Australia five-piece alternative rock band, The Rubens kicked off their North American tour earlier this month. We caught up with Elliott Margin to talk about the tour, their APRA nominations, and upcoming plans.
The North American tour starts tomorrow. How are you feeling?
We’re all really excited and have been looking forward to it for a while now. It’s always special being able to travel to the other side of the world to play for people.
Congratulations on your two APRA nominations. What’s changed since the release of LO LA RU?
Thanks! We’ve been busy playing shows since the album’s release so it’s hard to have perspective on what’s changed. Two APRA nominations is a nice excuse to step back and appreciate what we achieved with this record.
Last summer, Pink hand-picked the Rubens to join her on tour. What’s been your biggest takeaway from that experience?
We learnt a lot from the Pink tour, it was such a different experience for us as a band. Probably the biggest thing we took away from it was the ability to win over a crowd who aren’t there to see us. Obviously, the fans were there to see Pink and not the opener, so it was our job to grab their attention and keep it for 30 minutes each night.
Let’s talk about LO LA RU. Going back to writing and recording, tell me about the level of freedom you had while making this record.
We had the opportunity to record the album in our home town of Camden which we’d never done before. Our mate Timmy had converted an old World War II bunker where he lived into a recording studio, it was perfect timing for us as we were looking for a place to begin recording album 3. The first two records we recorded in New York which meant being away from friends and family during the whole process but this time we could have people drop by and hang out and hear the record develop. Also not being tied down by the fees you get in a conventional studio meant we could take our time to experiment and get the sounds we were after.
Some of the songs on the album deal with sadness, the consequences of making bad choices, and the breakdown of relationships. Lyrically, what inspires you and what kinds of stories are you trying to tell?
Most of the songs we write are fictional, stories we feel like writing at the time. The lyrics most often come after the music is written so the theme will usually be influenced by the mood of the track, it its dark and brooding or light/positive etc. Real life experiences will creep in there that reflect what we’ve been through. I think the main goal is for our music to connect with someone on their level, whether the meaning they get from it is what we intended or not. As long as it makes them feel something.
What’s next for the Rubens?
After the North America Tour we head home to Australia for more shows and writing. And then hopefully more international tours in the year. We’d love to get started on new music as soon as possible.