Photography by Roger Galvez©
Back in 2008 Born Ruffians were our idols. In 2010 with the release of Say It they became legends to us! But then, we lost touch - with so much new music in the world their releases didn't quite reach out to us. But now they're back - and to celebrate their spectacular return, we caught up with returning drummer Steve Hamelin to create the first known attempt at the Born Ruffians Greatest Hits collection. Here's the tracks he chose with a slice of interview to match...
There's been a lot of change since we last interviewed in 2010 - new drummers - returning drummers, new labels, time apart and a rebirth! What's the NEW Born Ruffians? // SH: Well I know it sounds cliché to say but it feels like we’ve never been happier with the music we’re making or the way things are going. Lots has changed over the years but that’s the beauty about being a long lasting band; it becomes like a family.
This Sentence EP
Hedonistic Me VS This Sentence Will Ruin / Save Your Life: Hedonistic Me – this one has stood the test of time and we occasionally still pull it out for the live show. That always says something.
Red, Yellow & Blue
Foxes Mate For Life VS I Need A Life: Foxes – people have given themselves tattoos inspired by this song, how could I let them down by choosing I Need A Life?
We think you've rediscovered the magic from the Say It era and before...does it feel like that? // SH: It definitely does. But at the same time we’re still proud of Birthmarks and RUFF, albums always remind us of a certain moment or feeling. The thing with Uncle, Duke & The Chief is that it happened so organically, the vibe we got with Richard Swift our producer was exceptional. We didn’t think we would make an entire record with him, but when we finished the session we looked back on it and realized we had a cohesive record that
was done. All songs fit perfectly together.
Blood, the Sun & Water VS Oh Man: Oh Man – this one always connected when we’d play it on tours in support of Say It.
Plinky Plonk EP
First Date Kid VS Pool Party Fun: Pool Party Fun – Luke is an amazing songwriter and this one to me shows why
Working Together reigns supreme for us on the record - it's got the weird MGMT Aliens kinda feel. // SH: Working Together has been one of the really fun ones to play live. We’ve started closing out the set with it and making the whole room one big singalong. We’re touring with a great band called Fleece right now and they join us on stage to sing along too. Sometimes I jump into the crowd! Fade To Black is another one, and Miss You and Forget Me too. It’s been really cool and encouraging to hear people singing along to the new songs.
Oceans Deep VS 6-500: Ocean’s Deep – still a favourite to play live.
When Things Get Pointless I Roll Away VS F**K Feelings: When Things Get Pointless – this is our manager’s favourite song from RUFF and I don’t wanna let him down.
You were once banded together with other groups like Tokyo Police Club, Harlem Shakes, Animal Collective - where do you see yourselves now? // SH: We don’t try to fit in to any particular scene or style, and I think that’s why the new record feels so authentic. We’re now 5 albums in to our career, we’re grateful to have had a career last that long and still see it building, and the longer we do it, the more we believe that you just need to make the music you want to make, tour as hard as possible, and fight hard to earn every new fan. There’s so much music out there these days, and so many scenes and genres, it’s hard to keep people’s attention, and so all you can do is bet on yourself and your creative output.
Uncle, Duke & The Chief
Tricky VS Ring That Bell: Ring That Bell – I like the abrupt start to this one. Tough decision though -tricky is a fun one to play too.