INTERVIEW: Rudimental

Rudimental are responsible for some of the catchiest drum and bass and pop electronica crossovers from the past six years. They’ve collaborated with some of the UK’s biggest acts including Ed Sheeran, Emeli Sande, Ella Eyre, John Newman and Dizzee Rascal. But now the four piece are going absolutely international with the release of their recent single ‘These Days’ which features Jess Glynne and American heavyweight, Macklemore. This track has seen them receive over a crazy 430 million streams on Spotify alone which has absolutely cemented their hitmaker status. With their third studio album ‘Toast To Our Differences’ slated for an early 2019 release the’ve just announced they will be returning to Australia in February for a massive run of dates. 

I recently spoke to Leon Rolle aka DJ Locksmith from Rudimental about the creative shift behind ‘Toast To Our Differences’, explored the most empowering lyric on the album and found out what fans can expect from their massive upcoming Australian tour. Check out the chat HERE; 

TB: Your new record ‘Toast To Our Differences’ will be released early next year. So with the final touches being added, what can people expect from this collection of tracks compared to your previous records?

LR: People can expect some of the best work that we’ve ever done. With every album we’ve created we’ve seen a huge progression in terms of our own skill set, how we work and the efficiency of our work ethic. As well as the talent we have on this record with guest vocalists is crazy, so that’s going to be really exciting to share with the world. On previous albums we have had the likes of John Newman, Ella Eyre and Anne-Marie and now we have a whole new bunch as well as some exciting unknown artists who I think are going to blow people away. So we’re really looking forward to getting it out there to people. I feel like a broken record saying “I can’t wait for people to finally hear it” but hopefully January 25 will be the D-day that everyone gets to finally hear it. 

TB: The record was meant to be released last month but has been pushed back to next year as you just mentioned. So what was the main reason behind that decision? Did you feel a creative shift in what you wanted to create as a band or did you just feel that the songs weren’t completely finished?

LR: I feel like it was just a case of “If we do this, I think the album will sound like this and it will have a positive influence on the tracks”. It wasn’t anything negative like “we had to delay the album because of the label”, I just don’t think the songs were totally ready to be out in the world yet. So with that we just had to make a big decision and realise it would sound better if it was released later. Rather than rushing it to have it now and have an album out that isn’t as good as it could be if we had a little more time. However we are really excited for the January release date and if it doesn’t come out then, then “shoot me down” because I will be just as upset as everyone else *laughs*. 

TB: The title track and main theme for the record ‘Toast To Our Differences’ is about celebrating what makes us all different. What is some advice you have for people who are struggling with anxiety, coming to terms who they are, or just feeling confident in this confusing current state of the world?

LR: It’s a hard one with social media being at the level that it is right now. It’s hard to just wake up in the morning and feel good about who you are when you are seeing so many profiles and people in the world looking perfect. I think what people just have to realise is that being perfect isn’t perfect. And in fact, being imperfect could actually be perfect. And once we come to that realisation and accept who we are and start to be comfortable in our own skin, then we will be finally in a better place. 

One thing I will say is, especially on the back of our album title ‘Toast To Our Differences’, is if you look at a band like Rudimental you will see a band from all over the world. You have Amir who is Iranian, you have me who has Caribbean in him and Piers background is from Ireland. So there is a lot of cultures and differences which have come together to create something special with Rudimental and that’s really exciting. As a human race we don’t really celebrate those culture collisions enough. We don’t celebrate that people from different walks of life can come together and be such a powerful force together. 

TB: I love it! I 100% agree with you on that. So, what would you say is the most empowering lyric or moment on the record?

LR: That’s a good one! With recent events that have happened and how hard it can be to be someone in a creative position, you do sometimes feel like you are alone in this world. I know it’s really hard but you just have to pick yourself up and get yourself through it. We have had so many amazing and talented people who have fallen to self depression and mental illness recently and you kinda just think to yourself, “what is going on here”. So, there is a key line from a song on the new record which is “you’ll never walk alone” and I think that perfectly sums up a big message to people who are suffering with mental illness and depression, because you are never completely alone, there is always someone you can talk to in your time of need. 

So yeah, that would be my favourite lyric on the on the album. I don’t think we’ve announced that song yet so you have just got an exclusive *laughs*. 

TB: ‘These Days’ is a very empowering and uplifting track about living in the moment and forgiving and features the incredible Macklemore and Jess Glynne. So how did this song come together?

LR: In a good old Rudimental fashion *laughs*. We had a track from Dan Caplen called Flat Champagne and we loved it so much that we were like we have to get in the studio with him because we love working with up and coming artists. So we were in the studio with Dan and we were bouncing around ideas until the idea of ‘These Days’ came about on a piano. We wrote down some lyrics and it sounded amazing but we knew that we could make it sound even better. 

We had just come back from a tour with Jess Glynne in Australia and we built up an amazing relationship together so we invited her to come into the studio to work on a song. Initially it was another track we were working on but then we showed her ‘These Days’ and she fell in love with it and asked if she could jump on it. So she did and she just sonically took it to a whole new place. And then, again we had just come off a back of an American festival run and we were on before Macklemore and we were backstage talking to him at an artist BBQ and we’d had a couple of drinks and were just like “we’d love to have you on a song” and he said “yeah lets do it”. We sent the track back and forth with him for a bit and then as soon as you know it he jumped on a plane over to the UK to finish the track with us in studio which was really cool. It all came together pretty organically.

 TB: This song was quite a sonical switch from your usual drum and bass sound with more of a pop polish. So is this a sound you are going to explore more on the record? 

LR: It will be a mixture of everything. In the past we’ve been a victim of our own success where a lot of our big songs were drum and bass tracks so when we experimented with other sounds everyone started comparing them. But there are so many different sides of drumming and we are genuinely interested in all the sides so I think you will always hear something a bit different when you listen to a Rudimental record. On ‘Toast To Our Differences’ you will hear some more pop influenced tracks but there are some heavier drum and bass songs on it too. 

TB: You are returning to Australia early next year for a massive run of dates, so what can your fans expect from this new live show?

LR: We are in rehearsals at the moment and we have some new vocalists and to be honest the new live show is just going to have a lot more energy because of these new songs. It’s one of those things because we would never put anyone on stage that we don’t think will blow the audience away and I feel like we have an incredible array of artist who are going to do just that. We are going to give everyone their spotlight to shine from the backing vocalists to main vocalists to the brass section and our drummers. You will also have us Rudimental boys doing our thing, which is entertain.

One thing I will say about Rudimental live shows is that, be prepared to be apart of the show because there is no segregation between the artist and the audience at our shows. As soon as you walk through the door you are apart of the show and that’s something that we pride ourselves on. 

TB: I can definitely back you guys up on that one because I’ve seen you a couple times before and your energy on stage is INSANE! So what song from ‘Toast To Our Differences’ are you most excited or nervous to perform live on this new tour? 

LR: I’m really excited to play the new tracks ‘Let Me Live’, ‘These Days’, ‘Sun Comes Up’ and the new single which comes out just before then. But I don’t think nerves will be there as we will overcome that. I don’t really think we’ve had nerves before on stage *laughs*. 

TB: You guys have toured Australia quite a few times over the years, so what is one of your favourite memories from your time down under? 

LR: Good question! I think it would have to be the Future Music Festival tour we did as it was the first time we had all been to Australia as a band. Because I think I had come down by myself earlier to do some promo and play some DJ sets which I really enjoyed. But when we all came together it was like a school trip as it was all of us hopping on a plane, going to the other side of the world, having no idea what to expect and then just playing incredible shows and meeting amazing people. It was a great platform to play music and introduce our stuff to everyone. 

TB: Lets play a little game where you answer these questions with the first thing that comes to mind…

LR: Yeah that’s cool!

TB: Our pre show pump song is…

LR: ‘Too Much Information’ Lalou remix 

TB: The emoji that best describes the band is…

LR: The face one with tongue sticking out *laughs*

TB: Pineapple on pizza is…

LR: The best ever!

TB: Most people think we…

LR: Are a girl band *laughs*

TB: If we weren’t called Rudimental we could be called…

LR: The Sexiest Boyband Ever *laughs*

You can pre order a physical copy of ‘Toast To Our Differences’ from Sanity now 

Toast To Our Differences Australian Tour Dates

Fri 8 Feb – Margaret Court Arena, Melbourne

Sat 9 Feb – Bonython Park, Adelaide

Sun 10 Feb – Old Mount Gambier Goal, Mt Gambier

Wed 13 Feb – Hordern Pavilion, Sydney

Fri 15 Feb – Mindil Beach, Darwin

Sat 16 Feb – Riverstage, Brisbane 

Sun 17 Feb – RAC Arena, Perth



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