No frills, just music | Rudimental

One half of the rising stars of East London drum-and-bass speak to us about what makes them tick as musicians, their impressions of Malta and the story behind their name – Rudimental – ahead of their performance at tonight’s Isle of MTV concert.

Rudimentally: we spoke to Piers and Leon (first and second from left) from UK drum and bass quartet Rudimental. Photo by Paul Trapani Galea Feriol.
Rudimentally: we spoke to Piers and Leon (first and second from left) from UK drum and bass quartet Rudimental. Photo by Paul Trapani Galea Feriol.

Ensconced in large plastic tent and enjoying the heat as a balmy breeze flies by, Piers Aggett and Leon (aka DJ Locksmith) of Rudimental have a fairly typical - but always welcome - reaction to being on the Maltese islands.

"It's just so great to be able to enjoy the sun," Leon says.

"Yeah," his colleague Piers chimes in, "East London, where we come from, doesn't get all that much of it."

Meteorological pleasantries aside, the duo seem genuinely pleased to be there - citing Malta's "historic" architecture as being a refreshing change to the "same old buildings" they see way too much of back home.

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"But the fact of the matter is," Leon confesses, "with all the countries we visit, we rarely get to see all that much them since we'd just be flying in and out, so we don't get to see all that much... we do get to see plenty of hotel rooms though!"

"The good thing about today, actually, is that we get to spend around three or four hours to walk around and see the place - we don't usually get that luxury," Piers says.

Despite claiming - with some relief - that they can in fact walk the London streets and go unrecognised, Rudimental have had a good couple of years.

The drum and bass collective - completed by Kesi Dryden and Amir Amor - formed in 2010, though they first made waves on the international radar with the chart-topping song 'Feel the Love', featuring vocals by John Newman. After it entered the UK number 1 spot, the song rapidly won over fans in Australia, Belgium, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Austria, Denmark, Germany and Ireland.

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More recently, their collaboration with Ella Eyre, 'Waiting All Night', catapulted to the number 1 spot in the UK Singles Chart on 21 April of this year, undoubtedly helping its parent album - Home - also secure the number 1 spot on the UK Albums Chart two weeks later.

Despite their success, Piers and Leon are adamant on not letting it go to their heads... an ambition that's bolstered by the fact that they've been friends for so long.

"If either of us start to get too big-headed, the other will just go - listen, I know who you really are, knock that stuff out."

What emerges from our conversation more than anything else is that the music is the main priority for Rudimental.

"If there's one word to describe the way we work, it would be 'organic'," Leon says.

"This applies even to stuff we listen to - if you keep listening to the same things over and over again, you run the risk of becoming stale. So we'll listen to everything from 70s funk to contemporary stuff to make sure that our sound stays fresh."

And what's the story behind the name, then?

"Piers used to go to piano lessons as a kid, and he would always forget his 'Book of Rudiments', so he began to call himself 'Mr Rudimental'..."

"It also works because we are a little bit mental. We're not rude though, I think that we're actually quite nice," Piers chimes in.

Rudimental will be performing alongside Jessie J, Rita Ora and DJ Afrojack, as well as local performers Gianluca Bezzina and Kristina Casolani, at Isle of MTV, The Granaries, Floriana.