By Kieran Webber
These band of brigadiers from Bristol are masters of fun, this is wholly clear throughout their music. They create music that is designed to take you away from the moment, to help you forget about your 9-5. It gets you moving, swaying and dancing like a loon. Prepare yourselves for a riotous time with The Rupees.
Recently the band released their latest single ‘Terror Lover’, an upbeat barrage of garage rock that is encircled by a flurry of synths matched with a delightfully infectious riff. The snarling vocals blast through with tantalizing lyricism. It is reminiscent of Franz Ferdinand but with an extra ounce if power and sass.
Listen to ‘Terror Lover’ here:
After being delightfully tickled by their sounds we wanted to know more about the untamed nature of The Rupees. What makes this beast tick and what influenced their sound, this and more was asked in our recent conversation with vocalist & guitarist of Ryan Tucker.
CLUNK: Thanks for taking the time to have a chat with us! How are you and what have you guys been up to?
Ryan: We have recently got a new bass player and have had a few months off, recently we have been getting gig ready. Our first gig back will be on December 1st at Rough Trade, Bristol and we’ve managed to sell that out, which is amazing. We also recently released our new single ‘Terror Lover’ and have another three to release next year, also we are going into the studio in February. We’ve been pretty busy but loving every second.
CLUNK: So how did The Rupees come to be?
Ryan: We met at Uni and parties about four years ago. Was funny really, I used to give Jake, our keys player, a lift to uni and mentioned I was starting a band. I had no intention of asking him to join at the time, he kept casually mentioning to me that he could play piano which I often ignored, then one day after around the 6th time of this casual piano name dropping I had enough and just said “ok you can join but you need to buy a synth.”
Seamus, our drummer I met at a party, both massively wasted, was a miracle I got his number right. I text him the next day arranged to meet him for a practice with our other guitarist at the time. With a name like Seamus Daley Dee I swore blind he was Irish and my hazy memory told me he was around 6ft. It turns out we has about 5 foot 5 and had the thickest Leeds accent you could wish to hear.
CLUNK: What was the initial idea when forming the band?
Ryan: Just to make good guitar music really, I was just desperate to play songs I had written so the style and direction came from that. One of the most amazing feelings I think I have ever had was the first practise when 4 other people were playing a song I wrote, that actually blew my mind open. Would recommend it to anyone to do, pick up an instrument and start a band.
CLUNK: Do you guys share the same influences or does it vary? How does this affect the sound you guys create?
Ryan: I think we used to, but I think we have gradually moved apart, we have have very strong crossovers though, there is a shared bit that we are all quite passionate about, which is rock music in general, but bits kinda splinter off. I’m pretty boring really, I am very much a purist when it comes to guitar music, it needs to mean something and not be plastic, stuff like 1975 wants to make me eat my own head, I CANNOT STAND IT. I was always into stuff like The Clash, Oasis, The Stranglers and Bowie I was really obsessed with that vibe. The sound is mainly created from the tunes I write, we kinda approach it all the same way, starts with the guitars and the song then Jake will put some massive synth on top, it’s pretty simple and very easy but sounds huge.
“Stuff like 1975 wants to make me eat my own head, I CANNOT STAND IT”
CLUNK: It seems to be an exciting time to be a band from Bristol at the moment, there are lots of good bands coming out of the city, why do you think this is?
Ryan: I am not sure, I guess it is just a matter of time. Bristol is huge on culture, a massively wide palate of music, the food and cocktail scene is big and the arts are just amazing, with that hot pot of things I guess people are just going to be more tuned in with creating stuff. Me and Seamus watched Idles recently, can’t say anything else other than it was absolutely mega, a really, really great band.
CLUNK: What’s been the hardest part of being in a band and the best part?
Ryan: Hardest part is juggling all the things in life and work with being in a band, people don’t realise the work that goes in, it’s like having a job and running a business at the same time, I literally have no time to myself, it’s the first thing I do in the morning before work, then all the practices, songwriting, social media blah blah blah. For me personally the best thing is writing a new tune that you know is great then playing it with the band, that is a great feeling, being with the guys is amazing, playing music, messing about and having fun is the golden ticket. But the absolute best is playing live, sharing that experience with your mates on stage and getting a crowd chanting and cheering is unbeatable.
“People don’t realise the work that goes in, it’s like having a job and running a business at the same time”
CLUNK: What can we expect from one of your live shows?
Ryan: Lots of energy and big choruses.
CLUNK: Lastly, we like to end with a story, so can you tell us something weird/funny or strange that has happened to you?
Ryan: I got two. 1st we did a small gig in a pub, we were at the same level as the crowd as there was no stage and the crowd was VERY CLOSE TO US, there was a guy in a wheelchair by himself and a very drunk lady who kept dancing around us whilst we were playing. Well she tried pulling the guy out of the wheelchair to dance, I think she thought he was just enjoying a relaxing gig by sitting down and needed a bit of livening up, which in itself is quite funny. Well he ended up on the floor riving with people helping him back into his chair and we had to keep playing this whole time, keep it professional like. The woman carried on dancing and the guy wheeled to another part of the room, that was quite weird/horrifying/confusing/funny/sad and horrifying again.
2nd one. Our old guitarist Dan decided he was going to do a melodica solo at one gig, first and last time. For anyone who doesn’t know a melodica is a very small handheld piano plastic thing, with a mouth tube, it starts off the song Champagne Supernova for any musos. He did prep for it and mentally enough it did sound amazing, we drove up to London for this gig, a busy one, there were a lot of people there, things were going well, almost too well. The moment came for the solo, I looked over, and Dan is about 6ft6 so you can’t miss him anywhere, well I couldn’t see him anywhere! He was on all fours scrambling around looking under my amp, behind cases, anywhere, he had a manic look in his eye. What Dan had forgot to prep for that was the metal on the melodica has magnetised to the inside of the amp when we traveled up and he couldn’t find it. Bearing in mind during this time the music has quietened down for what would be this solo, the room is silent. Dan finds it, grabs it, triumphantly stands up to play the solo which is about half over now, plays the wrong note, wrong order, out of time, out of tune, you name it was the worst solo in the history of melodica playing. He is one of my best mates and actually left the band not that long after that gig, I don’t think it was related and also the promoter ripped us off and didn’t pay us for the gig!!!! All true.