One of the startling things about music is when bonds are fostered over the course of several years. Our writer Ken Grand-Pierre has a knack for establishing long-lasting relationships with musicians, and Rudimental are such a group.

The London-based collective are gearing up to release their eagerly anticipated sophomore album, We The Generation. Sure, the album is set to be a hit but the main question is, why? To find out why, The 405 decided to send Ken Grand-Pierre, a man who knows Rudimental better than most, to find out how We The Generation came together, and where exactly it is these Londoners hope to achieve with this new album.

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Gentlemen. It's great to see you guys again.

DJ Locksmith: Yeah. Good to see you, man.

It's especially great having you back with a new album to talk about. Most bands spend just two years promoting an album, but you guys had been playing the songs off of Home a good year or so before even releasing the album back in 2013. With that, you literally haven't really stopped touring.

Piers: Mmhmm, that's right.

Amir: When we started this project we knew that refining the live show would be the most important thing.

When we first met, you told me how you wanted to make a modern-day Parliament Funkadelic.

Amir: Oh yeah! They're still a massive inspiration for us.

DJ Locksmith: One of the best parts about Rudimental is that we all have different musical tastes and backgrounds, but we can still find maybe one or two things to agree upon, and when that happens it's massive to us.

The lead up to We The Generation has been... I mean it's interesting because promo for an album will usually start a month or two before a release but here we are sat in the summer and you guys are firmly in gear now. You've already done the Big Weekend, Jools Holland, Governors Ball, your own festival, and many other festivals. One of the things I've always admired about you guys is how the performances show how much you appreciate the lives you currently have, and how important the music is. How has it been performing these new songs to audiences?

DJ Locksmith: Doing all those shows and speaking to press and people like itself is very important to us. We can live it all we want on a stage and on a bus, but the main thing is having people in front of us reacting. Getting that Rudimental message across is paramount to us. It might sound a bit out there, but this a culture we're trying to get across the world. And fuck man; has it been three years already? Wow, you probably know better than most. You've been to our live shows. You've heard our music and you've heard us preaching about it for the last three years.

Amir: We did make this album primarily on the road, but whenever we had quiet time to make it, we did realize that doing what we wanted, spreading our message to the world... success is one thing, but making something that lasts takes time, it just naturally does.

DJ Locksmith: So even with the shows and the success, we realized that It's going to take a lot longer for people to get us in some places. What's been great about coming out and doing these shows is that it feels like with each one people are getting us a bit better.

You know, speaking about the message, I do have to ask. It's a bit cheeky but they sent the album a couple of days back, and I've been living with it for a while and guys.... why in the bloody hell are you releasing an album like this in the autumn?!

Entire room laughs.

em>We The Generation is definitely a summer album.

Piers: Yeah, but luckily we've been playing it live in the summer.

Kesi: That's a question that you and I both are lingering on.

DJ Locksmith: I mean, another way to think about it is that throughout the summer we've been able to hammer these songs into people's minds, and we've also made these songs grow with each performance. It's mental to us because we're playing a whole bunch of new songs, and to see people gravitate towards them... there's not feeling better then that. It's also helping us figure out what should be singles, and shit like that. That's what we did with the last one.

Amir: Yeah, that's how we figured out that 'Waiting All Night' would make a good single. It wasn't a focus group in a room; it was the reaction to crowds at shows. So yeah, it's a good way for us to work through our music, and it's just making us a properly tight live show.

That makes a lot of sense actually. You know, I don't think I ever had a chance to tell you guys this, but when I first met you at that Central Park show (supporting Emeli Sandé), I remember being quite awestruck at how 'alive' the songs were. Do you feel that the way a song will be played live changes how you create it?

Rudimental in unison: Yeah.

Amir: It's come with the territory for us. We all have experience being DJs and producers, and the aspect of people experiencing our music is something we can't shut off, not even when we're in the studio.

I remember before that set started I talked to some of the fans at the front, and some of them had travelled from other cities to see you guys at a place like Central Park. A lot of them told me how it was due to the YouTube videos of you guys performing. And it kind of goes along with the Rudimental Message; which is such an ever-changing thing really. But I think the main thing is that it's music for people. The people at your shows, when I've talked to them (at places like Made In America, Terminal 5, and even Madison Square Garden) they've told me that Rudimental is the music that gets them through the way. That Rudimental is what they'd listen to on their way to work, after leaving school. The main thing I got, was that people couldn't get through their days without listening to a Rudimental track; at the end of the day people needed music to get through the day.

Yeah and I think that's it right there. That's what Rudimental is all about, you know. It really is about the longevity of music for us. It's not just about having hit singles. We've never been really a single act. The last album had a lot of singles, yes, but it was out of response, and that to us was so important to capture with We The Generation; that response. We've worked so hard to create a body of work that we can not only be proud of, but be relatable to people. A piece of work that we would be proud of not only on release day, but work can be proud of five, hell even, ten years from now. That's what's really important to us.

Yeah, that's the dynamic of the music, man. I mean it's, I think... for example, on the first album, 'Not Giving In', is a perfect example of that. Everyone says it's their perfect running song or gym song you know.

DJ Locksmith: It's a very motivational song. It's a song that takes you on a journey.

Kesi: It takes you down and then builds you right back up. It's aspects like that, of a song that you hope people gravitate towards but never really expect them to.

Amir: So to have people respond to that, as well as other aspects of our music, it means the world to us.

And what I especially love about that is it combats against people who'd view Rudimental from the outside and think of it as just another pop band, just another electronic band. It's more than that, and all someone has to do is listen to the music to find it.

DJ Locksmith: And it's like you said before as well, about the live show. We didn't expect to become an act that's known for its live show, but we did hope for that, so it feels nice to have achieved that. When it comes to the shows, at the end of the day we just want to have fun on stage and we want that fun to be as infectious as our music is. I've been told before that the vibe on stage is that of a family vibe, and with that I want people to feel as though they're part of our family.

405: That passion can be heard throughout the album as well. You can hear this mishmash of colours and textures throughout the songs, but it all sounds live. It's as though you've taken the big party from the stage and brought it onto an album. I was curious, when I saw the Jools Holland performance it made me wonder: did the new album change how you guys approached performing live or was it only an extension of what was already there?

Piers: I'd say largely yes. By the time we made We the Generation we already felt comfortable with the live show, but even with that there's always new heights you want to aim for. We've sort of grown our live show right from the start, and with the shows getting bigger and bigger we knew that we needed songs to complement that. To me, that's evident throughout We the Generation, you can tell it's us looking at our first album and aiming to fine-tune what we've done before, while also doing new things.

Amir: Yeah, with this new album we really wanted to keep our approach but expand, and being where we are now allowed for that. One of the most important things for us as well was to take singers and just give them a platform. On Home, we had such amazing singers like John Newman and Ella Eyre, who prior to Rudimental were being underutilized, yet so incredibly talented. They're amazing talents who came onto our songs and did some incredible shows, and now they're both doing their own thing. I wouldn't go as far to say 'Rudimental is responsible' for that, but I do know that both John and Ella are grateful for everything we've done together, and recognizing that is something that keeps Rudimental going. So on the new album you have talents such as Anne-Marie and Will Heard, and we decided to bring them both into our live show so we can show the world how talented they are.

Piers: There's eleven of us on stage now, and it's just one big fucking party; one big family. And honestly, it'll sound mental to most but really, when it comes to our live shows....it's not too planned out in advance. I mean you've even seen it, our pre-show prep.

Yeah, come to think of it, you guys do tend to talk about the setlists like ten minutes prior to going on stage.

Kesi: Yeah man. So with having these new songs, it's been interesting mapping out our live show show a bit more [Laughs]. Basically just thinking about 'ok this song should come after this one, or this one' It's partially made performing live feel like a totally different experience at times.

Piers: I think that it's all a big aspect of who we are though. It's slightly chaotic, but it's organized chaos.

I can kind of see that especially with the idea of how much of an infectious maelstrom it is on stage. It's great to see how that's been a natural thing, how the live show in itself has evolved. At this point I'm sure someone's probably reading and going 'Man why doesn't this journalist just marry them?' but it's that perspective of knowing you guys as people that makes it a pleasure to delve into who you are. I've noticed throughout the years how Rudimental is a group that doesn't rehash. But even with that said, you guys do have a 'sound' and that's just mental to me.

DJ Locksmith: I think it's something we've managed to do without over thinking it to be honest with you. It's funny, because there is a lot of electronical elements to our music, but we also use a lot of instruments, a lot of instruments. It's been a very organic journey overall.

Piers: I think we just... we go off when we're in a room together. We vibe off sounds and... it'll sound cheesy, but like spirits and shit you know, hippie spirits. We go off on each other's energy and, it's never...

Kesi: Mate, speak for yourself about that hippie shit bruv.

Piers: Aw, you know what I mean. Yeah, it's, it's, it's just always... It's all like how it feels you know, rather I suppose how it's meant to sound or how it's meant to feel. We're more likely to say 'this sounds great' in the studio as opposed to 'we have to do this or that' you know what I mean? And it's a team effort, and there's never a dictator. It's all of us aiming to go to the same goal, of making good soulful music that at the end of the day makes you feel good.

Amir: It's an amazing thing really, it's like the planets aligning.

DJ Locksmith: Bruv, what the fuck are you on about?

Kesi: He's on about that hippie shit again man.

Piers: I have my fucking magic crystal right here! I'm 100 percent like, hippie here.

DJ Locksmith: I can be 100% hippie yeah!

Amir: Sure, at the gym maybe.

To be honest with all of you, I think all anyone has to do is look at you guys for two seconds to know none of you are hippies. I think you're safe on that one.

Amir: Oi! Don't judge a book by its cover!

That's true...

DJ Locksmith: But in this case, judge a book by its cover.

405: Going into the fact the music is soulful; I think that's the perfect way to describe the single 'I Will For Love' especially after seeing Will Heard performing it on Jools Holland. I haven't met him yet, but I was left amazed at how a performance showcased so much personality of one person. I could tell that he's a shy guy, but as the performance progressed you could tell that he was coming out of his shell a bit. I especially love the start, where he just comes from the corner and starts singing.

Amir: Yeah, and he was so nervous before the show as well, but he ended up coming across as so fresh on there. He really nailed it.

Piers: To be honest, we all were fucking nervous.

Amir: We were all very nervous because it was like the second time we had ever played that song. So, like I said it's like starting again and though it can be a bit nervewrecking, it is always fun in the end. For us it's just a new experience each time, performing these songs, and we just want to recreate that.

We want to keep on having fun, you know. And if ever we strike on a formula, we'd get bored of it straight away. So, we have to do something else to keep ourselves happy. And that's why it's always evolving and always changing, and having someone on like Will is just a great reminder of that for us.

People always ask 'why is the album named this' and stuff like that, but this interview seems to a great way to answer that sole question. Everything we've talked about has echoed the sentiment of We The Generation. It's funny as well, because it really is a title that echoes the music, it just makes a lot of sense for you guys to name an album that. Did it feel like a light bulb moment after you guys came up with the album title?

Piers: It really was. I remember we had a few other titles. There was a few other song names we thought would end up being the album title, but like many acts, we tend to keep all that to the end. We spend an absurd amount of time going 'what should we call this song?' and then when we arrived at the song 'We The Generation' we realized that the lyrics of that song just totally encompassed what the album is about, so that ended up being the title.

It's about being, standing up for what you believe in. Standing up for your rights, whatever they are, whatever situation you are in, and believing in your music and your own creativity. On being a team about it and not just trying to fight your battles on your own. That's what the song is about and as time went on, we realized that at the end of the day, we were just trying to say all those things.

Amir: It's almost like the 'sound' you were saying, you can't really put your finger on what it is, why it's unifying. We can't put our finger on it either, and when we hear it all back when we finished the album it all made sense to us, how it came together.

That's why the title We the Generation made sense at the end, because it was like, 'Oh yeah, right, this song, the lyrics and the music,' it pretty much covers what we've done on the whole rest of the album.

I love the title; a lot of people would see it and go 'there were generations before them, what the hell?' But it's just funny, because 'generation' isn't even really the operative word here, it's..

DJ Locksmith: 'We'.

: Yeah 'we', because to me, what a great way to go to your fans and non-fans as well to listen to your music. It's you guys essentially saying, "Hey, we're the same as you, we're all in this together."

Amir: Yeah, I know exactly that.

Kesi: You pretty much took all the words - you took all the words out of my mouth just there mate.

Feel free to call me for all future interviews then yeah?

Kesi: Watch out, we are going to have to take you with us on promo.

DJ Locksmith: Rudimental is a family you know, obviously it's us four who spearhead this, but at the same time when you look at our live show, even now our newer live show is 11 of us on stage, it's proper mental.

And with that family and with that sound, it's going to be very new to people's ears, but at the same time, media works in roundabouts and there's a whole new generation just about to come into our palms, the palms of our hands. And that: we are that generation. And we are spearheading this whole music scene now at the minute.

Amir: Yeah.... what he said

DJ Locksmith: You know, not in a cocky way, but just... you know.

No, absolutely, and what's fitting about that is how you guys co-headlined Wild Lyfe with Disclosure because...

DJ Locksmith: Because it sums it all up perfectly.

It does because it's both of you guys are kind of spearheading and leading this... I don't even know what I'd call it. But this wave of electronic music and soulful vocals, it all feels a lot newer then it did a couple of years back, and a lot of that has to do with the approach both you and Disclosure have taken towards your music.

DJ Locksmith: Exactly, Disclosure and ourselves. We grew up in this industry you know. A lot of people see us starting off and saying, 'Oh, they've only been around for three years,' well it's so far from the truth. We've been around for eight years, eight to nine years, and we've been working so hard to get to this point, and the same with Disclosure.

When we did eventually get to this point, we were playing in front of 50 to 100 people together with Disclosure years ago, and it's the same with Sam Smith, Ed Sheeran, Ella, and everyone, we've put in the work. So, growing up with them felt like an education itself you know. We've come from 50 people, playing in front of 50 people to playing in front of thousands of people, to being able to take our sound out of the UK to Australia, parts of Europe and to you here in the US. And I think that's very important for Rudimental, that, that whole generation that we've been working for such a long time is coming to fruition.

I think if there's one thing you guys should feel cocky about, well one of the many things, is the fact that when it comes to your live shows, you can look out in the crowd and see everyone smiling. And that's transcended cultures, I've seen videos of you guys performing on YouTube in loads of different countries, and the reaction is all the same. There's other bands I work with, bands with great people, and I can't even say that about their shows and crowds.

Piers: The funny thing is, the honest thing even, is that the crowd could all be pissed off and we'd still be having a good time. We're good at taking a bad, or even mundane situation, and making it a fun one. Just the other day, me and Leon (Locksmith) got these empty plastic bottles and started playing football on stage. I don't know why.

Amir: You were probably drunk mate.

Piers: Yeah, but we were drunk. We were, we were, but we were also genuinely having fun and mate, this is our dream job to do this. What we dreamt of when we were like 12 and, and we discovered that dream all the way back in like 2001, while at school...

Kesi: A bit of miseducation.

Yeah, it does translate well. Well we've arrived at the last question, but before I get into that, thanks for taking part in this guys; it was great to talk to you guys again. One of my favorite people on the planet is Foy Vance, and when I saw that you guys collaborated with him, I went like 'yes!' He is such a genuine guy. How did the track 'Never Let You Go' come together, and what was it that made you guys choose it as the first single? What made you guys want that to be the first song to be associated with We The Generation.

DJ Locksmith: It started from touring with Ed (Sheeran) in LA. At one point and Ed introduced us to Foy, and at this time we had a studio in the bus. We were creating music, and finishing off tracks at the same time. The chemistry from supporting Ed's tour rubbed off on us, and it just made us feel very creative.

You know, as you said he's such a great guy (Foy) and such a great character more importantly. We just connected with him right off the bat and we created, 'Never Let You Go'. I'd love to say that it was an easy choice, picking the first track off your first single back, but it was very difficult.

It wasn't as obvious as one would assume it was, I guess?

DJ Locksmith: No, I thought if it was, then it'd almost be....I don't know. It's a simple thing of us not making it easy on ourselves when we should have. There were so many choices. I feel like we could have went with three or four other tracks, we were that confident. But at the end of the day, I still feel like it wouldn't have made as great of a statement as 'Never Let You Go' has.

The song is a strong choice for us because it encompasses what we wanted, which is a positive tune that can also be played loudly, a true summer jam.

It's a tune that made me respect you guys more, especially after I saw the album tracklisting. Seeing all those names of collaborators... you guys could've released a single with Lianne La Havas or MNEK as a single, and have it be a hit, but you went with Foy's track because if felt right. It's a ballsy move, and it goes to show what Rudimental is about.

DJ Locksmith: Absolutely. And looking back, it was also a ballsy move having 'Feel The Love' with John Newman as a single you know, but we did it and that reaction, the fact that you can feel validated from taking a risk like that, it's something we never want to lose when it comes to Rudimental.


You can visit Rudimental by heading here.