The rise of drum n bass band Rudimental and their big, brassy beats

The rise of drum n bass band Rudimental and their big, brassy beats

The British electronica act talks about the perks of playing festivals, and why performing live shows will always be better than hit singles

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For (L-R) Kesi Dryden, Piers Agget, DJ Locksmith, and Amir Amor it's all about playing live gigs.

Rudimental play so many music festivals you can barely duck through a tent flap without bumping into them. This year alone the British electronic band have played in at least 13 big festivals around the world, including Lovebox, T in the Park, and Lollapalooza. And talk about electric performances: they had to finish their set 20 minutes early at last year's Glastonbury Festival because lightning hit the stage.

They also passed through Hong Kong, to play a DJ set as one of the main acts at Clockenflap last year. "It was mindblowing. Sounds naive, but I didn't realise we had such a good following there," band member Amir Amor tells Young Post.

But their favourite so far has been the Osheaga festival, held in Montreal, Canada.

"The food was sick. Part of the reason why you attend the festival is the food," says Amor. "There was this huge food tent, where you go around this labyrinth, and on each side there's food from different parts of the world, and we're like food tourists."

While the key members of Rudimental are Amor, Kesi Dryden, Piers Agget, and DJ Locksmith, they perform live as an 11-member band, made up of a full brass section and old friends from school. Spending the better part of the last three years touring together has made them one big family, and that bonding contributed to the musical chemistry in their follow-up album, We the Generation.

"When we're jamming different ideas to create music, the ideas are coming a lot more fluently and a lot more emotion is coming through," says Amor.

Doing so many live shows and seeing the crowds' reactions has given the band a lot of inspiration to play around with each other's instruments, and modify songs. This has made the new record "some of the best music we've ever made," says Amor.

They also worked with old school legends such as Parliament-Funkadelic's George Clinton and Steely Dan's Donald Fagen. This added a funky edge to the record, while a trip to Jamaica brought in some reggae influences.

Rudimental's previous collaborations have worked out very well. By discovering and featuring John Newman in 2012's chart-topping Feel the Love, they shot both themselves and Newman to fame. The success of later singles Waiting All Night with Ella Eyre and Not Giving In with Newman and Alex Clare further cemented the mainstream popularity of their debut album, Home. Now everyone is wondering who Rudimental will introduce to the world next.

"It's all about finding the right unique, soulful voice for each moment on the album, to trigger that moment and take you to the right place," says Dryden. New voices on We The Generation include Will Heard and Anne-Marie, and the band is confident their careers will soar. Rumour Mill, featuring both Heard and Anne-Marie, has already amassed 2.8 million views on YouTube.

But the band doesn't really care about making hit singles. "We've been lucky enough to have success with some singles, but we're not really dependent on them. That's how we see ourselves anyway," says Amor. "Rudimental has been around for eight years now, and for us it's about gigs, playing live. As long as that keeps on going, then I'm happy. If we never have a hit single again, I don't mind at all."

Dryden appeals to fans to listen to their full record and attend their live shows: "That's where everything comes to life, and the album actually makes sense. Headlining festivals around the world is the dream we're working towards," he says.

"And when we get there, we'll headline our own festival in Space. Take it to the next level," laughs Amor.

We The Generation will be released on October 2.

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
The rise of Rudimental

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