Now this is the way to do band interviews.
Exposed is sat outside the Kelham Island Tavern, enjoying the (surprisingly) warm mid-September air and watching the sun set over Sheffield’s city centre. Lovely, eh?
Well, to make things even better, we’re in the company of psychedelic rockers, Rumpus. “We’ve not done this sort of thing for a while, sorry if it’s a bit… shit,” apologises brilliantly moustached bass player, Danny Lowe.
Far from it! A few drinks and talk of sexy pumas, dreadlocked nipple hair and musicians paired with alcoholic drinks equals a dream interview to us. Read on, dear reader, and join the rumpus.
So chaps, what tracks will you be playing for Exposed In Session?
Dan: We’re pretty sure that we’ll go for Reality Sandwich and Magical Realm.
Interesting. What’s on a reality sandwich?
Dan: A little bit of sarcasm, I suppose. The other main ingredients are truth and large amounts of nonsense.
Ian: It also has cheese on it.
Is that what a Rumpus sandwich looks like?
Dan: I guess so, yeah. Reality Sandwich is about a man who, unfortunately, has got a parasite in his head which is controlling his life. After a while, he gets this reality sandwich and realises what is really going on. It’s mainly about thought control – the parasitic nature of thoughts.
Ian: I literally had no idea the song was about that.
You’ve described your sound as “loud rocktoss/dirtpunk/psychedelic-spazzpop”. Erm, can you help me out a bit?
Dan: To be fair, we’ve never been genre-specific – so we prefer to list stuff like that instead! I think bands are always made to feel like they should explain themselves and what they’re all about. I suppose, if you’re struggling to describe it, alternative rock usually works.
Psychedelic sums it up pretty well, I reckon.
Dan: The only problem with that is people coming up to you at gigs and saying, “where’s ya keyboards, eh?” and we’re just like, “well, where’s yours?”
You’ve also compared experiencing your music to “being chased by a set of pumas”; is that pretty f*cking scary, then?
Dan: Kind of sexy though, too?
Mind you, I guess a puma is quite an elegant beast, so I can see where you get those connotations. I’d rather be chased and eaten by a puma than a rabid dog, for example.
Ian: Yeah, it’s probably the best sort of beast to be chased by.
Dan: Nah, you wouldn’t want a scratty dog, would you? Pumas please!
Agreed. Let’s move on from wild beasts. You’ve been together for a long time, right?
Dave: We’ve been in bands together for ages; Rumpus started in the early 2000’s but we go back even further than that. However, we had had an eight year break in between 2005 and 2013.
That’s a fair old break. Pretty much a divorce, really. What sparked the reunion?
Dan: I guess it’s because we stopped playing together and all remained really close mates. Me and Dave finished with a band called Loveboat, and we still had loads of songs in our heads, so after meeting up with Ian one night we decided to get back together as Rumpus again.
Dave: We did the Three Squid EP with Alan Smyth last year – it was our first record since getting back together
Ah, I’ve had a listen to that. I particularly enjoyed Octopus and Act Like a Creep – those two are great tunes.
Dave: Thank you. Octopus always seems to get a good reception; we played it at a friend’s wedding before and everyone picked that as the standout track.
Ian: We’ve stopped playing those songs. I think we just churn out loads and forget about the older ones which people actually enjoyed.
Naturally, with a song called Act Like a Creep, I must now ask what is the creepiest thing you’ve ever done?
Dave: There’s no chance I’m telling you that!
Ian: What about your dreadlocks, Dan?
Really? I couldn’t imagine Dan suiting dreadlocks.
Dave: Well, these dreadlocks actually came out of his nipples.
Dan: You see, I used to get really long nipple hair. Quite ridiculous, actually. I couldn’t bring myself to trim it, so I ended up dreadlocking my nipple hair. You could get away with that sort of stuff back then – it was the 90’s!
Ian: He’d even go as far to put beads on it.
That, without a shadow of a doubt, is incredibly creepy. Well played indeed! How are you enjoying being back together as a band – is it more about having fun now?
Dave: To be fair, it’s always been about having a laugh. But yeah, I’m really enjoying being back together. What about you guys?
Dan: Yeah, definitely. I think – and I’m trying not to sound too clichéd here – that it’s important for us that we stay true to ourselves. The amount of times we’ve had people come up to us previously and say, “we think you’re a great band, just lose the humour side and you could do something”. But that’s what we’re all about – a group of mates who use music as a way to have a bit of fun together.
Ok, in the office today we were playing a game called ‘If Musicians Were Alcoholic Drinks?’ Do you want to hear what we came up with? – We are sat outside a pub after all.
All: Yes. Go for it.
Shane McGowan we had down as a glass of Jameson’s Whiskey.
Dan: Naturally, but whenever I’ve seen him interviewed it’s usually gin.
Oasis are Stella; very popular and accessible – but with slightly aggressive connotations.
*Nods of agreement*
Dave: Of course.
Dan: My only problem with Oasis is the fact that they are a good rock and roll band – I just don’t quite understand the aftermath of all of these indie bands who cite Oasis as an influence and actually sound like a selection of their worst songs. Like, the first Oasis album was a proper rock and roll album; I just wasn’t keen on all the aftermath.
Whilst we’re on Britpop bands, we also decided that Blur are Hooch: a bit softer than lager, popular in the 90’s and loved by girls and boys (like the song, geddit?).
Dan: I’ve got a drink for you! We supported Happy Mondays at a festival gig once. Anyway, it was 10 o’ clock in the morning on the day of the gig; Happy Mondays were setting up and Shaun Ryder was stood there swigging a can of Special Brew. So, yeah, can we have Happy Mondays as Carlsberg Special Brew?