Groovy tunes and energetic improv

Ramona Depares quizzes members of The Ranch about the upcoming launch of their new album, 100 Smiles an Hour.

What has The Ranch been up to recently?

A lot of things have happened. We had a line-up change and went on a couple of tours (UK, Belgium, Holland, Lithuania, Poland). The tours were all a great success, we did around 15 shows on each. We even managed to set up spontaneous gigs, such as living room parties, busking and so forth. By the way, should anyone like us to play in their living room, we have an option available through our Crowd Funding page. And now we have the new album, a new chapter for the band.

Has the change in line-up affected the sound of the band?

No, as for the direction and sound, The Ranch is still going in the same direction as before. More than anything, the new members drove us to experiment with new things. The album has a mix of super energetic improvisation along groovy and rhythmic structures, with a lot of new surprises.

What can you tell us about the new album?

What we wanted to do with this album was give off the same kind of vibe as the first album, but taking a bit further when it came down to songwriting and production. Basically, to understand better, for the first album (Cuckoo Island) we simply went in and just recorded our stuff. For this album we went a bit further, bringing in some voice and lyrics for a few of the tracks. Another new thing we did was play around with effects and weird instruments.

The album has a mix of super energetic improvisation, along groovy and rhythmic structures, with a lot of new surprises

The new album is entitled 100 Smiles an Hour. Although we worked on some ideas in the early stages, we actually started writing the album at the beginning of 2017, after the tours had passed. We wanted to do something new to connect with our fans. This led us to come up with some cool give-aways. All in all, it’s actually going pretty well.

Do you have a favourite track?

No, it’s too hard to choose one track because the whole album is very special to all of us.

What was the biggest challenge to produce this new album?

Finances is always the biggest challenge.

Did you find a difference between foreign and local audiences?

Yes, we actually focused more on the foreign gigs. The difference is that when we play abroad the audience is watching us for the first time. Most times, people who come to the foreign gigs are really coming to listen and watch the live acts, while in Malta, the scene being small, it becomes more of a gathering of friends. Which is still fun, of course.

Help fund the new The Ranch album here:

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