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Q&A: Born Ruffians’ Bassist, Mitch Derosier, Talks Getting Older, Growing a Beard and Being ALL CAPS PUMPED to Tour Their New Songs


Heads up! Here comes Born Ruffians, a killer indie rock quartet from Toronto whose melodic mix of mayhem and martial percussion is this perfect mix of emotional rock ‘n roll and catchy weirdness. They’re pretty atypical in some senses; lead vocalist Luke Lalonde’s warbly wail careens downhill between composure and mania in often empty spaces waiting to be filled by guitars, keys and drums. Their third labeled release (they’re on Paper Bag and Mute) hit the web and stores this past Tuesday. Birthmarks is a solid, beautifully-put-together record and one that testifies to the maturation of the band and their sound (it’s on Spotify). They’re getting better as they become more mature musicians and seasoned tourers, and we were able to snag some email time from their badass bassist, Mitch Derosier, yesterday.

PW: Boring question but I’ve always wondered: How’d the name come about? You guys aren’t ruffians, are you?!

Derosier: I just realized I’ve never looked up the actual definition of “ruffian” before. Google tells me it means “a violent person, esp. one involved in crime.” So to say that we were born violent and involved in crime would be pretty crazy. I picture us as babies performing a heist. So, no, we’re not ruffians.

I’m a bit of a latecomer to the BR game, meaning I became a full-on fan with Say It. And now that I have a new one to listen to, it does seem like you get shinier and more polished with age. Is that so?

That’s pretty accurate. I’d say that’s reflected in our recordings and our performances. We’ve probably just gotten better at our instruments too. Also, we probably sweat more as older people now and get shinier with age.

Y’all are suckers for melody, aren’t you? Say It’s full of it. And Luke plays with it so well with vocals, too.

Thank you (although, I suppose I’m thanking you on behalf of Luke for that). I agree, though. I think Luke’s vocal melodies on both our new record and his solo record (Rhythymnals) are better than anything he’s done with us up to this point.

To me, the BR sound’s so killer partly because of the percussion. It really drives the melodies home, and that Hamelin’s sick with the sticks, right?

Steve’s drumming is definitely a huge part to our sound. Funny enough, I’ve seen people comment on Twitter about how amazing his drumming style is. And I’ve also seen someone frustrated with how he basically never just plays a straight up rock beat.

God, I love Canadian bands. Do you have Canuck pride? And who are your favorite Canuck-in-arms bands in the brotherhood of Canadian rock?

If I could time travel and join The Band to be a part of their brotherhood of Canadian rock, then them. I’d probably need to be able to grow a beard though. We have a lot of good band buds in Canada though, like Young Rival, The Elwins, Hooded Fang and Tokyo Police Club, to name a few.

Are you pumped for this tour?! See you Saturday night.

We are PUMPED in ALL CAPS for this tour. We’ve been waiting three years to tour these songs, so we’re ready to blast them in your face on Saturday. See you then.

They play Johnny Brenda’s on Saturday night, 4/20, and the tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. Doors open at 8pm, and the first opener (there are two: Alec Ounsworth and Moon King) goes on at 9pm.

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