The Ruffs are an Indie/Rock N Roll trio from Nottingham made up by Connor Spray, Tyler Spray and Blaine Monk. Since forming in 2015 the band have played the local live circuit and have supported bands such as Bluetones and DMA’s. They released their debut EP ‘New Obsessions’ in October last year, I have to say it’s brilliant and I’ve must have heard the EP 1001 times now thanks to my friends little boy constantly asking for it to be played.
I have known about this band for a few years now but I’ve never had the chance to go and see them live. I was looking through some gigs This Feeling had set up and I noticed that The Ruffs were playing at The Chameleons Art’s Café so me and a friend decided to go. I met up with the band at The Bodega before the gig to ask some questions over a few pints, here’s what they had to say.
So to start off do you want to introduce each band member.
“Connor Spray I play the guitar, sing and write the songs”
“I’m Blaine Monk I play bass guitar”
“I’m Tyler Spray and I play drums”
Connor – “And we are The Ruffs!”
How did you meet?
Connor – “Well Tyler is my brother so I kind of know him a bit and Blaine I met through a mutual friend”
Blaine – “I’ve known Conor since I was fucking 13”
Who inspired you to want to be in a band?
Connor – “Just listening to good music growing up like Oasis”
Blaine – “Just listening to tons of bands really and watching them play and wanting to do what they do”
Tyler – “Bang on really same thing as what these two have just said”
How supportive have your friends and family been?
Connor – “Yeah well supportive! Our mum lets us play at home and make loads of noise, our mates come and watch gigs they have been supportive as much as you’d expect any friends or family to be”
Tyler – “We have to nick the odd car every now and then”
The band laugh
Connor – “Yeah we had to borrow my mum’s car for a gig in Manchester last November which was eventful”
Describe your music in three words
Connor – “Good, good, good”
I know someone who described your music as loud as fuck.
Connor – “Yeah I like that!”
What was the first ever gig you did as a band?
Tyler – “Bodega”
Connor – “Nah The Maze weren’t it, nah it was here at the Bodega”
Tyler – “Yeah”
Connor – “Or was it The Maze”
Blaine – “It was here”
Connor – “Right yeah so it was here at The Bodega”
Are you sure?
Connor – “Yeah positive, actually I might phone a friend”
Blaine – “As the unit we are now yeah it was The Bodega”
Connor – “You mean the unit that we were”
Blaine – “Well yeah”
Connor – “We are a new acquainted three piece now, the guitarist just left”
Tyler – “He vanished!”
Blaine – “Shave his head and decided to join the Monks”
So before The Ruffs were you in any other bands?
Tyler – “Nah”
Connor – “I was solo for a bit but that didn’t go to plan”
Blaine – “I was but that was a failed adventure”
Where do your ideas for songs come from?
Connor – “My brain, lyric wise it does but music wise it just comes from jamming”
Are your songs a bit like stories that have happened?
Connor – “Not really, some parts are a bit but we never write a song fully about one set story that has happened”
What has been the best and worst gig you have done as a band?
Tyler – “Tonight’s probably going to be up there”
The band laugh
Connor – “Probably George Street, The Shed was good when we played there the other week, we got a good headline gig in London from playing there”
Any funny/interesting gig stories you can share with us?
The band burst out laughing again
Blaine – “Cans through lips and everything. Connor once hit me with a can of red stripes back stage at Rock City”
Connor – “Backstage at Rock City was made”
Blaine – “We caused a bit of havoc”
Connor – “We probably won’t ever be able to talk fully about what happened that night ever, I’ve still got traces of that night in my room. We also had to nick my mums car of her for a gig in Manchester that was a sick night”
Any Pre gig ritual?
Tyler – “Drink, argue and loose band members”
Blaine – “Arguments every now and then and just the usual stuff any band do really”
What’s the music scene like in Nottingham?
Blaine – “It’s alright”
Tyler – “I don’t think it’s any good”
Connor – “I think there has been some good artist come from here”
Blaine – “There are some decent bands about”
Would you say it’s the best in the Midlands?
Connor – “Yeah!”
Tyler – “There’s a lot of venues here”
Blaine – “It’s alright but everyone seems to be the same, everyone wears Adidas trainers and Harriton jackets”
Your last EP came out in October is there any plans for a new EP soon?
Tyler – “Not a EP yet but we are going to releases two singles before the summer”
Blaine – “Yeah we’ve got loads in recording so there is loads to come”
What makes The Ruffs stand out for other bands?
Tyler – “Better songs!”
What are your plans for the rest of the year?
Blaine – “Recording, gigging, try and not fall out”
Connor – “Become a sparky”
If The Ruffs had to be remembered for one thing what would you like it to be?
Tyler – “Just for playing great music”
Connor – “Seeing us live and wanting to be the next Ruffs but better”
Blaine – “They won’t be better!”
Last question what was your first ever gig you went to and how much did it inspire you?
Connor – “Oasis in 2002 that was brilliant and inspired me even more than it did watching live videos of them”
Tyler – “I went to see Oasis a few years later at the Arena, I wasn’t really old enough to remember it fully but what I do remember was that they were brilliant!”
Blaine – “Alice Cooper, I didn’t inspire me but it was a fucking good show. I’d say the first gig I went to that inspired me was Zutons that was when I was properly starting to get into music and watching them made me think I want to do that”
By Siân Parker