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ATP! Interview: Rudimental

Hackney-based band Rudimental is having one hell of a year. With a Brit Award under their belt - as well as one of the best award show performances in our opinion - a sold out headlining tour and now a stint opening for our favorite ginger, Ed Sheeran, Rudimental is working on taking over the world, one step at a time. However, we haven’t seen all the quartet has to offer just yet, and with a few months left in 2014, the band still has a few things on their plate, like the iTunes Festival and recording their sophomore full-length. Though they’ve managed to keep their hands full, Leon Rolle (aka DJ Locksmith) managed to find some time to chat with us about who they’d like to work with on the upcoming album, when we should be expecting it and even teases us a little with what to expect for their iTunes Festival performance.

Hi Leon. What are you doing today?
Well we just started touring with Ed Sheeran, and we’ve been traveling for the past day and a half, so I’m not too sure where I am, but this past week with Ed has been absolutely amazing. Yeah, it’s been pretty cool so far.

And tour did just start last week, right?
Well, we’ve been on tour for about four months now, and it’s been weird with jet lag and performing and it’s been a great experience getting in front of some really good crowds in America. It’s exciting stuff and it’s good to see that we’ve got fans in places we didn’t expect to have fans.

Is there anything you’re looking forward to most on this tour with Ed?
We just got a studio bus in which we’re traveling miles on end and can record at the same time because we’ve got a studio bus where we can get creative and finish off our album, which we’re really looking forward to doing. What I’m really looking forward to is playing live in front of millions of people.

You just mentioned album two, and I know on your previous album-- Home--  you had many collaborations with artists like Emeli Sandé, John Newman and Alex Clare. Have you worked with anyone yet for this next one?

Yeah, we have a ton of people that we’re really working on. Nothing is really confirmed in terms of who is actually going to be on the album, but we’ve been in the studio with Kelis, we’ve been in the studio with Nas. We kind of stuck to our homegrown roots as well, and been in the studio with some undiscovered UK talent as well as the ones that are known around the world so it’s a variety of people that we’re working with. We’re really excited about showing the world this new stage in our career.

And is there anyone that you really want to work with?
Since we were teenagers, we’ve loved Lauryn Hill, so she’s always been someone that we’ve wanted to work with. If we could sort of cross paths relatively soon, that would be great, so that’s one person we’d love to get working with. We also have some old school legends on the album as well. Like George Clinton and we’ve been in the studio with Nile Rogers as well, so we’ve got quite a few people.

A Lauryn Hill collaboration would be amazing! I would love that!
Oh, mate, I would love that as well. We’ve been trying to reach out to her forever, so hopefully you can help get that to happen.

Now, you guys have done so much this year already, what with winning the Brit for Best British Single, you’ve toured a majority of the international festival circuit and your UK headlining tour was sold out even sold out, right?
Yeah, it’s kind of mental. Whenever someone asks me how my year is going, I’m just like, to be honest, a year ago if you would have told me I’d be winning a Brit award and performing at the Brit Awards as well, I would have laughed my head off, you know? It’s quite crazy to think that all these things we’ve been doing has happened this year. Like the Brit Awards, every time I think about them and the nominations I keep thinking that was like two years ago. But it wasn’t. It was this year. And we did the headlining tour and if you name it, we’ve been there. That’s just a testament to the people that have had the same views as us. Whether it be the fans, management, the label, everyone pushing us and helping us get to where we are now. And we’re excited to be in the US because the US is just a whole other world. For me, personally, I don’t think you’re as big as you think you are until you’ve crossed the US.

What else does the year hold for you guys? You’re doing the iTunes Festival, right?
Yeah! As soon as we’re done here in the US, we’ve just been announced to do the iTunes Festival. Funny enough, the first time we did the iTunes Festival, we did it supporting Ed Sheeran, so it’s kind of ironic that we’re on tour with him. But yeah, we’re excited to do the festival because it not only reaches out to people in the UK, it’s a global thing. iTunes is a great brand for music and it kind of symbolizes everything we’re about, you know? Not just one type of music but a variety of music. We’re very eclectic in what we do.

I’m really excited to see your performance! You guys have such an amazing stage performance and I don’t know if you’re allowed to talk about what you’re planning on doing, but I have my fingers crossed for another awesome collaboration like what you did with Bastille and Ella Eyre at The Brits.

That one was pretty fun, but to be honest, we haven’t even had enough time to think about it. We know that we’ve got to prepare for it. We’re slotting some new songs in there because our next single is coming out real soon. There’s a lot of preparation that we need to do, but we haven’t actually sat down. There are definitely going to be some surprises up our sleeves, whether it be some of the people featured on album one or some of the ones featured on album two but, like we do every time we’re on stage, we’re just going to have fun.

Cool, and for one of my last question so I can get you back to what you were doing before this, do you have a release date for us for the next album?
We were hoping by the end of this year, but probably February of next year. Since we got the studio bus and this three and a half week tour, we’re trying our hardest to get it finished.

And how is it recording on the road?
See, the difference between us and probably some other other electro producers that are out there is that we play instruments. There are four of us in the band and we play anything from keys to bass and guitar and when we’re in the studio we can mess with it on our instruments before we press record. That’s the foundation of how our works starts, with us jamming out and throwing ideas together. So when we’re on the road and we’ve got all our instruments we use on stage, then we can just jam anywhere really. It’s not too difficult, it’s just different. Every stage in our career has been different and you have to adapt, and we’re adapting to what we’re doing now and it’s coming along pretty well.

Words by Vicci Patneaude

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