Ruts DC

By James Harding

James Harding of Christchurch power poppers The Transistors spoke with John Jennings bass player from legendary UK punk band Ruts DC who are playing Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland in November.

The Ruts are known for marrying punk and reggae in a fairly unique way, which genre would you say had more of an influence on you personally?

Well , being that punk came along relatively late in my musical experience , I'd have to say Reggae if choosing between those two genres .Of course , i listened to everything from 50's and 6O's radio hits -Rock n Roll , Beatles , Stones , Motown etc -THEN Reggae -then Glam -then Rock -THEN punk in the form of Iggy Pop moving forward through the Ramones onwards.

Who was your favourite live band from the original UK scene?

The Clash

It must be quite surreal sometimes to be touring the world after so many years, do you still get a thrill going up on stage night after night?

Absolutely! I still get nervous before shows as they are very important to all of us. Adrenalin is my friend. My whole life can be pretty surreal.

Did you consider packing it in after Paul Fox's untimely passing? What made you decide to continue?

As you may know - After Malcolm Owen died we continued as Ruts DC for a while then slowly we petered out and wanted to go our own ways. When Paul was diagnosed with terminal Cancer in 2007 we got back together with Henry Rollins on lead vocals for one gig in London. It was amazing and as fate would have it, turned out to be Foxys last ever gig .

Ruffy and I recorded some Reggae tunes with Mad Professor in or around 2008. It wasnt going to be Ruts DC release really but they slowly developed into tracks that sounded so much like DC that it kinda just drifted that way. We kept coming back to them in between other projects until those tracks and collaborations materialised as Rhythm Collision volume 2 in 2011.

Then we started playing out live and there was a lot of love out there for us -so we developed the current show as a natural progression of that.

Is there any music coming out these days that excites you?

If someone recommends a young band, I love to check them out. I was working with a guy called Joseph Hamm, a good song writer now he has a band called Indigo Husk. I also know and love Fat White Family and the new The Duel album is good too .

What can fans expect from a Ruts DC show in 2015?

We're playing great!! Right now on our 19th gig of a 38 date tour. We play the hits, we play some from Animal Now, some Reggae and even some new stuff that's going down a storm. We change the set around if we feel like it -It always kick ass --we mean it maaaan. Fans love it but it aint just for fans.

The Ruts

Thursday November 19th:  Dux Live, Christchurch 
Friday November 20th:  Bodega, Wellington
Saturday November 21: Kings Arms, Auckland

Tickets via Under The Radar