Unique and uplifting, Melbourne indie rockers Rudely Interrupted are heading to Brisbane this Easter for the launch of Live Large (15-16 April), Australia's first truly accessible festival.
Live Large is being presented by CPL, formerly the Cerebral Palsy League, in conjunction with Treasury Casino to promote a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere for punters of all ages and abilities.
Rudely Interrupted will be on hand to kick the event off in style along with The Three Handed Beat Bandits, DJ DefWill, William Barton and a cappella sensation Soulstice as well as performances from Inside Outside Dance Ensemble and Screech Theatre.
We caught up with Rudely Interrupted's Rohan Brooks to chat about Live Large and what they've got planned for 2017.
How did Rudely Interrupted initially come together?
Rohan met Rory at a BBQ in 2006. Rohan was touring with bigger bands around the world back then, but would hold music therapy classes and was looking to form a band from it all. Rory’s sausages were being stolen from his plate from his little brothers, so Rohan went to help him out and struck up a one-sided conversation about cricket.
On return to work Rohan met Josh and had known Sam for a number of years. I put the guys together and it was a complete disaster, but for a second we played something together and Rory lives with perfect pitch, so it sounded good enough to keep the train wreck moving forward. Two years later we were playing the Laneway Festival and invited to the UN, the rest is still being played out.
Where does the band name come from?
Rory feels his world has been rudely interrupted by his life situation, being born without eyes is a gift he’s been given from the universe and thinks it’s a little rude and an interruption to a quality of life others take for granted, but he wouldn’t change it for the world.
It's been about three years since you released the 'I Am Alive' album; what have you guys been up to in the meantime?
This is a loaded question and some things we can’t talk about yet. But we can say we have been writing, recording and rehearsing non-stop. Rohan broke his foot and that put things on hold until he came good. He now lives with 14 pins in his foot, but the band refuse to call him disabled. Rory says “he’s got nothing on us”.
Can you tell us about the new album you're working on?
It’s a ripper, the best yet. We really honed in on our songwriting skills and production values on this record. It takes time to write good songs. We feel we’ve written enough rubbish for the great songs to start coming to the surface of our minds.
We worked and worked the songs for months and months until they were right. The new record and our first single is called ‘Love You Till I Die’ it will be released in Australia later this year.
How does it feel to be involved with what's being dubbed as 'Australia's first truly accessible festival', Live Large?
From a professional point of view, it makes us feel our art and performances are valued. How does anyone feel when they’re included? They feel good, accepted, wanted and valued. That’s how we feel about being asked to perform.
We have to start somewhere as a society and this is an important issue for us. Being who we are whether we like it or not, we are excluded from most music opportunities because of what others think disability means to them. This needs to change and we’re thrilled to have CPL and Live Large festival to spark this conversation in Brisbane.
What can audiences expect from the festival?
Depends on how one approaches the festival, you can get out of it what you want. It’s the diversity that we find so appealing at these festivals all 'round the world. From a personal point of view, we will give 110 per cent.
We want to help change people's perception of what it means to live with disability, but we do it because we are musicians and we have a thirst to show people our music and we want it to connect to people. So expect some crafty rock & roll performed by a bunch of musicians who have been working together for 11 years. We will ROCK!
What does it mean for people with disabilities to have access to events such as music festivals?
Included. Rory says it makes him feel connected and appreciated for his artistic endeavours. Access for everyone is important and something Australia really needs to improve upon for a more accepting and healthy society.
What's been your proudest achievement as a band?
Staying together. We have been working together for 11 years. We still like each other and that keeps us keeping on. From a performance perspective it’s hard to go past the UN in NYC, or live TV across Canada, or our film clip winning a Cannes Award, or performing in Italy with the 80pc Alberto Pio Orchestra. The list goes on and on.
We’ve toured internationally 13 times and everyone of those tours has been massive for us as a band and something we are very proud of.
What else is coming up for the band in 2017?
We’re off to Russia in May for a few shows in Moscow and Berlin and Germany a couple of weeks later this year to tour the record. So basically just some more mindblowing shows and opportunities for Rudely Interrupted. We can’t wait to release the new record. It really is great; the songs are huge and band is on fire.
Rudely Interrupted perform as part of Live Large festival at the Cultural Forecourt, South Bank Parklands, (Brisbane) 15-16 April.