Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Interview with Charlie Waller (The Rumble Strips) - Noize Makes Enemies

/You’re not the only person to get it wrong. It’s alright/ As Charlie Waller’s vocals slide over The Rumble Strips’ trademark big band sound on their first release from their new studio album – the lyrics seem almost hypocritical of a band who appear unable to indeed, get it wrong.

But we will of course let them off. Even on the phone, Charlie is as every bit as charming as his band’s unashamedly unsubtle musical outbursts would suggest. Speaking about the highly anticipated second album, “Welcome to The Walk Home’, it seems the transition has brought out a change in tempo in the Devon hailing five-piece:

“There’s probably more orchestration on this. That’s the main big difference. This album is a bit more epic and slow burning, not as frantic as the first album. We’re getting old now, we haven’t got the energy anymore!”

Whilst the natural maturation of a band that have been blasted from their quaint South West roots to recording a follow up album in New York, may have played a big part in this audio modification, an additional helping hand from a certain Mark Ronson, is likely to have had just as much of an impact. A partnership that grew as smoothly as the band appears to have:

“We did a remix of Amy Winehouse’s ‘Back to Black’ and Mark heard it and liked it. Then he asked me to sing our version and we did a couple of gigs together [including at The Royal Albert Hall].

“Mark producing the album was quite a gradual thing really too. He said he wanted to do a couple of songs for the album and just ended up producing all of them. He has a really definite drum sound which is good; he has 3 microphones on the drums, which give a real old school sound you can hear on the album.”

The refreshingly effortless and almost accidental collaboration between Ronson and The Rumble Strips on the new album demonstrate not only the natural and real talent of the band, but their infectious take-in-their stride approach to it all. Now five years on, the band seem to have come into their own, finding a sound that truly suits them and an album they’re especially proud of:

“We did an album launch for this album at Wiltons Music Hall, this really old music hall in East London, which was really good to play. A lot of our family and people who had been there along the way were there and we played the whole album through from start to finish with a big orchestra. There was just a really nice feeling there.”

With the album out in July, the band’s plans to spend the summer doing the usual festival circuits before starting a UK tour in September, it would seem that The Rumble Strips, along with their relentless penchant for instrumental whirlwinds that strike fans like a comet with ADHD, have not only grown up but are set to well and truly secure themselves a place on the radar of music lovers on a global scale. And rightly so.

1 comment:

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