Festival Fast Talk
with The Rubens

It’s not uncommon for bands to travel “across the pond” to seek a standing in the States, but what of the ponds outside US Borders?

The Rubens are an Australian rock ‘n’ roll group well established in the Oceania territory. They are just now tearing through the States with catchy pop rock aimed at your this-song-is-now-stuck-in-your head gland.  We chatted with The Rubens’ lead singer Sam Margin just before their showcase at Bonnaroo.

How’s this weekend been?

We saw JEFF the Brotherhood, saw a bit of Bjork, which was fucking cool.

This isn’t the first time in the States, correct?

No, we recorded our album in New York about a year and a bit ago at this studio called Avatar. David Kahne produced it and did a really amazing job. After that, we’ve come back a few times to do shows, or play south SXSW.

How is it coming from Australia to the States?

It’s hard—in Australia we do pretty well—the tours are doing well, and we’re getting more well-known, but going to most other countries, it’s starting from square one, playing smaller venues and really trying to sell them out. We’ve been able to go through Asia and Europe, and it’s all different.

Who are some major artists that influence you?

The Stones have to be one of the biggest ones. As a whole band for me personally, the Stones. But for me vocally, I think I’m more influenced by Bill Withers and Al Green. The soul artists. And we’re all influenced in certain ways by that old school blues. And then later stuff would be Tracy Chapman and Van Morrison.  I think it’s that blend of soul and pop that they did really well, and we wanna do it.

Are there any current artists that you dig on?

Since I’ve started touring I’ve been getting better about meeting artists and getting back into discovering new music because when we were recording stuff, I was just out of it. So, being at festivals and discovering stuff again, it’s mainly bands that we’re playing with on the same bill that we get to see. I like Band of Skulls. They’re one of my favorite live acts—I think probably one of the best live acts I’ve ever seen. The Black Keys are a huge influence for us. We saw JEFF the Brotherhood yesterday and I thought that was cool.

What’s the difference between the American festivals and the Australia festivals, or is it more like the same gig?

Probably the size. The vibe is still the same. I mean these festivals are definitely music-lover festivals. It’s not as much about glamour as some of the other festivals I’ve seen. It’s more about people just getting dirty and watching music. It’s great. Splendor in the Grass is kind of like our equivalent. It’s kind of like our Coachella camping festival. Everyone wants to go. But I think it’s only like 35,000 people, and that’s as big as it gets.

But the vibe and everything is really the same—the whole community vibe, and everyone’s just pumped to see stuff. Everyone really gets into music at those festivals. People who don’t usually go to see live music just get into it, which is great. Because its like a cultural thing. It’s cool to go to Splendor in the Grass. There’s a radio called Triple J in Australia, and it’s an Australia-wide independent radio station, and it’s the most popular radio station in the country, and they support it, and it’s kinda like now for any teenager it’s really cool to like this radio station, which promotes Australian music and the best of the international acts.

So you have a record coming out in America later this year. What else does 2013 hold for you guys?

Well, we will be coming back in September to promote that record. We’re on a tour with Grouplove, which hasn’t been announced yet. But it’s really good for us. It’s exactly what we needed. Then we’ll come back, probably in 2014, and do our own headline. We’ve got festivals to do in Australia. Splendor in the Grass and then there’s the summer festivals around Australia…

This entry was posted in TVD Memphis. Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.
  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


  • Alternative Text
  • Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text