Interview with Gabe Andruzzi (The Rapture)

Hi Gabe, Where are you and what are you up to? ”We’re in New York and we’re doing interviews.” Its noon EST and The Rapture’s Gabe Andruzzi sounds like it’s all a bit too early in the day. And if yet another damn journo is going to start with such a mundane question, then lets give him a mundane answer. Eeek… looks like Glasswerk might have their work cut out here.

You’ve been touring for some time out in the States. Has that finished yet?
“We’re down in Philadelphia tonight and that’s it. Then we have the NME Tour in the UK next year” .

Ah yes, the NME Tour, you’ll be playing alongside the Von Bondies, Franz Ferdinand and Funeral for a Friend… Do you know them already?Nope.” Never met them? ”Never met them. Never heard them.” Ermm okay…

The Rapture have had an incredibly successful year with their work, which has been described as a blistering Molotov cocktail of leftfield punk rock and a little New York savvy, earning critical acclaim. It’s therefore great to be able to have a trans-atlantic chat with saxophonist/keyboard-player/percussionist/jack-of-all-trades Andruzzi. It hasn’t got going quite liked I hoped but things can only get better…

You have spent a lot of time on the tour-bus in recent weeks. How has that tested the band as a unit? Have there been many squabbles?

”Maybe on what movies we like to watch. We’re around each other all the time. We get along in a different way. Matty’s got in to this really weird pill called Red Nike that he does non-stop. I’m really curious cos I tried one and it didn’t do anything so I don’t think there’s really anything in it. But it seems to keep him happy! Luke snores when he sleeps. I don’t mind so much, but Vito really doesn’t like his snoring. Oh and Mat has this horrible cough that I’m very worried about. He’s had it about a year. Every morning he wakes up coughing. Some mornings I’m annoyed. Others I just worry… needs to stop smoking I think”

When making the video for the single Sister Saviour, you initially worked with Kevin Godley (the man behind Duran Duran’s Girls On Film video, as well as many others by the likes of U2, The Police, The Charlatans, Michael Jackson and many others). How was that?

”We shot this video but it wasn’t very good and we didn’t want to use it so we shot our own instead. We needed one for MTV very quickly. Kevin has made some great videos and he was fun and easy to work with but the end product didn’t work at all. So our back-up was to make our own video with a buddy of ours back in New York. I myself was the producer. We did it all ourselves.”

On a personal note for you, do you feel you missed out on a lot by joining the band late on?
”No. I joined when I was supposed to join the Rapture, I had done lots of other very similar things musically, I just wasn’t in that band. I’d toured America and done all that. I think they had all matured as people by the time I met them which I am happy about”

What kind of music did you grow up listening to?>
”All sorts of things. I was into Prince, Michael Jackson, Duran Duran, the Cure, The Smiths… hip-hop… punk-rock.. I started going to punk shows. My home time has a really good music scene – lots of interesting bands. I started going to raves when I was a teenager. So everything really.”

And now? ”Dizzee Rascal has been in my machine a lot. Erykah Baddhu’s new album and Outkast have been on the decks. I need to get into The Strokes, and figure what I like and don’t like about them. I havn’t even heard the new album yet. I guess it’s more a need to keep up with the business I’m in than listening to an album and loving it. I like what the White Stripes have done. They’re artistically very interesting”

What is your favourite song to play live?
“Probably Out of the Races right now”. Also Infatuation is a great song to play live”

Has the success of Echoes exceeded your expectations.
“No it hasn’t succeeded our expectations.” ”What were your expectations? ”I don’t really know what I expected from it.

*Oh dear. It was all going so well wasn’t it*

Have you got many plans for the next album yet?
”Yes I have tons of plans for the next album.” Does the band agree with them? ”Not necessarily! Is it the same sort of direction? ”There’s not going to be a u-turn or anything. We’ll see what happens. We really don’t know yet. We have lot of ideas as far as how songs go and how we want to make it and who we want to make it with. We’ll start making it in Spring and it will probably come out at the beginning of 2005… but we will have something special for you in the meantime!”

And that just about wraps it up… The Rapture are a class band, and are well worth checking out when they are back over here in the New Year. I certainly will be.

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