Band, Interrupted
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Band, Interrupted

Music and deafness haven’t always been strangers. Rumour has it that Ludwig van Beethoven played on a legless piano so he could feel the vibrations of different notes when he lost his hearing. Today, he is celebrated not only for his musical achievements and timelessness, but for overcoming his disability, triumphing over something that could have otherwise muted his great masterpieces. But even Beethoven is merely one man.
Fast-forward roughly two centuries, to a time when indie rock, rap, and anything-goes comprise the soundtrack for the Zeitgeist. Everything is grander, bigger, and multiplied. Now imagine the effect when five out of six members of up-and-coming Aussies Rudely Interrupted work with and against their own disabilities onstage. With members deaf and blind, as well as having Down syndrome, autism, and Asperger’s, they’re rudely disrupting the order of image-obsessed (or trying-super-hard-not-to-look-image-obsessed-but-totally-are) indie rockers―and doing it in perfect pitch.
To call them an unlikely act is an understatement. The group began practicing two years ago while mentor-cum-manager Rohan Brooks was teaching music as an exercise in group therapy. When he met guitarist Rory Burnside at an Australia day party and invited him to join the sessions, the therapy sessions turned into jam sessions, which soon became rehearsals―a real band answering calls for big gigs. So far, they’ve put four songs to tape, with a documentary camera following them every step of the way.
Rudely Interrupted sounds like Joy Division hit with a ray of sun, a less trendy take on The Killers, a synth-happy sensation with a rousing message. Our favourite Rudies song started when lead singer and guitarist Rory suffered the loss of a friend’s death and posed the poignant question―can you really die from a broken heart? The music video for “Don’t Break My Heart” looks like an ’80s space-age adventure, an illusory fantastical scene for a band whose wildest fantasies are quickly becoming reality.
As for Aussie rock, Rudely Interrupted may not be of AC/DC calibre just yet, but let us assure you of one thing―they’re already leaps and bounds ahead of Jet. Last week, the Rudies made history as the first indie band to play the UN. Tonight, they’re playing their third-ever North American show at Sneaky’s, alongside Still Life Still and the Rural Alberta Advantage (who, for the record, are pretty cool too). Doors are at nine o’clock, cover charge is five bucks.
Photo from Rudely Interrupted’s MySpace.