RUDER THAN YOU - BIOGRAPHY
RUDER THAN YOU was founded in 1989 by five students at Penn State
University who relocated to Philadelphia in 1991. Long known as
Philly's top ska band, Ruder Than You's identity has never fit too
neatly into any of the generic ska categorizations. While ska and
reggae stylings have always provided the common musical thread, over
the past 20+ years they've been mixing in dancehall reggae, hip-hop,
rocksteady, and rub-a-dub, even adding elements of funk, jazz, and punk
- to create their own unique sound. The consistent factor however is
the bands energy & and enthusiasm, which inevitably pulls people
out onto the dance floor.
Independent ska label Moon Records, a.k.a. MoonSKA NYC, put out the band's debut album, Big Step in 1992 and its follow-up Horny for Ska
in 1996. By the mid 90s the group had morphed from a five-piece into a
nine-piece outfit and captured a passionate, loyal following in the
Philly and New York areas, selling out shows regularly. The group
toured nationally, regularly opening up for groups like the Skatalites,
Steel Pulse, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Blink 182, Desmond Dekker, Ziggy
Marley, Special Beat, Bad Manners, Fishbone, Yellowman, Eek a Mouse, No
Doubt and countless others. Ruder CDs were released in Japan and
England, and songs can be found on dozens of compilation CDs far and
In 2005 the band self-released their long-awaited third album, Philly Stylee on their own God's Ghetto label. Philly Stylee
was recorded in spurts during the Third Wave ska heyday between 1996
and 1999, with final vocal overdubs and mixes completed in 2004. Philly
jazz trumpeter extraordinaire, John Swana, appears on several tracks.
After taking a nearly 3-year hiatus for numerous reasons, the band
started back up in 2003 and completed the CD that even the most hopeful
fans had given up on.
The band's fourth release was the 5-song EP entitled God's Ghetto
(May 2008). The EP was released on the East-African record label Lulu
Nyeusi and represents the first known American ska-influenced band to
have a release on an African record label. Ruder Than You has always
had an eclectic sound and this release gave no exception. For this
installment, the band chose tunes heavy on old school hip-hop and
dancehall and emphasized lyrics penned by Weaver. While these songs
differ a bit from the familiar feel of previous albums, they offer the
same extraordinary energy and catchiness.
In October 2009, the band is releasing a full-length CD entitled Creation Sounds,
once again on their own God's Ghetto label. Moving, just a bit, back
towards traditional ska, rocksteady and reggae dub sounds, this release
still features the mix of diverse contemporary and classic sounds that
have become the signature of RTY. Of special note, after nearly two
decades in the repetoire, Ruder Than You have finally recorded and
released a version of "Brand New Day," best known for its anthemic
shout "let's go Rude Boy!"
The bands current roster of veteran members includes the Round Mound of
Dub Sound - singer Freddie Weaver. Band leader Doug Dubrosky still
sings and plays tenor sax. He and Don Pancoe on bass hail from the
earliest days of RTY. Rod Martino and Chris Klimchak fill out the
lineup on guitar and trombone, respectively. Larry "Ace" Snell of the
Toasters and Public Service sits on the drum throne.
So, whether it be on the CD player, web, or HOPEFULLY live in concert,
you are oh so encouraged to let your mind and body succumb to the rude
sounds of those brothers of love, Ruder Than You.