On 22nd November 2012, Rudely Interrupted gave a riotous performance in the Rover Thomas auditorium, as part of the Australia Council’s Practice in Motion foyer exhibition. The exhibition ran from September to December 2012 and showcased the work of Australian artists living with disability. Curated for the Australia Council by Jennifer Stockins, who was mentored by Josie Cavallaro, and in partnership with Accessible Arts NSW, the featured artists included Georgia Cranko, Peter Hughes, Huw Lewis, Joceline Lee, Back to Back Theatre, Restless Dance Theatre, Amplified Elephants and Rudely Interrupted. The Australia Council regularly holds exhibitions in its foyer space and this one was the first to feature artists from one of our Cultural Engagement Framework areas. A number of events were held throughout the 3 month period of the exhibition, including talks/performances by installation artist Georgia Cranko, B*Boy Jacob ‘Kujo” Lyons, as well as an audio description workshop.
Rudely Interrupted are a Melbourne rock act consisting of members living with disadvantage and disability, and they dropped into the Australia Council to perform as part of their national tour, which promoted the release of their new EP Mystery Girl and digital comic book application. In 2012, Rudely Interrupted received a Live on Stage grant to showcase at the Rock an der Wabe festival in Germany and also a Presentation and Promotion grant to undertake their national tour.
Rudely Interrupted are Rory Burnside – Musician Singer/Songwriter, Joshua Hogan – Musician Percussion, Sam Beke – Artist Performer & sometimes Bass-Man-Lighting-Man and Rohan Brooks – Musician Drummer/Songwriter/Producer. Manager Rohan Brooks took some time out of the band’s hectic schedule to answer a few questions.
Can you explain a little about how the band was devised and came together, and about your role? What are the opportunities and challenges of working with artists with disability?
Rudely Interrupted began by chance when I met Rory at his father’s Australia Day BBQ in 2006, a few weeks later I scouted for some talented kids living with challenges. A lot happened in between, but 7 years later I can proudly say ‘We’ve learned to Rock.’
The opportunities keep presenting themselves, in many ways we’re exploring new horizons, we’ve had opportunities to perform and cut our teeth all over the world, it’s an amazing ride really.
It’s a family on the road, it used to be harder, but now we’re all seasoned travelers it’s easier. We keep pushing each other and keep inspiring each other too I guess. It can be hard to keep challenging each other, but we all learn a lot and feel it’s a really unique opportunity for us all to experience.
You naturally reflect when you’re on the beach having a swim on a day off and you think, wow, it’s still alive and kicking and we’re just getting started to show people what we’re about.
What sort of music inspires the band and can you explain a little about the process you use for writing your material?
We all love good songs, what we think are good songs, indie, rap, blues or metal, if it’s got a feeling we relate to or a time we mentally recall, we’re attracted to it like most of us are I suppose.
We build from rhythmic ideas mostly, not always, but mostly. At first we’ll track melodies and keys at home until we have something solid to take to the group to nut it out, or to the studios with more production. A lot of what we’ve written has come from conversations we’ve had, We’ll throw ideas around, see what sticks, record the ideas at home and build on them until we have a solid base.
The process for writing is different and changes as we evolve. With the album ‘Mystery Girl’, No Goodbyes, Is This me and Crazy were Rory’s melody and I put the music to it. ‘So Tired’ is a cynical song, we built that together and $100,000,000 was a song for Sam as he’s convinced his mum has that much cash to splash!
You’ve just returned from a national tour. How was this received and have you got any memorable ‘on the road’ stories you can share?
We always have great stories from the road, mostly involving Sam, but no fire trucks this tour. It’s the different perception the guys have that provides us with entertainment, sometimes inappropriate. We walked into a bar after one of the shows in Albury and the guys at the bar loved Sam and the blow-up alien merchandise.
Sam used the old ‘It’s my birthday’ trick and whammo we had $200 on the bar and ‘Sam’s Party’ had started.
The next night we come back to the Hotel to see the Alien blow-up creatures tucked in to Sam’s bed, ‘The Aliens are tired’ says Sam.
You also played at the Rock an der Wabe festival in Germany in 2012. What was it like being part of a major festival of this nature and what were some of the highlights? I understand you found a new bass player there!
‘Rock an der Wabe’ or ‘Rock on the River’ was an amazing show and the festival had a fantastic vibe and super excited audience and so it made it a great memorable first Germany show. We were the only international guests and a few local high profile German bands were on the bill as well. We were treated like kings for three weeks in Germany, the food, the people and the music was amazing. We got to see some really cool old villages and hear some stories from old. Way cool!
We toured with a band called ‘The Mix’ a German social rock act and we managed to steal their bass player Sean Remmler for our tour shows. He’s a young guy but an amazing player, he really loved the band so we invited him to come tour with us in Australia in Nov/Dec and was thrilled to have him on the road again in Australia.
We played in some old German villages, in the city square of Gifhorn and in venues, we soldout our show in Lingen performing to 500 at a local rock venue, played with a local social rock act ‘Shit Happens’ – they were pretty cool.
What is on the horizon for Rudely Interrupted for 2013?
We just played ‘Tevor Festival’ at Churchill Island, was incredible, Ice House was the headliner with an amazing back drop, Western Port Bay. We have a few cool gigs booked February and March, and a few things happening behind the scenes, with offers to perform internationally.
We have a few more cool songs that we want to finish off and start writing more. We want to explore more sounds and a few more ideas with the ‘Sam Lightning Man’ stage show and see what comes. Who knows what will come if we stick at it.