‘Disco, rock n roll, it’s all the same to me!’ is the wry claim at the heart of Rogue Traders’ new single, ‘Would You Raise Your Hands?’, a sly commentary on the business of music appreciation. But it’s another line that perhaps has most significance in the song.
The band’s lynchpin James Ash explains the genesis of ‘Would You Raise Your Hands?’: “We were listening to a lot of glam at the time - T. Rex, Bolan, Slade - and felt that this was a musical area that we wanted to explore and try mixing with electro. The line, ‘Unplug the jukebox, do us all a favour’ (from the classic Adam & the Ants track ‘Ant Music’) kept popping up - we couldn’t get it out of our heads and it fitted into the song so well. In the end, we asked Adam Ant if we could use it and were delighted to receive his blessing.”
Kicking off with a blustering riff, ‘Would You Raise Your Hands?’ ploughs straight into a rumbling drum pattern that gives the track a classic glam flavour. Buoyed by swaggering guitars and chunky synths, ‘Would You Raise Your Hands?’ bounds relentlessly towards its addictive sing-a-long chorus refrain, the song’s breathless energy and addictive melodies setting the tone for the upcoming Rogues album Night Of The Living Drums.
And as if the original wasn’t enough to get people moving, mixes from Chardy, Chris Fraser (One Love) and Chew Fu are starting to light up the nation’s dance floors.
The third chapter in the band’s rich history is well underway - a history that has seen Rogue Traders evolve from ARIA Award-winning DJs/producers to chart-topping pop stars and beyond - and the future looks bright. With Night Of The Living Drums - the 4th album from the Rogues - in the can, James Ash has a spring in his step and an enthusiasm in his voice that attests to the excitement and determination of a man with musical opportunity lying wide open before him. “I can’t quite believe it’s all happening again - it’s really exciting! The future is open, and there’s a huge energy and hunger for it!”
Joining the band as their new singer is Ms. Mindi Jackson, a tall, lithe bundle of energy, who brings her own vocal and visual talents to the band’s make-up, and sounds as effortless tearing through the new numbers, many of which she co-wrote with Ash, as she does wrapping her vocal interpretation around Rogues classics such as ‘Voodoo Child’ and ‘Don’t You Wanna Feel’.
When former singer Natalie Bassingthwaighte departed to pursue her own solo journey, James Ash launched straight back into the familiar world of DJing in clubs as he started to write new Rogues material and consider the band’s next step.
“It was very edifying to return to the world of dance music, and this defined what the next [Rogue Traders] record would be like... Better In The Dark was more electro-rock; the essence of this record is more dance-based. At its heart, it’s still pop music, [but] with a dance music edge”.
Luckily, MySpace soon provided him with a talented new vocalist. “Nothing really stopped when Nat left,” says James. “I continued to write music, and looked around for a new singer, and didn’t settle until I found the right one. Mindi was that right singer.” For her part, Mindi couldn’t believe her luck, and describes hearing from James as a “massive shock”.
The new songs immediately flowed, emerging from a songwriting process that James describes as being “less calculated and less self-conscious with a looser feel than previous work.”
‘Would You Raise Your Hands?’ is the next step in the Rogue Traders’ never-ending evolution, part of a new collection of music that marks a move back to the group’s club roots, yet loses none of the pop smarts that have seen the band sell over 1 million records worldwide.
Rogue Traders have released three previous albums - We Know What You’re Up To, Here Come the Drums, and Better in the Dark - yielding numerous hit singles, an ARIA Award, multiple APRA Awards and an MTV Award.
‘Would You Raise Your Hands?’ is available online from 19th February, with a package containing b-sides and remixes available on 26th March.
Night Of The Living Drums will follow in June 2010.
FOR A COMPLETE LIST OF AUSTRALIAN RECORDING ARTISTS - click here
TAGS: Rogue Traders, How to book Rogue Traders, book Rogue Traders, event bookings for Rogue Traders, Booking agents Rogue Traders, book Rogue Traders for corporate event, singer Rogue Traders,