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RUMPUS (Rumpus Band) A Talented Family Band From New Zealand

RUMPUS (Rumpus Band) is a band consisting of four members from Auckland in New Zealand. We spoke to Kevin Hyde, father of the band members, and the band themselves about their musical influences and background.

Hi guys, can you tell us a little bit about the Rumpus Band’s music and background?
“Well I suppose what's special about the RUMPUS band is that all the members are from the same family and are very young. The sisters in the rhythm section are twins and there’s only 3 years between all four members! For our age we think we play really well and it's because we practice a lot. We play as a full band three times a week. On a Monday we run through our full 30 covers, then Wednesday and Thursday we spend working on new covers and also writing our own songs. We practice as our duos and for school music in between! We mainly do covers but we also have a few originals. The covers we like to do are classic rock guitar based music.”

“We're really excited that we'll be able to share our 3 original songs after the Rockquest competition and think that our music could be described as guitar orientated rock with an upbeat soulful pop twist and lots of vocal harmonies. Our songs have lots of lead guitar evenly split between Daniel and Matthew to keep it all fair!!”

“We also all play individually at school in concert bands and big jazz bands and we sing in our school choirs. This is good for variety and a chance to play with other people!”

When talking about the video below, the band said, “This is “Still Got the Blues” by Gary Moore. This is one of the songs that we perform and video live in our rumpus room. We have a big list of possible songs that we might play and this is a song that Daniel said he really wanted to do. We really love the song because of the emotion in it and Daniel loves the feel of the lead guitar and really wanted the challenge of playing it. We have slowly been getting our recordings better and we've ended up putting all instruments though a mixer and then going directly into our zoom recorder. We have to try to get all levels perfect when we play it as we can't control individual instrument volumes afterwards. We think it worked out really well though :)”.

Who are your main musical influences?
“We love a wide range of music but really enjoy classic rock music with decent soulful lead guitar and lots of feel! Our parents Kevin and Carmel like this kind of music and it's because of them that we like it too. We think it's true that the era of classic rock produced music that just doesn't seem to exist today. Lots of music now is beat and effects based from a computer and it misses the true soul that a person can put into a song. It has it's place and we like to listen to modern pop, but we like to play classic rock! We really like Pink Floyd, Dire Straits, Gary Moore, The Eagles and Metallica to name a few and because we've been learning to play these songs we like to think that some of our music contains elements of these bands or guitarists.”

Talking about the video below, “This is “Nothing Else Matters” by Metallica. Another video of a live performance in the rumpus room. This time Matthew said he wanted to do the lead guitar in this song and he did a great job. Daniel developed a strings synthesiser sound in his guitar pedal which we think adds a nice feel. This song is just such a nice song because it's not fast and it's got a really classical feel with burst of heavy in there!!”

How did you get into music? Did anyone in your family play instruments?
“Our Dad Kevin taught us music individually and now guides us as a band. He played the bass in a band when he was early twenties and then just for fun over the years since. He also plays basic guitar too. He started teaching the four of us how to play on 3/4 sized acoustic classical guitars when Daniel was 8, Matt 7 and Ashley and Hannah both 6. He taught us for a couple of years all of what he knew about guitar chords, strumming/picking and certain songs that he knew.”

“Then he started helping us learn from the internet from tutorials and people like Marty Schwartz, Justin Guitar and Guitar 365! We would learn songs in pairs and then play together in our duos of Dan/Matt and Ashley/Hannah. It made it more fun to practice than learning alone. One person may do a picking part while the other did some strumming and we would swap. All four of us learned the same classic songs and epic lead breaks like Sultans of Swing and Comfortably Numb. We worked in our duos from the very beginning busking at our local stage and also around NZ and in Europe when we went travelling for 2 years. When we returned to NZ in 2020 we were all just playing guitar. A friend of Dad's named Matt leant us an electric drum kit and that's when the RUMPUS band was formed in late 2020. We got out Dads old bass and bought some mics and started singing through a 30w electric guitar amp! Our early performances are on our YouTube channel too and it's fun to look back at them. Since then we've upgrade our gear and can record much clearer too.”

When did you start playing music?
“Daniel and Matthew have both been playing guitar for about 6 years (electric guitar for 2 years). Ashley and Hannah have been playing guitar for about 4 years. Ashley started playing the drums 18 months ago and Hannah started playing the bass 18 months ago too. Both girls have played guitar for about 4 years. All members of the band started singing when the RUMPUS band formed 18 months ago. During a 3 month Covid lockdown in Auckland in 2021 we decided to learn Bohemian Rhapsody and we learned a lot about music and harmonies doing this song!”

What are your most notable performances?
“We went travelling for two years around NZ and Europe in 2018-2020 just before Covid came. We travelled 25,000km in a motorhome all over Europe and went busking in our duos in lots of the tourist spots such as London, Florence, Seville and Dresden. By this stage we were playing Sultans of Swing and Comfortably Numb on our little acoustics the best we could. It was great to get back to NZ and buy electric guitars to play our lead breaks on! Since the RUMPUS band has formed in the last 18 months we have learned heaps about how a band works, how to play drums, bass and sing too. We enjoy playing at our local community stage quite regularly and also at the NZ Rockquest with our original songs through a big sound system!”

What was your most interesting or memorable moment as a musician?
“Aside from the RUMPUS band we also go busking in duos. It's easier to set up the gear and more suited to smaller quieter places like markets. Dan and Matt are a team that go by the name of ‘TOE JAM’. Daniel has created about 30 bass and drum backing tracks in Garageband where he and Matthew play improvised lead and rhythm guitar over a selection of the RUMPUS classic rock songs. In order to keep things interesting for Ashley and Hannah (and to keep them playing guitars too) their duo act is called ‘DOUBLE WHAMMY’. They sing harmonies as an acoustic guitar duo playing similar places as the boys and have about 10 songs.The girls cover songs such as The Sound of Silence, Hallelujah and Dust in the Wind. You may find them on Youtube by searching the act names and we plan to add more videos to these channels as well in the coming months.”

“On another final note in true rock and roll style while we were busking in Segovia in Spain we were nearly arrested for under age busking. In Spain we found that it was legal to busk – but illegal to earn money as a kid. Make sure you check the local laws before busking!! Hopefully this is about as reckless as things get for the RUMPUS band!!!”

Hey You by Pink Floyd – This powerful song filmed live in the rumpus room from the late 70's is awesome to play. We love the mood in the song and and moving lead break in the middle that Dan squeezes out of his guitar! Hannah adds really cool bass and the vocals are just sweet. But we could be biased :)”

“People are Strange by The Doors – A lively short song that we love to play filmed in the rumpus room. Matthew playing the lead guitar and Hannah thumping out an awesome bass line.”

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