RAT BOY makes a flying start to 2019 by dropping his new track "DON’T HESITATE". "DON’T HESITATE" features on RAT BOY’s second album INTERNATIONALLY UNKNOWN, which will be released on January 25th.
"DON’T HESITATE" is the perfect primer for what to expect from INTERNATIONALLY UNKNOWN. RAT BOY has found the perfect blend of anthemic aggro punk with boisterous hip-hop beats, all the while maintain the personality and attitude that first earned him attention. Meanwhile, the lyrics explore a conflict between outlaws and the police during a post-apocalyptic disorder.
RAT BOY explains, “‘DON’T HESITATE' was recorded as a live band with Tim Armstrong (Rancid) and John King (Dust Brothers - producers of Beck and Beastie Boys) suggesting things for us to try out, like percussion through a space echo, distorted slide guitar and ukulele bass which is insanely subby. This was tracked live to a tape machine and then back out of the tape machine into Logic. I was then able to chop it up: 808s and early ‘90s Rebel MC style production."
The accompanying video for "DON’T HESITATE" is RAT BOY’S first to be shot in Los Angeles. It depicts the RAT BOY gang as America’s most anarchic and inept delivery team. Combining playful humour with a vibrant palette and an exuberant energy, it recalls some of the famous alternative music videos of the Nineties. It was directed by RAT BOY, leading skate filmmaker/photographer Giovanni Reda and Thomas Davis, who was also the DOP.
RAT BOY says, "I was playing the first ‘Skate’ game one night which Giovanni Reda voices and just randomly decided to hit him up. I told him he was one of the voices that reminded me of my childhood. He got back to me the next day which tripped me out. He’s a legend and shot so much stuff I’ve been into growing up. The Gonz, Tyler, the Creator and the Big Brother skate magazine. We started chatting and met up one day and figured we should make something together.
I had the idea for a postal van when I was traveling round L.A. while recording and thought they looked rad. I drew up storyboards of the adventure that I think we stuck pretty close to. We were fully unaware of how fucking hard it is to shoot in L.A. with a small budget, no filming permits and no driving licenses. We kinda just guessed it.
A few shots came out of nowhere. Some dude crashed into a parked car on the road we were staying on and took off so there was a smashed up car at the side of the road. That was kinda lucky for us. Free high budget looking shit! Also we got magnetic signs made for a side of an aluminium van which none of us realized doesn’t go together!”
Watch "DON'T HESITATE" NOW:
RAT BOY first found Tim Armstrong’s punk/hip-hop band Transplants in his father’s record collection, and subsequently delved into his back catalogue with Rancid and Operation Ivy. RAT BOY had repeatedly mentioned his admiration of Armstrong in interviews, which led to the L.A. punk veteran discovering the young Essex upstart.
Separated by 30 years of age and the Atlantic Ocean, RAT BOY and Armstrong sound like the very definition of an odd couple. But they immediately connected on their first phone call, through a shared love for mixing the visceral energy of punk with hip-hop beats. In many ways, it’s hardly surprising: both musicians share similar influences and often reflect on their upbringing in their lyrics.
The pair met at Armstrong’s Shiprec Studios where he had just finished producing The Interrupters’ latest album and immediately captured three demos on their first day together, with members of The Interrupters backing them on bass and drums. Not only did they have chemistry but they had a wealth of unorthodox creative ideas, such as chopping up live drums before filtering them through an old tape machine or RAT BOY playing Armstrong’s left-handed guitar upside down.
The momentum was such that the project was entirely written and recorded during three visits, which amounted to a total of two months’ work. RAT BOY’s live band joined him in Los Angeles, while other collaborators include former Aggrolites bassist J Bonner and The Interrupters’ vocalist Aimee Interrupter. John King of The Dust Brothers (Beastie Boys, Beck) also contributed production. The result is twelve tracks which amplify RAT ROY’s rabble-rousing riot act to a new level.
INTERNATIONALLY UNKNOWN will be released on streaming, download, vinyl and CD formats and is available to pre-order from www.ratboy.co.uk
RAT BOY’s touring in support of INTERNATIONALLY UNKNOWN commences at the end of February when he embarks upon a five-week North American tour with The Interrupters. He’ll play his debut Coachella sets on April 12th and 19th before headlining Glasgow’s Stag & Dagger festival on May 5th ahead of his first European headline tour.