Zygotic Mynci. We all love them.
Your new album was produced by Mark Ronson. Did that come about as a result of the Electric Proms or was there more to it?
The Electric Proms performance happened because we did a re-mix/cover version of Amy Winehouse's song Back To Black. Mark and Amy liked our version, which had Charlie singing on it, so Mark asked him to sing it with him at the Proms. After that, The Rumble Strips went on tour with Mark and his Version Players. It was during this time that we started talking about him producing a song or two for our next album...somehow that became the whole album!
How did his studio method differ from other producers you have worked with?
It was less rigidly structured than our first album; much more exploratory. Also, he spent lots of time getting the sounds of the instruments, particularly the drum, exactly right, before we recorded a note. Lots of producers sort out the "sound" of the record after it has been produced. The advantage of Mark's approach for us, was that we instantly could hear what the finished product was going to sound like, which helped us in the way we approached our performance
Much of the album was recorded in New York following your tour there last year. How did America audiences and people in the studio react to your style of music?
For some reason our music seems to go down really well in America. We haven't "cracked" it by any means, but the crowds that come to the gigs are really appreciative. We developed a great relationship with the people we worked with in the studio. The Americans we met all struck me as very open-minded when it comes to music.
What can we expect to hear on your new album and why should we rush out and buy it?
We've been privileged enough to work with some brilliant, very talented people on this record, who've helped give our songs a genuinely classic sound. Owen Pallett's string arrangements are absolutely beautiful; the man is a genius. Rich Costey's mix leaps out at you. Above all this, it's only 31 minutes long, so if you don't like it, it's over quickly.
Looking at the life of the band so far what would you say were your career high and career low?
Career low: playing what we thought was going to be our last gig, back in 2005. We split up for a few months; it wasn't very nice. Career high: The sushi meal we had after we signed our record deal with Island. Sushi's really good.
You recently curated an event in Cardiff called Topman CTRL, could you tell us how the night went and why you chose each of the bands?
We had a brilliant night. We got to play our favourite tunes and then watch to our favourite bands. I stumbled across My Tiger My Timing on myspace and was intrigued to see them live so this was the perfect opportunity. They were great. Everything Everything and Golden Silvers are both bands I've been following for a while. They are both incredible live and in Cardiff they were the best I'd seen them.
You played at Glastonbury this year. How was the experience for you?
We got our gigs out of the way good and early this year, so we were free to enjoy the weekend. I had a brilliant time and saw some great bands. Highlights for me were Bombay Bicycle Club, Micachu and The Shapes, The Magic Numbers, Jarvis, Ray Davies and of course, Blur. Our gigs went really well too. We had a great turn-out for the John Peel tent, which was very exciting.
Plans for 2010??
Two thousand and when? I've barely got an idea of what we're doing next month...
Girls & Weather (2007)
Welcome to the Walk Alone (2009)
Misty's Big Adventure
Jam with RoBina
The Rumble Strips interview
Battle of Land and Sea