The Rubens journey to become a recognised name in Australian music began with a few home recordings and some good connections and lead to a debut album recorded in New York and a steady stream of gigs.
The young band, has a sound which is a mix of blues, soul and rock, will perform at Kay Street Entertainment Complex, Traralgon on Friday as part of its regional Victoria tour.
Readers may have heard the tune “My Gun”, which sits at eight on the ARIA charts or “Lay it Down” which came in at 57 in last year’s Triple j Hot 100.
The band have toured extensively this year, but keys man and supporting vocalist Elliott Margin said he liked it best on stage.
“We’re not constantly on the road. We do have time off and we do get really bored very quickly during the time off. So touring a lot is what we need to do to stay sane I think. So it’s been really good,” Margin said.
“I think it’s the best thing about being in a band really, playing your music to an audience.”
The three brothers, 23 year-old Sam, Zaac, 21, and 19 year-old Elliott Margin, and their friend and drummer Scott Baldwin, 23, consider themselves lucky to have found success so quickly.
They formed the band in their hometown Menangle, New South Wales in February last year and in a short space of time were recording in New York with acclaimed producer David Kahne, who has worked with artists such as The Strokes, Paul McCartney and Regina Spektor.
He said the band “loved every second” of their experience in New York, despite the “freezing” weather and $10-a-day budget.
“We lived in a tiny three-bedroom apartment with seven or eight people. We were going to the studio everyday and getting back late at night and pretty much back and forth from the tiny apartment to the tiny studio,” Margin said.
He said working with Kahne their demos became “bigger and more ambitious”.
“I think it was inevitable and our aim was to do something a little bit different because we had this huge opportunity given to us to work with David. We would have been silly to not make the most of it,” he said.
When asked how the band arrived at its unique sound, Margin said they knew what they didn’t want and played music “we would like to listen to”.
“We didn’t really have to consciously think about what we were doing; it kind of just happened,” he said.
The Rubens will bring its gutsy yet effortless sound to Traralgon this Friday.
“We’ll still probably be on a high from playing with the Black Keys so the show’s definitely going to benefit from that. We always just try to have as much fun as we can playing shows so hopefully that translates to the audience as well,” he said.
Margin said though the band members had not seriously discussed a location to record the next album, they were joking that it should be somewhere tropical.
“I think this time, ideally we’d like to be on a beach somewhere, where we can have breaks from recording and go swim in the ocean,” Margin said.
The band may have found musical success, but the brothers still live at home and Margin said they have “got a long way to go” before they can live off the their music.