INTERVIEW: Get to Know Rudimental
We sat down for an interview with Rudimental's Piers and Amir after spending the night before getting soaked while seeing them play their first-ever Central Park SummerStage show, where they opened for the imitable Emeli Sande.
Rudimental has since been nominated for not one but three MTV EMA's (Best New, Best UK & Ireland, and Best Push), and it's clear that they've broken out of the UK and are on a path to global domination.
We feel deep into like with their music and their message after they released "Hell Could Freeze" (feat. Angel Haze) and the video for their latest single, "Waiting All Night" (feat. Ella Eyre). In the band's own words "The official video for 'Waiting All Night' is the inspirational true life-story of San Francisco born BMX champion and actor - Kurt Yaeger, who became an amputee after an accident in 2006. All the characters in the clip are pro bmx'ers and the real friends of Kurt."
KKS: You seem to have a true message of positivity, which comes through clearly in your lyrics, your videos (like the video for "Waiting All Night"), and your live shows. Where does that message come from?
Rudimental: It comes from our influences growing up. We grew up in Hackney, and growing up there... there's a time where it had a high crime rate and it was frowned upon. It was voted the worst place to live and we could have gotten involved in gangs and gone down the wrong path. What we try and show with the videos and with our general message is that there can be positivity in darkness, and you don't have to give in.
People look at young people in quite a bad light in our area... you become a stereotype and your life feels like a dead end if you're put in that box. Kesi and Locksmith used to be behavior mentors in schools, working with troubled kids, and we (Piers and Amir) come from youth center backgrounds -- it's a theme that quite close to our heart.
KKS: How'd you all meet and form Rudimental?
Rudimental: We met in school, playing on football (soccer for the Americans reading) teams together and such. Me (Piers) and Kesi started sharing ideas from a young age, and we met Amir in the studio a few years ago. When Amir joined we really clicked -- the chemistry was just right.
(Amir) While the guys were playing on pirate radio, I was doing my own thing running a studio in East London. I was producing for a lot of rappers and bands -- Plan B, Marina + The Diamonds, people like that. Meeting the boys and making music together was a breath of fresh air. We've always wanted to make a mixture of live and electronic music and to be able to perform it, too. It's almost like complete freedom -- there's no brief.
KKS: Tell us a bit about your creative process.
Rudimental: We write songs like a traditional band -- get all the instruments out and jam. We pass around the session and work on the production side after. No-one ever really dictates exactly where it should go. It's always about feeling and it's a lot more fun that way. You get songs that way, you get things that come from an emotion and a soul. That's the key in our music -- the soulful side of it.
KKS: How does that creative process translate to the live show?
Rudimental: The way we write our music is how we perform it live. It's natural. The live show does play a part when we do finish the track, the mixing and "can we play this out?". Some songs, you can't make that fit into a club as it's not that type of club. It's a song-by-song case.
KKS: Speaking of the live show, you've been playing quite a few gigs in the States -- how's life on the road been going?
Rudimental: It's been wicked, it's been our dream to come out to America and pursue the Rudimental sound. We feel like we're spreading the Rudimental sound and message... the reaction we're getting out here is better than the reaction we got when we got started in the UK!
We can't wait to hear (and see) more from Rudimental. They're currently touring Europe but are heading back to the States in October for quite a few gigs, including playing Voodoo Fest in New Orleans, LA.