Bluesy Australian Band Bring the Thunder from Down Under to NYC

Ashely Spencer

The Rubens are a chart topping four-piece alternative-rock band from Australia. Their blues rock riffs accompanied by the sultry voice of lead singer Sam Margin have helped introduce them to American listeners and even landed them a spot opening for Grouplove this fall. Margin momentarily put his guitar down before embarking on his tour fof an interview with the Pace Press. The result below is more than enough to get anyone excited for this invasion from down under.

The Pace Press: Before we begin I have to ask, where did the name The Rubens come from?
Sam Margin: Will the people in the band are three brothers and a friends. The three of us [Margin brothers] have another younger brother his name is Jethro, and his nickname at the time, this was probably two years ago, his nickname at the time when we first started the group was Ruben. He’s a drummer but wasn’t able to be in the band because he was too young. In a kinda teasing way we named the band after him.

TPP: How did you get started as a band?
SM: Well we’ve always been into music. We went to music school my parents  used to play instruments. It’s always been part of our life as kind of a hobby but I think we all wanted to do something a bit abnormal with out lives, other than a nine to five job but we weren’t exactly sure how we were going to achieve that and music was one way to achieve it. So somehow we got lucky and now we are doing [it].

TPP: How would you describe your sound?
SM:…I’d say there is definitely a soul to it, so I’d label it soul rock something along those lines.

TPP: Your Album has just been released in the U.S. [Sept. 10] and you are on a tour of the states how does it all feel?

SM: It’s really exciting. It’s actually almost to the day a year since we released it in Australia so it’s kinda weird for us but also fantastic that it’s actually being released in the states. The biggest thing is the next step for our band.

TPP: Who were your influences on The Rubens album? Were you listening to anyone specifically?
SM: I don’t think we listened to anything while we were writing. I can’t remember any of us sitting down and listing any other artist while we were writing. When we were writing… at that point I wasn’t listening to anyone else music because I think I was just so so involved with being The Rubens and writing our own songs. I didn’t have time and I didn’t want to, I didn’t really want any outside influence I guess.

TPP: How do you feel about touring with another rising star Grouplove?
SM: It’s good to be with a band that have a been a bit underground and now they are becoming quiet a big band in the states and over here [Australia] as well. So it’s good for us to…I think it will be good for us to meet the guys in Grouplove and get to know them and sort of hang out and also learn from them and talk about how they sort of got to be where they are in the states. I’ve also heard that they are really lovely people so it should be a lot of fun I think.

TPP: The Rubens began recording in 2011 and you’ve already won awards in Australia and have played major festivals here, what’s been the most difficult part of your quickly rising popularity?
SM: …The hardest part has been learning, learning all the intricate parts of being in a band. When we started we really didn’t know what we were doing when we started. WE had to learn really really quickly where as some bands, work hard for many years and then they break so they have some experience under their belt but we didn’t because it happened so quickly. So we had to work very very hard on our live show and had to learn how to record and we basically had to learn tour. It’s been pretty cool. That’s been the hardest part everything else has been really fun, there’s nothing else that’s been hard during this. Recording and writing has been good so we’re not worried.

The Rubens will be appearing in New York with Grouplove for two sold-out shows on Sept 25 and 26. After that The boys will head back to Australia where they will continue to write for their next album. For a taste of their soulful sound check out “Lay it Down.”