Ruff Majik is a three man band (Johni Holiday (guitar/vocals), Jimmy Glass (bass guitar) and Ben Manchino (drums), and have become known for their live shows and aggressive on-stage persona.
The band formed in 2015 with the release of their first 6 track, The Bear, and quickly followed up with The Fox in 2016. 2017 rounded off the animal trilogy with “The Swan”, which introduced a heavier side to their sound.
After this release, they got to work on the follow up album “Seasons”, which was released in four segments (The Hare and the Hollow, A Finch in a cherry tree, A Dragon and his hoard, The Stag in the leaves) one per season, over the stretch of a year.
We spoke to the guys after the release of Seasons – read interview here:
In May 2019, their new album, Tårn was released after the group signed with Dutch Label Lay Bare Recordings. They are embarking on a ‘European Siege’ 2019 tour, which will see them playing various festivals over the next couple months including Sonic Whip and Bevrijdigings Fest in the Netherlands, Smoke over Warsaw on the 15th June in Poland, Rock in Bourlonon 28th June in France, Swamp Fest on 6th /7th September in France and Keep it Low on 11th /12th in Germany.
Congrats on the Label Deal – how did that come about?
“Thanks so much. Well, originally the head of the label saw us play live at Freak Valley Festival in Germany last year. We got in contact with Lay Bare afterwards through our partnership with Plug Music Agency – and from there it just happened.”
How does Tårn differ from the last album, Seasons?
“I’m not really sure… I mean, I think it’s heavier than Seasons was, but that’s just my opinion. Like always, it’s very different from any of our previous releases, and it dabbles in a lot of different genres (like black metal, speed metal, doom, grunge and stoner rock). But I think there is always some form of familiarity; that sounds specifically Ruff Majik.”
What does Tårn mean and explain the concept behind this album?
“Tårn is the Norwegian word for Tower. The idea came from the Tower tarot card, which usually symbolizes crisis, destruction, sudden unforeseen change and liberation – and in some way the band was going through a lot of change and crisis in the last year, but we’ve always found liberation through our music. It’s the glue that holds us together. So I guess this album is the sound of that glue.”
Which one song off the new album best ‘explains’ the sound of the new album and why?
“None of them really. Each song is 100% different from the other ones.”
Why did you release Schizophrenic first?
“It’s the first song we wrote on the new album, so it seemed fitting for it to be the first song we release too. It’s the fastest song on the album too, and we always like to lead with the speedy songs.”
Tell me about the music video for Schizophrenic?
“Well, the music video was a lot of fun to make, and was inspired by a lot of different things. The song itself has a black metal intro and pace throughout, so we wanted to do something to pay homage to black metal in some way. We ended up choosing to do a recreation of the classic Immortal music video “Call of the Winter Moon” for the intro. The rest of it was made to look like a psychedelic green screen video, referencing Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid” and “Ironman”, circa 1970. A perfect representation of all the different sounds coming together on this song.”
Tårn was Recorded, produced and mixed by long-time collaborator Evert Snyman from Backline Studios in Johannesburg and mastered in the US by Brad Boatright from AudioSiege in Portland (Skeletonwitch, High on Fire, Mantar).
Watch the video for Schizophrenic here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5I19xkOmpng&list=UUkN20yzJW_zpqdG5tWTPZeA