▶ Tell us the interesting story behind the bands moniker.
I’m Rupert Stroud. I’m an Alternative acoustic singer / songwriter from West Yorkshire.
▶ When did the band form and how long did it take to find the bands own sound?
I started playing guitar and singing as a teenager at school. So as music was my passion, after school I decided to go to uni to study Music and Media in Leeds. It was during my 3rd and final year of the course that I started getting into my writing a lot more and started gigging around the local scene as a solo artist. As a musician you’re always evolving and progressing with your sound. You’re never going to just stick at what you started with. It’s a learning curve if anything. After a couple years of writing and performing I’ve now come to the sound which I think is me.
▶ What releases have you put out thus far, and which would be the one to listen to for the uninitiated?
I released my first LP “Rupert Road” in 2009 when I was “part time musician”. That sound was a lot more pop / acoustic singer/songwriter and now I see it as a stepping stone or the tentative steps towards the sound I have now. After a lot of writing and gigging and some more writing I released my 2nd LP “Chasing The Night” in 2011. The sound on that album was a massive progression from my debut and I counted “Chasing The Night” as my real “debut”. This April I released a charity single “Always” in aid of Alzheimer’s Research UK. I wrote the song in dedication of my grandma who passed away in 2009 after a 7 year battle with the disease! I had written the song shortly after she’d passed away but never put in on any of my albums… it was too special to me to have it potentially lost in an album with 11 other tracks around it. So I re-recorded the track at the start of the year and contacted the charity, sent them the mp3 and explained that I wanted to donate all download profits to them. They loved the song and loved the idea and gave me their full backing and some amazing support! That track is available on iTunes and Amazon world wide and also, for those who can donate more generously and in return get the track, please visit www.rupertstroudforaruk.com But either way you should definitely download it and know that you’re contributing to a very hard working, yet underfunded charity that need our support!…. And then of course there is my brand new single “Twisted Games” and the B-side “No Peace Of Mind” out on major digital outlets on 24th September! I’d say check out my 3 latest singles and “Chasing The Night”.
▶ Is there a particular live show that stands out amongst all the rest?
In June I put on a fundraising charity concert in aid of Alzheimer’s Research UK in my home town of Ilkley at the Playhouse. It was a fantastic night! It was a sell out and on the night we raised over £1,200! That was a special show as all my friends and family and local fans were there and also many people from the local community, who had read my story and fundraising efforts in the paper.
▶ Can you talk about a Highlight and a Lowlight of the journey so far?
At one point I joined a crap indie band for a couple months… I was at a low point with my music and was asked to join the band (I will not name and shame them) to do backing vocals and guitar… the music was crap- 2 of the members were in love with themselves for NO reason and I didn’t enjoy it. After 2 months I quit. But this then inspired me to work harder at my own music and out of that came “Chasing The Night” which I’m proud of. So before and during that experience there was the lowlight but in the end the outcome was a massive highlight! Sometimes I wish I’d never doubted myself, wasted my time joining that band but life, as well as the music industry, is all about experiences and we learn from them all, good or bad.
▶ What does ‘success’ mean to the band?
Success to me means happiness. If you can be happy doing what you do for a living then you are ‘A success”. I love making music, performing live and connecting with people with my songs. Not to say I don’t want to own a fancy house with a swimming pool and lots of sports cars!!… But I see success being measured on happiness and respect. To be respected in the industry by your peers is a major factor I think.
▶ You are in control of forming a 4 piece ‘supergroup’ – who is in it and what do they do?
I’ve been asked this before! But the answer has slightly changed since then! Lead vocals – Chris Cornell – his voice is incredible – He’s just so slick as well! // Lead Guitar – we’ve got Mathew Bellamy (from Muse) … That’s like having 2 guitarists anyway the guy’s that good! // Bass Guitar – I always say Flea from RHCP- I saw them live years ago in Manchester and he was just mesmerizing. // Drums – We’ve got Dave Grohl … you don’t have to ask why..
▶ If you and 3 bands of your choosing were to do a world tour; who would the other 3 bands be? (Active or not)
Elbow would have to be one of them. I actually said it when I saw them live last year. “I would love to tour with Elbow!” Fantastic live band. The Rolling Stones – Just because they’re living legends and I bet hanging out with Mick Jagger while touring is still good fun even though he’s nearly 70! Like hanging out with a really cool grandpa… A 3rd choice would be a tough decision between – Arcade Fire and Kings of Leon… orrrrr (weather you like them or not) Coldplay- they’re world tours have been incredibly successful so you know you’d be onto a winner!.
▶ What will be the 3 strangest things on your rider when you’re able to make any demand?
How big is the dressing room?… to have a hot tub in the dressing room! Is that strange or just smart thinking?.
▶ Finally, in a climate saturated with bands vying for listener attention; why should the good old folks at home listen to you guys?
I wanted to offer something different from the usual “singer/ songwriter” category. My sound has been described as possessing compelling vocals and signature inventive beat driven arrangements. My producer, Will Jackson and I have worked together to produce a sound which is full bodied, rather than the expected acoustic and vocals only sound. We have also introduced a rawness throughout, which we feel brings depth and character to the songs. You won’t be disappointed!