The Rubens

Q&A: Australian Band The Rubens

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Alt Rock, award-winning Australian band, The Rubens are set to Cafe Du Nord in San Francisco on March 7, as part of their global Million Man Tour. The band originally from Menangle, New South Wales, will be celebrating the ARIA Gold certified status of their 2016 sophomore album, Hoops.

We wanted to learn more about the boys from down under so we reached out to them to have us a chat. We discussed everything from when the band first got together, to what their favorite cities to play are (hint: San Francisco made the list!), to what it was like to find out that one of their songs was #1 on the Triple J charts in Australia (a popular Australian annual listener poll).

For those not familiar with the band. Can you talk about who you all first got together?

Sam, Zaac and I are brothers so we grew up together, Scotty was a family friend and we were introduced to Will through mutual friends after starting the band.

How would you describe your sound?

Blues/Soul/RnB.

Where do you guys draw inspiration from for your music?

We listen to a whole bunch of different styles of music so inspiration can come from any avenue really. A lot of the time we find inspiration from music that isn’t necessarily the same genre as us which helps us to broaden our sound or just try new things. We listen to a lot of hip-hop.

You’re getting ready to play North America. What cities are you most excited to play. I hope San Francisco is up there on your list!

San Fran is definitely way up on the list! We have great memories of past visits, hopefully, we get a chance to explore and see something new this time around. We’re also super excited to be traveling North America in a bus for the first time. Can’t wait to see all the sights in between each city!

What’s the wildest thing that’s happened to you guys at a show?

Last week we played a show in Brisbane here in Australia where a guy climbed off the second story balcony and shimmied across a beam. He was swinging and dancing as he dangled way above the crowd which was cool until we realized he was wasted and could easily kill himself or someone else below. We had to stop the show until he got down. Poor fella ended up getting arrested.

Being that you’re from Australia. What’s the music scene like out there?

It’s great, there’s a tonne of amazing musicians getting around and platforms like radio, media, and blogs to get the music out there. The only issue we seem to have in Sydney at the moment is a bunch of state-imposed lockout laws which are putting a bit of a choke hold on the nightlife scene. They were brought in to curb alcohol-related violence (of course a worthy cause) but instead, they’ve made it hard for venues to stay open. A scary number of places we played when we were up and coming have since shut their doors because of these new laws, which means a lot of new acts have their work cut our finding anywhere they can play.

What was it like finding out that your song was #1 on the “Hottest 100” on the Triple J chart a couple of years ago?

It was surreal, stupid. It’s a huge thing for us here in Australia, everybody listens to the Hottest 100 and to actually win it was ridiculous. It’s still ridiculous.

Being that three of you are brothers, how do you manage to get along spending so much time together? Do you guys fight over groupies?

We’re pretty lucky in that we’ve always gotten along really well. We’re from a family of six kids so life on the road with the three of us is a breeze, plus we have Scotty and Will to break up any weird family things that might arise.

What are you guys listening to these days?

Rex Orange County, Lil Uzi Vert, SZA, the new MGMT album is dope.

What does success mean to you as musicians?

When we quit our normal jobs to do music full time, that was our ‘Success’ moment.

Photo by Giulia McGauran courtesy of Sacks and Co.

 

An avid drummer whose discography includes albums on Digital Nations (a Steve Vai imprint), music critic Louis Raphael has always kept a pulse on the San Francisco music scene. After many years as the San Francisco Music Examiner for Examiner.com and AXS.com, he decided to start Music in SF® as a way to showcase what the San Francisco music scene really has to offer.

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