Plugged In with The Rubens: LO LA RU and Beyond

Australian band The Rubens birthed out of a connection at a music festival back in 2013, and five years later, prove to be a name worth remembering. The band released their highly anticipated LO LA RU about a month ago, and now find themselves touring with the one and only Pink. LO LA RU features a blend of R&B influences, showcasing yet another band’s artful twist on what people expect a band to sound like. We got the chance to chat with Elliot from The Rubens in our interview below!

How did The Rubens come to be, and what is the significance behind your band name?
Sam, Zaac and I are brothers. We grew up playing music but more as a hobby and never together. One day Sam and Zaac decided to jam out of boredom and asked me to join when I got home from school that day. We eventually asked our other brother Jethro if he wanted to play drums with us but he said he didn’t like our music. We got him back by naming the band after him (for some reason at the time his nickname was Ruben).

How would you say that you guys differ from the average band?
It’s hard really to say speaking from inside the band. We’re definitely all very close, not just among us brothers but with Scotty and Will as well. We’re all from a small town an hour south of Sydney that’s pretty quiet and doesn’t necessarily have a music scene, we all have a hunger and commitment to the band and to making this work.

Who are some of your creative influences?
Van Morrison, REM, OutKast, Tracy Chapman.

Now, what did it take to make LO LA RU?
Any free time we had after releasing the last record ‘Hoops’ was spent writing new music for LO LA RU so it’s been a lot of hard work. After months of writing we had the tracks together and headed to the studio in our hometown to get them down. We spent maybe 4 weeks there recording with Torbitt Schwartz and Wilder Zoby, two mates of ours who we convinced to produce the record. After that we spent another couple weeks in Torbitt’s studio in Brooklyn putting the finishing touches on the record.

Do you have a favorite track from the album?
It’s hard to say, it changes so often for me. Right now it’s probably Never Ever because it’s the first time we’ve done a feature. Sam and I wrote the song with Sarah Aarons when the rest of the album was already finished so we didn’t think we were writing for anything in particular, then we fell in love with the track and managed to squeeze it on. It was exciting to try something completely different for us, and especially now to see how it’s connected with people.

Out of all of the collaborations you have on the album, who was your favorite artist to work with and why?
The only collaboration on the record was with Sarah Aarons for Never Ever. She was great to work with, super chilled and quick with ideas. We met her in a studio in Sydney, mucked around with a chord structure and melody we had and 5 hours later the song was finished.

Looking forward after this album, what have you learned from it that you will factor in to the creation of your next project?
Probably just to try and keep it fun, keep it interesting by trying new things. We were lucky to record this in such a relaxed environment where we had the luxury of being able to experiment and take our time in the studio, a lot of great stuff came out of that freedom.

What are you all most looking forward to on this upcoming tour with PINK?
Being able to play in front of tens of thousands of people every night is an amazing opportunity, trying to win over new fans who have no idea who we are. The shows so far have been amazing and the crowds have been lovely. And also the catering is off the chain.

What does the rest of the year look like for The Rubens?
More touring really. After the Pink tour there’ll be plenty more shows to announce that’ll go right on into next year. We can’t wait.

Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?
Go checkout joshrubensnaps on instagram he’s funny.

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