RAT BOY makes a flying start to 2019 by dropping his new track ‘DON’T HESITATE’, which was premiered last night by Annie Mac on Radio 1. ‘DON’T HESITATE’ features on RAT BOY’s second album ‘INTERNATIONALLY UNKNOWN’, out on January 25th, produced by Rancid's Tim Armstrong. WATCH ‘DON’T HESITATE’ NOW
Directed by RAT BOY, Giovanni Reda & Thomas Davis; DOP Thomas Davis.
‘DON’T HESITATE’ is the perfect primer for what to expect from ‘INTERNATIONALLY UNKNOWN’. RAT BOY has found the perfect blend of anthemic aggro punk with boisterous hip-hop beats, all the while maintaining the personality and attitude that first earned him attention. Meanwhile, the lyrics explore a conflict between outlaws and the police during a post-apocalyptic disorder.
“We listened to some old funk records then we went into the live room and tried making our own and I was playing bongos on it at the start,” recalls RAT BOY. “Liam Haygarth’s playing one of those short-scaled ukulele basses, they have plastic strings so the bass in it sounds crazy. When I went back to England, I had had this drum pack of weird reggae breaks and drum hits. I chopped it up and kind of wanted to go for a weird Rebel MC ‘Street Tuff’ vibe. Tim and I put a sort of Run DMC stabby guitar in which I think really worked.”
Separated by 30 years of age and the Atlantic Ocean, RAT BOY and Armstrong sound like the very definition of an odd couple. But they immediately connected on their first phone call, through a shared love for mixing the visceral energy of punk with hip-hop beats. In many ways, it’s hardly surprising: both musicians share similar influences and often reflect on their upbringing in their lyrics.
The pair met at Armstrong’s Shiprec Studios where he had just finished producing The Interrupters’ latest album and immediately captured three demos on their first day together, with members of The Interrupters backing them on bass and drums. Not only did they have chemistry but they had a wealth of unorthodox creative ideas, such as chopping up live drums before filtering them through an old tape machine or RAT BOY playing Armstrong’s left-handed guitar upside down.
The momentum was such that the project was entirely written and recorded during three visits, which amounted to a total of two months’ work. RAT BOY’s live band joined him in Los Angeles, while other collaborators include former Aggrolites bassist J Bonner and The Interrupters’ vocalist Aimee Interrupter. John King of The Dust Brothers (Beastie Boys, Beck) also contributed production. The result is twelve tracks which amplify RAT ROY’s rabble-rousing riot act to a new level.
‘INTERNATIONALLY UNKNOWN’ will be released on streaming, download, vinyl and CD formats and is available to pre-order from www.ratboy.co.uk
RAT BOY’s touring in support of ‘INTERNATIONALLY UNKNOWN’ commences at the end of February when he embarks upon a five-week North American tour with The Interrupters. He’s then set to headline Glasgow’s Stag & Dagger festival on May 5th before starting his first European headline tour.