Born Ruffians are headed back to the City of Champions to play a show at the Starlite Room on May 1. Their frontman Luke called into SONiC to chat about international fans, full English breakfasts and what it was like to have Peter and Leah of July Talk directing their music videos. Listen and read below. 

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Luke of Born Ruffians Chats New Music, Elton John and Becoming a Movie Star

Originally Aired: April 25, 2018

1. Congrats on the new album, Uncle, Duke and the Chief! It’s your fifth album. Did you approach it differently than the past four?

L: Yeah, I think it’s always different. But this one was actually the most similar to our first two records. We had ten days of studio time, which is not a lot for most bands. We did the whole record in ten days, we did one song per day. That’s how we did our first two records, banged out a song per day, mixed it and then it was done. 

2. Wait – did you have songs written in advance or did you write, record and produce the song all in the same day? Cause that’s bonkers.

No, we wrote them beforehand. That would be insane. Elton John did that, I think he used a lot of cocaine, but he did that for Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.  Elton would sit at a piano, Bernie would write the songs and then they’d go into the studio to record.

3. Do you have a personal favourite off the album?

I’d say “Forget Me” and “Working Together”. It’s always changing though.

4. What can you tell me about the song “Miss You”?

It had been kicking around for a bit. It was kinda a voice memo on my phone for a long time, the chorus and the piano. I showed it to [our bassist] Mitch and he had this way of making it a little more rocking, it was more laid back [before]. We played it once through as a band with the idea Mitch had and we were all super energized by it. It really pulled things forward. We knew it would be on the record from pretty early stages so it always was a good guiding light. It had the right feeling we knew the record had to have. 

5. Kicking off the tour tonight, playing the Starlite Room May 1, touring Canada and then you’re off to the UK. Do you find that UK fans are different than Canadian fans?

It’s always up and down, you never really know. In general it’s pretty good, we have good shows in London and Manchester. But every shows a little different, you’ll play one show in Paris and it’ll be off the wall crazy and then you’ll go back expecting that again they’re more of a stand and listen crowd. 

6. Experience any big culture shocks in the UK?

Breakfasts are weird but delicious. They serve blood pudding, gotta eat a lot of blood when you’re in England. Your consumption of blood goes up a lot and that’s a big shock. 

7. You have a pretty good friendship with Peter and Leah of July Talk. They even directed some music videos for you guys.

They did, they did three videos for us. We had worked with Peter in the past as a director and cinematographer on several different music videos back in 2010. We had this record finished, I sent it to him, he loved it so we talked about it and he had the idea of he and Leah coming in as more creative directors and helping us with the overall art direction with the cover art and trilogy of videos. 

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8. And now you and Leah star in a movie together!

Yeah, so she did a movie called Diamond Tongues and the director of that movie emailed me kinda out of the blue and asked if I wanted to be in his next movie. I said yes. It all just came really fast. It’s called Sundowners. Leah’s in it, Tim Heidecker’s in it, who’s a comedian that I love, bunch of Toronto comedians as well. 

9. So as a musician first and foremost, was acting ever a plan for you?

Yeah, it was something in the back of my mind, a little secret desire that I always had to try acting on screen, on camera. I wondered if I could do it, and I love movies, I love watching good acting. I appreciate it as art form and it was always something I wanted to try but just never went out actively and pursued.

Get your tickets to see Born Ruffians at the Starlite Room May 1 HERE!


Filed under: Blood Puddin', born ruffians, Elton John, July Talk