Published Apr 08, 2013If you've been waiting impatiently for a new Born Ruffians, well, that wait is over. On April 16, the Toronto band return with their third full-length, Birthmarks, but the album is already streaming in full here on Exclaim.ca.
Speaking with Exclaim!, frontman Luke Lalonde explains that the reason for the delay to follow up 2010's Say It was because he and his bandmates were looking to give the songs the time they deserved.
"The writing took so long because we wanted to cover all our bases: me writing on my own, us writing together, making sure we had enough songs before we recorded," says Lalonde. "When we booked the studio time, we thought it would come out in autumn 2012. And then as we got into recording it quickly became clear that it wouldn't be ready for then.
"We didn't want to rush, we didn't want to have that moment where we're saying, 'Shit, we've gotta get this done.' Because that happened with all of the previous records. You can't really create something that you're completely satisfied when you're just trying to get something done. It needed time and it needed those months in between to come back to some songs and change our perspective."
Writing a good chunk of the songs at a remote farmhouse in rural Ontario, the Ruffians entered the studio looking to make an album that sounded like it was the product of a studio. As a result, Birthmarks came out sounding unlike any of the band's previous records.
"When we started to conceptualize the album, we said, 'We want this album to sound big, we want this to sound fucking relevant, we want this to sound like something that came out in 2013," explains Lalonde.
One of the ways they learned that was to go with a different producer this time around. They brought in Roger Leavens, who worked with Lalonde on his 2012 solo album, Rhythymnals.
"I really don't want it to sound like I'm slighting Rusty [Santos] who made our first two records, because we love him and he did amazing work with us, but we knew we wanted to change and do something different. And after working with him on my solo album, I knew Roger was the guy we needed.
"He was able to sit back and let us do what we wanted to do. He would also take over the reins if we didn't know what to do with a song. That was just the ultimate situation for us, to have this person take control when we needed him to. We would say, 'No, it needs to sound like this.' And he would help us do that in a really efficient and effective way."
Birthmarks arrives via Paper Bag Records and you can stream it here on Exclaim.ca. You can also see Born Ruffians' currently scheduled dates here.