After the worldwide success of their third studio album LO LA RU, released back in June, The Rubens are kicking off their Australian tour next month. Starting in Brisbane and ending in Darwin, the boys will be collaborating with Triple J Unearthed and recruiting local artists from each city to join them on stage as they tour around the country.
We had the opportunity to sit down with Elliot Margin, the legend behind the keyboard and backing vocals for the band. We chatted about their new album, the hype behind their upcoming tour and what they’ve been up to since debuting #3 on the Aria Album Chart.
Congratulations on the successful release of LO LA RU, can you tell us the story behind the album?
Overall, there wasn’t one inspiration behind the record but I think our general vibe we got on the record was that it was so much fun for us. For the first time, we got to record in our hometown in our own little studio. We got to have our own little world away from a professional studio where you would usually have a certain amount of time to record, which is never a good or creative environment when you’re under the pressure to record and keep under certain budgets. So, recording in our hometown in our own studio was important, being able to have our mates dropping in and hanging out was a completely different vibe to what we’ve ever had in the studio and I think that comes through on the recording as well. It’s been great to look back and reminisce – it’s an album that captured a really fun time for us.
How was the fan reaction to the LO LA RU release?
It’s been awesome. For us especially, playing the songs live is the main indicator because it’s so direct. Playing songs live and seeing how the fans resonate and react to certain parts of every song and what parts people are singing along to is really cool and it’s been fun. You spend a long time recording a record, not necessarily thinking about how it’s going to translate live and what people are going to pick up on and what’s going to work. Once the album is out and you get to tour and sing it live, it becomes this whole other beast and it’s great to see what songs go off more than we thought. And it’s always so dynamic – it always depends on who you’re playing to and where.
What is your favourite song off the album?
That’s tough. I think at the moments it’s probably Never Ever, mostly because it was something so different for us. It was a feature…Sam singing with incredible female artist, Sarah Aarons, which was something we never thought we would do as a band. We wrote it thinking it would never be a Rubens track so it kind of took us by surprise, we did this thing and ended up with this song, which we love so we were like ‘wait, are we allowed to break the rules?’ and it took some convincing but eventually we were like ‘we love the song so let’s just do it’. For us it was a special thing to be able to put ourselves out there and go for it.
What city are you most excited to visit?
Oh, that’s tough. It’s been a while since we’ve done an extensive tour and get to those in-between cities and get to perform in front of people who may not have seen us before or in a long time. But also, I definitely have to say Adelaide, I’m a little bit obligated here but also because we haven’t done our own show in Adelaide in a long time so we’re really excited to finally be back.
With your upcoming Adelaide show, what can fans expect?
It’ll be the biggest shows we’ve done so far, set wise we have three full albums to go over. We’re currently in rehearsal mode to craft a set that is as entertaining as possible and do things we’ve never done before, as well as think about a light show and how we can convey different moods to suit different songs and keep people engaged the whole time. There will be moments that are full on and high energy then we’ll pull back for a more intimate quiet moment. then big and bombastic at the end. It’s so fun for us to be able to curate the best set we can.
We love that you’re including local artists in your shows, can you tell us more about this?
Yeah! So, we teamed up with Triple J Unearthed to do this competition where if people had music up on Unearthed they could have the chance to come up on stage and sing with us and fill the support slots for our tour. It’s a really cool opportunity to give back to up and coming artists. It’s special to us to be able to come from that position where you are hungry to grow and now that we’ve got our own big tour we are giving back to the people that are just like us that are trying to get in front of an audience.
WHERE? HQ, 149 Hindley Street, Adelaide SA
WHEN? Friday 30th November 2018
For tickets and more info, click here.
Want to head along? We’re giving away a double pass to the Adelaide HQ Show over on our competitions page, here.
Header image by Ali Lander-Shindler