THE RUBENS Gourmet Feast In The Valley

Australian alt-rock sensations The Rubens have glided back into the scene with smooth, genre blending track Falling Asleep At The Wheel (featuring Chicago hailing hip-hop star Vic Mensa). 2019 has seen the band perform and release their MTV Unplugged Live In Melbourne album and complete a headline tour of North America. They’ve supported everyone from P!NK to Bruce Springsteen, and they’ve taken every opportunity as a chance to learn from the ‘big dogs.’ CAITLIN NORRIS spoke to Elliot Margin, the band in the midst of their UK and European tour, about all of the The Rubens’ milestones so far. The band are returning to WA to headline the Gourmet Feast In The Valley at Sandalford Wines on Saturday, November 9, which sees Gourmet Escape head to Perth and the Swan Valley. 

What have The Rubens been up to lately?

We recently finished our first Chucka Bucka’s Regional Tour of NSW. We started Chucka Bucka’s nights in Sydney as a monthly showcase of new emerging talent and decided to take that on the road to regional hubs that don’t get a lot of live music. We took Milan Ring and Shady Nasty with us for a bunch of dates around NSW, it was a blast. We’re currently on tour in the UK and Europe in support of our latest record, LO LA RU.

Your latest release Falling Asleep At The Wheel was a collaboration with Vic Mensa – how did that come together?

We were on a writing trip in LA at the start of the year and came back with the song, without Vic’s verse on it. We loved the song but felt it could use a feature to make it really special so decided to reach out to some people. It got to Vic through his guitarist who played it for him. He loved it and next thing we knew Sam was on a plane back to LA to be there when he put his verse down.

After the success of your collaboration with Sarah on the last record with Never Ever, is that something you guys are aiming to do more of?

We definitely enjoy working with other artists. It’s a great way to break up your own creative habits and learn how other artists work. The way the collab with Sarah happened was so natural and not forced, it was a nice way to dip our toes into that world.

What was your MTV unplugged session like? It’s such an iconic thing for a band to do… 

We were pretty nervous going in to it because as you said it is such an iconic platform for an artist. We spent a lot of time figuring out the set and ways to make it special. Stripping back some songs and adding strings to others was something we’d never really had the chance to do before so it was fun to try that out. Safe to say it was a big relief by the end of the set when we knew we’d pulled it off.

The band have opened for some insane names, what has it been like playing to spaces and audiences of that size?

Being the support for big artists in massive venues is always eye opening for us. It’s a chance to learn really, how do artists like bruce Springsteen and P!nk connect with tens of thousands of people in a venue, even the people way up the back of the room. As a support act you use it as an opportunity not only to expand your audience but learn from the big dogs.

You’re currently in the middle of your UK/EU tour –  how’s it been so far?

So far we’re having a great time! The shows have been lovely with awesome crowds, the weather is soggy and the food is fried. Couldn’t ask for better.

Will you be testing any new stuff out on the road?

We’ve been changing the set up a bit but no new unheard music has made it into the set list just yet.

Should fans be anticipating any more new releases?

Right now we’re working on new music and hoping to get it out soon, whenever that may be. Time will tell.

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