Rudimental: "Our performances are inspired by James Brown"
What’s On has a Rudimental interview as we look ahead to Sandance, Nasimi Beach, Atlantis The Palm on October 10, also featuring Clean Bandit, De La Soul.
British band Rudimental were last on our shores in 2013 when they rocked out alongside Jamiroquai and Chic featuring Nile Rodgers. Coming straight out of Hackney in east London, the band exploded onto the scene in 2012 with UK N0 1 Feel The Love, featuring John Newman, and followed it with Waiting All Night, alongside vocalist Ella Eyre. Since their last visit to Dubai, they have won a Brit Award and performed sell-out shows in the UK (three at the iconic Brixton Academy) and further afield. What’s On chats to Rudimental member Amir Amor ahead of their Sandance performance.
This is your second time back to our shores. We must have been a pretty good crowd for you to want to come back? Yeah, it was wicked! We had such a great time in Dubai last time at Sandance so it’s really nice to be back. And we’re bringing a few friends this time, as well; some of the Swedish House Mafia guys are going to be there and Clean Bandit too.
Let’s start off with what this year’s been like since you were last in Dubai in November 2013. It’s safe to say that a lot has happened. It’s nuts. It’s actually been insane. Since November – you know, it feels like every week something happens that ticks off something on the bucket list. When we first started, we’d get so excited when we’d hear our song on the radio. The first time we heard our track we were all sat crammed into a Ford Fiesta. Zane Lowe played it and we went mental. Now, our songs are really out there. The most recent place I heard Feel The Love was at a karaoke place in a small town called Eugene in America and they had it on the Jukebox. That was awesome!
What do you think has been the secret to your success? If we knew the secret it would probably really help! The thing about us is that we all came from different backgrounds. I was a producer, the other guys were working in schools and when we came together there was a weird chemistry that happened that turned into Rudimental. We all had something cool to put in the mix.
In your young career, what’s the craziest thing you guys have experienced so far? I’d have to say playing at Glastonbury was pretty amazing. That was in front of like 80,000 people. It was a dream we’ve had from a young age, to play on that Pyramid stage, although our set got cut short due to an electrical power cut. At the time we weren’t happy that we had to get off so quickly, especially half way through a set. And we were just about to play a new song too…
Speaking of new songs, can you shed any light on the new album at all? We’re almost there now. The release date will likely be in February 2015. We’ve worked with a lot of the same people as we did on the last album. We’ve worked with Ella Eyre, MNEK, Sinead Hartnett but also there’s a few new singers that we’re bringing out on this album, too.
Will it sound different to your first album, or will it be more of the same? We’ve definitely stepped up a level. We feel like this is what our ideal album would be, or this is how we would have made the first one if we were better musicians at that point. I can’t wait to have it out.
On your current album Home you’ve collaborated with a lot of cool singers. I mean you clearly have an ear for raw talent, you should start your own label. Actually we’ve just started our own label called Major Toms – that was the name of my studio before I joined Rudimental. And yeah, we figured it was a good idea. Out of all the artists we’ve worked with, five or six got signed, so we thought we should get involved, not because we want to cash in, it’s so we can keep them in the family and tour with them.
Do you lose touch with people otherwise? Yeah you do. They have to go off and do tours and things and the idea is to try and keep the family together so we can travel the world together.
For people who know about your music but haven’t seen you perform, can you explain why it’s really important to watch you live? I think what people expect to see, when they hear that Rudimental are playing a gig, is a DJ outfit. It’s not like that. There are 10 of us on stage. There’s us four (Piers Agget, Kesi Dryden, DJ Locksmith and Amir) and we write and play our own instruments but we have our singers, our sax player and our trumpet player, and our drummer. Everyone has their own talent and everyone gets their moment to shine. That’s what keeps it exciting. It’s a massive show with a lot of audience interaction unlike anything you’ve seen for ages.
I read that you get a lot of inspiration from James Brown and how he performs. Oh yeah, when it comes to our performances we take a lot from him, and other guys like him that, you know, guys who had massive energy on stage. It wasn’t just about one person on their shows; it was about the whole experience and that’s what we try and bring.
How do you keep that tempo so high? It’s easy when it’s fun. We also preserve all our energy until the moment we get on stage and then we just have a party on stage with all our friends.
Last time you were in Dubai, it was a fleeting visit. Do you get to stay and chill here for a bit this time? Yeah we’re staying in Dubai for a couple of extra days. We’re going to hit the waterparks and definitely find some places to party. It’ll be great this time to go and explore a bit and I’m really looking forward to seeing what this city has to offer.
Rudimental performs at Sandance on October 10. Nasimi Beach, Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai, 3pm to 3am, Dhs325. Tel: (055) 2004321. Taxi: Atlantis The Palm. sandance.ae