The Rapture: Punk, funk, disco and... cocktails

Click to follow
The Independent Culture

The Rapture are New York- based foursome Luke Jenner, Mattie Safer, Vito Roccoforte and Gabe Andruzzi. Their forthcoming debut album Echoes has won critical acclaim for its heady mash-up of punk, funk, house, disco and psychedelia. We spoke to Mattie Safer, vocalist, bass player and keyboardist with the band.

Has "House Of Jealous Lovers" rescued the cowbell from musical instrument purgatory?

The cowbell is a beautiful thing - as far as I'm concerned it never died.

Apparently the latest craze in New York is "Silent Parties", where everybody sits around in complete silence.

Silent parties are really fucking hip. New York's nightlife is too talkative for my liking. The blackout was the most exciting thing to happen in months, because everybody stopped worrying about themselves for a night.

A while back the Plant Bar was described as the coolest bar in the world, which must have made Luke the world's coolest bar tender. What drink would The Rapture be and why?

I used to manage Luke's bartending career. We invented a drink in his honour: the Jenner-ino. We were all set to market it to the West Village crowd but the band took off. As for The Rapture, we're like a Martini: kinda fashionable, but really bitter.

How do you explain the current vogue for bands calling themselves "The..."?

There is no explanation; I guess it's just a happy coincidence. We were known as Da Rapture for a while, but had to change our name after a legal dispute with some unknown Finnish rappers. Besides, Da Rapture sounds too electroclash and that is so last year.

You're constantly name dropped as one of the trendiest bands around. Do you feel a pressure to be cool all the time?

Nah, that's stupid! No one is cool all the time. Don't tell anyone but we're actually human beings. There are many normal daily things we like equally as much as having our dicks metaphorically sucked in fashion magazines.

Have you ever cut each other's hair?

Luke cut Vito's hair once and he ended up looking like a Mormon. I usually cut my own hair. It normally looks pretty amazing, almost as though I was born to do it. I know that if this rock 'n' roll life doesn't work out, I still have time to learn how to shampoo and snip my way to the top.

Do you hate the tag "punk/ funk crossover"?

No, it usually makes us laugh because it has no bearing on my view of myself. Besides I love Shalamar really - don't we all? In my head The Rapture sounds like a really wonderful dinner party: a place where at the end, we all put our keys into a giant bowl and are led off by attractive strangers in velvet blindfolds to be sinners, all with a bit of dirty sax and a good beat throughout.

If you had to appear on the "100 best punk/ funk bands in the world ever" CD compilation, who would you like to see alongside you?

There's no such thing as punk funk. I'd just like to be on any compilation with Brand Nubian, Inner City and Erlend Oye all together in one place. Do you think someone could really find 100 of those bands? These days it's becoming tough just getting gigs - tribute bands like Gang of Faux are already stealing our thunder.

'Echoes' is out tomorrow on Vertigo Records