The Rapture Talks About Mental Health On Their New Album

After a significant hiatus following the release of Echoes, The Rapture have released their new album In The Grace of Your Love in 2011. Drummer Vito Roccoforte opens up to Beat Magazine about their influences on the journey to crafting their latest album:


A lot of things can happen to a band during a five year absence – members can leave, babies get born, people pass away. Life’s been once massive whirlwind for The Rapture to say the least ever since the band released their third album Pieces Of The People We Love, and in 2011 they’re back with In The Grace Of Your Love as a three-piece. Yep, a lot of things can change in just five years.

“Matt [Safer, bass] quit the band, then Luke [Jenner, vocals/guitar] quit the band, then Matt came back and then Luke came back, but then Matt left for good, and now it’s the three of us,” laughs drummer Vito Roccoforte when talking about the line-up changes. “With Matt, it didn’t end particular badly, we just didn’t really feel as connected to him in terms of friendship as the rest of us were, and he obviously felt the same. Matt wasn’t very happy being in the band anymore anyway, we could just sense it at first, but then it began to show really obviously. There are no hard feelings there, it just wasn’t meant to be. By the time Matt joined the band, we’d already had a lot more experience than him so maybe it had to do with the fact that he entered the whole thing later on. The only thing was that we’d already started writing some new songs with him before he left, but then we realised we had to scrap the whole thing and start again when it looked like he just wanted out.”

It wasn’t only Safer who wanted out, however, as Roccoforte reiterates – it was lead vocalist and guitarist Luke Jenner too. At first, anyway. While Safer’s reasons for leaving The Rapture were very different from Jenner’s, Roccoforte says the singer was battling some very serious demons for years – and it wasn’t helped by the tragic suicide of his mother which occurred while the band was on tour on the back of Pieces Of The People We Love.

“Luke couldn’t get over that for a long while,” Roccoforte recalls. “His mother committed suicide while we were touring the last album and it’s very hard to process anything when you’re on tour because you’re just in a bubble. He stuffed a lot of that inside at the time, but then when we got home he distanced himself from the band. He just needed to take that time, I guess. In the end, he took this negative thing and decided to turn it into a positive. He started making a lot of changes for the better in his life. It wasn’t about him ignoring the pain, but more about refusing to dwell on it and be some kind of tortured artist about it. Luke decided to transcend all the bullshit. I’ve known him since we were eight years old, and I really mean he started to shift his whole outlook on life. I think he also realised how important his family was to him because as much as he loves this band now, I think his kid comes first. Luke really came through to the other side.”

At the same time, Roccoforte notes, the band itself seemed to be going back to the basics, reminding the drummer and the frontman of why they formed The Rapture in the first place. These days considered the pioneers of the early 2000s post-punk revival, Roccoforte says on fourth album In The Grace Of Your Love the band is largely channelling their 2003 debut Echoes – in more ways than one.

“We’ve also gone back to working with [label/production team] DFA,” the drummer adds. “It’s probably a little bit darker than Echoes but it’s pretty much in the same vein, except that it’s a tighter package. Considering the circumstances, I don’t think we really had a choice but to make a deeper, more atmospheric record. And to be in the company and space with people at DFA that we’d been so close with was amazing too. Our relationship hasn’t changed very much in the last 10 years. They’re people who actually enjoy music and know music and we were a part of the DFA family, so it feels like a homecoming. Working with Philippe [Zdar, producer] was just a bonus because Luke really bonded with him because they both had a kid and Luke had just been coming to terms with the changes that he needed to make in his life.”

The pieces were finally falling into place, in other words, as Roccoforte puts it. On In The Grace Of Your Love, the trio is back on form and ready to start the touring cycle all over again after five long years. It’s been a blessing, really, according to Roccoforte, who claims he is looking forward to getting back on the road, despite the fact that he is “in serious need of some sleep.”

“I’ve also had a baby recently so that’s been keeping me busy!” he laughs. “Normally I’d be talking about how tired I am from touring, so it’s a little weird to be talking about how tired I am from waking up at crazy hours of the night. I’ve got these huge bags under my eyes so I’m feeling a little delirious. But we have been touring on top of that too, we also just did our first tour of Europe in a while, so it’s exciting to be getting back into it. What I love about this album is that it’s really a document of this long journey we’ve been on since Pieces… I love the fact that we can honestly listen back to it and see how we’ve transcended the bad things and turned them into something positive.”

The Rapture [USA] will be appearing alongside Fatboy Slim [UK], James Murphy and Pat Mahony [USA], Swedish House Mafia [SWE] and many, many more at Future Music Festival taking place on Sunday March 11, 2012 at Flemington Racecourse. In The Grace Of Your Love is out now through Modular/DFA.

(Article taken from http://www.beat.com.au/music/rapture)