PHOTO CREDIT: Mike Briggs
IT has a while since I have investigated a…
raw and ready Rock band. The Rah’s are a cheeky and fun quintet hailing from Prestonpans – and are one of Scotland’s finest young bands. I find out more about The Time Is Now – a call-to-arms and anthem for energy and change. The boys explain why there is a need for rebellion; why they feel Rock is alive and well, still – and how Pop music does not engage them the same way (as Rock).
I ask the band about their touring plans and what life is like in Prestonpans. They chat about their coming-together and what it was like recording at Maybank Studios alongside Producer James Darkin.
Hi, guys. How are you? How has your week been?
We are all good. Excited for this release!
Musically, it has been productive. Work-wise, absolutely draining.
For those new to your work, can you introduce yourself, please?
Well, basically, we are a bunch of good mates with a passion for bringing live music back to our area; creating our own songs and image on the way - and enjoying the adventure that it brings.
Prestonpans is your base. What is it like living there? Is it quite a busy music scene or do you have to go into Edinburgh to find a bit of musical action?
Living here is pretty standard: nothing exciting about it, but it’s our home. There is (just) your basic pub entertainment, really: to see bigger bands/gigs then aye you’ll need to head into Edinburgh for that - even though the music scene isn’t up to much at the moment.
The venues are shutting down left-right-and-centre.
The Time Is Now is your new single. What can you tell us about it?
The Time Is Now was written a good few year back.
Our loyal fans will know the original version (from our 2013 E.P., Living the Dream). We decided to give the song another visit - to hype it up. Taking it to James Darkin was just what it needed - the final product we wanted.
It is a direct and charged song. How inspired are you by what is happening around the world? How do you judge where we are at the moment and the state of affairs?
The song is directed at every single person who ever had a glint of hope in them - to spark a change from the smallest thing in your life to an all-out rebellion. The current state of affairs makes it the perfect time to release this beast!
The world needs a drastic change!
What was it like recording in Maybank Studios alongside Producer James Darkin?
It was a new environment for all of us: we’d never recorded there before and it was James’ first time in bonnie Scotland. From the minute we met him, we got the feeling we were in for a treat. With his wealth of experience - from working with some of the world’s best artists - he opened our minds to ideas we normally wouldn't consider.
His input combined with ours made for a perfect match. The song was recorded with no click track involved to get the proper feel for a live, raw sound.
How would you say you’ve changed since your last track, Sweet Talker, and, say, your earlier E.P.s? Do you consciously set out to depart from what has come before?
We've always learned from our experiences along the way and we've definitely matured.
We accepted that the song wasn't up-to-scratch before - so we gave it a completely new feel. The music we have been making, recently, has been moving a lot more toward the Rock genre - from Sweet Talker-type sound we had before. The changes have kinda been gradual with no intent; sorta flowing naturally.
We’re all on the same wavelength now.
Sweet Talker, I believe, was recorded in Bradford. Being a Scottish band; what was the reason for recording there?
Our manager had some contacts point him in the direction of Peak Studios.
The producer, along with the studio, was highly recommended. We are always up for a change of scenery - as being away from home always inspires and opens your eyes to new ideas.
Is there going to be more music later this year/2018? How fertile are the creative juices right now?
We have plenty more tunes brewing at the minute...
All of us can’t wait for our next session in the studio. It’s something we absolutely love: it gets us through all the long hours of practice. We’re looking into recording one more song this year and, as always, are buzzing to let everyone hear it!
The Rah’s formed in 2011 through a deep friendship. What was the reason for starting the band and how did you meet the newest recruit, Chris?
At first; it all started as a little muck around. We all had a love for music but never really thought anything of it. We had a few practice sessions and the whole idea grew on us.
So, we thought we’d try our hands at it…after all: who wants a nine-till-five taking up the best years of life!?
What have been the biggest changes from your inception in 2011 to now, would you say?
Matured for definite - musically and mentally.
Our influences haven’t changed but we’ve definitely explored and studied music a lot since then - so we have opened a whole new bible of influences.
The likes of Arctic Monkeys are promising new material this year. It seems solid and dependable Rock bands are coming back strong. Do you sense something in the air or are people looking for music direct and meaningful?
Well, Rock music will never die. I’m sure Alex Turner said that himself: it’s inevitable. The Pop music of today is meaningful to some, but not so much to us. Being in a band makes you look into music a bit further than the standard music listener.
Pop music these days is only meaningful because the melodies are catchy; the majority of the lyrics are written by other people so to the artist singing and performing it seems pretty meaningless. I mean, fair enough making millions – but, having it spoon-fed to you and not showing any passion/input/talent towards the making of the music is very frustrating for bands like us.
Among your future tour dates is a gig at The Dublin Castle on 16th September. Are you excited about that one and, after dates in London, Liverpool and Manchester – will there be any more after that?
There will be plenty more to come this year…that is all we have confirmed so far. Also, more studio time - so more new music coming your way!
Who are new acts you recommend we check out?
IN THIS PHOTO: Tijuana Bibles/PHOTO CREDIT: David Muir Photography
If you each had to select the album that means the most to you; which would it be and why?
Red Hot Chili Peppers - By the Way
It has absolutely everything in it.
The Beatles - Abbey Road
Kasabian - Empire
Tame Impala - Lonerism
Takes you away from reality.
What advice would you give to artists coming through right now?
Stick at it; dig deep: no matter how bad you think you are doing, just keep going - especially if you are enjoying it! Take everyone’s comments in but don't let them effect your decisions drastically: it’s for you to choose what music you create and if it sounds good to you - play it with pride!
Finally, and for being good sports, you can each name a song and I’ll play it here (not one of yours as I’ll do that).
Jack: The La’s – Feelin’
Neale: Blossoms – Blow
Jordan: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Weapon of Choice
Andy: Temples - Mesmerise
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