While around 2,000 bands just wrapped up a five-day stint in Austin, Texas for the South By Southwest festival, Toronto’s Born Ruffians were in B.C. to kick start their first Canada-only coast-to-coast tour.
“It’s the kind of thing you wish you could do every year, but it didn’t really make sense for us to do it this year,” said bassist Mitch Derosier of the band’s decision to opt of of playing SXSW. Having played the last two years in a row, “It would just be like us spinning our wheels a little bit.”
Moving forward is certainly something the band is concerned with at the moment, and in fact have done much of in the past year. Having released their sophomore album, Say It, last June, the band is now touring the songs from their recent EP, Plinky Plonk, released this past October. “It’s kind of an odds and ends collection of songs that we wanted people to hear and people to have access to,” said Derosier. The seven-track record is a combination of old and new material. Two of which, “Plinky Plonky” and “Like When You,” were written for the Say It album, but ultimately didn’t make the cut. As well, a solo-acoustic version of “Retard Canard II,” recorded by lead vocalist and guitarist Luke Lalonde, and remixed versions of “What To Say” and “Nova-Leigh” appear on the EP. Finally,Â the track “First Date Kid” is a collaboration between Lalonde and David Monks of Tokyo Police Club.
“We did some shows with [Tokyo Police Club] in the States where we could actually play that song as an encore, which was really awesome,” said Derosier, enthusiastically adding that he wishes the band could do more collaborations with TPC in the future.
While the band had initially started out as a trio back in 2004, Born Ruffians are now officially a quartet after the addition of Andy Lloyd, former bassist of the 2008 Polaris Prize-winning group Caribou. “With [Lloyd] it was kind of something that was a long time coming,” Derosier revealed. Although he did not contribute to Say It, Derosier assured that, having been playing live shows with Born Ruffians since 2009, Lloyd will be contributing to the writing and recording process for the next album.
The group has been spread out for the past few months – Lalonde having stayed in Australia after their last tour and Lloyd having moved to Montreal – but Derosier assures the band is currently working on some new material.
“Everything’s been done through email and demos that [Lalonde] has been coming up with for quite a while,” said Derosier. “So everything has just kind of been online-based. Our songs exist in the Internet. But hopefully when we all get together they’re going to come out sweet â€“ super sweet!”
After the cross-Canada tour, the band will be shacking up in an Ontario farmhouse in order to “stay there and hang out and just get into the mindset of writing songs and working together and not being distracted by other things,” Derosier explained.
While the new record is surely in its early stages, he hinted that, “We already have a song that has an animal name in the demo. I think that one has to make it on the record just for continuing that tradition of having animals plastered all over our records.”
Catch Born Ruffians when they play at La Sala Rossa on April 1.