24. Rudely Interrupted

28 Dec

rudies

In a local bakery in Northcote I await the arrival of Melbourne based band Rudely Interrupted who have just released their new EP Mystery Girl. Since their formation in 2006 the now four piece band has been attracting all the right attention, having been praised for their catchy rock music by many critics, claiming it to be ‘some of the most energetic and genuine music of our time’.  But for Rudely Interrupted it’s not about fame and living the high life. It’s about proving to the world that although all band members, minus manager Rohan Brooks, live with some form of disability truly anything is possible.

It’s a Monday morning, and this quaint little bakery is bustling by the time Rohan, Rory and Josh arrive. Once seated guitarist and lead singer Rory Burnside takes me through the difficulties of living with his Asperger syndrome as well as having been born blind with a cleft lip and palate. Despite these afflictions the affable young man’s warm personality strikes me as he informs me of their upcoming tour. Music is a very big part of Rory’s life and having completed a music performance degree at Box Hill Institute of TAFE Rudely Interrupted has clearly chosen the right person to front their band, creating music the singer describes as ‘Indie Rock’.  But like any band Rudely Interrupted didn’t happen overnight, in fact according to Brooks the band was only supposed to be “a short project.”

The band’s formation began back in 2006 when Brooks met fellow band mate Burnside at a barbeque. It was at this time that the professional musician and musical therapist asked Burnside if he’d like to start a band, already knowing of his amazing musical abilities. From there drummer Josh Hogan and bass player Sam Beke joined, both already acquainted with Brooks from a musical therapy class he had been running at the time. Like Rory both members live with their own form of disability.  Sam has down’s syndrome and Josh endured many complications at birth that left him with bones that have failed to fully develop, but don’t let it prevent them from creating music that pulls in the listener and showcases their musical talents. “Josh had never played drums before the band” Brooks tells me as he describes Rudely Interrupted’s early days. “It was a strict left, right hand diet” Hogan adds as he went about becoming accustomed to the drums, “but it’s paid off.”

The following years proved to be very eventful as the band went about writing their first songs and gaining exposure at their performances. Their first song ‘Don’t Break my Heart’ was written in 2007 and came about when Burnside asked ‘if it were possible to die from a broken heart.” After gigging around Australia, Rudely Interrupted where invited to perform at the UN for International Disability Day in 2008. “We ended up being bigger than Bono” Brooks smiles, recalling the time the band performed to their sold out audience, achieving the numbers the U2’s singer’s speech had failed draw.

Releasing their debut album ‘Tragedy of the Commons’ in 2010 and self titled documentary that was screened both nationally and internationally in 2009, Brooks is right in saying that it gave them a lot of exposure. “The documentary was about us working together and writing songs” he says, “getting behind the scenes.”

Despite all the success the band has so far been blessed with; Rohan still finds that Rudely Interrupted’s reputation as a disabled band puts them at a disadvantage. “We just want to be accepted like any other band” he explains “but we just don’t have the same opportunities in Australia as we do overseas. It’s a lot better for us over there.” The frustration is understandable, but Brooks knows just how special this band is. “It’s important for society to have bands like us, after all these guys have the hope, confidence and abilities.”

Aside from this Brooks states that “the growth in the band has band amazing” having toured overseas six times since first bringing their love of music to the world. However, like any band, they’ve witnessed some changes, having lost keyboard player Marcus and tamborine player Connie. Although the two still accompany the band for the occasional performance, Rudely Interrupted has not at all lost its amazing flare and ability to create lyrically inspiring songs. “As artists, we look for the differences in life” Brooks says as he describes the inspiration the band use to write their material, “it’s great to write about these guys lives, and it’s really shone through in Rory, he has some great talent in song writing.”

The band’s music really sets them apart from the sounds of pre teen pop that now dominate the radio. Brooks admits that their music is quite simple, but in doing so gives each member the chance to truly shine and they express their own personal experiences when it comes to living life with a disability.  “We do our best to keep it organic” Brooks explains, and with the amount of positivity Rudely Interrupted has received since first breaking the scene, it’s clearly a method that has worked in their favour.

Rudely Interrupted have been touring the country of late, bringing with them a new fresh, set of songs and that same raw passion the group share for music. Then the band leave home soil and head for Italy in the new year to promote their EP to overseas fans. An app has also been designed for the band to showcase their lives on tour and give fans a chance to learn a little more about what happens overseas.

It is really touching to hear Brooks say how he and his fellow band mates aren’t apart of Rudely Interrupted “purely for those egoistical reasons.”  This band gives Rory, Josh and Sam a purpose in life and a chance for the public to see that one is not in any way, shape or form limited by the disability they may live with.  “I get support from them” Brooks says, “after all we’re there to push each other and strive to be the best we can be. We really love it; and I don’t see why we can’t be just as successful as any other band.”

Words By:Rachel Nixon

Photo by: Sean Porter

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