Born Ruffians hail from all the way over in Canada. We had a quick chat with the band to discuss their forthcoming album Uncle, Duke & the Chief.
To promote the new album, you’re doing a string of shows across Canada and the Sates. You’re also doing five shows at Lee’s Place. Where did the idea to do that emerge from?
We wanted to do something different in Toronto. Instead of blowing it out in one night we figured we’d head to one of our favourite venues and make a week out of it.
A couple of the Lee’s Place shows have already sold out. How does it feel to have such a strong response to your music?
Every time we go away for a little bit and come back I think there’s a fear that nobody is going to care. People just seem to fall out of love or lose interest in stuff so quickly… In a lot of ways, it feels like a new beginning, and we’re extra greedy for people to come out to our shows and to get into Uncle, Duke & the Chief.
Your new single ‘Forget Me’ is out now, accompanied by a beautiful and quirky music video. Where did the idea for the clip come from?
We worked closely with Peter Dreimanis and Leah Fay Goldstein from the band July Talk (also from Toronto) on a trilogy. Two of the videos are out and the third one will be posted in January.
Leah makes these dummies… She made one with the group of performance artists she’s part of called Wives. They took it around with them for several days and buried it in the desert in the southwest United States. You can play with people’s perception of a relationship and/or allow them to empathize more by removing the human performative element from a major character in a narrative.
When you boil it down it’s a simple story of losing somebody, of falling out of love. The dummy adds a depth and a sweetness that would be impossible to achieve or just maybe spoiled with a real person.
What was it like working alongside the members of July Talk when making the music video?
We have made several videos with Peter in the past, alongside Jared Raab, going all the way back to 2010 (What to Say, Nova Leigh, The Ballad of Moose Bruce). This time we approached him and were delighted to hear that Leah would be fully involved as a collaborator.
They are an incredible team in front of the camera as well as behind. They both focus on different things when they are directing so they are an incredibly strong team. They are two of the hardest working, thorough, positive, creative, wonderful people I know.
You’re touring across Canada and some of the States next year. What do you like most about touring?
In no particular order:
Breakfast. When you get time to go into the city you’re in and source out the best breakfast/brunch joint. Sitting down together for a nice meal at the beginning of the day.
Going on stage. It’s pretty much always exciting and gives you a nice feeling that you try not to show too much because you want to play it cool.
The end of the night when everyone has had a good day, a good show and maybe a couple drinks and you’ve loaded out. It’s funny because it can also be really depressing depending on your perspective (see the song the Load Out by Jackson Browne) but it’s usually where we yuck it up the most.
Finally, the new record comes out Feb next year, what can we expect?
Of all our albums I’d say it’s most closely related to our first (Red, Yellow and Blue). Steve is back in the band on drums, and we started the whole thing with him back in high school. It’s our best album. It kind of feels like we finally figure our shit out… I dunno… You’re always grasping at something elusive when you’re making something like an album. It feels like we got a big ol’ mitt-full of it this time.