We’re saying goodbye to an original trio from Dublin but how it was to say hello to them? In 2012 I started my own online magazine and I was looking for a great band to create a great cover story. I definitely wanted The Original Rudeboys. After I got in touch with them, I found out something VERY important – they are not rude at all! :D I have to say they were the most professional and kind people to talk to. I’m gonna miss you guys but I wanna thank you for everything. Keep rocking in the next chapter!
This is the original interview from 2012, written by myself, Cheryl Wyngaard, photos by David Doyle:
Three lads from Dublin singing, rapping and simply making proper music. No I’m not talking about The Script, even though these guys are attacking them on the music scene. Another music bomb from the Irish capitol is rising for the stars. Three good looking guys who are extremely talented and not only that! These guys never give up and if someone tell them they can’t, they will do it! Inspiration to the others, not only with the lyrics but with their story too. Keep reading and find out what the guys told us.
Original is definitely the right the word for this up and coming band. The trio of good-looking Irish boys have successfully managed to combine hip-hop, indie rock and a ukulele… yes you read that correctly, a UKULELE!! With this bold move they’ve created a sound that is distinctly unique and amazingly good. The band, who cheekily named themselves based on the words on a t-shirt, consists of three members, Robert Burch (on guitar and vocals), Sean “Neddy” Arkins (Rap vocals) and Sean “Walshy” Walsh (Ukulele). These North Inner City lads might have forged their friendship at a very young age but it would be years later before The Original Rudeboys was born. Their songs have gained incredible success in a very short time and everyone loves them because they are full of truth.
Looking back, their coming together was somewhat of a fortunate accident. Having written and performed their music individually for years, it would be at an impromptu jamming session together where the magic happened.
“Before The Original Rudeboys none of us where in bands. Rob played guitar and done the odd pub gig here and there playing covers while myself (Ned) was writing songs and playing guitar as a hobby. Walshy had only picked up his instrument the ukulele about two and a half years ago, so from a band point of view and live shows we are still very new to it all.”
Their musical chemistry was undeniable and this was proven when their video Stars In My Eyes went viral on Youtube. The overnight fame doesn’t come as a surprise though as there is something instantly likeable about The Original Rudeboys. Somehow you know that the band is destined for great things when they are able to completely captivate you with one of their acoustic songs. In a world where it seems that musicians focus less on the music and more on the bells and whistles and expensive music videos, it is rare that you come across a band with no pretences in their music. Instead, what you get are honest lyrics addressing hard topics like domestic violence, suicide, discrimination coupled with lighter songs speaking of dreams, hopes and perseverance.
“We never set out to be good enough, We just made music that helped us express how we felt about a certain topic or event that had happened. These songs where purely created out of expression and not in hopes that people would like them. It never even occurred to us to put our stuff out there to the public through Youtube, Facebook and live shows. It was a close friend of ours who suggested we do, so we went along with it having no idea what the outcome would be. “
The recognition gained from their Youtube video had catapulted the band into the limelight gaining them numerous interviews and appearances on national radio stations and television shows. Invitations to events came pouring in and The Rudeboys found themselves playing festivals like the Strawberry fest and Oxegen and very soon after, headlining their own show at Dublin’s Academy 2. But before we continue with telling the story of a band that is becoming more successful every day, we’ve been curious how their lives looked before the entered music industry.
“Rob was an apprentice electrician who was let go due to the recession and ended up working in a super market to pay the bills, while Walshy worked a temporary office job deciding what to do with himself and I had just finished my second year in college studying something I wasn’t hugely interested in. So the band taking of was a huge welcome to us all.”
The 2012 year brought about many good things for The Original Rudeboys. In March they released their first album This Life, which debuted at No.1 on The Irish iTunes charts as well as the Independent charts and No.3 on the Irish Albums Chart. The album includes their hit single Stars In My Eyes which had reached No.2 on the Irish iTunes charts the year before. The popular single speaks of overcoming hardships and achieving one’s dreams in spite of the negativity and ridicule of others. This theme is carried on in one of my personal favourite tracks on the album Live Your Life as it is equally as inspiring and uplifting as Stars In My Eyes and reminds you that you should always remain true to yourself and never give up. But the songs that support that idea are the biggest production of the trio. Maybe it’s hard to say but we want to know which song reflects the hardest time of your lives? Which one is the closest to your heart and why?
“Thats a tough one. I think we all agree that Live Your Life is the album track we all relate to a lot. We all have our own personal tracks but as a band it has got to be Live Your Life. It’s basically a song about what we went through when we first emerged as a new band from Ireland with a sound different from anything else out there. While we have thousands of amazing supporters and millions of views on Youtube, in the beginning there was still the harsh critics who tried to put us down at every opportunity. Live Your Life is basically a song encouraging people to dream big and overlook the negativity. A middle finger to the negative people. Carry on doing what you love and let no one stand in your way.”
Along with Travelling Man their laid back tunes have a way of growing on you and it’s easy to see why they’ve won the hearts of listeners over. But these fearless lads are also not afraid to sing songs that touch you on a whole new level. You know, the type of songs that reaches down into your core and exposes the broad spectrum of feelings that one goes through when dealing with tough issues like suicide and domestic violence. In Sunny Days they pay homage to a friend tragically lost to suicide in 2009. The track shines a light on a topic that is rife in communities all around the world today namely the loss of loved ones to suicide. Their Blue Eyes track talks about violence against women. It’s an area that The Original Rudeboys feel very strongly about and it was this conviction that led the band to decline an offer from Chris Brown to open for the RnB star at his Dublin show last year. The lads stated that they were “against the singer’s assault on then-girlfriend Rihanna and did not want to send out the wrong message to their fans”.
Now some might believe that it was a mistake turning down what might have been an opportunity of a lifetime but I believe that most will find it admirable for a young band to show the courage and confidence to stand by their morals and to not cave in to the pressure.
The Original Rudeboys have a huge fanbase but many haters as well. I believe that the more successful you are, the more people hate you. Nobody should take seriously lazy people who do nothing expect looking at their computer screens writing negative crap and spreading hate which is only the proof of their jealousy. Rob, Neddy and Walshy keep their schedule busy but that doesn’t keep them away from their inspiration and song-writing.
“The first album consisted of some new songs written from scratch like Stars In My Eyes and Live Your Life, but other songs I (Ned) had wrote previous to being in the band and presented to the lads and we would work on them switch them up and change them around to make what you hear on This Life. Now we write when ever inspiration comes. Some times I’ll pen 3/4 songs in an hour, other times it will take days or weeks to come up with just one line. But we have been lucky to get a bulk of new material down and know it’s just a case of perfecting it and recording it.”
With an amazing 2012 year behind them, these ridiculously talented lads look as if they have no intentions of stepping on the brakes any time soon and have already announced that they will be supporting the 2013 Brit Awards Nominee, The Script during their tour in Europe this year.
“We were over the moon about it. On a personal level we are all big fans of the lads and the music they make so to be asked to support them on their European Tour was incredible! We previously supported them in Cork and Dublin when they played small promo gigs for their new album and after each show they invited us back to the bar for a pint and a chat. It was crazy at first having pints with musicians you look up to so much but after 10 minutes it’s just like a group of mates hanging out and getting advice.”
It is clear that these Dubliners have set their sights high and are reaching for the stars and at the pace they are going they will reach it in no time. So if you’re in the mood for soulful sounds mixed with hard-hitting rapping, then give The Original Rudeboys a listen and I promise you, their thought-provoking lyrics will linger with you long after the music has stopped playing.
Having a great record is one thing but live shows are crucial for this kind of band. Nobody would like them if they were crap on the stage. No true music fan goes to a concert to see “singers” opening their mouth and dancing some “cool” routines for… well whatever reason. The Original Rudeboys’ live shows are incredible. If you go to their Facebook page and see that so many people post to their wall thanking them for the live show and writing about this amazing experience. Their songs are emotional even if you listen to them at home and when you hear it live, it’s very deep. People cry, people live and feel. But in the end everyone enjoys themselves and if there is a person who regrets going to their live show, please contact the editor of this magazine :)
As we all know, you can get used to something but if it’s singing in front of thousands of people, you get nervous. Well as long as you’re not Noel Gallagher. How about The Original Rudeboys?
“Yes! At the beginning it was the bad sort of nerves like stage fright or what will the crowd think sort of nerves but as the shows went on it became the good healthy kind of nerves. At this stage we are confident with our stage presence and enjoy going out and performing to people. Just before we are about to go on theres still those butterflies in your stomach but now they feel good!”
What was the most bizarre/funny thing that ever happened to you on/off stage?
“We’ve had some crazy stuff happen backstage. Some of it we wouldn’t dare repeat haha. But there was one time we tweeted about randomly enjoying a cup of tea and then done a show where a girl had brought a box of tea bags and left them on the stage for us. The same thing has happened with cakes and beers also! And then there’s the college gigs! Our song Stars In My Eyes is an upbeat easy listening song but at one show the crowd loved it so much they started moshing to it! So of course we jumped down and joined in. This was a first for us as a band and probably one of our best shows to date!”
The last questions from us is about music. Who is your biggest musical hero and why?
“Again we’ve all got our own Heroes in music. I think as a band thats why our sound is so unusual. We all take from our inspirations who are totally different from each others, but collectively we do agree on some artist/bands and one of them would have to be The Beatles. Rob would be a huge McCartney fan while Ned would be a huge Lennon fan. And then theres the legends of course like Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Jimmy Hendrix, Rory Gallagher that we all enjoy.”
Questions from their fans:
KAREN STOREY @KAYY_85
What do you love about touring?
“We suppose just travelling around meeting people who enjoy our music and getting to play music for them in some lovely venues is the best thing. But also just hanging out in the tour bus or van and just having a laugh with each other is great as it can get very boring on the long trips!”
ALICE MAY @MAYBEALI_
Is there any song that can be difficult for you to perform live? For instance hearing In too deep live broke my heart.
“Yeah we’ve all got our own tracks from the album that are personal to us and bring up memories on stage. Some of these tracks even tough we loved them as songs we had thought about not releasing as it would involve performing them and constantly bringing up memories that are sad or about loss. But when the album did go out we got thousands of messages and mails from random fans telling us how certain songs had such an impact on them and this made us smile. So performing the more deeper songs can be tough but we love doing it as we know these are the songs the fans want to hear and relate to.”