Last week, The Rapture were in town to play Park Life. Wary of subjecting them to yet another of what must be hundreds and hundreds of tiresome interviews, we got our lawyer/life drawing model friend KK to do the questioning. In the end, neither of the guys needed us to tell them to keep their day jobs, but it's fair to say that while Vito was much more forthcoming as a conversationalist, Gabe was probably the better drawer.
Vice: So you guys are playing a few more shows in Australia?
Vito: Yeah, we’re playing in Melbourne today, Sydney tomorrow, and then Adelaide.
And then back on the plane?
V: Right, back on the plane. We’re basically like, we’re gonna record an album. We just did this because we thought it’d be fun, bigger shows and whatever…
Gabe: We needed the cash.
V: We needed the cash basically.
And is that finished?
V: No, we’ve written all the songs, we just have to record it.
Who will you do that with?
V: Um we don’t know… Ourselves, probably. Hey, yours is pretty cool (referring to sketch)
G: Yeah it’s too big. I didn’t leave enough room for like, legs.
Shall we change poses?
G: Yeah ok.
V: Is this bluetac?
G: No, it’s an eraser.
So is it just the band touring or have you brought friends?
G: Nah, it’s just the band. But we’re all such good friends…
Do you find the festival circuit better or worse than your own shows?
V: It’s just different. Our own shows are really fun because you have all your own fans, a whole lot more intense. These festivals have been great. The audiences in Australia are really up for it so it’s kind of similar. You get to play for a lot more people, and different people who haven’t seen you before.
Are you friends with any other of the acts on the bill?
V: Yeah we know a lot DJs and bands beforehand but now we’ve met a lot more. It’s been really nice because it’s like a big summer camp. You just kind of hang out. Like last night we were hanging out with the Junior Boys and the Cool Kids and we all went out and ate, so it’s nice…
So do you guys… draw very often?
V: eh, I used to try and draw when I was a kid, but I was like a real perfectionist so it would always end up with me tearing it up and getting really upset and running out of the house. Wasn’t that much fun either. I guess Gabe did a bit.
G: When I was a kid.
How long’s it been since you last had a crack at life drawing?
G: Probably like, 16 years? I’ve gotten… you know… I don’t know what I’m doing. No idea what I’m doing.
Is writing music easier?
G: No… It’s hard. Ha, that was low.
So what direction will the next album be heading?
V: What do you think Gabe?
G: It’s going to be classics. I don’t know the answer. It’s going to be earthy… how’s that?
So you have some new influences and stuff?
V: Maybe, I don’t know. We always revisit things and get subtly into things, I don’t think there are drastic influences. Our relationships with each other have changed and I think our relationship with music has changed.
G: That allows for different things to happen I guess.
Do you work collaboratively? Or does someone come to the band with a song…
V: Oh sorry, I need an eraser. I gotta say, I think I’m improving as a artist, look at the difference between this one and this one.
Ha, that’s a stick figure!
V: I think this is going to be my finest work.
G: Maybe you should go to art school.
V: That’s what Bryan Ferry wanted to do, he wanted to be an artist.
So were you guys in bands together before The Rapture?
V: Yeah, well me and Luke grew up together and we hung out like, everyday. We started playing music relatively late, I mean we started at about 18 or 19 because we were just going to punk shows. I guess we decided that, you know, we could do that too. We formed this band originally with this other guy Mike but then they decided I wasn’t good enough for drums and started their own band and I went and took lessons. So we played in separate bands but my bands were always way cooler and better.
No seriously. I was in this band called Avalanche Master and the whole idea was to create a natural disaster at every show. So we had five guys in the band but three of us played instruments and the other two just kind of got industrial fans and fireworks and whatever they could and like, try and create a disaster. Every song was called like, Fireball and was about the end of the world. We would borrow as many friends’ amps and as bigger drums as we could.
I got into the band because I knew this band called Sleep. They’re kind of like a Sabbath but slow, like at half speed.
G: Even stonier.
V: Yeah, even stonier. Holy Mountain, great album. Anyway we were kind of like just a rip off of that, and the bass player wrote all the songs, but he wrote them by looking in the mirror, and whatever he thought looked cool the way he played turned into the song.
The other reason I got into the band was because I was like a metal-head. I had hair down to here and I had a pickup truck and stuff. Where I grew up there were lots of metal-heads and white trash dudes. The guys in the band were like straight edge hardcore kids. I met them because I like hard core shows but I looked totally weird because I was a metal looking dude, so I think that’s why I got in the band. But it was really fun, they were great guys. And every show we did we got kicked out of the venues.
V: Oh yeah, we got shot with fireworks… like the first show we stole a fire extinguisher, like a big one, and one of the crew guys in the band lit it off. You can’t breath with that shit. Nobody could breathe and we couldn’t breathe, but we still made it through the set. It was awesome.
Eventually I had to leave and go to college, but they kept doing it for a while and eventually they got enough money together to get a huge industrial smoke machine. They used to play in venues about half the size of this room, like basically they couldn’t see anything. I think the drummer broke his hand because he couldn’t see the drums and just smashed it. Yeah, it was a wicked band. Like probably the coolest band I’ve ever been in.
So how did you join The Rapture?
V: Well I moved to San Francisco to go to school and started The Calculators with my friend which was kind of a Joy Division, Gary Numan rip off band, but it was really good and real fun. So then Luke joined that. But he was in a band that was kind of John Spencer rip off. And then we both quit our other bands and started The Rapture and moved out to New York.
Ah, you’re a bit stuck on the hand.
The other hand’s awesome. What do you reckon? Last pose?
OK, the final piece has to be like a masterpiece.
Yeah, this is some expensive paper! This is 80 cents a sheet!
V: Oh yeah?
G: This is where I start drawing unicorns.
Do you guys ever get fan mail with drawings?V: I don’t think we ever get any fan mail
G: We don’t have anywhere to send it.
V: Yeah I don’t think people use that snail mail anymore.
You ever get any pictures of nude girls?
G: All the time!
V: Well, Gabe does I guess.
How has the touring experience changed for you guys?
V: Um, well… we started out in like, vans. It was Luke’s mom’s van and we had that for years. We’re kind of dating ourselves but when we started we didn’t have the internet or cell phones, so we’d get a list of phone numbers from friends who ran distros and record labels all around the country and you’d just sit and call all these numbers. You’d book shows, and they’d usually end up at these kids houses, and you never met them before.
G: Did you book those shows yourself?
V: Yeah I booked them all. And I got all the numbers from these labels we were on. Our friend’s dad had an unlimited calling card so we got a hold of that for all the long distance ones. So you’d call these kids and you’d have shows set up like, wherever, and you’d book a U.S. tour that way. And then you’d drive there, and you’d show up and you’d never met them and hopefully, you know, it was still on.
So our usual show back then was a little coffee house, or someone’s basement and they’d put you up. Then you’d get back in the van and do it all again. We did that for years.
Who would The Rapture form a supergroup with?
G: Probably somebody who was way more successful.
V: Yeah, I don’t think we ever actually had the desire to but there was this time we were on the phone with Timbaland talking about possibly doing music with him. We were kind of talking about him producing a record of ours, but what he wanted to do, because he was talking to Nelly Furtado at that point, he wanted to start a supergroup with us and Nelly Furtado.
What happened to that?
G: I don’t know.
V: And then Justin Timberlake wanted to get involved. So maybe that would be the supergroup.
And you said no, or…
V: It just didn’t really go anywhere.
You weren’t into it?
V: Well for me, I was more into forming the supergroup than him producing the record. Maybe I was up to us… I don’t really know.
Ha maybe. Maybe he was waiting for you call. And now he’s sitting at home crying…
G: Yeah, and then he wrote that song and everything was about that experience.
Yeah I think the working title of that song was Cry Me A Rapture…
V: Ha. Actually there is a version of one of our songs that has Justin singing on the chorus, but when it came time to go on the air and whatever, it didn’t happen. So basically he comes down to the studio while we’re recording our album, eats up our precious studio time, that we’re paying for, then he doesn’t approve his vocals.
Was that in New York?
V: We were in the U.K. at the studio where Timbaland recorded that song and Justin Timberlake was upstairs producing Duran Duran or something.
It was a pretty ridiculous situation with like, Timbaland and all of his entourage outside the studio door, and then Justin comes in and goes “God! This is cool! Can I get on this?” And then, you know, Simon LeBon wanders down there in those J.Lindberg jeans looking really funny. And really shy…
So it could have started right there with Simon LeBon instead of Nelly Furtado.
G: They’re kind of the same…
Want to win these beautiful signed artworks by Vito and Gabe? They could end up being some pretty tidy superannuation. Just send us a nude drawing of The Rapture to firstname.lastname@example.org along with your name and address. If it's the best one we get, the pictures are yours.