Gimme Your Answers 2: An Interview w/ Born Ruffians

Born Ruffians

In a recent interview, A Music Blog, Yea? caught up with Born Ruffians to discuss living in Toronto, memories at Kool Haus, and performing at festivals — enjoy!

AMBY: What is your song writing process?

BR: The song writing in process has been much the same over the past years. I’ve always been the song writer. When the band was me, Mitch and Steve, they don’t write songs, they don’t come into practice saying “Hey, I’ve made this demo.” That’s my job. So it’s varying degrees of completion. Some songs I have everything done, I’ll have the demo done with drums and bass, and then we’ll play it and they’ll change it a bit. And then other songs come from jamming, with ideas sparked like that. I think I have to have a song mostly complete before I bring it to them.

AMBY: Why do you think that is?

BR: If there’s no drum and bass? Well, I think it’s harder to get behind a song if they can’t hear the song.

AMBY: Shortly before you went on, Jeff Cohen, who sort of organized this whole thing, was talking about outdoor festivals and music in general in Toronto, and how the music scene has changed so much from the way it used to be; when it was extremely popular and really normal to see outdoor festivals like this, and how all these downtown venues have changed, and to sort of bolster that now. He mentioned that it was really great to support festivals like this, just because of the current state of things. How do you feel about performing at a festival where those ideals are supported?

BR: Oh it’s great. I love it! You know, you battle the seater sometimes, but other than that it’s awesome. I totally agree with him.

AMBY: Living in Toronto, as musicians, do you find that is something that you have to struggle with. Specific venues only being big enough, or can only house a certain amount of people, or can only have certain licensing, or sound proofing.. All sorts of things, there’s all these legal things that come into it. You’re obviously not on that side of it, but it affects you in a way.

BR: Yeah, I dunno. He had a point when he said that we don’t really have an Osheaga, which is true. It’s a shame like something like the fest on the island got shut down. There’s a lot of rule-followers who really come down on stuff in Toronto, who really just don’t wanna have fun. But as far as venues, I dunno. I was kind of sad to hear that Kool Haus was closing, even though…

AMBY: It’s a club!

BR: Yeah, objectively it’s not the best venue, but I have a lot of good memories from playing there.

AMBY: There was an article recently talking about the music industry in Toronto. And that the venues here that we are familiar with are dying.

BR: Well I think there will always be places like the Danforth Music Hall.

AMBY: Do you think it’s optimistic for you to think that?

BR: No, I think it’s niching out. It’s becoming an underground movement. It’s the artists responsibility to keep it happening.

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Thank you Born Ruffians, for giving us your answers!

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Interview by Emily Fox |

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