Upon discussing the title of his newest release, The Quick and the Dead EP, 23-year-old multi-instrumentalist and dubstep artist Jake Bratrude—scramble his last name and you get his stage name, Rudebrat—unintentionally describes his work ethic. “It’s like a saying from way back in the day during the Civil War,” Bratrude begins. “You have to be either really fast and pay a lot of attention [to] survive, or you can be slow and get left behind and die eventually.
I think it’s a really cool way to live because you have to be quick and precise in life; if you want to do something good, you have to work hard at it and not be super slow.” That’s why this UC Santa Cruz alumnus is “always working” on music. His dedication is paying off too, with a huge following on SoundCloud and a fanbase of more than 8,000 on Facebook, many of whom likely discovered Rudebrat through his No. 1 status on Beatport’s dubstep chart. But it’s not simply his ability to release hits at rapid speed that fans value; Bratrude incorporates numerous musical inspirations, from samples of songs from the ’40s and ’50s, to classical music, to field recordings taken on hikes (“Rudemix”). Naturally, Bratrude has another EP in the works as well as a promising full-length. The LP is “kind of like hard rock and metal meets dubstep meets a song structure [that’s] easy on the ears,” he explains. For a taste, listen to the guitar-heavy “Lionhe∆rt.” What excites Rudebrat above all else though, is performing for others, which he’ll do at the Thrive Music Festival, a fundraiser for Santa Cruz High School sports. “It’s like an addiction, really,” he says of performing. This addiction grew when he performed for well over 1,000 people at Wobbleland last year. “That was the most surreal show. I’m still trying to chase that [large of a] crowd,” he muses. “Now I want to play for like 10,000.”
INFO: Rudebrat performs from 3:30-4:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7 during the Thrive Music Festival. San Lorenzo Park, 137 Dakota St., Santa Cruz. $15-25. Visit thrivemusicfestival.eventbrite.com.