The Rifles are one of the UK’s hottest talents and were instrumental in leading the way for other down to earth, working class, observational indie bands. Four albums in, and with the reformation of the band’s original line-up, they’re now set to take over the world. We recently spoke to the band to catch up and see how things are progressing, and find out about the creation of their latest album. Here’s what they had to say:
Hi guys, so a new album, and your fourth one at that. How is life being The Rifles?
Life is good apart from getting a parking fine this morning, and it’s nice to know they have put there fines up again but apart from all that the music always brings a smile back to the face. We are just on our way up to Bristol for the first gig of the tour so we are all feeling good and ready to do what we love!!
The fourth album sees the original line up back together. What happened to get you all together again, and are you gelling again like you did for the first album?
Well I think we all have a real love for the music that we make together, and as cheesy as it sounds nothing beats love in the end. You always come back to something that is real and pure in its roots. I’m just happy it happened sooner rather than later as sometimes time must play out!! As soon as we got in a room together it was there like the first day we played, whatever it is it makes us happy so now I guess we have learned to appreciate it.
The Rifles and especially ‘No Love Lost’ was a very down to earth, every day, socially observational sort of outfit. This still seems to be, the case. How do you guys maintain that down to earth outlook that becomes the subject of many of your songs?
Well the truth is we are in the same boat as every working class person out there. We have to work for a living, we haven’t had the big successes needed to relax or be in a place any different than the working class public. I guess we are all in the same boat so we relate to all the shit the day throws at you!!
The Rifles really rose to prominence during the last big indie boom, which featured bands like the Kooks, Arctic Monkeys, The Fratellis, Razorlight and so on. Some of these have fallen a little into obscurity, while others have become massive mainstream acts. What’s the secret behind The Rifles maintaining that great sound and remaining interesting without becoming stale, or selling out?
We have been blessed with a fan base that really believes in our music and against all odds they have not been swayed by the winds of change and certain cool fads. We owe them great thanks for thinking for them self and sharing our music with friends and family. In that sense being a rifles fan is a statement because you are unlikely to hear us on the radio or be told by the music industry that we are the band you need in your life there is no false marketing attached, you must decide for yourself and then you must decide if honesty is worth fighting for or at least supporting!
I’m sure it’s been asked before, but Jimmy might have been a ‘Local boy’ but who was Jimmy? Was he actually a real person?
Jimmy is the character we have lost. He is our granddad, your granddad, that man who had to see and live through horrors in a time when luxuries were few and far, and because of that his heart grew big. He was that friendly face, he was that local boy
I first saw you guys play a club in Coventry, and was blown away with your purist indie sound, that reminded me a lot of The Jam at the time, and still does. Who are your influences and are The Jam one of them?
To be honest there are many influences. As we are driving to the gig now we have Nirvana on the stereo. I think we are influenced more by a feeling than a sound. We could go across the board from Paul Weller to Bob Marley, to Joe Strummer to Kurt Cobain to, Van Gough To Bruce Lee and many more known and unknown men, women and artists. We just do what we love and it comes out sounding a certain way!
What other bands and artists do you guys find yourselves listening to recently?
I have to say I’ve been listening to a lot of Nirvana lately, and a band called Screaming Tea Party. I love Alex Turner’s lyrics and really happy to see some great new young talents emerging
I’d certainly love to see The Rifles play again, and as a Lincoln boy, would love to see you play here. Any plans to tour again soon and if so, coming anywhere near here?
Think we played in the Bivouac! Good memories. We will make a request to play there again just for you!!
How has writing the new album been, especially considering the original Rifles are all back in the mix?
Very natural, we wanted to make sure the album wasn’t over produced, that was the biggest thing. Everything is so effected with all the technology we have now, it’s easy for producers to be lazy and stick auto tune on everything instead of getting a performance from the band!
The new single ’Minute Mile’ has a much more epic, stadium sound to it than some of your previous material. Is this a conscious effort or just the way the song was written, and does the rest of the album share the same style?
We really didn’t write the song to be more epic, it just came from a jam in the rehearsal room then we stuck some lyrics on it! I don’t think the album really had a theme but it works like side A and side B. You can listen to it straight through and it takes you somewhere!
The Rifles were speaking to Mojo20′s Stuart Green (@mojo20_music)