Ruby return with the most personal album Lesley Rankine has created and YOU can help get the record out & on the road. Jamie Gambino found out about the treats instore, the DIY process and why it’s been so long between albums.
Lesley you have just launched a Pledge Music campaign for your latest album, what made you choose that route?
I’m doing it totally DIY. I don’t have a label and I’d prefer to keep it that way so crowd funding is pretty much the only way to get some funds to release the album physically and to tour. Pledge seem like good people. I’ve heard good about them through friends so they were the obvious choice.
Ruby: Pledge video
Your album pledged reached about a third of it’s goal within the first 24 hours, is it meeting expectations you had for the project or surpassing them?
”It’s totally surpassing them. We’re at 66% now, in just over a week. I’m very humbled and heartened with this. Hugely grateful. I keep saying how I’m a very lucky girl – and I totally am.”
Ruby: ‘Tiny Meat’
The first two Ruby albums were separated due to the collapse of your record label as it folded into Sony, why the delay this time round?
”A number of things. By the end of the Short-Staffed tour I was so sick of all the industry crap that I’d had to deal with during the making of the album and subsequent promotion that my heart just wasn’t in it any more. But the main thing was that I wanted to have a baby and that became the main focus of my life. For the previous 12 years it had all been about music and I’d been a wanderer, spending my life in airports or on tour buses. Then I had my son and basically chucked my passport away and decided I needed to do something that would keep me home so I refurbed old houses and raised my son.”
In the campaign you talk of rediscovery and finding who you are as an artist, what can we expect from ‘Waiting For Light’ and how does it compare to the previous Ruby albums?
”The main thing is it’s very eclectic – a mixture of electronic, acoustic and orchestral sounds. I also think it’s more personal and intimate than either of the other 2 albums and I’m definitely moving in that direction moving more in that direction. Instrumentally I’m preferring to strip things down a bit and have less traditional song structures.”
You are also supporting the Womankind Worldwide with your funding, what is important to you about the charity?
”The fact that they employ structures and programmes to empower women, some of whom have been terribly brutalised, either as a process of war, or societal norms, and they equip these women with tools and skills to support and protect themselves and their children. It’s a fact that if the women in a society flourish, then so does the rest of the society as a whole.”
Your new album was made entirely at home in Scotland, did you miss the collaborative process you had when recording in Seattle?
”It was much the same. Myself and Mark Walk, at lest latterly, worked in our own houses separately. For this album I worked on my own for most of the time and then my brother, Scott would come up and we’d brainstorm for a few days at a time so the process was pretty similar.”
Is the DIY process to recording & releasing music liberating or daunting?
”Both. I’m a very independent person so it suits me but it is a SHITLOAD of work!! Maybe eventually it’ll get too much and I’ll have to look for a label but hopefully not.”
One of the reasons for the pledge campaign is to help get back onto the road, what is it you love about playing live and what could we expect from Ruby on stage in 2014.
”I love the physicality of singing live and being able to ‘explain’ what I’m about. There’ll only be 2 or maybe 3 of us so there will be lots of sampling and looping live.”
Ruby: Paraffin & Salt Water Fish (live)
What are your personal favourite offerings from your campaign
”Favourite is the wee lyric book. I love making books. I used to make them in art college out of metal and wood. They’re kind of like complete wee packages of art – like albums. It’s got lots of wee images from the album and printed on really thick, textured fine art paper.”
Some of the exclusive offerings is a ‘Meet & Greet & Stylish Night’ what are your hopes for those ones and what do you fear?!
”It’s just for a laugh really. The idea was that I’d cut somebody’s hair, slap a load of make up on them and dress them up n’ take ‘em clubbing. I have no idea what to expect – hopefully it would be a great laugh!!”
Ruby: ‘Last Lite’