Rock the 'House'

Repeat after me: The Rapture are not one-hit wonders. While "House of Jealous Lovers" was the dancefloor anthem of 2002, their hotly anticipated album, Echoes, recorded with DFA's James Murphy and Tim Goldsworthy, finally comes out October 21. I met with the band on one of those sweltering days in August when it makes no sense to take a shower. We sat in a small room with a blaring air conditioner as I asked them questions. Matt Safer (bass player), Vito Roccoforte (drums), and Luke Jenner (vocals) answered the questions. Gabe Andruzzi (sax) mostly read a magazine, which I think had the Rapture on the cover.


I saw a video of you guys performing "House of Jealous Lovers" in a basement when you lived in Seattle, and it sounded totally different. [Vito] We played a lot of basements.

Up from the basement: Safer, Roccoforte, Jenner, and Andruzzi (left to right)
photo: Shiho Fukada
Up from the basement: Safer, Roccoforte, Jenner, and Andruzzi (left to right)

Sum up your Seattle experience in one sentence. [Luke] No sun. [Vito] No fun.

Which song are you most proud of? [Luke] We're so proud of our whole record, so it's hard to break it into one song. We want to be a band that's not just about one song, maybe, for a change.

Are you surprised by the success of "House of Jealous Lovers?" [Matt] Of course. It was the first thing for DFA and for us that we really did. There wasn't anything similar going on.

It's still being played. [Vito] We were overseas the last couple of months, and it's really catching on in Japan right now.

When you go overseas are you recognized? [Matt] No, 'cause we don't have Carlos's [from Interpol] hair. [Luke] Even at our own shows people don't recognize us. We don't have a super distinctive thing about us really, except for our music. [Gabe] We all have big hair and big noses.

If you were all on Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, what would they change? [Luke] By American standards we're already pretty gay. We all really like house music—you can't really get any more gay than that, really.

If you were a woman, who would you be? [Luke] I'd be Chrissie Hynde if I could. She's very masculine in a way, but without sacrificing being a woman at the same time. She's from Ohio. [Matt] Kelly Rowland. [Gabe] Laurie Anderson. [Vito] My grandma.

What records do you have that are guilty pleasures?

[Gabe] Philip Glass. [Matt] Al B. Sure. [Luke] I have a Coldplay record that I like sometimes. [Everyone laughs]

They're not cool, really, they never were cool. [Luke] They're so not cool.

So why did your record take so long? Was there really some kind of fuss over the songwriting and the production credits? [Luke] Yes. Everyone had different ideas about what they were entitled to and everyone had different ideas about what'd been said at different times. We had to sort it out. And there was a lot of pressure to sign to a bigger label. It was not fun. [Matt] I think it was also the way that we worked with [Murphy and Goldsworthy]. By nature it was really mixed up. It was not the normal artist-producer relationship. Which means the lines are a lot harder to draw.

What happened in the end? [Luke] Basically, we share co-producing credits and they share some songwriting credits.

Is everything cool now? You're all friends? [Luke] Yes. To do it after the fact was really uncomfortable. Especially if you do this great picture together that you both kind of drew and then go, "That part was mine," or "I colored this part in red," and "That's way more important."

When you're big and famous you can go back to your roots. [Luke] Our roots were forced upon us. It's not like we had a bunch of money and we said, "You know what—we're just gonna keep it real." [Laughs]

What question do you wish people would ask you but they never do? [Luke] "What's your favorite color?" I feel like people think we're really intellectual for some reason. I just want to answer stupid questions sometimes. Like the stuff you read on the back of the covers of boybands from the '60s—you know, what's your favorite day of the week?

So what is your favorite color? [Luke] Blue.


Research: Matthew Phillp

 
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