New York's The Rapture set for UK tour
After a tumultuous period, the band are back on track with new album In the Grace of Your Love
The Rapture are back. Let’s disco. David Pollock celebrates the dance-punk saviours’ return
‘It’s been a real up and down five years,’ says The Rapture’s drummer Vito Roccoforte on the line from his home in New York City. That’s something of an understatement. In the half-decade since their second full-length album Pieces of the People We Love, the band once upon a time portrayed as the leaders of the dance-punk school have endured bereavement, the departure of two of their number and the feeling that the group had come to an end, followed by the return of one of those members and the recording of this autumn’s triumphant comeback album In the Grace of Your Love.
‘We toured for about a year and a half after the last album,’ says Roccoforte, ‘and Luke’s [Jenner, singer and guitarist] mom died during that time. I don’t think it had a chance to sink in for any of us on tour, then when we came back we went straight into recording the next album while none of us were really ready.’ These sessions came to a sudden halt when Jenner left the band, a much-needed break which looked permanent at the time, but which only lasted three months before he rejoined the others.
Following Jenner’s return, however, bassist Mattie Safer left the band for good. ‘He just wasn’t that happy,’ says Roccoforte in a tone of voice which suggests the split was amicable but not entirely ungrudging. ‘I think he really just wanted to do his own thing and be the main guy, and I think he had a taste of that when Luke left. That probably helped him decide, to be honest. It was better for everybody, in hindsight.’
From the point midway through 2009 that the remaining trio (completed by multi-instrumentalist Gabe Andruzzi) decided to forge ahead with the album, though, Roccoforte says being in The Rapture has been a positive experience once more, creating an album which blends pleasingly quirky indie-pop songwriting with a strong grasp of house music’s euphoric dynamics. ‘It feels great to have come out the other side with an album we all feel really happy with and personally invested in,’ he says, ‘and to be out touring to fans who are still coming to our shows. It’s been five years and things move on so fast these days, but they’re already singing along to the songs. That’s a good sign.’
The Rapture, SWG3, Glasgow, Sun 30 Oct. In the Grace of Your Love is out now on DFA.