Born Ruffians: The Indie Rock Band’s History

Album artwork

Band Beginnings
The Canadian indie rock band Born Ruffians was started in 2002. Only at the time the band was under a different name; Mornington Drive. Guitarist and vocalist Luke LaLonde, bassist and vocalist Mitch DeRosier and drummer Steve Hameline formed the band in Midland, Ontario. In 2004 the band moved to Toronto which is where they started to get success from their energetic live shows, wit-filled lyrics, their sounds that’s a cross between Vampire Weekend and Modest Mouse and a strong online fan base following. After the move to Toronto they officially became Born Ruffians.

First Success and Record Deal
The Born Ruffians recorded a demo that helped get them signed. Warp Records releases their music in North America. Paper Bag Records releases their music in Canada. XL Recordings Records takes care of their music releases into Europe. In 2006 they released their first EP which was titled the same as the band’s name.

Debut Album
The band created their first debut full length album -Red Yellow and Blue- in 2008. Red Yellow and Blue’s track list included their popular song Hummingbird as well as the songs: Red Yellow and Blue, Barnacle Goose, I Need a Life, Little Garcon, Badonkadonkey, Foxes Mate for Life, Hedonistic Me, In a Mirror, Kurt Vonnegut and Red Elephant. Born Ruffians performed Hummingbird in an episode of the TV series Skins -a British drama centered around the lives of British teens- later the same year Red Yellow and Blue came out. Hummingbird received quite a bit of radio airplay by CBC Radio 3, as did the band’s cover of the Grizzly Bear song: Knife. Red Yellow and Blue had excellent reviews from music critics, but it wasn’t as big a commercial success as Warp Records was hoping it would be.

Sophomore Album
Say It was the second album of the Born Ruffians and was released in 2010. They added a new band member for this next album. Andy Lloyd joined as a keyboardist and guitarist for them. The second album had the songs: Oh Man, Retard Canard, Sole Brother, What to Say, The Ballad of Moose Bruce, Higher and Higher, Come Back, Nova Leigh, Blood The Sun and Water and At Home Now on it. This second album met with a combination of good and bad reviews from critics. Many critics and fans felt Say It just didn’t have the same quality song writing as past Born Ruffians music. Writing the songs primarily in the studio may have also worked against their creative process than helped them out. The band chose to take a break before writing again.

Luke LaLonde’s Solo Album
While Born Ruffians went on a brief hiatus the band’s lead singer and guitarist recorded a solo album. Luke LaLonde’s Rhythymnals featured his soft, light almost hopeful sounding vocals and an alternative sound with a similar wit and musical whimsy as the music Born Ruffians typically made. Rhythymnals was recorded in 2010 to 2012 and was officially released by Paper Bag Records in 2012. The track listing includes: Grand (Rhythymnals), Hate the Night, Inamorataos, Undone, Shove Off, My Friend Archibald (R.I.P.), Red Wagon, Calm Down, Wave and A Great Man. Rhythymnals was well received and praised for it’s creative melodies and harmonies.

Birthmarks
In 2013 Born Ruffians returned with their third album. Birthmarks was completed while the band was traveling and while they were in a rural area of Ontario. This move to stay out of primarily writing music in the studio proved to help the band return to their creative roots and resulted in a wonderful assortment of indie rock songs. The songs Needle, 6-5000, Ocean’s Deep, Permanent Hesitation, Cold Pop, Golden Promises, Rage Flows, So Slow, With Her Shadow, Too Soaked to Break, Dancing on the Edge of Our Graves and Never Age make up the parts of Birthmarks. The original drummer Steve Hamelin quit the band permanently after the first part of their tour promoting Birthmarks. The drummer Adam Hindle joined Born Ruffians after Hameline left.

Ruff: The Fourth Born Ruffians Album
The Born Ruffians released their fourth album in 2015. Ruff was a strange step into adolescent-like rude and yet gleeful attitude in the lyrics and the Born Ruffians’ beats and stop and go guitar sound. Ruff was viewed positively by fans and music critics alike. Born Ruffians fourth album was made up of the songs: Don’t Live Up, Stupid Dream, Yawn Tears, Don’t Worry Now, When Things Get Pointless I Roll Away, & On & On & On, Fuck Feelings, Eat Shit (We Did It), We Made It, Let Me Get It Out and Shade to Shade.

Band Tours
Their touring destinations have led them throughout Canada, North America, the United Kingdom, Europe and Australia. The Born Ruffians have toured with the bands or musicians Caribou, Tokyo Police Club, Franz Ferdinand, Peter Bjorn and John, Hot Chip, The Hidden Cameras, The Honorary Title, Girl Talk, Stereolab, Architecture in Helsinki, The Hold Steady, The Drones, Cut Off Your Hands, Four Tet, Tame Impala, El Guincho, Jay Reatard, Buraka Som Sistema Dj/Mc set, No Age and The Temper Trap.

Most Popular and Notable Born Ruffians Songs
The most played songs from the Born Ruffians on YouTube start with Needle as the most played. The band’s other most popular songs include: Oh Cecilia, Hummingbird, I Need a Life, Little Garçon, What to Say, Don’t Live Up, Barnacle Goose, Foxes Mate for Life and Ocean’s Deep. Hummingbird is maybe their most notable songs as they performed it on the show Skins and it was played in a United Kingdom televisions advert and in an Australian car ad. Little Garçon additionally was in an American Express commercial.

Current Band News for Born Ruffians
Currently the indie rock band Born Ruffians is touring in support of their latest album Ruff. They will be touring at venues in Europe and the United States this spring 2016.