Interview by Victoria Llewelyn
RICH ‘RAGS’ RAGANY DISCUSSES THE NEW RICH RAGANY AND THE DIGRESSIONS ALBUM, UPCOMING GIGS AND PLANS FOR EVEN MORE NEW MUSIC.
From Position Fashions to Wealthy Ragany and the Digressions, Canadian born Wealthy ‘Rags’ Ragany is somebody for whom music runs deep. Emotional soul sharing and darkish ideas come as normal, creativity and expression are the important thing, and his expertise for twisting bleak lyrics right into a optimistic and empathic response in his music is one thing only a few can boast of.
MGM: Wealthy Ragany and the Digressions have simply launched their newest album ‘What We Do To Not Let Go’, to very optimistic and inspiring evaluations and two profitable album launch exhibits for hungry followers. How did the idea for Wealthy Ragany and the Digressions come about and the way did you place it collectively?
RR: After Position Fashions, I deliberate to place out a solo report, since I couldn’t think about replicating what we had there with one other band. Simon (Maxwell), the drummer from Position Fashions was coming with me to work on this and it was speculated to be simply us two. Nonetheless, I used to be beginning a extremely great friendship with Gaff and Package (Swing) has all the time sung on Position Fashions tracks so it turned a pure factor that they’d each are available in with me. I knew Ricky (Maguire, UK Subs) by means of different musicians, and he was actually when he heard what we had been doing. He’s an actual nice bass participant. It was actually these guys that determined we had been a band! They made up their minds and right here we’re.
Ricky referred to as up everyone and stated ‘Hey, I’m on this nice new band and it actually kicks ass!’ so I kinda needed to say – okay, you guys wanna be a band? Then I suppose we’re a band! My intention actually was simply to get these individuals in a room, this cool circle of associates, and simply have some enjoyable collectively, I suppose that is what got here out of that room!
Since then, we now have by no means modified the line-up, it’s all the time been the six of us, we’ve caught collectively, and it’s their band. These guys made this band, I’m simply the man that writes the songs. I’m not the perfect singer. I‘m not the perfect guitar participant. That’s Andy (Brook) and he’s additionally our producer plus he performs keys for us! It’s a mad components however everybody developed their very own position and everybody is aware of the place they match.
Gaff is a imply lead guitar, which leaves rhythm electrical to Package, who performs very a lot in an Izzy Stradlin type, plenty of bar chords, nothing too fancy. Package’s very easy and he or she sings like an angel. Combine that with these jangly, loopy leads that Gaff pulls out of the bag and a tune begins to drive down a sure avenue, it’s magical to listen to it evolve like that.
RR: I write the songs within the sense that I provide you with the chords and the melody for them. I’ll put these preparations onto a demo, throw it on the market and let everybody do what they need with it! That is essentially the most thrilling time for me. I’m considering – what’s Gaff gonna provide you with that’s gonna make this tune particular? I take all of the drums away from the demo, it’s simply finished to a click on, and Simon will add within the ups and downs with the drums, the dynamics of it. Andy and Package put within the harmonies and it’s like being in a science lab with take a look at tubes effervescent across the place, listening to them experiment with various things. I’ll suppose – I wrote these lyrics, I’ve written that melody, and look, they’ve made it right into a tune!
There’s a tune on the album, for instance, ‘Eternally Ghosts’, and I had a robust imaginative and prescient for the way I wished that tune to sound, I had a Roy Orbison ‘I Drove All Night time’ vibe to it in my head. I gave it to Gaff with this in thoughts, and he turned it into one thing straight out of a 2002 Strokes album! I used to be like – what the Hell’s occurring, that is nothing like I imagined! However it didn’t take away from something I had finished, and I believed to myself – now am I creating right here or am I being a management freak about it as a result of it isn’t like I envisioned it? Don’t take your self so critically, Wealthy!
MGM: Let’s speak a little bit in regards to the album itself – you’ve described it as a development, nearly an alter-ego to ‘Past Nostalgia And Heartache’, and your albums are in essence, cinematic, as a complete they create a movie-like expertise fairly than merely a set of songs in the usual album components. What went into ‘What We Do To Not Let Go’ on this means, and the way does it differ from ‘Past’?
RR: We wish to make each album a extremely stunning film, a lot extra than simply the music. We predict this album (What We Do) has a extra bodily, tangible sound, it has extra grit to it, and our personalities present by means of much more. The music may be very deep, because it was within the final, and it’s based mostly extra within the right here and now, versus a backward look into occasions which have already occurred which was the main focus for ‘Past’.
A number of the songs, lyrically, are nonetheless wanting again nevertheless it’s extra about what you’re doing with these recollections, these experiences, within the right here and now. It celebrates spirits; ghosts come up lots within the lyrics you’ll discover, and there’s lots about how you progress ahead with out forgetting these ghosts. I don’t consider in spooks and stuff like that, however I do consider that marks from the previous are left indelibly on an individual, and you progress ahead with them as part of the individual you’ve change into. I consider it as a day and an evening. ‘Past’ was a farewell to the previous, ‘What We Do’ is a welcome to what’s forward.
I wished to seize these mornings, you understand, whenever you get up and really feel the solar coming by means of the home windows, or like assembly a greatest buddy whenever you had been feeling a little bit bit lonely the night time earlier than. That feeling, it’s possible you’ll be a little bit drained or hung over from the day earlier than however right here’s your new starting. ‘What We Do’ is that starting, the night time has changed into the brand new day once more.
Take a look at our assessment beneath:
MGM: You may have two reside exhibits already finished, each album launch exhibits in Huddersfield and London, and a collection of gigs lined up with Star Circus, working from March Twenty third-Twenty sixth. How did the album launch exhibits go and are you wanting ahead to persevering with the tour?
RR: We performed an incredible place in Huddersfield referred to as The Parish, I really like that venue, and I really like Yorkshire a lot. I’m tremendous completely happy to know individuals there and The Parish appears to attract individuals in from all over. I’ve lived within the UK for seventeen years and I gotta say, there’s one thing in regards to the North of England, individuals have that straight-up, trustworthy perspective which I simply love. Then we went right down to Camden, to the Meeting, and it was packed out. I bought very emotional and went to have a little bit cry within the lavatory.
It was an incredible weekend, it was the announcement that ‘We’re again!’ and now we now have a bunch of exhibits to stay up for, and I additionally simply bought information of some extra, with some very cool bands that I significantly respect, however I can’t say something about them simply but!
Enjoying with Star Circus is gonna be superior, I do know Dave personally, we had been out in Camden one time and we simply stated ‘You recognize, we must always actually play some exhibits collectively. It’d work so properly’ as bands we’re totally different sufficient however nonetheless have components in widespread to make it work. Dave has an incredible vitality; he simply needs to exit and do it!
Then, we now have one other present on April seventh at Aces and Eights, that’s an all acoustic set alongside The Suicide Notes and Boss Caine. One thing totally different once more. After which we now have Name Of The Wild. We’re the penultimate band on the Southall/Lawless stage and I feel it’s excellent for us proper now, we wish to play extra exhibits like that. It was tough to go for them earlier than, simply with timing and scheduling, however now we will begin to attain out and put ourselves ahead for extra occasions like this, and we’re going to do precisely that!
MGM: You reconvened with Position Fashions final summer time for just a few gigs, how was it to be again with these guys once more?
RR: I’ve missed them. In fact, Simon remains to be with me, however these guys, they’re my brothers. We honed our abilities in that band. We’re going to be recording once more although, there’ll be a single we’ll be releasing, and it was so nice to carry out with them once more final 12 months we will’t say we’ll by no means do this once more.
Once we did this quick tour final summer time it was unbelievable to see Nick and Dan once more, I miss these guys a lot. I organised that tour as a celebration of the lifetime of our buddy Roger Segal, who was taken away from us by a mindless act of violence. Bringing collectively Position Fashions once more was very particular, and emotional given the rationale we had been doing it. We felt one another’s presence very deeply.
I can’t wait to do the one with them, it’s gonna be nice enjoyable, however my focus proper now’s with the Digressions and what we’ve bought occurring. However generally, I look again, have myself a glass of crimson wine and take heed to a few songs from a Position Fashions report and I’m so rattling happy with it. So completely happy that we did it.
MGM: Now that you just’ve bought the album out and the exhibits able to go, what would be the subsequent step for you? Do you might have any extra plans within the pipeline?
RR: There may be the small matter of a solo album! Actually, it’s already completed, mastered and able to exit. It’s a really attention-grabbing report, fairly totally different. I’m very nerdy, and after I’m creating one thing, I wish to have temper boards, I wish to plan a sure means. I’m holding it again for now in order that the main focus stays on the Digressions report, generally I feel what you maintain again works to strengthen what you’ve put ahead.
Bringing it out in its personal time will give it extra spine, its personal toes to face on. I don’t need it to get in the way in which of what we’re doing now. I can inform you that there’s twelve songs on it, however that’s all for now!
We’ve launched three albums in round three and a half years, in seven years I’ve put out eight data in the event you embrace the Position Fashions stuff, and on prime of that there are singles and EPs, so there has to come back a degree the place it slows down a bit as that tempo is tough to take care of, and perhaps that’s the place the solo report would possibly are available in.
I’m nonetheless arising with new concepts for the subsequent Digressions report, in reality we now have already began writing a few of it. Considered one of my concepts for this was making the report extra in regards to the personalities within the band, make it extra particular person to every of us. I’d wish to have Package singing lead a bit extra, she is aware of the door is open for her there and he or she’s simply so good at that stuff. We could name the subsequent one ‘Digressions’ and drop the Wealthy Ragany from it, to make it extra communal, we’ll see. There’s quite a lot of totally different, enjoyable issues we will do and all the time a lot to stay up for.
Wealthy Ragany and the Digressions are on tour with Star Circus this month –
March Twenty third – Leicester, Soundhouse
March twenty fourth – York, The Vaults
March twenty fifth – Edinburgh, Whistlebinkies
March Twenty sixth – Sheffield, Report Junkee
With The Suicide Notes and Boss Caine –
April seventh – London, Aces and Eights