Be it causing havoc in their local or touring round the UK in an old school bus. It’s never boring from the Gascan Ruckas lads. We had a chat before their new single launch.
► We haven’t heard much from the Gascan camp for a while, what have you guys been up to?
Decky McBride: Writing! We’ve been doing writing. There’s a new EP on its way and we’ve been putting a lot of work into getting the songs right. We’ve also been booking a lot of shows; there are a couple of tours in the pipeline including our first European Tour in September which we’re really looking forward to!
► Before the end of last year you were on tour around mainland UK, how’d that go?
We did two UK tours last year. One in May and one in October. Both were really good experiences. We made a lot of contacts and got to play a bunch of new cities to people who had never heard tell of us! We were also lucky enough to play alongside a surprising amount of Irish bands while were away including Lantern for a Gale, Strait Laces, More than Conquerors and Kill Goliath. We booked the tours ourselves on embarrassingly tight budgets with a little help from friends and a few strangers along the way. Considering none of us had ever played a show away from home, we achieved way more than we expected. You can check out some footage of us on the road on our YouTube channel!
► What’s the story behind the Gascan Ruckus big yellow touring bus? It looks very similar to something you’d be taken on for a school trip.
It’s an ex-SELB Youth Service minibus. We picked her up on the cheap and converted it in to a van. It’s got beds and all built in so it’s perfect for touring! We call her ‘Big Sue’.
► It seems to be a sought after vehicle, haven’t other local acts been taking to the road in it?
Yeah! Axis Of had it in Europe before Christmas and Chocolate Love Factory had it for a few shows. It’s been all over Ireland and the UK on trips to festivals, gigging and even the odd holiday. Last year, we spent a few weekends down in Swinford, Co. Mayo with the lads from the Hardy Bucks. In fact, I’m pretty sure she’s parked up somewhere in the background in one of the episodes of the last series, if you look closely.
► You’ve got a new single coming out 24th May, how do you feel it compares to your other releases?
This song is a bit different, it’s a pop song. Up until now we’ve been playing heavy, fast angry music which can be really fun and great live but with this new set of songs we wanted to produce something that would be as fun to listen to at home and enjoy as it would be to see live in a sweaty tent at Pigstock.
“The owner’s a bit of a living legend. He let us destroy the place. In fact, he encouraged it”
► The video for “Pieces” was released last week and received a great response. What went into creating it and where did the idea come from?
We have to give a lot of credit to Tristan Crowe, the director. We had a bunch of ideas and met up with him a couple of times until we had a bit of a ‘Eureka!’ moment. Nobody was entirely sure whether it was going to work, but we put our faith in Tristan and we’re all really happy with how it turned out. It was filmed in the Market house in Middletown (our local community hall).
► Staying on your videos, we’ve heard that the pub that you filmed “Vitamins” in was actually your local, is this true and did the owner let you off with the tab?
Aye, Hughes’ Bar in Middletown, Co. Armagh. The owner’s a bit of a living legend. He let us destroy the place. In fact, he encouraged it. He supplied us with an endless amount of alcohol and craic. He even made us some hot food halfway through the filming. Legend! Needless to say, we took full advantage of this.
► You’re set to play Pigstock next month in Killinchy. With our local festivals getting bigger each year, what do you think makes a festival like Pigstock different compared to a more mainstream event such as Belsonic or Vital?
It’s great fun to play local festivals. Last year we were lucky enough to play Glasgowbury and Sunflower festival and so far this year, we’ve been confirmed for Pigstock, Junk Yard Music Festival (Portadown) and Fortstock (Clones, Co. Monaghan). They’re two entirely different experiences. In Northern Ireland, we have an incredible amount of talent, and the support for this both locally and further afield, has grown tremendously over the last number of years. Festivals like Pigstock are a fantastic way of showcasing this talent and it’s great for artists to come together and perform. We feel very proud to be part of this community and these festivals will be among the highlights of our year! Bigger festivals like Belsonic and T Vital are great to go and watch but they lack that homely, maternal feeling that’s unique to the local showcases!
► What have you guys got planned after this release, could there be more to come?
For sure. We have an Irish tour planned for July as well as the festivals we mentioned previously. ‘Pieces’ is one of 5 tracks to be released this year. There’s an EP set for release in September with another two singles followed by our third UK tour and our first trip to Europe! Details of this will be released shortly.
► And finally, due to hitting a milestone on your Facebook page we were treated to a quick glimpse of yourself in denim shorts in the “Pieces” video preview. Is this the last we’ll see of them?
Fuck, I hope so! Hahahaha…