“My own gen­er­a­tion were all into DJS and dance mu­sic or boy bands. They didn’t re­alise that mu­si­cians were sup­posed to play the songs in­stead of us­ing back­ing tracks”

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Music -

us come out with ac­tual in­stru­ments.

“My own gen­er­a­tion were all into DJs and dance mu­sic or boy bands. They didn’t re­alise that mu­si­cians were sup­posed to play the songs in­stead of us­ing back­ing tracks. But the younger ones are more in­ter­ested in live mu­sic, and when they see us come out with the gui­tar and ukulele and hear us play, they re­late to it.”

What they also re­late to is the fact that the Rude­boys sing about or­di­nary day stuff. “We write about the life we see go­ing on out­side our win­dows and around us at home,” says Arkins. “Some peo­ple are a bit taken aback at this and say ‘youse are writ­ing about stuff I know about and have been through and that af­fects me’. But we never set out to de­lib­er­ately write songs peo­ple could re­late to; they’re just songs about stuff we knew about.”

Arkins is the one who brings the hip-hop smarts to the group.

“It was a good friend of mine called Sean, who now works with us set­ting up the stage, who got me into hip-hop in the first place. He gave me a CD with NWA on it when I was 11 or 12, and I thought it was amaz­ing. From that, I got into Im­mor­tal Tech­nique and then Nas and Jay-Z.

“I ap­pre­ci­ated how hon­est those rap­pers were. They were say­ing what they wanted to say and not what they were told to say by some lads in suits.”

But Arkins is also a fan of The Bea­tles (proudly point­ing to his T-shirt) and Bob Dy­lan. “I wish I’d been born back then be­cause it was a bet­ter era of mu­sic. Yeah, I re­ally be­lieve that. I got Net­flix at home and there’s a load of mu­sic doc­u­men­taries on it and I’ve been watch­ing doc­u­men­taries on Rory Gal­lagher and Jimi Hen­drix and have been blown away by them. It was an amaz­ing time.”

But if Arkins lived back then, he wouldn’t be able to tell tales like this one, which show that the Rude­boys’ ap­peal is now much wider than those kids they reach on Twit­ter and Face­book.

“There was this 60-year-old fella at one of our gigs in Whe­lan’s, and he stood out a mile in the mid­dle of all these scream­ing kids,” says Arkins with a grin. “He just stood at the back and stared at us so we thought he was some sort of mu­sic critic. He didn’t seem to be feel­ing the mu­sic at all, but when we did Bring­ing Me Down, we could see him nod­ding and go­ing with it, and I knew we had him. I was talk­ing to him after­wards; he’d trav­elled up from Gal­way to see us.

“It’s pleas­ing to know we’re ap­peal­ing to peo­ple like him who were around when the le­gends were around. If we can reach peo­ple like him, who know their mu­sic, we’re do­ing things right.”

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