Wednesday, 14 March 2012

It's My Kind of Interview - Ruby Ribcage

Ruby and the Rib Cage!

If you've been paying attention to our weekly (and incredibly awesome) top 20 songs, you'd likely be familiar with Ruby and the Rib Cage's track 'Horror.' It's an enticing piece of folksy-pop that features the debut of one of the most exciting new voices in music, that of frontwoman Ruby, who we will now speak of as Ruby Ribcage. Soaring, inviting and infused with the best of soul and blues music, Ruby's voice is one that we'll be hearing a whole lot more of in the future.

While the band has only been around for less than a year, they've already built up an impressive profile in the UK with their live performances and they've even landed a coveted spot on the Secret Garden Party festival's line-up for 2012. The lovely Ruby Ribcage was gracious enough to take some time to answer some of our questions and we're excited to bring you our second artist interview for the week! We chatted about dream festivals, new music and silent retreats in Thailand... here's what Ruby had to say?

Q. Let's kick things off with an easy question. What music are you into at the moment? 

Ruby: I'm a big fan of a new British band called Daughter, and also of Lianne La Havas. Laura Marling always has a place on my iPod, and I'm also really in to To Kill a King right now. They have some amazing acoustic sessions on YouTube, mainly the ones for the Crypt Sessions and City Sessions. You should check them out!

Q. We love to hear things straight from the talented vocalists mouth, so tell us, how did Ruby and the Rib Cage come to be?  

Ruby: Well.. We're slightly unconventional, in that this time last year, none of us knew each other. We formed last July after I placed adverts in most of London's music uni's and all over the net, and then after filtering the applications down I auditioned over 30 musicians in my flat in East London. I found most of the band this way, but struggled to find a guitarist, and eventually a friend suggested Aaron, and he was perfect. So the search was over! We're all really lucky, because we all get on great, and everyone is so dedicated and talented. It's a very exciting place to be right now.

Q. What can we expect to hear from Ruby and the Rib Cage over the next couple of months? A debut album perhaps?

Ruby: I'm afraid we're not that far yet! We've got some live demo's online at and have recently been approached by a producer and sound engineer team who are going to produce and mix our first EP at the end of April and have already had a small label offer to release it. We also have a new song coming out in a couple of weeks to keep you interested. It's our first proper studio recording, and is called 'Dandelion.' We'll be releasing it on our soundcloud, so do keep an eye out! Then our EP should be ready in the summer. In the meantime we're also doing lots of acoustic sessions for channels like Balcony TV and The Mahogany Sessions - so watch this space!

Q. The power and soulful qualities of your voice and like a gateway to the golden age of music. Which iconic singers have had the greatest influence on your music?

Ruby: Ha! Woweee I like that description! Annie Lennox, Aretha, The Commitments, Van Morrison, Joni Mitchell, and Eddi Reader, were all early influences. I love huuuge voices with gravel, depth and power. I know I've got a fairly powerful set of lungs on me, so I guess when I was a kid I just loved singing along to that stuff because it expressed the same force of energy I wanted to express.

Q. You're hitting the festival scene pretty hard in 2012, with appearances at Secret Garden Party, Wilderness Festival and Playgroup Festival (among others). If you could play any festival in the world, what would it be?

Ruby: There are soo many! I hear you guys have some pretty amazing festivals over there. My mate Sam is travelling in Oz, and I keep seeing his facebook flooded with praise for your festivals! I guess there are two main ones I'd really love to perform at above all others, mostly due to childhood/teenage ambition. Glastonbury (the pyramid or main stage)! And Burning Man in America. A lot of my friends love Burning Man, and although I'm keen to go, I only really want to go as a performer. I hear its a pretty epic experience, and I always enjoy festivals so much more when I have a purpose.

Q: Congratulations! You've won a two week, all expenses paid vacation in exotic Thailand. The catch? You have to do a twenty-four hour silent retreat in a Buddhist monastery. The monks are generous and have allowed you to select five album to meditate to throughout the day. What albums do you choose?

Ruby: Silence?! I once did a 10 day yoga retreat, where you were ALLOWED to talk, and I still tried to escape because I couldn't handle how few people were there. Yikes.

Ok, so the five albums I'd go for would be... Laura Marling - I Speak Because I Can, mainly because I still don't feel I've totally sussed it out yet (despite numerous listens), it's so so different to her old stuff. I'd also take Annie Lennox, Diva, for morale, And I'd have a word with the nice people at Amazon online, and see if they wouldn't sort me out with an early issue of Daughters' album (it isn't out yet), I reckon considering the circumstances they might let me have an early preview. On top of those three I'd take PJ Harvey's album, Let England Shake, to feed my homesickness, and perhaps I'd trade in my 5th album, for a banjo.. Can I do that? I know its cheating but I figure I could probably make a ukulele from bamboo and horse hair (I hope there's horses on this island), but I don't fancy my chances at making a banjo.

--> You may create the bamboo/horse hair ukulele for us and we will reward you with a banjo. Deal? Deal.

Q. I can practically guarantee that Australia is going to love you, so are there any plans to look into touring over this side of the world?

Ruby: Yes, yes, yes. We just need a record deal/manager/agent etc. first I'm afraid. I'm working on all that though!

Thanks for stopping by Ruby!

Check out Ruby and the Rib Cage on...

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