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Page last updated at 12:04 GMT, Thursday, 26 March 2009
Rumblestrips big up Mark Ronson

By Greg Cochrane
Newsbeat music reporter

The Devonshire band talk about working with the New York producer, watching P-Diddy do the conga and how rambling has inspired their new record.

Rumblestrips
Rumblestrips release Welcome To The Walk Alone in June

Rumblestrips' Charlie Waller is tucked in a wind-sheltered alley next to London's Camden Lock - his band mid-way through a national tour promoting their second record.

With his hands warming in his pockets it is pretty far removed from the plush New York studio where they recorded the new LP with super producer Mark Ronson.

Called Welcome To The Walk Alone. Charlie explains it's inspired by "walking".

"I once walked from London to Devon - it took me nine days," he boasts. "My mum is in Devon so I left my flat and walked there.

"The first night we found a pub and they gave us a room and someone gave us a tent.

"All these youngsters go on these gap years travelling round the world now. You could save you money and just walk around Britain - leave your doorstep and keep walking," he laughs.

Mark Ronson
Mark Ronson has produced their new album

Second album

Indeed, its peaceful strolling that has influenced the fivesome's new album, the follow up to 2007's Girls & Weather.

"I wanted to call it [the record] Ramblermania but no one liked that name - Sam [Mansbridge, bass] said he thought it sounded like some kind of dance album from the nineties."

There was more time to work on the songs for this collaboration with Mark Ronson.

"We'd sort of known him for a while," Waller explains. "At first he was maybe going to produce a song and it just grew and then he ended up doing the album.

"He's good at getting stuff out of people."

Layered down during winter in Ronson's native New York the star gave the Devonshire boys a glimpse into his famed, lucrative party lifestyle.

"One time, on the night that [Barack] Obama got elected, we went to a party which was Q-Tip's party where he was DJing and saw P-Diddy do the conga - I didn't recognise him."

The experience was filled with unexpected turns.

"I had an American football that I bought - me and Sam got quite good at throwing that - I was really trying to get into it.

"I wanted to find some burly, big American who would tell me the rules and we could sit and eat snacks and watch it - but it never happened."

Pallet's contribution

Perhaps less well known than Mark Ronson, but equally key to the record's "epic, slow burning" sound, is string arranger Owen Pallet [Arcade Fire]. The band travelled with an orchestra to Prague to record.

We went to a party which was Q-Tip's party where he was DJing and saw P-Diddy do the conga
Charlie Waller, Rumblestrips

"Mark was quite keen for him to do it," says Charlie. "Compared to other stuff we'd heard of people arranging it was just amazing - he's so talented."

The result is a new, broader, horn-embellished sound.

"It feels quite far removed with the first one," he acknowledges. "I always think first records should just sound like how you sound live.

"This, was much more like the songs we'd written, to be recorded."

Going forward, besides working on their American football skills the band release Welcome To The Walk Alone in June. And as well as carrying on on the road, they'll be playing Galstonbury this summer.

"I feel so much more at home at Travelodges than anywhere else," says Charlie. "Its like warm clean sheets - they some times smell a bit vinegary. But yeah, I'm loving it."



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