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The Rapture

The Rapture

Tuesday 4th October, 2011 9:10AM

The Rapture have just released their first album after returning to DFA Records following a tumultuous stint on Universal Records. We caught up with Vito Roccoforte to talk about the testing last few years, what In The Grace of Your Love is about and why DFA will always be home.

Are you getting read to go on tour and promote the album?

We’ve been promoting it like crazy so that’s been happening and we’ve been practicing like crazy because we start live shows next week and so it’s all heating up to get it out into the world.

It must feel good to finally have a new album out?

Yeah it feels great, especially we’re really excited about this album so it’s fantastic to finally get to share it with people. Releasing ‘How Deep is Your Love’ has been really exciting for us because it was a track like ‘we want to put this out first’ you know to have it happen and to have people listen to it’s been really great.

Tell me a little bit about In The Grace of your Love.

Well, musically we didn’t have any specific goals this time it wasn’t like we wanted to make this kind of album or that kind of album we just wanted to make music together again and we just got together and wrote music and whatever happened happened. In that way it was the least thought out album in terms of having any specific influences or goals it was just like ‘let’s make some music together again'. Before that we’d been through kind of the ringer we’d given up the band and then come back and then Matt (Safer) quit the band and then the three of us were just like let's make some music together and see what happens.

The overall vibe seems pretty reflective, is that fair?

Yeah I agree. We’d always been a pretty angsty band and really angular. Those words describe us and I think they’re fair enough but we always kind of felt like to make art you had to be damaged; to make good art you had to come from a damaged or dark place but we really wanted to try and make some art that comes from a positive place - from a place of love and happiness and see if we can make good art that way.

Pieces of the People We Love sounds pretty positive too, though?

Musically that album is very upbeat and very poppy and definitely more than any album we’d done but if you listen to it it’s not the most positive album. Most of it is about us being fucked over by record industry people or a song like 'Get Myself Into It’ was basically Luke (Jennner) trying to get himself into playing the music or playing the song. It's a weird album in that way but we totally cloaked it in this very upbeat dancey kind of more pop sound, which is what we were going for at the time.

So you must be happy to be back on DFA, right?

That was it. With Pieces of the People...we were on Universal and it’s the only album we’d been on a major label for. We were making a major label album; we’d spent a lot of money, worked in really expensive studios and I feel like it was us making our pop album - it was us making the album that would get played on the radio. With this album we weren’t signed to any labels, we were off universal and funded it ourselves so we were just trying anything. We were just trying to make a piece of music or album from a positive place and not from a dark, fucked up place.

There must have been a huge amount of pressure with Pieces of the write something commercially successful? Do you feel relieved that you're no longer under such pressure?

It’s kind of like we had to do it this way or we would have not been able to keep going as a band. We’re punk kids, we came from real D.I.Y backgrounds and it’s in our DNA. We wanted to sign to a major and we wanted to give it a shot and it was great in a lot of ways and it sucked in a lot of ways at this point in our lives we really needed to get back to what was important was being in a band again which isn’t about being played on the radio or fucking selling out this or that or winning an award, it’s just enjoying playing music and making music that moves you personally, so that’s what we did.

Tell me the relationship that you have with DFA in New York? Do you feel like part of a tight-knit community? Does it feel the same or different from when you were on the label in the beginning?

It’s different, it’s definitely different because when we started with DFA there were like five of us and that was it. And so there wasn’t a lot of artists we’ve been gone for quite a while. They’ve expanded and their family has expanded but it does feel like home again and for us it was really important to work with labels this time who understood us artistically and we respected musically and that was the foremost thing and that’s why we chose DFA. We signed directly with Modular in Australia and we made a point of doing that because we really respected Modular. We’d been friends with them and we wanted to work with them and make and release the record with them.

Going back to the beginning, why do you think at that time in New York there was this explosion of electronic music?

I don't know! It just happened. When we moved here in '99 there was jack shit going on musically in NYC. I mean it had an amazing history of music and it’s an amazing city but musically it was just really stagnant. I don’t know what happened but by 2000 things started happening and all these bands started appearing. There was this place Brownies that we played a lot and shows just started happening there all the time and you could feel this under swell of excitement. The Strokes came along who weren’t even really part of that scene and NME Magazine grabbed onto them and it just took off from there and then bands like Yeah Yeah Yeahs and us and Interpol and from there it moved into Brooklyn. Now there's like fifth generation bands that are coming up.

How does it feel now being back on DFA and getting back to your DIY roots?

Yeah it feels special again and it feels special because we’re just much more involved in everything. I check my email every day and I have a million emails from those guys; everything from the routing of tours to opening bands. We approve everything and it’s a lot more work but it’s a great feeling. DFA are great at coming up with creative things too. They did The White Sessions thing which is super awesome, and it feels really good. I think on a major and how that system works it’s really easy to get disconnected and for us that was a really dangerous thing because if you get disconnected from what you’re doing musically and artistically you start to get die creatively.

You would never go back to the major label environment then?

No we wouldn’t go back to a major. We funded this whole album ourselves because we owned it and there are still some great people who work in majors but for a band like us in this day and age it makes absolutely no sense; they don’t sell as many albums so any deal you make with a major label they want a percentage of everything. They want a part of touring and merch and publishing and we’ve worked for years to a point where we’re self-sufficient. Why should we give a major a percentage of everything? They're like "here’s a roll of the dice and it might happen and you might blow up" but that’s like a one in fifty shot so it’s just not worth it.

Back to the latest release, what do you want fans to take away from it?

It’s going to affect everyone differently. For me the reason why I like music is something that hits me on an emotional level or gut level and I hope that does it for some people.

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