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ROHAN BROOKS (Rudely Interrupted) – GUITAR

Rudely Interrupted promo pic 1We all face challenges. Some, more than others.  Rudely Interrupted is one band which doesn’t let life’s trials and tribulations get in the way of achieving amazing goals and most importantly, having a good time along the journey.  In 2008 Rudely Interrupted were the first ever indie band to perform at the United Nations in New York City, which in return sent them on an international touring path to this day. A year later, the band independently released their AFI nominated DVD of the UN US, Canada & UK tour which premiered nationally in Australia on ABC TV 1. The documentary has been screened all around the world at festivals, gaining the band some high profile media. Last year they performed in China at the Hong Kong Jockey Club followed by a short tour to New Zealand. In early October this year,  Rudely Interrupted released ‘I Am Alive’, a rockin’ new single from the EP of the same name. Rudely Interrupted’s guitarist Rohan Brooks took some time out to do a Q&A with Australian Musician.

What was your first guitar?
Acoustic, trashy guitar. My mother bought one for my brother. He was better than me and could smash bah, bah black sheep … I couldn’t. I picked up the drums and played them for many years, touring with some great bands over the world. I first started to seriously play in 2006 and I bought a Fender Squier, cream, new and pretty crap.

What’s your main guitar now?
Fender Squier. I got a good one from the early 80s made in the US, always on the lookout for something new to love. We used the same guitar Kram used on his latest record, a vintage Les Paul custom, Viking thingy. Andre Warhusrt provided the guitar, he’s an incredible player. He actually used the same guitar on Jet’s record Get Born and Kram used it on Spider Bait’s latest record. We used it on ‘I Am Alive’, that combo, with the Shure 57 into the LA 610, was the combo that we loved hearing.

Through what amp and why?
I’ve used Laney a lot in the past, and they’ve helped us out around the world, but this wasn’t exactly what was in my head for this new record. We used a few different guitars and amps, 80s Marshall combo with some crazy wattage, Vox, and Laney. We wanted to explore some richer rock tones and the proof is in the pudding of all the great records over the years, so we looked at some more full guitar tones through different amps and guitars to search for what we wanted. It’s a rabbit hole at times. We had some boundaries and financial constraints of course, that can help shape the projects direction and direction can be very important to getting the results you want.

Which pedals are your standards?
To be honest, over the past few years I’ve kept my stage requirements to a complete minimum. I like to use the dynamics of my playing and the amp to bring out the energy. For the ‘I Am Alive Tour’ I’ll be using my trusted TC Tuner and EchoPlex Booster, one pedal, maximum pre amp gain. Yum!

Rory is experimenting with foot pedals for his vocals. He’s singing lead vocals, lead keys and playing bass lines with his left hand. He felt he had a foot that wasn’t doing enough, so we’re always working new ways to perform the live set better.

What’s your latest recording and when will you be back in the studio?
Our latest recording ‘I Am Alive’ is definitely a huge growth in the band’s sound and writing. It’s our 4th studio release, we’ve always had strong production values with the recordings and mixes. Greg Wales mixed ‘I Am Alive’ at ABC in Sydney, we loved working with him. He brought a lot to the final result and the songs speak for themselves.

We’ll be taking ‘I Am Alive’ on the road over the coming months across Australia, we’ve got a sponsor to support the tour, Frasil Foundation. We’re thrilled to have the opportunities in front of us to hit the road and get the new record out there into the universe… Melbourne. Sydney, Lismore, Adelaide, Perth.

We had a few ripper new songs we left off ‘I Am Alive’, but they just weren’t finished in time for the plan we had, so we’ll be working on them after this tour and we’ll be looking at releasing something again as soon as we can. We have a lot of touring next year with more international invitations, so we’ll see what we can fit in over the coming 12 months.

What gigs have you been playing lately?
We’ve recently returned from our 13th international performance, we played in the USA in LA for the party of the year at the home of the LA Derby Dolls for the Twenty Wonder 2014 celebrations.

Italy at the Storchi Theatre in Mondena, was incredible. We were accompanied by the 80 piece Alberto Pio Orchestra, so it was a very overwhelming and also a very humbling experience for us all.

‘I Am Alive’ Tour is going to be massive for us all, we’re doing a lot of interviews and we’re gearing up for the best tour yet. The summer of 2014/15 will be nothing but fun for us all. We’ll have a lot more touring all over Australia next year and a few international invitations and festivals so the Rudely Interrupted calendar is getting mighty full.

Most memorable gig?
The United Nations in New York City was a stand out show and one of the life affirming experiences you’ll never forget. As people find out more about it, we are reminded of this more often than not. It’s a great memory to have although we had no monitors to hear ourselves back. Thankfully Rory lives with perfect pitch,  so the band sounded perfect front of house.

Worst stage nightmare?
As above, a pivotal moment in my life and the technology dropped out. I can be very philosophical about most things, so I can take a lot from that experience. I guess it was bigger than what I wanted from the moment. The impact is still reverberating around the world and the invitations keep coming in, so it clearly was a pivotal moment in time for us all.

Album that changed your life?
Have to be Kiss Alive 2, the images, the concert, the blood, but importantly the songs, ‘Shout It Out Loud’, ‘Beth’, the feeling of wonder with the music and the images drew me to want to understand more about the spectacle

What gigs are coming up in the next few months?
The  Australian tour has started and we’re extremely excited about this tour because we have a sponsor, The Frasil Foundation. It’s an exciting time for the band and with support from the Frasil Foundation, we’ll be performing all over Australia from Oct through to Dec 2014.

Melbourne – Nov 9th Northcote Social Club
Adelaide – Nov 16th The Gov – Governor Hindmarsh Hotel
Perth – Dec 3rd Rosemount Hotel

A guitar tip for the kids?
Having a rhythm background, I kind of play the guitar like a drummer. I understand rhythm,  so the patterns we play and write are based around rhythm exercises we use to write. Rhythm inspires me, the complexity and simplicity of rhythm is a beautiful thing and a great guideline and boundary to write within. That’s my tip kids, learn the drums as well!

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