Rudimental are as good a live band as you'll ever see. My first encounter with the rambunctious, English dance crew was unforgettable. I was in Austin, capturing band after band after band during Baeble's 2013 run on The Hype Hotel. Solange had just turned in what was frankly a pretty lukewarm set, and there were technical problems on stage...loads of them. So the guys in Rudimental just stood there for an hour, hitting single keys on their synths, checking mics, and generally looking concerned.
Once all of the problems were sorted out, it was like it never happened. Rudimental turned on their over-the-top live show and ferocious energy with the flip of a switch. "The live Rudimental show is madness," Kesi Dryden recently told us in a sit down interview with Baeble. "When we play live there are 11 of us on stage, we're all great friends and we've all grown up together from childhood, so when we come on stage the energy is crazy...it's something special". We knew it was when we first saw the band in Austin. Considering the 2 million plays on our video of the concert, we're pretty sure you know it too.
We recently caught up with Dryden along with Piers Agget in Midtown earlier this summer to get the scoop on the band's hotly anticipated, sophomore album, We the Generation. Given the intensity of the music they play, it's an apropos title. "We wrote a song called 'We the Generation'," explained Agget. "The lyrics on that song were a lot about believing in your own sound...expressing creativity without worrying about what you're meant to do...or what type of music you should make. We realized that's what we're about at the moment. Rudimental is a family and we've really had to dig in deep and support each other. That's where we are as a band right now so we felt it was a good title for the new album".
On the album, the band remain rooted in dance and house music...but boxing them into a corner is a huge mistake. Their love of R&B, Funk, Rock, Hip Hop, and even Jazz is as evident as ever, slicing and dicing across the new cuts, making them difficult to characterize. Also still big in the Rudimental world is their love of unlikely collaborations. Their 2013 debut Home helped launch the careers of Angel Haze, Emil Sande, Alex Claire, and John Newman, for example. On We the Generation expect more. "It's almost like we've ticked off our bucket list with people we grew up listening to", Dryden beams. "We've got features from people like Dizzee Rascal...and we've got George Clinton on the record! But we're also launching new artists as well".
Have a look at our interview with the band...it's a really good primer for all the excitement that's coming when the band release We the Generation on September 18th.
massive. When you come from England and you walk around New York City, like it's crazy, because there's so much tall buildings. But it's an amazing city, man a lot of musics come from here that's inspired us, so it's great to be back. The reception we've had after our shows has been some of the best. - Yo, I'm Pears. - I'm Kesi, and we're half of Rudimental, and we're here at... - Warner Music Atlantic and it's really cool. It's like lots of colors and stuff. - Rudimental is made up of four people, and we're all musicians and producers and songwriters at heart. We love to make music, write music. We actually jam together, so we've all got our preferred instrument. Sleepy Leon over there, he plays a bit of keys. Amir's a guitarist, he's over there. Kesi's a keyboard player, percussion player. I play a bit of keys, and I like to play like the Hammond organ and stuff. But when we come together, it's kinda like more of a jam, so we like to just get the instruments out in the studio and just basically jam a groove and then write to that, as opposed to starting with something electronic, we always start with the live instruments, and I think that's what helped a bit make our music so inherently light. the same time. When we first started out some of us had strengths in certain areas. For example, one of us might have been better at sort of finishing the track production-wise, and then one of us might've been better at starting ideas. And I think now for the last four years of us sort of touring the world and being in the studio together, we've all learned off each other and now we sort of share out all these different roles and we all chip in with everything now, a lot more. - Kesi's grown a beard because I've got a beard, you know. You do though, you share skills and that's the greatest thing about being in a band. Not just beards, you share actually skills as well. So we wrote a song called We The Generation, the lyrics on that song were a lot about sort of believing in your own sound and your own beliefs and music, you know, and just expressing creativity without worrying about what you're meant to do or how you're meant to be, or like what type of music you should make. And that's kind of what the vibe of the song was, and we kind of realized that...it's kind of what we're about at the moment in general. We're kind of family, Rudimental's a family, and we've really had to, especially the last two years, dig in deep and support each other and it came out naturally and it's kind of where we are as band at the moment. We felt like it was a good title for the album. - The new record, we've got some amazing features again. So we've got some legends that we've always wanted to work with, it's almost like we've ticked off our bucket list in terms of people we grew up listening to. So we've got features from people Dizzy Rascal who's big fans of us as youngsters, and then we've got George Clinton on the records. Got some amazing sort of legends that our parents were fans of. Also, sticking to the similar theme as the first album, launching new artists. I mean the first album we kind of gave a great platform for John Newman and Ella Eyre and Emenike and loads of vocalists from that one. We're doing the same with the new record, we've got new artists such as Emery we all heard, too, that you need to look out for because they're gonna be huge. I don't even care about what they say I don't even care about what they say I don't even care about what they say Say, say, say, say, say, yeah I don't even care about what they say ...gonna let you go I will never let you go Never let you go wrote with the singer Foy Vance. He's a singer-songwriter, yeah, his folks stuff is amazing as well. He's so good. We did a show with him, we did Jules-Holland with him recently, a couple weeks ago and I just walked into the toilet and he's just sitting there, and the guitar, in the toilet just singing and it was the most amazing thing I've ever heard. - That's something we like to do, sort of also take singers maybe outside of their comfort zone or just put them on something different to what they would normally do, and just combining that and the fusion seems to work really well. I will never let you go Never let you go I will never let you go... - It was one of those tracks where we made it, we're just like, "Yeah, this has got that kind of positive feel-good vibe, yeah, for the festival, this is gonna work. " madness, it's crazy. I mean we're really calm now just sitting here doing an interview, but when we play live there's 11 of us on stage, we're all great friends, we've kind of all grew up together from childhood, so when we come on stage, the energy is crazy and it's something special, we love performing live. you've, if you've got problems in your life, or if you've got stress happening in your personal life, you go to a show and you can just forget about it for an hour and a half, and everyone in that crowd, you can be unified in the fact that you're having a good time, you know? And the person next to you can be your best friend for an hour even though you don't know 'em. I think that's what music does to me, as a fan, when I've gone to gigs. So I love to do that to people, and you just enjoy yourself for that hour and a half and then address your life when you get back to it. - You're just wanting the show to trigger some form of emotion when you're on stage and you're seeing the crowd smiling or going crazy dancing, or crying with happiness. I mean it feels great from our perspective watching the audience appreciate our music. Yeah, we just like people to come see us and enjoy the show. You know what I said is true I can feel the love, can you feel it too I can feel it, I can feel it I can feel it all On your own! You know what I said is true... I can feel the love, can you feel it too I can feel it, I can feel it I can feel it all One more time, please! You know what I said is true... I can feel the love, can you feel it too I can feel it, I can feel it I can feel it all - Yo, Yo, we're Rudimental... - And you're watching Baeble Music.
Rudimental are a music quartet from Hackney, London and are signed to Asylum Records and independent label Black Butter. The quartet consists of songwriters and producers Piers Agget, Kesi Dryden, Amir Amor and DJ Locksmith.