How Born Ruffians Are Coping with Isolation: 'Animal Crossing,' Dog Walks and a "Demented Radio Call-In Show"

"I'm overall pretty happy with both the response of Justin Trudeau and, surprisingly, Doug Ford, when it comes down to it. That felt crazy to say."
How Born Ruffians Are Coping with Isolation: 'Animal Crossing,' Dog Walks and a "Demented Radio Call-In Show"
Photo: Vanessa Heins
After a decade and a half as staples of the Canadian indie rock landscape, Born Ruffians were meant to spend the spring touring in support of their sixth album, JUICE. Instead, they're at home in Ontario in self-isolation, finding creative ways to promote the record's release on April 3 via their own Wavy Haze Records. We caught up with bassist Mitch DeRosier to find out what he's been up to during the cornavirus lockdown.

What's your self-isolation setup?

I'm at home in my apartment with my girlfriend (who is working from home) and dog (who always works from home) in Toronto. It's small enough that I get banished to the bedroom during conference calls. We've got some emergency supplies but it's testing my resolve. How long can one stare at boxes of Kraft Dinner?

Are you working on any music while on lockdown?

JUICE, our new record, comes out on April 3. We've been working on ways to keep the word out there since touring isn't an option for the next while. Luke [Lalonde] has been posting some covers to Instagram while I've been making a demented radio call-in show out of fan phone messages from a music video we put out. It makes sense when you see it. Uh, kind of.

What are you watching and listening to?

My life is currently devoted to Animal Crossing and paying my debt to a raccoon. I'm also hoping to start streaming it soon, if I can figure that out.

How do you feel about the response to coronavirus?

My neighbourhood has finally slowly adopted the 'hey if we're walking our dogs and approaching each other, one of us better cross the street' mentality, which is great. It's unfortunate for my dog, who loves people and dogs. But I prefer remaining alive, so we obey the rules. I'm overall pretty happy with both the response of Justin Trudeau and, surprisingly, Doug Ford, when it comes down to it. That felt crazy to say.

Have you picked up any new hobbies or routines in isolation?

I've been talking to my parents a lot more frequently, which made me feel silly for not making that a habit before the crisis. They're hilarious, and if your parents are hilarious, give them a call. Maybe your dad also drove to a park to stand outside of his car, just to "get away from it all".

Find out what other Canadian musicians have been up to under self-quarantine with our Isolation Nation questionnaire.