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INTERVIEW: Rupert Stroud

Hi Rupert, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Good thank you! Summer is a busy time of the year and it’s great to have the new album out for people to hear. I’ve been working hard on it!

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Along The Low”?

“Along The Low” is a pretty uplifting, summery anthemic vibe. The truth is when I wrote the song I was feeling very low. The lyrics were inspired by long journeys and late nights to and from home on the road in all weather conditions going from gig to gig up and down the country. By the time I recorded the song my mood had lifted but the meaning of the song still remained. It’s a song about perseverance and positivity in striving for success and achieving your goals. Ultimately doing what you want to do with your life, regardless of the ups and downs,following your passion and never giving up. The life of a troubadour I suppose.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

I’d had this riff in my head for a while and always knew it had something about it but hadn’t yet put any lyrics to it. One day I was in my studio jamming the riff out and thinking about the last few years and then the passed few months of those late nights driving home. The lyrics came quite quickly to me in a real flow of consciousness. It’s a love song as well as a “believe in yourself and your destined path” song.

Any plans to release a video for the track?

I recently performed the new album in full with the band at my favourite venue in my home town at the mo, Headrow House in Leeds, for my album launch show! We got some footage of the whole gig so we plan on releasing that soon. In the mean time we have a lyric video which just launched on my socials this week.

Why did you name the new record after this song in particular?

I think the song kind of sums up the album quite nicely. There are some dark songs, some uplifting ones and a few in between the two moods. Along The Low finishes off the album on a nice high.

How was the recording and writing process? What were some of the emotions and experiences you get to explore on this record?

I love the writing and recording process! If I have an idea that excites me from the get go then I pursue it. But if I have an idea that I’m a little “meh” about then I drop it and start something new. Some songs are harder to get right than others. It’s exciting to build a track up from the bare bones of guitars and vocals before I get my producer Will or the band involved.

Who are your influences and how have they inspired your writing?

My first experience of music was through my parents- they loved to listen to great music- Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, Tom Petty, Leonard Cohen, Cat Stevens, The Kinks, The Who, Small Faces, Tom Waits, Free, Simply Red, Texas to name a few!

I am the second youngest of four brothers and my two eldest brothers are 9 and 12 years older than me. I grew up in a home where music was always blasting out from my older brothers’ rooms. Their musical tastes included Nirvana, Oasis, The Verve, The Smiths, Morrisey, RATM, Green Day, Bob Marley to name a few. I grew up in the days of MTV so it was always on the TV in our house. I remember watching the Nirvana MTV Unplugged in New York session with my brother Guy. That was a real magic moment for me. I’d enjoyed hearing the Nevermind album blasting out of my brothers’ bedroom over the years but to hear these songs stripped back was a revelation. It was one of the defining moments in my childhood which lead to my desire to learn to play guitar.

What role does Yorkshire play in your music?

I’m a Yorkshire boy through and through and I love driving round the Yorkshire countryside. I sometimes go for a drive, to a walking spot high on the moor, to clear my head when the noise of life gets a little too loud. The epic countryside where I live inspires me.

Where else did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

My friends and family inspire and influence a lot of my songs along with much of the worlds’ current affairs. Quite a few of my darker songs are influenced by the people I’ve known who have gone off the rails and my observations of where they went wrong and how difficult it is for those people to pull back from the brink. Also, how helpless you can feel in supporting that person when they’ve pressed the self-destruct button. I know not everybody has a strong support system in their life and I can’t imagine how difficult it must be for people who don’t have the love and support of their families. I’m lucky to have a great group of people around me-family and friends. They certainly pick me up when I’m feeling down which is such an important thing in life.

What else is happening next in Rupert Stroud’s world?

I’m promoting this album as much as possible through out the rest of 2019 and just want as many people as possible to hear it. I’ve got a story to tell and I think it will resonate with a lot of people. I’m building up for a lot more to come in the new year with touring and festival dates across the UK and Europe. I love travelling and performing my music to crowds big and small! It’s one of the best things about being a musician! I recently did a four month trip with my girlfriend to the US, Fiji ,Australia, New Zealand and the SE Asia. It was an incredible experience and I had the pleasure of playing Sofar Sounds shows in NYC, Long Island, Boston, Australia and New Zealand as well as impromptu gigs across SE Asia. Many songs on the album are about being on the road/travelling- going from one place to another be that literally or spiritually/figuratively. So 2020 is going to involve some more travelling while hopefully playing my music in as many places as possible!

Listen here

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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