“A laugh, a cry, and a chicken dance”
Called “one of the best bands you’ve never heard,” Royal Ruckus mixes hip-hop rap with tongue-in-cheek lyrics that make you think even as you’re laughing. The collaboration of Michael Walker and Jamey Bennett, Royal Ruckus takes “unique” to a whole new level!
CQ: How did you come up with your group’s name?
MW: You’ve heard of a “ruckus” before, right-like a commotion or a noise and all that?
JB: Yeah, well, we’re a ruckus, but we’re more than that. So we’re a “Royal Ruckus.” Crazy.
CQ: In your music you’re always poking fun at yourselves.
JB: Truth be told, we are just goofy guys, so we make songs that make us laugh. And sometimes our record label wants to put them out.
CQ: What does RR have to say that’s so important?
JB: I think the moment we believe the music world needs us, we’d become irrelevant immediately. However, I do believe that we have a lot to offer. We don’t take ourselves too seriously, which is important. We take God seriously, and you won’t catch us saying dumb things like, "God is rad! He’s my dad!" We revere Him above all else.
Christians and non-Christians alike think there is really important stuff, and then there’s the mundane and ordinary. But God says that whatever we do, even eating and drinking, is to be done to the glory of God. So we make silly songs about coffee, and in God’s world, that is important. Holy living is just as readily accomplished by the farmer or the shoemaker as it is by the pastor.
CQ: What can people expect from your music?
JB: Hip-hop meets the circus. Or the jackalope round-up in Tibet meets rock-n-roll.
MW: Or Jamey could quit his terrible attempts at humor and just admit that our music is singing and rhythmic talking over carefully contrived rhythmic beats and vibrations paired with overly produced music.
JB: A laugh, a cry, and a chicken dance-that sums it up for me!
CQ: In “Check it Out” you refer to music that’s void of creativity. What’s your take on the various styles of musical worship?
JB: Believe it or not, we are very, very traditional. I think that most worship music today is heavy on entertainment, shallow on content, and low on quality. We both prefer to worship in traditional and liturgical churches that are heavy on majesty, heavy on content, and high on quality.
CQ: The song “Bob Went Crazy” is about someone who “went too far” with religion. Where did that song come from?
MW: If we told you, you’d go crazy too.
JB: Look, too many Christians are nuts. The Bible and the Christian church have been here for 2,000 years, and some of us have gone crazy and some of us have not. The message of the song is to get with good theology and look to Christ, not to yourself or some silly monkey-brained teachings on whatever.
CQ: How do your personal religious backgrounds affect what you want to tell people about God?
JB: We both grew up in a baptistic nondenominational church, and are both conservative Presbyterians now. So when we talk about God, we talk about a God who is joyously in control of every intricate detail in the universe-a God who loves His people so intensely that He mercifully pursues them, by grace, until they belong to Him. We believe and live a faith in a God who keeps His glorious promises!
CQ: What’s the “Christianity 101” section of your Web site all about?
JB: We sing for a lot of Christians, and because we love our brothers and sisters, we are saddened by the poor state of the church. The church is in chaos when it comes to truth. We don’t know what we believe or why, and if we do, there is a good chance it is unbiblical. How can we "contend earnestly for the faith," as the New Testament instructs us, if we don’t even understand what that faith is? We thought “Christianity 101” would be a good opportunity for us to interact with other believers and unbelievers on important issues so we can all be sharpened.
CQ: No subject seems safe from you guys. So what’s next?
MW: Funny you should ask. We were thinking of picking on people who read Christian college webzines. . . .
JB: Actually, we’ve both been writing a lot of new material, but there isn’t much that is likely to see the light of day. Its purpose is more therapeutic than anything.
MW: But don’t worry, there is plenty more to say about chickens, Mandy Moore, and MTV. We’ll get you guys!