Five minutes with the Rubberbandits
Everyone’s favourite comedy hip-hop duo from Limerick, the Rubberbandits, bring their acclaimed musical, Continental Fistfight, to the Abbey’s Peacock Stage this week.
That’s right. Blind Boy Boat Club and Mr. Chrome have finally made it to Ireland’s national theatre. It’s about time. We caught up with the always reliable Blind Boy to talk plastic bags, comedy heroes, marriage equality, alternative career paths and “legally consumed yips”. As you do…
Hi Blind Boy. So, why did you become a hip hop artist / comedian for a living?
It's not for a living, we are both victuallers down in Limerick, that's what we do for a living.
If you weren’t pursuing a career in “hard-core gangster rap”, what do you think you would be doing?
I'd be a music journalist.
Can you tell us a little bit about ‘Continental Fistfight’? We’ve heard it’s a musical…
It's a load of disparate songs stuck together and tenuously linked with a narrative thread about Irish history from the perspective of the bullet that shot Michael Collins
You recently conducted an interview on Newstalk with Tom Dunne in which you claimed to be under the influence of “legally consumed yips”. Be honest, did you actually take ecstasy before the show?
Now that I look back I'm not sure, because I bought them off my friend Caviar Slattery and he's notorious for selling gammy yips.
There was a very positive reaction from listeners that night, with many taking to social media to applaud your comments regarding mental health, addiction and drugs legislation. Were you surprised by the response?
No, this country's policies on mental health are archaic and lacking in basic empathy. My opinions were very rational and straightforward. I fully expected people to agree with them because they were just common sense and not in any way revelatory.
You’ve managed to acquire some very famous friends and fans throughout your career, from Russell Brand to, erm, Melissa Joan Hart. And yet, the fame and attention has yet to go to your heads. What’s the secret to staying grounded in this business?
Join the Freemasons. Rub dogs with your left hand, throw stones with your right hand.
What do the Rubberbandits do in their spare time (or should we even ask)?
We write published peer reviewed academic articles using only Wikipedia as our primary source of reference. And we're working on an app that sends people electric shocks.
The plastic bags must get annoying after a while, especially on stage – have the two of you ever considered taking them off, or would that just ruin things?
We fully intend to take them off after a few years and then settle down to a very well paid presenting job on RTE1.
Who is your musical / comedic hero?
Tiesto and Roy Chubby Brown
You’ve decided to spend the weekend in Dublin. No work, no interviews - run us through some of your favourite haunts…
Definitely going to Temple Bar. It's an area on the south bank of the River Liffey in central Dublin, Ireland. The area is bounded by the Liffey to the north, Dame Street to the south, Westmoreland Street to the east and Fishamble Street to the west. Unlike other parts of Dublin's city centre, it is promoted as Dublin's cultural quarter and has a lively nightlife that is popular with tourists, with locations such as the Palace Bar, the Temple Bar Pub, Oliver St. John Gogarty's and the Auld Dubliner.
What’s your favourite Irish album / book / film of all time?
Beautiful Dreams by Chris de Burgh and Leap Year featuring Anand Tucker and Amy Adams.
You recently joked on Twitter about losing a spot on The Late Late Show because you wanted to perform an “acoustic version of Dad’s Best Friend”. Is this true?
You also spoke about losing 10,000 page ‘likes’ on Facebook since announcing your support of gay marriage. What do you have to say to those who are opposed to marriage equality in Ireland?
Cop on to yereselves. Voting Yes is a vote for two people’s happiness. Not only that, but a No vote gives more young Irish men and women greater reason to leave the country.
The Rubberbandits are almost 15 years together now. Have either of you ever considered going solo and/or moving on to other projects?
We run the bandits out of the back room of a victuallers down in Limerick. We operate under a workshop model similar to the studio of Caravaggio. This means that at any time we have several apprentices and journeymen churning out work, with the goal of becoming master craftsmen. We ourselves haven't created a thing in years.
Finally, you’ve gone to great lengths to protect your anonymity, and yet your real names are very easy to locate online. Are you okay with that, Dave?
The greatest mistake the media has ever made is operating under the assumption that there's only two Rubberbandits and that we are exclusively male.
Continental Fistfight runs on the Abbey Theatre’s Peacock Stage from Wednesday March 25 – Saturday March 28. For more, visit www.abbeytheatre.ie. The Rubberbandits also play Galway Town Hall Theatre - Sun 3rd May; Limerick Lime Tree Theatre - Sat 23rd May; Cork Everyman Palace - Sun 31st May; Kilkenny The Set Theatre - Sat 20th June