The Original Rudeboys are back with their brand new single While We’re Young, which the band’s resident rapper Seán “Neddy” Arkins believes brings the group back to their ground-breaking early style.
The Stars in My Eyes hit-makers are ready to attack the Irish charts again, with a little help from their loyal fan-base. “We asked the fans online ‘what are your favourite songs?’ and everybody said they loved the sort of home-made sound of the first album,” Neddy said. “So we said ‘let’s make a song that has this sound like the first album’ and if people pick up on that then it’s job done.”
Since forming in 2011, the band’s indie/hip-hop hybrid has garnered unprecedented success, with their debut album going platinum in Ireland. Their sophomore effort went down more of a pop route, with vocalist Rob Burch’s smooth vocals dominating the sound, and they hit a new height of number 2 in the Irish album charts.
“After the success of the first album we decided we could play it two ways: We could bring out album 2 and have it sounding like the first one and think ‘what if we’d done this, what if we’d done that?’ or we could, in a way, experiment with our sound. After supporting big acts like Kanye West or The Script, we wanted that big sound that you hear on the radio. And it worked, to an extent. Two of the singles were massively radio-played songs. But it still didn’t feel like it was properly us.”
The pop scene in which the Dubliners operate is known to chew up and spit out young artists. This has taken its toll on less mature ‘popstars’ in the past. High–profile cases include Zayn Malik, who joined One Direction aged 17; Brian Harvey of East 17 was the same age while McFly’s Dougie Poynter topped the charts at only 15 years old. Sean Walsh, Rob Burch. Neddy Arkins, however, came in at the slightly riper age of 21.
Has this extra life experience helped the boys cope with their overnight fame and keep their sanity? “It’s good fun, but it can get a bit crazy at times,” laughed Arkins as I put this idea to him. “The younger fans are really dedicated. The over-18s go to over-18s shows and their first question is ‘when are the band on?’ and the next one is ‘where’s the bar?’.
“With the under-18s, we’ve done radio at like, 5 or 6 in the morning, crazy hours, an hour that nobody should be awake… And when we get to the radio station you have like 15 or 16-year-olds outside, in the freezing winter cold, just so they can say hello and get a picture. I can’t get my head around it… It’s insane.
“But they’re the kind of people who buy our albums and they keep the show on the road. We love all of our fans.”
Image credit: flickr.com/deanhochman
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