An interview with the West Wales live dance act Rural.

In the last couple of years there has been a surge in dance music orientated live acts coming out of Wales with the likes of the Secret Lemon Project, Audio Hertz and Rural seeming to all take different approaches at the same goal, to make people stomp their feet and lose themselves in the music. Rural have progressed quickly from being a bedroom production duo to a full blown live band playing gigs all over the UK within the space of half a year! Here EMW gets the opportunity to explore some of the aspects of what goes on in the land of Rural. Enjoy!

HJ: Hello and welcome to EMW. Please introduce yourselfs.

[Jason] Hey I am Jason.

HJ: Originally just two of you, you've grown in to a full on band. How did you find the transition from bedroom to stage?

[JASON] It's awesome man, originally we started off in late 2009 throwing ideas around in the studio and eventually got to know each other musically and the ideas transformed into full tunes! We made about 6 tunes that were essentially all dubstep. We then played a gig at the Queens Hall Narberth under the name Flotsam and Jetsam, which included me and Jethro using Ableton, with help from a good friend of mine Mc Dubba Beatz. Then after that gig we decided we didn’t actually like the songs or the way we played live so we scrapped all songs and started again in May 2010 under the name ‘Rural’. With new Songs under our belt we decided it was time to try it all live (we both have experience of playing in live bands) and ye man it worked so we decided live is the way to go! We also do soundsystem shows and DJ sets.

HJ: Electronic music production is still at the heart of what you do. How difficult is it to marry the electronic with the live aspect?

[JASON] Man its very technical with computer syncing and all that jazz haha for this I will hand you over to the techie Jethro!
[JETHRO] When it works IT WORKS!! The main problem is making everything talk to each other.. When your dealing with networks and a multitude of computers all running different software things are a real pain to set up. We are always on the look out for an easier way..

Rural have taken iPad and OSC technology and used it for their live mixing.

HJ: You have taken on iPad technology and used it in a way that I have never heard of before, as a wireless controller for FOH. What benefits do FOH have being able to move about the venue whilst mixing?

[Jethro] Not a massive benefit being able to move about but it means we can take the full band into a dj type club where a mixing desk wouldn't necessarily be you can still mix from the bar!

Facebook event page -

"Rural will be playing at the Rare One in Aberystwyth on the 5th February alongside  local band Hipstamatic, another top quality live band Dr Meaker, Drum and Bass dons Drumsound and Basslinesmith and who many would openly agree to be one half of one of the most influential live dance acts of our time, Phil Hartnol of Orbital. Watch out Aberystwyth!"
HJ: You seem to be playing a fair amount of shows at the moment. Can we expect more live shows in 2011?

[JASON] Ye for sure man! We are playing a live show at the Rare One in Aberystwyth on 5th February. We are busy applying for festivals as we speak.

HJ: What should we expect from a Rural gig?

[JASON] Lots of nosie, wobbling bass, heavy drums, shouting, just a general good fucking time!

HJ: In terms of releases, what plans do you have to get your music out there?

[JASON] Well we are very close to finishing the ‘Ruralism’ E.P. We are going to make a thousand cd’s and plan to digitally distribute through Itunes, Amazon and hopefully Beatport (that would be the one). We will also be sending out promo packs to various labels and artists.

HJ: You have just started up a group on Soundcloud called West Wales Massive. How important is it for musicians in Wales to share their creations?

[JASON] It is very important. We all need to help each other out by supporting and promoting each other. Wales has a so many good artists which are virtually unknown and no industry people venture down our neck of the woods! So If one of the west wales artists get attention it will draw these labels/promoters down to our area.

Right from the start.mp3 by RURAL

HJ: Are you feeling positive about the music scene in Wales at the moment?

[JASON] Well the scene in Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire is definitely a lot less active than what it was 4-5 years ago. I remember when my first band Johnny Action Finger started the scene was wicked, we were getting loads of gigs in pubs, clubs and halls around West Wales, there were at least 5 or 6 venues in every town that had gigs on every weekend! There were loads more bands around then also. Seems like its dying a slow death to be honest but the dance music scene is definitely picking up around these areas with big artists coming down to play and being supported by us and other local acts.

HJ: Which venue are you most proud to have played at and which one would you most like to play at?

[JASON] My favorite gig with Rural has to be the 'Endorse it in Dorset' festival last year. We had a full tent and all the festival goers were loving it. I would really like to play the Arcadia stage at Glastonbury. Such a cool stage with Flames and shit man its very very cool.

HJ: As a live band you must rely on events to really explore your sound. Do you ever get frustrated with being based in quite a rural area or is it something you've grown used to?

[JASON] It hasn’t really been a problem yet as we play most gigs out of the shire.

HJ: What advice would you give to a group wanting to take their productions to the stage?

[JASON] Make sure the tunes sound good enough..Whack some covers in the mix. It is essentially quality rather than quantity.

HJ: Essential piece of gear?

[JASON] Ear plugs, condoms and a good laptop

HJ: Any shouts/links?

[JASON] Massive shout outs to the Secret Lemon Project, the Black House Boys, Regime, friends, family and all the shire folk. Keep it rooooooooral.

HJ: How do promoters get in touch to book Rural?

call: 07973509004

"On top of being part of Rural as a live outfit and production team member Jethro is also chief engineer and owner at Mwnci studios."

HJ: What made you want to start a professional studio?

[Jethro] I have always been into recording since forever... Running a commercial studio means I get payed for what I love doing. Its a no brainer.

HJ: What is it about Mwnci that makes so many bands want to go and record there?

[Jethro] I think it is just the vibe of the place. It's an insanely nice spot. The studio is well laid out with some great equipment. We also have two levels of accommodation depending on budget. Loads of bands are self funded these days so price is uber important.

HJ: How should artists wanting to record at Mwnci get in touch about booking session time?

phone: 01994419438

"There is always a deal to be had so get in touch!"

A huge thanks to both Jethro and Jason for taking the time out to answer these questions. Watch out for some crazy Rural business in a venue near you in 2011. Peace.