Saturday, October 23, 2010

Australian band, Rudely Interrupted, says they are confronting stereotypes about disability

From The Franston Standard Leader in Australia:

They've toured the world, played to a packed house at the UN in New York City, appeared on television (pictured), starred in their own documentary and now, played the Nepean School.

But the achievements of Melbourne pop-rock band Rudely Interrupted are made all the more impressive by the physical and intellectual challenges five of the members have overcome.

Charismatic frontman Rory Burnside, 23, was born without eyes and with Asperger’s - a milder variant of autism - and has been classified a genius by the University of Melbourne.

“There are many preconceived ideas about disability and we’re trying to challenge those preconceptions and stereotypes,” Burnside said.

Drummer Josh Hogan, also 23, has a chromosomal disorder and intellectual disability. He taught himself to play by practising on pots and pans.

“The band has been very important for me,” he said. “It has given me confidence to get out in the world and show people what I’m capable of.”

Rohan Brooks started the band in 2006 and now manages it.

“I thought, ‘This is too good to leave in a rehearsal studio’, because they totally changed my perception of what it was like to have a disability,” Brooks said.

“It’s amazing how far they’ve come and what music can offer.”

Brooks said while the journey hadn’t been without its challenges, he had enjoyed watching the band and audience members grow.

“That’s the beauty of it, when you can literally see the change happen in people’s faces.”

The band’s debut album Tragedy of the Commons will be released on November 28.