Rudimental interview: "We're now serious contenders in the game"
Rudimental's success continues to go from strength to strength in 2015; as the Hackney collective score a second Number 1 on the Official Albums Chart with We The Generation.
We caught up with band member and producer Amir Amor to talk about the chart-topping record, collaborating with Bobby Womack and where they're heading next.
Hello Amir! Where in the world are you at the moment?
It’s busy, man! At the moment I’m in the studio and I’ve just taken a break from this new John Newman song I’m working on. I’m also working on a few remixes for other artists today.
You’ve just scored your second Number 1 album with We The Generation, which is pretty great, right?
Jesus, thank god! When you make music you don’t necessarily think about it being Number 1, but when it actually comes out, you can't help start feeling really competitive. We want to keep releasing albums way into the future, so to have two in a row, we’re off to a great start.
When I think back to some of the seminal bands I’ve always loved, they all had at least two major records. I always dreamed of Rudimental having at least two major records – hopefully it will solidify to the world that we’re serious contenders in the game. We're not going anywhere - we plan to stick around for a long time.
Now you've had two commercially successful albums, does this mean you’re going to go all wonky and left field for the next one?
“[Laughs] Yes! Album three will be a folk-reggae-opera album. It’s funny you mention that though, because we had so many ideas for this record. On some songs we were testing out ten different singers on a track before we found one that really inspired us. There are genuinely several versions of all the songs on the record.
We also spent a lot of time in Jamaica making the album and made six or seven reggae-inspired tracks. They still have the d&b, rave and grime sound in there, but they’re heavily influenced by reggae. We could easily put together a full reggae album - and probably a funk one.
Maybe you should save up all of those for the special edition re-release in 10 years?
Exactly! We’ll save it all for the B-sides and rarities.
Are you the sort of person who reads album reviews?
You just get a feeling whether people like or don’t like your music, but the reaction to it seems to have been really positive overall. I try not to get caught up in that stuff as it can really dilute your creativity, getting caught up over whether other people will like it. That said, people seem to be reacting well, which is great, because we as a band all reacted well to it once it was finished. It took us a while, but we’re so happy with the finished album.
There’s a lot of big, dancey festival moments on the album, which makes us think, why release when it's practically winter?
Do you know what, this album is for next summer. I think it’s going to take some time for it to get into peoples’ psyche. With the last album, it took almost a year for people to get what we were trying to do. By the time summer comes around next year, people should hopefully have it solidified in their minds and ready to sing along.
You took a different approach to releasing this album by putting out a lot of songs beforehand, rather than come out guns blazing with a Feel The Love...
We put out a lot more music than last time before releasing this album. The idea was that the album has a lot more depth and I think it takes it couple of listens to get into it. The best way to get people to recognise that was to give people a taste of it, rather than put out big singles. Big singles are great, but we wanted to point people towards the album. It’s so eclectic, it’s hard to advertise it with just one song.
Now it’s out there, which is your favourite song on the album?
The track with Bobby Womack (New Day) is probably my favourite – it’s really poignant now. We met him when we were on Jools Holland and unbelievably, he said he liked our sound. We sent emails back and forth for a few months after that, but his health was deteriorating badly.
One week we were on tour in the US and his wife emailed us and told us he’d died, and that one of his last wishes was to finish this track we’d been working on together. She sent us his vocal and lyrics and incredibly, it matched perfectly with a piece of music I’d been working on since before Rudimental. The synergy to it was incredible.
Now the album's out, what happens next?
We’ve just started a world tour, and then coming up soon we’ve got all the UK gigs. I’ll also be working on our Major Tom’s label and working with a bunch of artists, including John Newman, MNEK and Will Heard. I love playing live, but my strong point is as a producer and taking the helm on that stuff. We all have different skill sets in the band which is great, as it means we can spread our wings wide.