I am meeting one of the most exciting rock bands out of Australia, The Rubens. The band known for their gritty dirty blues style were last here in Aotearoa supporting American Rock duo Black Keys, their recent sophomore album Hoops has been making waves both here and in Oz, while the boys hope to crack American & European audiences next year. "I'd like to go to Europe" quips Scott.
We casually work our way to talking about the band's latest rock offering Hoops, however talk turned a tangent as the subject of New Zealand's change of flag debate struck a chord with the group. "You know your captain of the All Blacks Ritchie McCaw" says Scott. "He wanted the leaf (Silver Fern) or something so basically everyone's on his band wagon, so whatever he wants we'll just go with that. It's pretty funny".
The ‘bro' band comprises the three Margin brothers, Zaac, Sam and Elliott, Will Zeglis on Bass and childhood friend, Scott Baldwin. "We actually grew up together and went to school with our singer Sam" says Scott. "We share cousins actually".
The band originally from Menangle, New South Wales first burst onto the scene a couple of years ago. Their acclaimed debut self-titled album The Rubens gained them domestic success with it reaching No. 3 on the Australian Music Charts (who can forget the oh-so catchy My Gun?) gaining the group a nomination for a J Award for Album of the Year. It doesn't do any harm having a band name that is easy to remember.
"Our band name, I kind of forget how it exactly happened" recalls Zaac. "But it's our little brother it's his nickname, he's Ruben. Somehow our older brother came up with it, Sam. I just can't remember how he came up with it, he started calling him Roy, then Croydon and then Royben. Then it just changed to Ruben somehow and then we were thinking of a name for the band and Sam said ‘Why not The Rubens?' We asked him to be the drummer I think when we weren't even a band, and he said ‘No' and Sam said ‘We'll just name the band after him" I think that's how it happened.
Hoops is the latest CD from the talented group, it also spawns the catchy single of the same name with its impressive kaleidoscope effect, its shot walking through the inside a white room, a video that came together rather quickly. "It was a quick shoot one of our quickest shoots we've had" says Scott. "It was over 3 or 4 hours really and a couple of takes and the rest was CGI'ed, it's a simple clip but we're pretty happy with it". "We wanted to have something that was visually good to look at and not really like a narrative" chips in Elliott.
Produced once again by Dave Kahne (The Strokes, Paul McCartney, Lana Del Rey) and mixed by Michael Brauer(Coldplay), Hoops was crafted over two years of relentless touring and song writing, it still retains the bands signature kitsch blues sound, the driving force behind Sam Margin's raw and raspy vocal style. It's a sentiment that rings true for keyboardist Elliott. "We had a lot of fun picking sounds this time, not just keyboards but guitar and things. It's just what comes naturally, the fact we all write songs. It's a bit different from the first album I think, Hoops just takes the R&B thing further, which is cool". "Some people have been commenting on the use of synth on the new album it's not anything there, it's Zaac's guitar effects which is cool" chimes Scott.
Bassist Will is more optimistic, his learnings from recording and touring are a welcome reflection and insightful. "You're in the middle of it and you don't realise what's happening" he says. "But we're just trying to keep relaxed and just go along with the flow, because you never know what's going to happen with the music industry, especially being a band you know? We're going alright today but tomorrow we could be nothing so were trying to enjoy the ride for what it is now".
In the mid to late 90's, when grunge began to wither away and MTV strived to find the next easy to access label to attach to new batch of up and coming rock bands, global attention started to shine on the Alt Rock scene.
The I Love The 90s Tour returns to Auckland next year March 23rd at Auckland’s Spark Arena, with a completely off the chain lineup featuring classic Hip Hop crew Naughty by Nature. Vin Rock from the Grammy Award winning rap group speaks fondly of this country and love of our people.
The Soundsplash Festival is returning to Raglan in January 2018. Local reggae favourites Katchafire are returning to feature on the bill. We sent a few questions over to lead vocalist Logan Bell ahead of the festival.
Following 2015’s Kitty, Daisy & Lewis'The Third', the sibling trio are back stronger than ever, harnessing their ability to create pop-infused soul, blues, rock n roll and a large mix of genres to perfection, in the shape of their fourth studio album, Superscope.
Kylie Price has just released her new album Bones. Last week she appeared on theNZ Entertainment Podcast, where she sang a new song I Dont Want To Go off the album while talking shop about her dream gig to play with Ed Sheeran and her Philipino roots.
Last week I caught up withPeter Hook ahead of returning down under for Australasian leg of the Joy Division and New Order Substance tour. We had a great chat about the spirit of punk, what it takes to write a book and why shows like the X-factor are so unhealthy…
Long established as one of New Zealand’s finest acts, South Pacific reggae-soul legends, The Black Seeds are set to tour the country in September, following the release of their long awaited 6th studio album Fabric, (out today - Friday September 8th).
Jacqueline Nalpant is a Booking Agent for the Paradigm Talent Agency, and is heading to New Zealand early next month where she'll be one of the speakers for the Going Global Music Summit (Friday 1st & Saturday 2nd September at Roundhead Studios, Auckland).
Since making her musical debut with her song Drift early last year, fast attracting a solid fan base and over 1 million plays across Spotify and Soundcloud in just a few months, Madeline North, better known by her musical moniker So Below, has once again blessed us with a moodier, masterful electro-pop banger, titled Ruin.
Since forming in 1998, the Antwerp, Belgium based trio Triggerfinger have long become a mainstay on the rock scene, building a solid reputation across Europe, the US, Canada and beyond, as one of the hardest-driving and sharpest dressing bands around.
Popular metalcore group Northlane are on their way to New Zealand. The Sydney band are touring North America taking in countries like Chile and Mexico as they head our way down-under next month to play Wellington’s San Fran then Auckland at the iconic Kings Arms.
Returning to New Zealand for the first time in three years, Australian metalcore band In Hearts Wake are on their way to our shores next month for a quick run of shows supporting their label cohorts Northlane.
Courtney Marie Andrews has landed in New Zealand, and set to play two concerts this week with Joe Pug - tonight at San Fran in Wellington (Wed July 19) and tomorrow night at The Tuning Fork in Auckland (Thu July 20).
Auckland two-piece Skinny Hobos, Alex Elvis and Texas Holdom, are heading on a 5 date New Zealand tour with headliners Decades, Bakers Eddy and Dead Favours. Kicking off tonight in Hamilton (July 14), the tour will also take them to Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and finishes up in Dunedin.
Have you ever considered sharing your most personal experiences with the entire world? Well come this Friday 14th July, that’s what Emma Cameron, the rocking front-woman of kiwi band Decades is about to do, when they release their long-awaited full length debut album, The Truth And Other People, so we sat down with the cheerful front woman to discover just what truth this album reveals..
Whilst Sonny Landreth is a well known slide-guitar master, zydeco enthusiast and phenomenal blues legend, what you may not know about him, is that he is one of the nicest gentlemen in the entire universe.
He was always the boy next door type energy, that type of person you just always wanted to be around. From day one, Shay Taylor has always been one to break the mold and live life in such a vibrant and contagious manner, that no matter who he spoke to, they walked away feeling great!
Anthonie Tonnon is taking his new Extended Player and single to Australia, and to New Zealand towns that missed the first run of dates, or sold out too quickly. He’ll also be appearing at three summer festivals this February.
After a stand of three Auckland concerts that sold out in minutes in January, Connan Mockasin is hitting the road across Aotearoa for the first time in eight years this summer for a select run of headline shows.