It’s been a while since we’ve heard from The Rubens, but not without good reason. The 5-piece have been bunkered down in New York, recording the follow-up to their self-titled 2012 debut and according to frontman Sam Margin things are looking on track for fans to be able to hear the new album in the new year, hopefully in time for Splendour 2015.
“Just because I want it to, me, personally, I would love it to come out in time to do Splendour in the Grass at the end of it. So I’d say first half of the year in Australia would be ideal,” Margin told Music Feeds recently. “I think people have waited long enough.” While Margin confirms the band haven’t been booked for the festival yet, the event is on his wishlist for 2015.
“That’s my personal plan,” he affirms. “Management and labels are gonna have their say but I can’t see why they’d not want that as well. They’ll probably want it out as soon as possible but obviously we’ve got to get it mixed and we’ve got to get it perfect and then there’s the time you’ve got spend getting it all ready to promote and lead up to the record release and stuff like that. So I’d say first half of next year.”
It terms of the album’s direction, Margin says it’s a more “mature” sound, influenced greatly by their experience playing live over the last few years. “First albums can be a bit of constraint for people,” he explains. “That’s why everyone always talk about how hard the second can be because if you break on your first then everyone knows you as that, and obviously you develop as a band.”
“The first record, in my opinion, although I really liked it, we ended up with an album that didn’t represent the way we play live as much,” he continues. “We had a hell of a lot of people coming up, being surprised at our sound in general live and how big it sounds and it’s a little bit more wild on stage. And I think we’re trying to have that element as well.”
“We’ve kept the soul vocals, the R&B style, rock ’n’ roll vocal mix, that’s important,” he adds, “but we’re branching out a little bit more in terms of sound on this record. The last one was very basic and it was our first record and we didn’t really know what we wanted so much but on this record there’s been a huge amount of consideration to guitar tones and different types of old keyboards and synths and stuff. Just being a bit more inspired.”
The Rubens will have the opportunity to test out some of this material when they finish off the year playing Perth’s Hotel Rottnest on Sunday, 14th December alongside The Panics for the first in a series of Rotto Live shows, and will ring in the new year in Tasmania at the Marion Bay leg of Falls Festival.
“I’m really excited to play [the new songs] live,” says Margin. “That’s my favourite. We turned into a live band. We didn’t really play live much before we made that first record. Now we realise we’re kind of making these songs have sections that we know are gonna be fun live to make our lives more enjoyable, ’cause although we recorded, we’re gonna be on the road for two years. So there’s heaps of massive moments and really cool parts and fun things to jam on. Live is gonna be where it’s at, I reckon.”
Stay tuned for the full Music Feeds podcast with Sam Margin of the Rubens, up soon.
Watch: The Rubens – Lay It Down
Rotto Live – The Rubens & The Panics
Sunday, 14th December 2014
Hotel Rottnest, Rottnest Island, Perth
Tickets: via Ticketmaster