Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Interview: The Ruby Dukes

From L to R: Matt, Zak, and Mike.

Standing under the ceiling level heaters atop of The Sugarmill may seem comfortable, but the cold January weather just takes away the fact of there being 'heat'. However, the excitement of heat was an immaculate aspect of The Ruby Dukes set, as Matthew Clewley found out pre-show with 2/5ths of genre-bending locals.

Music Review Database: Where did the name The Ruby Dukes come from?

The Ruby Dukes: Duke came from sort of a Noel Fielding / Might Boosh link really, and theirs a bit of David Bowie, who used to be called The Thin White Duke. Ruby came from... Well we were originally going to be called The Ruby Tuesday's after The Rolling Stones song - but we thought that wasn’t very original.

Did you know you were going to get a Six Towns Award?

Not really, we sort of plugged it a bit and said we were up for an award, we didn’t think anything would come from it really. It’s really nice to be appreciated by all the locals - it just shows we're doing the right things.

How did you start off and gain your local status?
Just hard work, we've all been in to music for a long time and we've always wanted to start a band - it wouldn’t be the same if one person wasn’t there, it all seemed to come together at the right time. We were doing it as a laugh, just doing jams and stuff. Then did some open mic nights at The Full Moon in Newcastle (-under-Lyme), and it all spiralled from there.

What's the biggest venue you've played?

We played the 02 Academy in Birmingham, the Academy 2.

Was that as a support role?

Yeah it was.

Who were you supporting?

It was one of those showcase events, so lots of little bands from all over the place, but it was good just to get out of the city and see what it’s like in other places.

We've supported All The Young here (at The Sugarmill), that was massive - a sold out gig. That was only six months after we started playing as well.

So with recorded music, did you put it out first and then play live? or the other way?

We concentrated on our live performance first. So we practised heavily for about six or seven months before we even did anything. Then we went out live and people wanted the recorded music.

Do you have plans for future recorded material?

Definitely yes, we have a single in the pipe line. We’re recording in March for some more tracks. We have one out at the moment on iTunes, called "Paper Sunset" - we've just been concentrating on that for a while and moving things forward.

Are you going to end up releasing an EP?
Yeah I think EPs going to be the one next, then hopefully an album. We have a lot of material and most is from when we started out, so it’s mostly early jam sessions. We're sort of evolving now and finding our actual sound.

What influenced the sound?

Tonnes, each member is into different styles of music. So there’s a bit of indie in there, a bit of mod, 60s, glam. It comes together when we're all there together.

We're all in to similar stuff. A few like Arctic Monkeys, The Libertines, and bands like that - David Bowie. It all sort of blends itself together when we play.

With all these blends, try and name yourself as a genre?

We tried doing this before. Psychedelic, rock and roll, indie, and a bit punky. It's really hard to pigeon hole yourself, we cater for all.

What do you think about the music industry when it comes to The Ruby Dukes?

Well we want to try and push us forward, and hope there’s something there for us. We're constantly pushing and improving. We want it all, but we're just taking one step at a time at the minute - baby steps, still in pampers at the minute.

Are you signed at the moment?


Are you confident you will get signed in the next year or so?

We hope so. We can’t see any reason why we wouldn’t. We’ve already had interest from a few different places - it hasn’t really worked out, or hasn’t been right for us as a band. But we can’t see any reason why we can’t keep pushing and get signed.

In three words, how would you describe The Ruby Dukes?

Energetic, fun, and futuristic.


Special thanks to Zak and Mike for spending their pre-show time with us in the cold. You can check out The Ruby Dukes' music here.

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