When bands describe themselves in bios it tends to be convoluted, pretentious or even a little nonsensical if not narcissistic. However, when The Ruminaters described themselves as Psycho Playful Garage Love it actually is a very good way to describe them. In fact I can’t really think of a better way to describe them. Listening to their music there are indeed psycho moments like some of the more fuzzed out mental songs from The Flaming Lips but then they can take a left turn and be all fluffy bunnys and acoustics like Brian Jonestown Massacre or Ariel Pink. Vocals are misty and sound a little like The Sleepy Jackson.
They’re probably my new favourite band. And they should be yours too. Cause if there is a God in the world He would totally be ok with you idolising a band like this. I hope they wear their white robes from their press photo live.
There’s something cult like about this band. I’m actually a little worried their tours are actually carefully concealed pledge drives for their hippy commune back in Sydney. Are their CDs laced with hallucinogenic drugs? Will they use my email address to find where I live and take me in the night? Will my parents hire private investigators to track me down in 6 months time only to find a fuzzed out picture of me with a flower crown playing tamborine in some music festival? Let’s hope so.
The Ruminaters are on tour for their I Used To Hate The Ruminaters But Now I Like Them EP. Full of happy psychy jams. They hit The Gasometer Upstairs Friday the we spoke with them to find out th of November in Melbourne and we hit them up to find out what’s really in the coolade.
Your music sounds like heaps of fun. Do you have fun playing live? Is it one big party?
Not really. It's like 5 parties! You got Teddy's hot and sweaty party on the drums. Mossy's chill out party where you'd kick back and act cool. Jarleth's party is like a jumping castle party for toddlers that are gentle bouncing up and down. Pencils party is a Halloween party where you don't really wanna come near him. And the crowd party can vary depending on how well our four parties are going.
How often do you tour? What do you like about touring? Is there something special about going on tour?
We tour a bit. Touring is the best. It gets you away from working and you get to hang out with your best buds. It's always special when you wake up the next day and you make your flight.
What’s your favourite thing about playing live?
I personally like looking back at ted play drums and seeing his facial expressions. It always makes me laugh.
What was one of your favourite live experiences?
We played a house party one night and there were hundreds of kids in his big back yard. And we were only three songs into our set when the owner of the party came up and told us to turn down the cops were here. And if we were quite they'd let us keep on party. I just remember mossy telling me "fuck that" then watching him to his amp the whole way up and stick his guitar against the amp to get feedback. We were playing Anarchy in the U.K. At the time and Mossy started the rift off and everyone went psycho. I can still picture the little blue caps trying to make their way to the stage to us. We finished the song and went to an old favorite knowing we weren't gonna play long. We played Dead Stuff for about 20 seconds before the police started unplugging all our amps. Teddy kept playing the drums. And the cops tackled him off the kit. And the whole crowd blew up and retaliated. And it was about 8 cops against hundreds of kids. Everyone started singing the la las. As the cops and kids were battling. It was awesome. The riot squad got called and we made the paper.
How do you prepare for a live show? Mentally, physically, emotionally etc.
We have some drinks. Sometimes a lot. And then play. No one really mentally does anything. Sometimes I'll find Jarleth in the toilet bubbling his lips warming his voice up.
Did you try to capture your live show on tape or do you create a brand new entity in the studio that you then try to recreate live? How were the songs on this EP selected? Are they live favourites? Just new songs? Do they live in a home together or are they cousins from separate familys brought together by some mundane family gathering?
Depends. The more rockin songs are pretty much played the same live. The real soft ones we don't really play live at all. They are usually a lot more things we've put in production and don't have enough band members to pull off the same live.
What’s your favourite song on the EP? Is it also your favourite song to play live? Why/why not?
How Can I is probably my favourite. We haven't been playing it live too much yet. It's a real soft one. So when the times right and people want to chill a little bit. We'll bring it out.
What are the benefits of an EP vs singles/albums? Apart from time and money considerations. How is creating an EP different to making a single with some b-sides? Or a complete album? Are the song choices different? How do you approach the listing of the songs in order?
We just write whatever we feel like. So if it's strong enough or has more hooks naturally we call it a single. But we don't really try to write an album song, EP song or a single. We just had this bunch of songs and wanted to get them out there. Cause we are playing them live a lot. And it's been a while since our last release. It's more of a link to what's to come with the new album. That we will record early next year.
How did the recording of this EP change the band? Did it change the band at all? Does a tour or a new recording change a band? Why do you think it does if so?
Yeah it's changed heaps. We now have new hair cuts and songs.
Have you been to Melbourne before? What are you looking forward to seeing/doing while here?
Yeah we love Melbourne. It's Jarleth's happy place. I wouldn't mind riding some more city bikes and having another pretend bucks party.
How did you choose your support bands?
Hand picked from a pickle jar.
Check out details for their show here!