Born Ruffians fourth album, RUFF, out today via Yep Rock, finds the foursome of Luke Lalonde (guitar/vocals), Mitch Derosier (bass), Andy Lloyd (guitar/keyboard) and Adam Hindle (drums) hitting upon a sweet spot comfort zone that is ripe with wiry ear-worm hooks and melodies.
That’s not to suggest the band’s latest release is formulaic in anyway. RUFF is the product of a confident, mature group of musicians firing on all previously teased cylinders in a way that’s fresh yet familiar and, most importantly, a hell of a lot of fun.
“We kind of took on this motto of ‘why not do it ourselves?’,” explains Derosier over a Skype call earlier this week, as his beloved and now blog famous dog Charlie yelped in the background.
“When we first started writing we were originally thinking, ‘OK where are we going to record, what are we going to do?’ And then when had a jam space that has demoing capabilities and decided we could just do the record there. Like, let’s just do it. We’re making music we’re having fun, who cares?”
Not unlike when I spoke to My Morning Jacket’s Jim James around this time last year, Born Ruffians have embraced a modern attitude that betrays dinosauric, conventional album cycle thinking.
Unless your band is a corporation onto itself, there’s really no sense in limiting yourself inside the fullest realities of what’s available to you. It’s with that spirit that Born Ruffians walked away with Ruff being the sum of a lot of natural, vibrant energy despite tracking in songs with titles like “Fuck Feelings,” “(Eat Shit) We Did it,” and the churning, dream-pop guitar tone eschewing “Stupid Dream.”
“We got to work and just started jamming and demoing, and we probably made about fifty demos. Really just stretching out, seeing what we could do without worrying about anybody else. Eventually that’s when we started realizing, we’ve got a record here, and that’s when started to build an bring in the right people from the outside.”
Jeff McMurrich (Jennifer Castle, The Constantines, Fucked Up) sat behind the boards for RUFF, laying it down in just three weeks in Toronto while producer Rusty Santos (Animal Collective, Eric Copeland, Owen Pallett) returned after producing the band’s first two LPs, to mix.
“We’ve always been pushing forward as a band. From one record to the next there was never really any question of what we’re going to do, it always felt really obvious. For the fourth record, it feels the most complete, and, I feel, the most satisfied I’ve felt with any other record.”
That sentiment has become most evident in setlist planning.
“We are ready to play the whole new record. After finishing other records, we didn’t really know wha to slot in where and how much of it. This record we’re just like, ‘let’s play them all.'”
With the previously noted demoing strategy, the unpressurized pulsing heart at the center of the process updates the Born Ruffians sound into a more holistic experience, while still staying true to chief influences and influencers.
“The spontaneity that’s in there was really important to us. So while we were in the studio we were listening to a lot of music that gave us that feeling. Talking Heads are always going to be an influence for us, Violent Femmes as well. We even had some Fugazi on, Beastie Boys records, and then some newer stuff like Ought or Twin Peaks. Records we were into at the same time.”
(Speak Into My Good Eye would like to officially endorse a tour related union of Born Ruffians and Twin Peaks at this time.)
With a veritable boatload of talent and, now, output out in the world or otherwise, Born Ruffians are poised to enter into their second decade with the same undeniable energy of a band that’s just started and looking to prove themselves.
With an informed headspace only experience can provide blended with their unique, sinewy art-pop-rock stylings as dialed up in a sense of urgency as ever, you’ll definitely want to spin RUFF more than a few times and catch them out on the road at on of the dates near you listed below.
Born Ruffians Tour Dates:
Oct 02 Kingston, ON @ The Underground (QPOP Festival)
Oct 06 Manchester, UK @ Gullivers
Oct 07 London, UK @ 100 Club
Oct 08 Brighton, UK @ Patterns
Oct 09 Namur, BE @ Belvedere Namur
Oct 10 Metz, FR @ Les Trinitiatres (Zikametz Festival)
Oct 11 Brussels, BE @ Botanique Witloof Bar
Oct 13 Rotterdam, NL @ Rotown
Oct 14 Paris, FR –@ La Cigale (MaMA Festival)
Oct 15 Dusseldorf, DE @ FFT
Oct 16 Munich, DE @ Milla
Oct 17 Berlin, DE @ Berghain Kantine
Oct 27 Burlington, VT @ Signal Kitchen*
Oct 28 New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom*
Oct 29 Cambridge, MA @ The Sinclair*
Oct 30 Northampton, MA @ Pearl Street Nightclub*
Nov 02 Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s*
Nov 03 Washington, DC @ Rock & Roll Hotel*
Nov 04 Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle Backroom*
Nov 06 Atlanta, GA @ Aisle 5*
Nov 07 Baton Rouge, LA @ Spanish Moon*
Nov 08 Houston, TX @ Studio at Warehouse Live*
Nov 09 Dallas, TX @ Club Dada*
Nov 10 Austin, TX @ The Sidewinder*
Nov 12 Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar*
Nov 13 San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar*
Nov 14 Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram Ballroom*
Nov 15 San Francisco, CA @ Slim’s*
Nov 17 Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios*
Nov 18 Seattle, WA @ Barboza*
Nov 19 Nanaimo, BC @ The Cambie Pub*
Nov 20 Victoria, BC @ Sugar Nightclub*
Nov 21 Vancouver, BC @ The Imperial Theatre*
Nov 23 Nelson, BC @ Spiritbar*
Nov 26 Calgary, AB @ SAIT’s Gateway*
Nov 27 Edmonton, AB @ Starlite Room*
Nov 28 Saskatoon, SK – Amigo’s*
Nov 29 Winnipeg, MB @ Park Theatre*
Nov 30 Minneapolis, MN @ 7th St Entry*
Dec 01 Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall*
Dec 02 Ferndale, MI @ The Loving Touch*
Dec 03 Windsor, ON @ Olde Walkerville Theatre
Dec 10 Toronto, ON @ Silver Dollar
Dec 11 Toronto, ON @ Lee’s Palace
Dec 12 Toronto, ON @ Opera House
*w/ Young Rival