The Rubens

By Will Brown

The Rubens are in town, and are set to play two New Zealand this week; Thursday night at the Kings Arms in Auckland and this Saturday at Meow in Wellington.

We caught up with band member Elliott Margin ahead of the tour...

How did The Rubens first form?

Three of us are brothers, so we grew up together playing music but not really together as a band; we learned instruments but never thought of playing together. But when we were growing up and bored and hating our jobs, we decided to jam. And then all of a sudden it was like 'Alright, we should make some music and try and make this a band'. We needed a drummer so we called up Scott who we've known for years as well, and he was like 'Yeah sure!'. And then it kind of just happened from there. We just started getting gigs and things, but we were playing with no bassist. So we met Will and asked him 'Do you want to play bass for us?'. But we formed just out of boredom really.

So when do you think you considered yourselves a band?

2011 I think we began... yeah, early 2011. 

You're heading to New Zealand for your first headline tour here. It's been a while coming...

Yeah, it has been a long time coming. We've been over for a couple of things, like a festival and playing support for The Black Keys, but never doing our own show. It feels like 'Why haven't we?'. We always wanted to make it happen, but timing wise it never really made sense. But now we can do it, which is really cool - it's exciting. 

What can we expect from your shows over here?

A lot of energy I think. We've been touring this album for about a year, so we're pretty good at these songs now. There have been a lot of good shows, and have been really high energy. So we're going to bring the same kind of thing I reckon.

It's been a pretty massive year for you guys, taking out the Triple J Hottest 100 against some tough competition...

Yeah, massive! It was a big thing for us. We never expected to rank number 1 or to even rank highly. So we were freaking out, it was a huge thing for us cause we grew up listening to it. Then all of a sudden we won it... which was weird for us, but huge.

You recently toured the USA with The Naked And Famous. How was that experience?

It was good, it was really fun. We played about 8 or 9 shows with them... it was a smaller tour for them I think and was kind of building hype for their single release. But nice lovely people and we played awesome venues. And we're such big fans as well.

Your most recent album 'Hoops' has performed fantastically well over the last year. Have you got plans for a new recording?

Yeah, we're actually at the moment in the writing phase when we get a little bit of time off here and there, and we can sit back and make new music which is exciting. There's no dates or anything set in stone, just kind of accumulating all the stuff we've been writing on the road this past year, and trying to get it together and see where we go from there.

Have you had a favourite show that you've performed at?

That's a tough one. Splendour In The Grass here in Australia, that festival is pretty high on my list. We played it not this year, but last year. We hadn't played a show in a long time and we were really nervous... kind of freaking out that no one would turn up to see us play. And it turned out to be one of the biggest crowds and one of the best shows we had ever played. It was pretty special that one.

Following the New Zealand shows, what plans do The Rubens have then?

I think we'll have a few shows leading up until the end of the year although we are kind of slowing down, have a good time off and try and get into the writing mode for album number 3.

The Rubens

Thursday October 13th: Kings Arms, Auckland - with Yukon Era

Saturday October 15th: Meow, Wellington - with Bakers Eddy

Tickets via Under The Radar