Blazing out of Michigan, esteemed American songsmiths ‘Frontier Ruckus’ return to the UK in support of their, highly acclaimed, 5th LP ‘Enter the Kingdom’. Compared with Springsteen’s ‘Nebraksa’, ‘Enter’ asks interesting questions about what happens to the peripherals of society during times of economic downturn. Damian Robinson caught up with frontman Matthew Millia to find out more about ‘Enter’ and the forthcoming tour.
A few months on from ‘Enter’s release, how do you look back on the record?
‘Enter’ is very personal so it’s been interesting to see how people relate to it. Essentially ‘Enter’ is about experiences within my own family, my dad in particular, and how the economic downturn, effected his life. Structurally this is an album about the American dream, and the challenges we face to live up to its expectations.
It’s a very thought-provoking piece of work. Was it a different experience for the band to record something as personal?
In a way, it was, yes. I think all of our records try to connect with listeners, which we try to do by opening up about ourselves. It was interesting that our most personal record was the first one we didn’t self-produce.
Wilco drummer Ken Coomer was in the production chair, wasn’t he?
He was yes. We’ve loved Wilco for so long and he really helped us produce a record which is concise and powerful. In the past, we’ve looked for a lo-fi sound, or perhaps been a little self-indulgent, but Ken really helped us meet our songwriting challenges.
So you wrote the album not just to a narrative theme but also a sonic one?
I did yes, I try to write music every day. In fact, as it happens, I’m trying to work out how to release more music as there’s a large volume building up.
It seems the constraints of the music industry really challenge prolific songwriters to be able to release as much music as they’d like.
It’s certainly a challenge, and even a lot of the indie labels seem reluctant to put out the 3rd and 4th albums by acts, they seem to want debut records. But I try to look at this challenge the right way and believe that music should never be about the money, the intent is always to create something which other people can relate to.
That’s a great sentiment. For those that have never seen Frontier’s live show, what can they expect from your show in Durham?
We’ll be touring Europe as a 3 piece and trying to strip things right back to make the songs the heart of our shows. We’ve written over 5 full-length records, so we’ll play tracks from each record and try to please everyone.
Frontier Ruckus play Durham Old Cinema Launderette on 14th Sept. For more information about their music \nd tour dates visit http://www.frontierruckus.com/.