Native to New Zealand, electro/hip-hop/pop outfit Rapture Ruckus is set to release their full-length debut with BEC Recordings on September 27, Open Your Eyes. A Dove-nominated and ensuring self-titled EP helped introduced the veteran producer/songwriter Brad Dring and his cohorts to American audiences, and now its first Stateside LP serves as the official culmination of the past ten years spent overseas.
Though Rapture Ruckus' live experience is nothing short of jaw dropping, the most important element is
the music itself, which as Open Your Eyes so aptly relates, is a beat-driven blur between four on the floor dance grooves, explosive hip-hop and electronic pop, all wrapped around alternative rock attitude.
"If you listen to our older material, we started out as a straight up hip-hop group, but slowly evolved into more of the rock and pop side with a real British, electro glam aspect to what we do," continues Dring. "It's not rap and it's not rock; it's definitely it's own thing. This is a full band with big ‘80s synths backed by big production both on the stage and in the recording studio."
Though Rapture Ruckus self-produced much of Open Your Eyes, a scan through the new album's credits also includes assistance from Family Force 5's Solomon Olds and the Atlanta collective ZK Productions (Outkast, Cartel, Mayday Parade). Even Stu G, legendary guitarist for Delirious, pops up to lend his six string skills on several tracks.
"The album is about seeing the world through God's eyes and realizing that there's so much out there, whether it be beautiful or painful, that we can't see with our own eyes," confides Dring.
Rapture Ruckus debuted in 2002 at New Zealand's Parachute Festival (one of the largest music festivals in the Southern Hemisphere) breaking the event's record for highest-selling new act. Rapture Ruckus has continued touring, supporting bands throughout North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. Already releasing three albums since their 2002 debut, and winning the 2007 New Zealand Music Award for Best Gospel Album, Rapture Ruckus released their music to the United States via BEC Recordings in 2010. The self-titled EP was nominated for a 2010 GMA Dove Award. Rapture Ruckus is Brad Dring (vocals, frontman), Mike Aitofi (keyboard, guitar) and Josh Stein (drums).