The Ruminants
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The Ruminants

Calgary, Alberta, Canada | SELF

Calgary, Alberta, Canada | SELF
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"The Ruminants"

What do you get when you take one bluegrass guy (Todd Maduke), one pop/rock guy (Mike Platt) and put them in front of a high-energy world beat drummer (Paul Jahn)? Well, whatever it is, it’s damn interesting and highly entertaining. It’s also known as Calgary’s the Ruminants.

According to Maduke, the Ruminants formed when “Mike Platt and I were in the Culls together and took sides against the other guys in the age-old ‘Would you rather listen to U2 or REM?’ argument. We chose REM. So that was our band split right down the middle! No, actually…when I quit the Culls it was to do something more eclectic and Mike is the just that – eclectic. We started the Ruminants to be a band where anything could happen. For example, I love playing bass and I think Mike is a great guitarist. But we are open to any variation – two guitars, mandolin and guitar, mando and bass, me playing Mike’s songs, him playing mine, all acoustic, all electric, as a trio, or as a duo or with added guest players.”

Further variations in membership help the Ruminants get by with a little help from their friends. “We have so many friends who have bands or musical endeavors of their own – it’s just a no brainer to get them to pitch in now and again. Our musical pals are too busy to be in the Ruminants full-time even if we wanted them. And we don’t! The core is Mike and I. Paul is our drummer. But when we get someone like Kris Demeanor or Rodney Brent to get up on stage with us…we don’t really know what’s going to happen! And that’s the appeal right there for us and for the audience, hopefully. We’d love to be a band that fans cannot predict. They’ll be on their way to the gig thinking, ‘What are those wacky Ruminants going to pull out of their hats tonight?’ I mean, we’re not trying to be tricky. It’s just more interesting for us as musicians to try new approaches and to add new flavours.”

As for the future of the Ruminants Maduke says, “We continue to write new originals and learn new covers. We need the covers in order to play three- or four-setters! You gotta play for a looooong time at some of those gigs! Speaking of gigs, we plan to focus on playing out-of-town and at venues we haven’t played yet.”

The Ruminants also promise free merch at their shows as Maduke wants you and all your friends to have a copy of their homemade album. “We’re going to continue to give away CDs. If we could, we’d give away T-shirts and stickers, too! The idea is that if you’re sitting there, listening and enjoying the music at all, we want you to take some of it home. We’ve recorded ourselves a lot from day one – both live and in our rehearsal space – and those recordings really show what we sound like. It’s raw and fun and not terribly polished – it’s exactly what we want to be. That’s what we put on our giveaway CDs, and often they change from show to show. We only bring five or ten of them… People sometimes can’t believe we’re not charging for the CD. I’ve had folks put money in my pocket! Or buy us a round of drinks which is nice but not necessary.”

Maduke promises, “We’ll likely get into a proper studio soon and record a few songs at a fidelity suitable for the radio.” Finally, Todd and company predict that the Ruminants are “going to keep evolving, becoming more and more interesting, getting weirder.” - Beat Route, by Spencer Brown


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

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Bio

The Ruminants sound has deep roots in the rural past, but with a bloodshot eye to the future.

We call it Western twang, or pop-a-billy.With a guitar, bass, mandolin and drum foundation, The Ruminants can fade to a sweet whisper, or leave your nerves on edge with freight-train tempos.

It's a sound still under construction and it probably always will be. And Amen to that.