One of New Zealand’s hottest rock/hiphop amalgamations continues to pick up steam in America with the release of its first project in three years. On Invader Volume I (BEC Recordings), Rapture Ruckus more than makes up for lost time with an even more explosive outpouring of individual material, plus red-hot collaborations with Family Force 5’s Soul Glow Activatur and buzz worthy pop-star Shuree. Front man Brad Dring not only updates CCM on the band’s musical whereabouts, but also talks about the guys’ upbringing overseas and how their lyrics evolved alongside a rapidly maturing faith.
CCM: What was the Christian music scene, if any, like for you growing up in New Zealand?
Brad Dring: The only Christian music I really heard growing up in New Zealand was worship music, [like when] my mum would sometimes play Hillsong albums. We mainly just listened to mainstream music, and when we started out, we weren’t really aware of any Christian music scene. We were just really excited about our newly found faith in Jesus and wanted to share it with people through music. It’s been great over the past ten years discovering so many amazing people making music and sharing their faith.
CCM: How has your songwriting grown from when you started up to Invader Volume 1?
Brad: When we first started Rapture Ruckus, we were very young in our faith and pretty much none of our friends we grew up with were Christians. So I think we really felt like we needed to be super bold, staunch and in your face about our faith all the time, as a way to defend our beliefs or something. I think God’s really worked on our hearts and approach over the years, although we are still a very overtly bold Christian band. I like to think we come from much more of a place of compassion and love. We care a lot less about what people think about us and a lot more about encouraging people and pointing them to the Jesus we’ve come to know—the God of love, grace, compassion, creativity and joy.
CCM: To what extent is the new material rock, rap and electro?
Brad: Our sound is a bit of a mishmash of different genres. We don’t really have any rules in Rapture Ruckus about what sounds or styles we can use, so it’s kind of anything goes. We’ve got the big ‘80s Ruckus synths in there. We definitely draw a lot from electro and hip-hop. We gravitate towards making things simple and punchy, as that’s what works best at live shows through big sound systems…I always imagine that person way in the back of the audience with their arms crossed standing dead still. How do we connect with that person? Get them smiling, maybe even dancing.