In a land deep below the Earth’s core, where homes are built from the bones of your enemies and acid drips from cave ceilings, where the Bog of Eternal Stench is a reality and The Humungus reigns, there exists RABBLE RABBLE. The quartet emerged from the slime of the underworld to join me in an exchange of words over the obnoxious hum of a home tattoo gun and a lot of laughter. Read on and find out whose farts belong to who, why you should definitely get in a van with a stranger who’s just shit on the street, and what the more mature Rabble Rabble has to say about life in the internet age. Do your research now and prepare yourselves, for RABBLE RABBLE will be summoning a vortex of demons, farts, and out of this world sonic creations that will tear through the Empty Bottle and all of our souls on the eve of Friday the 13th. It’s all in celebration of the release of their new album, BRAIN HOLE, and to start their tour of the underworld off right. RSVP here for free entrance to that live music engagement.
ASHLEIGH DYE: So Andrew this question is for you specifically: You joined RABBLE RABBLE after it had already been a band for a while – what were your thoughts upon joining?
ANDREW KETTERING: Ralph actually used to be in a band that I was the front man of called THE GREAT SOCIETY MIND DESTROYERS, we actually went on tour together, RABBLE RABBLE and the Mind Destroyers, so we were kind of like brother-sister bands. It already felt like they were my family, it wasn’t a stretch. Musically it’s very different from what I was doing with the Mind Destroyers, but just playing together felt pretty natural. We kind of just popped right into it.
KAYLEE PRESTON: We changed a lot as a band, too.
AK: Yeah, yeah. It took a while for everyone to adjust to me.
AD: Yeah, this is a two part question – how did you guys adjust to Andrew joining the band?
KP: Oh, just hated him. No, it was great. Everything kind of changed, our whole sound got heavier.
AK: You guys always say that, but I will say that there are two songs that you guys wrote before I joined the band that are still our heaviest songs.
KP: Well sure, we were going that way.
MATT CIARLEGLIO: I think you mean heavy, with the amount of riffage, but I think the main thing when Drew joined the band was that we actually started thinking about our songs structurally and musically a lot more. Instead of it being just an onslaught of fucked-upness. Like, instead of seeing who can riff the most in the smallest amount of time, lets spread it out over the course of the song and think about the dynamic.
AK: Add some space and groove…
RALPH DARSKI: If anything, you’ve brought a lot of groove.
AK: Groove is important to me, personally.
MC: Also, lots of gas.
AD: That is a great segue for another question I have! Ralph, I hear you claim to know each band member by their farts.
RD: It’s true!
AD: Want to give us a quick description of everyone’s?
KP: When do you ever smell my farts? That’s bullshit!
RD: Well, that’s the thing, I know if it’s Matt’s because it’ll be a sharp, stingy one. And Drew’s just lingers, it’s just there like a funky fog. And Kaylee’s it happens and it’s gone.
MC: A flash in the pan!
KP: A funky fog, a flash in the pan! God, this is hilarious.
AD: What are Ralph’s like?
MC: Ralph’s are like The Mist, where it’s just moist and you can feel it seeping in and then it just dries. Leaving you like, “aw man.”
KP: Multiply this by like 1,000 when we are on tour.
AD: What’s the grossest thing that has happened on tour?
MC: Things grosser than one should ever know…
RD: I will say, one time we were on tour and the first night we pull up to Bloomington or something and this guys says “I’m going to take a shit right here!” And he drops his pants and just starts shitting right on the street, right on the street, first night on tour!
KP: He was also wearing an America’s Funniest Home Videos shirt.
MC: On our first tour we went to Indianapolis and we didn’t really know who we were staying with so we call this guy and we’re like “Hey, we’re at your house…” and he says “OK I’ll be right out.” And this guy pulls up, that we think it’s the dude we’re staying with, but it’s a random stranger. And so we are all like “Let’s go get some beer” and the guys yells “Yeah, lets get some beer! I’m going to take a shit right here!” And our old bandmate Todd was like “Yeah, I’ll get beer with this guy.” So after he shits on the ground they jump in his van and drive off and five minutes later the dude we were actually staying with shows up. We freaked out and told him that our bandmate Todd is in a van with a stranger who just shit on the ground.
AD: And that’s why Todd’s not in your band anymore…just kidding.
RD: Yeah, and I’m calling him and he’s not answering…
MC: It worked out, he eventual made it back with beer and a really cool video.
AD: The “Cole’s Bathroom” video you did, was that based on actual bathroom graffiti?
MC: A few years ago before we wrote the song “Cole’s Bathroom,” I kept getting text messages that were pretty vile like “Who’s this blah blah, I hear you want to suck my dick” and it went on for over a month. Finally someone told me that my name and phone number were all over the bathroom walls at Cole’s. So finally a bunch of my friends and myself finally scratched them all off, I can’t say for sure who it was, but I have some ideas. So, after that we wrote the song “Cole’s Bathroom.”
AD: So you guys have done two videos now, “Cole’s Bathroom” and the one Mark just did for “BROKE.” How did you guys all work cohesively put them together?
RD: The Cole’s one was pretty off the cuff, we just decided we wanted to do it and went to Cole’s after close one night. This one we did for BROKE, we worked on that for a couple weeks figuring out the story and locations before we even started shooting. We learned a lot from “Cole’s Bathroom” on what not to do to make a music video. Even with this one, we learned some more things not to do.
KP: It was pretty well organized, but at the end of the night at 3 or 4 in the morning when everyone’s wasted things get a little hairy.
AD: How many hours do you think you spent on it collectively, between planning, filming, and editing?
KP: I wasn’t there for a lot of it because I got a concussion like the first day.
AD: How’d that happen?
KP: I got kneed in the face by Hannah Hazard, of Lil Tits fame. It happens.
MC: It probably took over 100 hours, at least. Mark did a ton of work with all the major editing and all.
AD: If you had an endless budget what kind of story line would you do?
RD: Well, one that Mark brought up was sweet. Drew goes to a thrift store and finds an inter-dimensional device. But he only has enough to get the knock off brand, so he gets the generic one and we’re trying to figure it out, but it’s all in a different language. We decide “Maybe if we play music it will turn on!” So we start playing and it turns on and zaps us to different places.
AD: Kaylee, I was reading an interview you did with Tom Tom Magazine where you said you like to take traditional styles and throw your own spit in. How do you keep your spit fresh?
KP: The easy answer is that my boyfriend is a fanatic, a drum enthusiast to the max. I can’t get up in the morning and have a coffee without three drums videos waiting for me. I like to practice by myself a lot, too. Not with either of the bands I’m in, just to fine tune and throw some different styles into my playing.
AD: So you played a lot of basement shows for a while and I hear you all had an affinity for getting people in their underwear pretty quickly. What’s your secret?
MC: We played a couple shows with the SCREAMING FEMALES at the Hideout where some bras and panties got thrown on stage.
RD: I think it’s easy when people are drunk and sweaty in a basement, if you start taking off your clothes, they’ll start taking off their clothes, especially if you’re playing raging music.
MC: Ralph has definitely gotten naked a couple of times.
KP: You have to understand from my perspective on stage that was terrifying. I just look up and see naked Ralph bending over – it was the worst.
RD: Still she is in the band though, so…
KP: I’m a tough bitch.
MC: There was a show a while ago that we played on Cinco de Mayo with Killer Moon at the Mutiny. When you play there you get three drinks of your choice. One of those options is a pitcher of Long Island Ice Tea, so we were all pretty much blacked out when we played.
KP: I don’t even remember where this story is going…
MC: I remember that in the middle in one of the songs I turned around and looked at Kaylee and Ralph had his pants off and Todd had his pants around his ankles and everyone in the crowd was screaming “Take your pants off!” So we played the rest of our set with our pants off and Todd mooned everyone, I rolled around in some broken glass and ran outside with no pants on.
AD: What’s the scariest thing you’ve seen happening from the stage?
KP: Matt strangling someone for touching him with their bare butt!
AD: From all the crazy basement underwear shows, and brawls, and just the insane amount of people in show photos I’ve seen it seems like you guys were pretty notoriously wild. How has that energy grown and changed for you guys over the years?
RD: In a way we still have that energy, we’re still passionate and excited about what we’re playing, but I think we’ve started to move past that whole party band sort of thing. We all grew up a bit and have more things to say and express through music than just having a good time. The feeling is all still there, but we’re a little more put together now.
AD: Let’s say we’ve hypothetically kept all the blood and sweat that’s been spilled at your shows over the years in giant tubs and you get to use it all at once – what would you do with it?
MC: Make it into soap and sell it. Rabble soap, “Made with your own sweat and blood.”
KP: We could put it in the Rabble sauce! It could be the special ingredient.
AD: Oooh, what’s Rabble sauce? Tell me about that.
RD: Yeah, we’re going to sell it on tour. It’s a secret sauce that you put on pizza that we developed.
MC: We made this up when we recorded our record with our friend Phil and we bought like 20 pizzas from Aldi and we had all these sauces and condiments and all these special ingredients, maybe they’re illegal, maybe they’re not, but we made them into Rabble Sauce.
AD: You guys want to tell me about the recording process for your upcoming album, BRAIN HOLE? I know you recorded one album out in a barn somewhere, right?
RD: That was just two songs, out in the barn.
MC: Our last 7” was recorded in barn above an antique store.
AD: Yeah, you guys put all kinds of prizes in those, right? What kind of prizes were they?
RD: We had like radom family photos…
KP: And someone’s professional head shots.
RD: While we were on tour, this photo studio closed down next to the venue we were playing at and we put in all the photos from the shop.
AD: What’s the deal with BRAIN HOLE, where did you record that?
RD: We did half at our old studio practice space – it’s called Soapbox. We did the bass and drums there, the other half we did at our friend Phil Karnat’s house in Kildeer, IL.
AD: How are you guys feeling about BRAIN HOLE?
KP: It’s the best yet.
RD: I think no ones going to expect it, in a way.
KP: You can actually hear your voice, that’s a big thing.
AD: Is that just from you feeling more comfortable showcasing the vocals…
RD: It’s mainly the quality of the recording.
MC: Also, the idea we had behind it. A lot of our previous records were just off the cuff and not really produced. With this record we decided instead of just rushing through it, let’s put layers on it and produce it and add sounds that we can’t really recreate live, but still have that same energy that we have live. We have cello, Emily Cross does background vocals for us…
RD: We have synths, which we never play on stage. I think in terms of vocals we actually had a clear concept of what it was about, instead of it just being “Oh, this is a song about how I got drunk that one night.” We actually had an idea and wanted to use feelings about living today and being online and who are we and all that shit.
AD: Yes! I always get so overly passionate when I think about how important our generation is as far as witnessing these insane technological advancements. We’re the bridge generation! We grow up when VHS’s were the top of the line and now I know 7 year olds who have iPads, babies grow up with iPhones in their faces!
RD: Right, it’s just insane. If you’re in to all that, you will definitely get Brain Hole.
AD: Do you guys write your songs collaboratively?
AK: Unfortunately yes, which is what takes so long.
RD: It makes it longer of a process but…
AK: It does, but it also allows each of us to have our individual voice in each song.
RD: It’s important. It’s always been that way. I started the band, but it’s not MY band, it’s ours.
AK: Part of why everything takes longer for us, we’re some of the busiest mother fuckers in the city.
AD: Yeah, you guys have other bands, multiple jobs, kids, run businesses. It’s very impressive.