Back in April, just days before the release of their debut album, Home, and during their mammoth UK tour, I got a chance to speak to Leon, or DJ Locksmith, from Rudimental about their expectations for the year.
2012 was a massive year for you guys, what was your highlight?
Probably Hackney Weekender, it was great, it was our second live set as a band and the response we got for our tracks, even tracks they didn’t know, was amazing. I mean 9,000 people! To be honest, we smashed it out of the ball park, and we looked back and said, we did that and we are doing this. The realisation that this is what we are doing now, this is our full show and we’re doing it, it was massive. Also, Jools Holland because we were opposite Bobby Womack and Mumford and Sons, just great.
You also did some massive shows in the Balearics, I saw you at Mallorca rocks, how were all those shows for you? Will you be back this year?
What’s funny about Mallorca and Ibiza rocks, we went to Ibiza Rocks on a boys’ holiday like two years ago, we saw Dizzee Rascal live onstage, and we were like, you know what? We want to be on that stage. How do you get on that stage!? He just blew us out of the water. You’ve got the sun, you’ve got girls in bikinis, you’ve got alcohol and the following year, we found ourselves on stage playing in front of the same amount of people, which was amazing. That was only a DJ set and the live set just tops that, cos’ it’s all our own stuff, so hopefully we will be back out there this year.
Also in 2012, it has to be mentioned that ‘Feel The love’ smashed it. With 100k copies sold in one week, it was a huge song! Did you expect ‘Feel The Love’ to blow up like it did?
As producers, and other producers can justify this, I think when you make a track, you actually know it’s a great track and I mean showing other people is a different thing, because then it brings it down to earth. When ‘Feel The Love’ was brought to the studio by Kesi, we actually started trashing our own studio through sheer excitement, taking our tops off and going absolutely nuts. We knew it was a banger but we didn’t expect it to do as well as it has done, or be perceived in the way it has been perceived, and for that, we are very grateful. It’s one of those tracks, that every successful artist needs in their career as it frees themselves from the shackles of what they were doing before, and produce the tracks they want to, and for us, show who Rudimental are.
2013 is also proving to be massive, there is big hype around ‘Waiting all Night’ released in two days on the 14th, what inspired that?
‘Waiting All Night’ is one of those tracks where it makes you feel good about yourself, makes you want to scream and shout, and go to a festival tomorrow. And what we expect, we expect people to feel those things, whether it gets in the top 10 or not is a bonus if you like, but we want everyone to connect with it. With ‘Not Giving In’, it only got top 20, but when we play it live, the audience has a connection with the track and that’s all we can ask for, and they feel good about themselves and the vibe we are giving off.
What can we expect from the tour?
Well, first and foremost, as a band, we bring our vibe, our energy and excitement on stage. As soon as we step foot on stage, something special is created that translates onto the audience, regardless of whether they have seen the video of the last song, they just feel the energy straight away. They feed off us and we feed off them.
Where are you most excited to play…except Nottingham of course?
Nottingham was definitely the top of the list. Though we can’t wait to play Glastonbury, something we have wanted all our life. If we can get back to Mallorca or Ibiza Rocks, that would be great because I love it there.
What are the plans for Rudimental after the tour is done? (As well as returning to Rocks maybe)
This weekend will be the first weekend we will have off and probably the last weekend till after this year. We are going to go full out, excite the crowd and go mental through the festivals, because we are a festival act. The album is coming out at the end of this month, entitled Home for a reason, because we bring our backyard on stage and make them feel well at home, so we can’t wait for the festivals.
After your collaborations, particularly with John Newman, which have been huge, who would you love to work with?
I’d love to work with loads of people no longer with us. However, also people like Stevie Wonder, that would be amazing. He is someone we have looked up to for years. We always go to Open Mic nights, exactly where we found John Newman. We had a pint and heard his voice in the background and we thought he could be amazing on the track. You could say right place in the right time, you could say it’s fate, but you have to put yourself in those places to get the results.
As well as this, you brought John Newman into the public eye, so what other up and coming stars are you backing and who should we look out for?
There’s a couple: Disclosure, Bondax of course. On Black Butter records, there are lot of things, including Kidnap Kid. Someone who doesn’t leave my iPod is Flume, and I’m really looking forward to seeing him live.
If we were to bump into you at the after party of your gig at Rescue Rooms doing the ‘Rudimental Skank’, what drinks would be flowing?
Well, anyone that has seen me or seen us do our live show, full band or DJ set, I’m normally just necking a bottle of Grey Goose straight, so if you are into that, you can come do that with me!
Rudimental’s manic year has continued, with several highly acclaimed festival performances, including their desired Glastonbury set. They will hit the USA in a couple of weeks, before returning home for V Festival. In the Autumn, they embark on a European tour, and then eventually, a series of dates across the UK. Check their full live schedule HERE.
The band’s debut album, Home, reached number 1 in the UK, as well as receiving plenty of praise from the music press.