Well, I'm back again firing questions at you. How are you all? I heard though you've had some bad news that struck the group. One of your session members has passed away is this true?
We're all fine! yep, it's true, our jazz brother pete jacobsen passed away 3 weeks after we did the final recordings for "emotional feelings", it's a real shame, we're really lucky to have some of his final energys with us...he was an amazing person & musician.
The Rurals have been running for over 6 Years now, and are based in the South West area of England - Devon to be precise. Now that you are more established; are you finding the House and Garage world are finally now getting into your sound?
It's seems like the word is spreading at last. We've always had the attitude that if we keep on writing the music the ears would one day prick up!
Vocal drenched Deep House music, and the Rurals go to get like strawberries and cream. But when you first started out was this always going to be the sound that you wanted to be remembered for?
We started of being a bit more tracky/deep house, it wasn't until we met marie "tweek" that we could move into the more soulful direction.we also do hip hop/ soul as fun thing, one day something might come of this..
Marie, I was told took charge of the Rurals song writing. Has this changed? Does anyone else help Marie with the vocal delivery to the Rurals songs?
No, thats maries dept.! if it isn't broke why fix it!
The Rurals sound, sounds so smooth and yet complex. It begs the question. Was any of you classical trained? Or had any of you had schooling in Jazz theory?
Charlie the sax player is a jazz theory man, Pete Jacobsen was the don! he did classical and jazz (through the london acadamy of music) the rest of us just play by ear. I used to have a lot of guitar lessons when I was younger; and from the age of 16 taught others. But when I started dj'ing I gave up the guitar for a couple of years. when I started again i had forgoten all the theory. But my playing seems more soulful and natrul because of it. I was playing from the heart and not from a book!
Marie vocals seem to fit the groups sound like a glove. Is she manily in charge of the groups musical compositions - in other words, the writing of the lyrics?
She does all the lyrics. I take care of the music/productions.I usaully get others in for jamming the music as well.
For anyone new to you and your sound. How would you describe yourselves?
Deep & soulful!
You remind me so much of a group that had a huge underground club hit last year, (*or they sound like you) called Solu music(*Based in New York, Usa). They had a hit in 2001 with a track called "Fade" featuring Kimberlee. Do you know who I'm going on about? They sound uncannily like you. Would you ever consider working with them??
You sent me a link to their site, their sound is great! I'd never heard of them before. I'm always up for remixing good music!
As we talking about tunes. What is your favourite tune that you have made so far? Anyone in particular that's a favourite of yours?
My fave tunes that we've done are the ones on our new album, mainly "sweet" and "beauty comes from inside". I'm really pleased with them! "Lush" has a place in my heart as well.
Your first album was called "Sweeter Sounds" which was very vocal drenched, yet Deep at the same time. I loved it, and alot of Deep House heads around the world did so too. Many loved the track from the album called "Make Amends". However my favourites were "Lush" and "These Changes". Is this the true sound of The Rurals? Did you have alot fun making this album?
Everyone has differant fave's on that album, the song "Make amends" is more of a jazzy collaberation while "These changes" is done by just myself and marie. I find the stuff that is just me and Marie is the deeper, more house style matarail.
I asked this the last time around, and I wondered if it is still the case. When the "Rurals" considers making up a fresh tune. What tends to come first? The Lyrics first, then the groove, or the Groove then the lyrics. How do you go about making up a fresh new musical composition?
The Grove, then the lyrics. To be honest the music comes from just having a jam. If i try and plan something it never happens!
What are the instruments and equipment that you use to create that Soul drenched, Deep House sound of yours?
Mainly analouge gear, the Fender Rhodes, Roland Juno's, the Moog and Guitars and Bass's. I'm not to hot on digital equipment.
You have managed to create a credible website that is allows you place on your mixes of some the tracks that you have produced. Has this helped in making people aware of the Rurals? From e-mails that you have received, which has been the furthest one away from England?
The website's (www.therurals.com & www.peng.co.uk )have really helped, we get emails from all over..Brazil, Indonisia, Australia, etc. I'd have to get my globe out to see who's furthest! We have lots of worlwide orders from our online shop as well.
As some of you are dj's within the group. Do these people still do their your own stint of record shopping or hunting? Or do you leave it up to being supplied by labels, etc to keep you up to date? A lot of Dj's nowadays survive by living of what given to them by Record labels of all shapes and sizes. What about you. Does this apply to you?
I get most of my tunes from swapping with other labels. I do buy some sometimes though! i don't know every label..I also play a lot of cd's. I swap unreleased stuff with other producers, that way I can play songs that haven't even been cut, and some will never be released.
Keeping on the music side of things and this time with remixing (* Production wise!). Is this something that you are still heavily involved with? Who have you remixed of as late?
Recent remixes we've done are for- Wagon cooking, Blakbeatniks, Harley & Muscle, BRS etc. We're working on a couple at the moment as well. I really like doing remixes. I take it as a challenge.
Chicago, New Jersey and New York City have traditionally dominated the musical output coming from the USA of recent years(*with regards to Soulful House and Garage music). However, countries such as France - with the group called "Playing for the City" and Germany's - "Jazzonova" are re-writing the script. Are you fans of their Brand of Deep, Soul and Jazzy House? Or is this something that you don't worry about. Are you just concerned about what is happening with the Rurals?
I've been a big fan of "Playing for the city" for a long time now. I fell in love with his sound about 8 years ago when i bought a release in Nottingham, it was really inspiring stuff! I haven't much "Jazzanova" stuff but what I've got/heard i really like. I think European deep/jazzy stuff has really helped the scene develop.
How come you are not famous yet. You have the sound, and yet not the public acclaim? Why haven't people found you out yet. Is it down to better marketing form yourselves. Or is it just plain bad luck!!
Well, we've never rushed things or gone for big promotions with major label. We've now done more than 50 e.ps and 5 albums and have hoped that if we just keep writing the music people will take interest (word and mouth stylee) though I think it's time we started pushing ourselves a bit better now, the problem is we smoke to much weed and never seem to emerge from the studio!!
Would you ever considered leaving Devon at all if you had a chance of making the Rurals even bigger then you are now musically?
We were thinking about moving to California a bit over a year ago. But then the terrorist attacks put an end to that idea, we're very safe in Devon! I think we'd miss it anyway, we've got good friends here.
Are the Rurals a tight bunch when they are not making music. Obviously Andy and Maria are together. But as a whole as the Rurals. Do you like to socialise?
We're like family, but it's sometimes hard to socialise to often as we all live in different parts of devon. We see Bazil and Charlie a lot as they're a bit more local.
18. Has any of your tracks that you have made in the past been featured in any film scores or Film documentary's at all? Some of your tracks seem tailor made for this?
We've licensed a few songs for erotic movies in LA...I'd love to do a film score, it's something i want to do in the future.
Why hasn't there been anymore groups from you area trying Deep House? Or has this changed since we last spoke?
There isn't really a big deephouse scene down here, just one monthly night in our local town.i think there are some other guy's writing stuff locally, though i think it's a bit more tech house. Bazil's busy with his group the "cue kids" but they do stuff on a more funky tip.
Pete morris (aka kick squad/old school Rurals keyboard player!) does his pure deep music when he's not jamming with us. We'll have a new release of his on peng next year.
Are you glad that you are based in Devon, here in England? Does this give you a chance to build on your unique sound without being influenced by being in a big city? Or would you like to relocate if money was no objection?
We love Devon, it's so chilled down here, we live in a fifteenth cent. Ex monks church which has the most perfect studio space (and field for the ponies!!) all for the price of a one bedroom flat in London...If we want the city we just get on the train! It'd be too intense for us writing music in a city with all that smoke and noise!!
What are your relationship with the press and media? Do you like giving comments out or doing interviews? Even though we are doing this right now? Do you feel comfortable doing interviews? Or would you like to be left alone to just to create music. Are you cool with doing interviews?
To be honest the press in the Uk drive me mad!!! Years ago we really tried to get some coverage, we were knocked back from every mag and talked to like we were shit...I don't like that vibe! The Usa/German /French press have all been a lot nicer. I don't mind doing interviews, it all helps spread the word!
What are the aims of the Rurals for 2002? Are you thinking of touring this year?
We'll, the years nearly over! I have a dj gig in Greece and then one in Birmingham, then we're having a quite Christmas and new year. I'm planning dj tours for next year to promote the new album.
One of the tracks that I just adore from you called "Emotional feelings". It is also the title of your new album. Now to me is what is great about Deep House music. What a sweet track. How long did it take you make this track, and the album??
We'll the back bone of the album was done in about a week, the finishing touches/production took 7 months to complete...Emotional Feeling was done in 2 parts, the music (written with pete jacobsen) and then the vocals. It was a quick one that, proberly completed and finished in under 4 hours.
Another great Ambassador for Deep House music from England is Charles Webster, originally from Nottingham, England. Have you ever had the chance to listen to his stuff? Would you consider ever working with him if the chance arose?
I'd love to work with him! i've been familiar with his stuff from a long while back, he used to have a label called "remote" about 6 years ago. I really loved his song "Get lifted". I hadn't heard his material for a long time then I got a load of peacefrog b/cat. I'm really feeling the song "I understand you". It's sooooo deeeeep!!
Have you got any advice for any aspiring record label producer, DJ or club owner within the world of House and Garage. Any rules that he should adhere to!
Producers- stick at it! To get your own sound means a lot of hard work and time. Dj's - keep it underground! Club owners - book me to dj!!! A residency would be nice.