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'How Deep Is Your Love' is a song title claimed by multiple bands. Most recently, The Rapture took it for the lead single from their latest album In The Grace Of Your Love. Its a fun fact to note that self-proclaimed bad boys of late 90s R&B, Dru Hill (which also happens to be a park in Baltimore that the band are named after) also lay ownership to the song title. "Sisqó and I are from the same state," Gabriel Andruzzi, the band's multi-instrumentalist (and the best goddamn cow-bell dinger I've ever seen) announces. "And actually, I was at dinner next to Dru Hill two nights ago."
Last night they played the newest shiniest jewel in São Paulo's venues, Cine Joia. And now seems the perfect time to share the interview we did with Gabe, where he shares his thoughts on Sisqó, frustration surrounding the bands evolution and what he's going to do about being scared shitless to be one of those ageing rocker bros.
Since the unexpected announcement of the release of another album, it's been well documented that The Rapture have spent the past few years getting through and getting over lots of stuff. Births, deaths, break-ups, make-ups and finally, an album produced by Philippe Zdar that deals with it all. 'It all' being any number of the hurts and resentments that happened which in turn, enabled the band to find some redemption and acceptance enough to make an album themed with that very process. It's been greeted critically with mixed reviews, but regardless of what people think, the boys are happy with the record. And so they should be.
Have you heard the comparisons to Sisqo's hit 'Thong Song' in reaction to 'How Deep Is Your Love'? Do you know Sisqo's old band Dru Hill also did a song called 'How Deep Is Your Love' too? Was there any deliberate reference to either of those? How do you feel about that?
Sisqo and I are from the same state. Actually, I was at dinner next to Dru Hill two nights ago. It's actually a park in Baltimore. I didn't know that Dru Hill had a song called 'How Deep Is Your Love', it totally skipped over me. There wasn't any deliberate reference at all, there totally wasn't. Any similarities were totally pointed out after the album was recorded and mastered, and we were like oh fuck. But. Then we got over it.
The band as a whole and each of you personally have been through some shit in the last few years. Obviously, shit is good for art. It's like, fertiliser. Do you understand why Luke was so uncomfortable to going back to the band in the first place? Like, at any point did you kind of just think, 'Hey, I've always been pretty solid in this, so guys, let's just make some music already'?
Oh yeah, all the time.
Yeah totally. I was ready to make a ready when we got of the road off Pieces Of The People. Pretty much right away, I was like let's go find a space, let's go build a studio. We don't have a label, but let's be powerful. But I'm not a singer, I'm not in front of the stage, I didn't grow up like Luke or Mattie. So I never completely realised the places they were each in. I was kinda just like, put my head to the ground and do the work.
It was definitely a journey and I learned a lot about the people I make music with and the world and myself, by having to find our ways through this space where Luke, Vito and I could make a record together.
There were times when I totally got fed up. I was also really compassionate. And that's a weird thing for me to try and be solid and try and do a good job. I try to think of myself as a person who is rooted and is there, but also the flip side of that where I'd totally get annoyed and angry. But that came out because I was hurt. More than anything, I was hurt when people were just not showing up. You know, when people weren't emotionally there for the band, when I was like, you know, we're so fucking lucky to be in a band that has made two good records and have travelled around the world, let's do it again. But let's do it faster. It was way too long between Echoes and Pieces Of The People. It was like, a year, two years, two and a half years between records and it was like 'it's going to be great, we're going to have so many ideas', but it obviously took longer.
But that's okay. Everything turned out alright at this point though.
Well yeah. We made a record that we're happy with and wouldn't have made otherwise.
Of all the things that could be considered really cool to do as a musician (and 'a cool, credible music bro' to boot), I would consider being 'founders of a scene' as right up there. But you guys have previously said that it's like, a cute credit to be called founders of some scene; but all you wanna be is a really good band. What would constitute being a 'really good band' to you?
I think making the record we just made would constitute as being a really good band. Going out and touring and playing live shows the best we can do it and setting a high bar for ourselves as being a really good band. We're really doing it to the best of our abilities.
There's been lots of really good bands, that I love and think are great, and for me those bands really hit on something emotionally. There was something I really identified with. For me, for us - for the three of us - it's to create music, create records and play live shows that excites us, that excites all three of us.
At this stage in your career, how much does it still bother you in terms of what people think, now? Is there anyone's opinion that you still actually give a shit about?
That's a good question. Like, I kinda give a shit about everybody's opinion in a way, um. But for me, at the end of the day, I want people to come to our shows, and for people to buy our record and to be able to spend time with it and have an experience with it. For me, listening to music and being a musician is a really really simple thing. And I go back to the music I always loved and it would put a smile on my face, or it made me feel something deep, or made me want to dance. That's what the music I love to listen to still does.
I'm pretty passionate about music. It's been the centre of my life for a really really long time, so I don't really care if somebody… [pause] In all honesty, it does make me really sad, you know? I get really sensitive about something I spent a really long time making. But it makes me sad if I read something and the person doesn't actually find themselves making a connection to the music, or they let the stories about the band or the history or the past of the band keep them from listening to the songs and having an emotional experience or having some sort of feeling with the music.
When I listen to music, I'm not thinking about the person who made it or their life story. When I do read a biography or watch a movie about somebody, it's usually after I listen their record a million times, and it helps me make sense of how they write. Like, it totally makes sense after listening to their music. Anything I need to learn about a musician, I get from listening to their music.
That's a really pure way of wanting to experience music. So many people don't do it like that now because of how the business of music is driven now.
I guess that's my blind spot. Since I was like four or five I've had these very pure experiences with music. And I remember going to see concerts when I was eleven or twelve and there was always this naive quality, and I still hold onto it when I listen to music and when I go look at art and experience other things. I like it when things hit me at the heart. For me that's the most important thing. I have a hard time seeing the other side, like, I have a hard time seeing people get excited about the context of the design element of the song…as much as I actually appreciate that about art and music, so.
Do you remember the first festival you went to? Was it good/shit/memorable? Who did you see play?
You know, I didn't go to festivals until I was an adult, really. There weren't festivals like that in America, at least not on the scale that they do now. The first touring big festival in America was when they started doing the Lollapaloozas, and I thought they were super lame cause I grew up like a punk kid from Washington DC and like, I'd go see Fugazi, and go to these shows in churches and they were benefit shows, so there really was this kind of, pure quality to it. So the festivals I did go to I would go to like, Women's Fest, which was like the festival that was thrown in this small park in DC by this group that did a lot of awareness. I'd go see a bunch of local bands play for one day or over the weekend. I think DC and that area was blessed with a lot of seminal and important underground post and hardcore bands.
Does the thought of becoming one of those 'ageing rocker music bros' scare you?
It scares the shit out of me.
What are you going to do about it?
I'm going to stay young looking for a really long time so I can ignore the fact that I'm ageing. When I'm living my normal life I can be my age, and when I'm on the road I can still be 24.