“We’re a sucker for a soulful voice…” - hmv.com talks to Rudimental
It seemed like Rudimental’s tour in support of their 300,000-selling debut album Home would never end, but the band managed to find enough downtime to record a follow-up We The Generation which is released today (You can preview and purchase it on the right-hand side of the page).
Featuring vocals from the likes of Ed Sheeran, Foy Vance, Ella Eyre (who previously collaborated with the band on megahit 'Waiting All Night'), Lianne La Havas, Sinead Harnett, MNEK and Bobby Womack, the album is another collection of bangers that’s sure to take the band on to bigger and better things.
As it hits shelves we sat down with the band’s mainman Amir Amor to talk about the making of the album and their plans for another never-ending tour…
When did you start working on the new album?
“We The Generation really started from the moment we stopped working on Home. We were always on the road so we set up a studio in our tour bus and we’d work there, or backstage, or in rehearsal rooms we could find, eventually when we got back we took all the material we had into Major Toms (Rudimental’s own studio in East London) and finished them all off there. It was literally as soon as we’d finished the first album we started on this.”
How did you find writing on the road?
“It was very free, we’d be working on tracks and we’d take them out on to the stage and play them out, we’d change it as we went. So anyone who’s seen us play over the last couple of years will have heard bits of this album.”
Do any of the songs take you back to specific places on the road?
“Our tour bus broke down in Arizona. We were stuck in the sweltering heat without a generator, but our laptops and a little studio set up in the back of the bus. We got the message through that Bobby Womack had passed away, we’d met Bobby a few years before and we’d stayed in touch and he was actually working on one of our songs when he passed away. His wife sent us an email while we were sat by the side of the road with his vocal and asked us to finish the song. That’s a clear memory for sure.”
You’ve got a real mixture of established names like Ella Eyre and Ed Sheeran and some newer voices on the album, how did you go about finding them all?
“We’re a sucker for a soulful voice. We will work through singers until we can find a singer that suits each song. In this case it was Anne-Marie, Will Heard and Mahalia, they are the new voices on this album. We found these three young talented people and we’ve been able to shape the album around them. They give us a fresh style and it was incredible to work together.”
Do you feel like you’ve got a duty to find new talent and showcase them with Rudimental?
“Yeah we do. We introduced MNEK and Ella Eyre last time, we brought them into Major Toms and we worked with them. Rudimental is almost like a platform for these singers, it’s the reason we started our label Major Toms.”
Where do the lyrics come from? Is that down to you? Or do you leave it up to your collaborators?
“We write a lot of the lyrics and then we’ll work with the singer to flesh out the song. We come up with ideas and concepts and then the singer will come in and put their own stamp on it.”
Where did the title of We The Generation come from?
“It’s a track on the record, but it really encompasses our feelings about the last three years of our lives and sums up our musical heritage. It’s also a nod to the struggle and where we came from, we came from pirate radio, the mainstream didn’t want us, we’d try and give our music to drum and bass stations and they’d tell us it was too musical and not hard enough, then we’d take that to bigger platforms and they’d ask for something more musical. We’ve done it ourselves.”
Do you think you’ll tour as hard as you did last time?
“We’re going to keep going. Touring is such an important part of what we do, it feeds what we do in the studio, we might take some time off, but not until we get to album 10…”
Rudimental’s new album We The Generation is out now