Queen of Rock Steady – Maddie Ruthless
Redstar73 Blog: Please can you introduce yourself to our readers. How did you get into Ska?
Maddie: My name is Maddie and I am from New Orleans but now I live in Brooklyn and play guitar for the Forthrights. I got into Ska through just having an open ear and mind as a youth, spending a lot of time in London, and having a really awesome big brother. I dug really deep, and I am still digging.
Redstar73 Blog: You have just released a new album, ‘Maddie Ruthless Featuring the Forthrights and Friends’, which is amazing. Could you tell us more about it? When was it
Maddie: This was the last solo album I will make for a while considering that shortly after we made this record, I joined the Forthrights. When we made it though we had just come off of a very long tour together where I really got to know the Forthrights. I had an opportunity to record at Victor Axelrod’s studio (Ticklah, as a lot of people know him) and we made this record all onto tape in his basement. We recorded the whole thing live in one afternoon. It was a great vibe with a lot of energy. Likkle Dan of the Frightnrs sang a tune with us, and Vic Ruggiero also helped with the instrumentation.
Redstar73 Blog: You have recorded a few old IWW songs with Vic Ruggiero and Jack Wright. What was the idea behind the project? And please explain what the IWW is.
Maddie: Besides Reggae, Social Justice is another passion of mine. I consider myself to be in solidarity with the leftist/anarchist/communitarian world, so I wanted to show some support through music. The songs of the Industrial Workers of the World really inspired me and seemed to really touch on what was happening in the world today. Vic Ruggiero and Jack Wright seemed to be into the idea of recording some of these tunes together, so one day we sat down in Jack’s living room and just played them on organ, guitar, banjo, a drum, just stuff that was lying around! We were all really happy with the chemistry and spirit of how they turned out so we decided to give them to the world!
Redstar73 Blog: Your first album was recorded with the Secret Affair. And you went on tour in Europe. How was it?
Maddie: It was amazing! The Secret Affair ( aka Fatter Than Albert) are an incredibly talented group of musicians. They are all New Orleanians and it felt great to make music in my home town with people I went to school with and learned about this music with. We were combining their metal inspired Ska Core with my super Rocksteady purists taste and what ended up happening was great punky reggae in the grand style and tradition of 2Tone. I had a lot of fun on tour in the UK with them. Unfortunately, we are not still playing together but I think The Forthrights will be making a trip to Europe sooner than later.
Redstar73 Blog: Last words
Maddie: I hope everyone can get a chance to pick up my new record. You can find links to it through maddieruthless.wordpress.comIt is an attempt at Rocksteady from a New Orleans perspective, and I could not be more proud of the way it turned out.
There are also dubs from the wonderful dub master Ticklah on the record that you don’t want to sleep on. Also check out my band, the Forthrights, here www.theforthrights.comThanks for reading! Stay groovy!