“I think Torquay was probably the rowdiest gig we have ever played. People were off their heads.
Literally climbing the walls.” - Elliot Margin.
Following the release of their critically acclaimed second album, ‘Hoops’, in 2015, the Rubens have been incredibly busy touring around Australia and further enhancing their already stellar reputation as one of Australia’s best live bands. The Rubens have recently undertaken an extensive run of free shows as part of the Corona Sunset Sessions beginning in Bondi Beach which sees the boys traversing through New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and finishing up in Western Australia.For dates, times and venues see here; http://coronaextra.com.au/sunsets/. Halfway through the Corona Sunset shows, Jack Davison from Rabbit Radio had the chance to catch up with Elliot Margin, the keyboardist, back up vocalist and songwriter from the Rubens.
First things first, thanks for taking some time out of your busy schedule for us here at Rabbit Radio Elliot. Much Appreciated.
Elliot: No problem at all mate.
So hows things been going? How have the recent Corona Sunset gigs been in Melbourne and Victoria?
Elliot: They were honestly like some of the most fun gigs we’ve played in a long time. They were so rowdy, its been ridiculous. Its so good. It went really well. I think Torquay was probably the rowdiest gig we have ever played. People were off their heads. Literally climbing the walls.
Far out, that sounds loose. So its 22 shows across Australia for Corona yeah?
Elliot: Yeah, we started in Bondi then went to Coogee, then Wollongong. A bunch of Sydney ones, and then obviously Victoria just this past weekend. This weekend we have Newcastle, and then we have Vanfest at Forbes which isn't part of the Corona tour and then we play at the Clovelly Hotel in Sydney. Quite a lot of driving but yeah it should be fun.
Cool, so out of all these shows and venues are there any in particular that you boys are looking forward to?
Elliot: Yeah, well we are all definitely looking forward to Clovelly because it is Zaac’s (Elliots brother and Lead Guitarist for the Rubens) birthday. Shout out to him for turning something that I cant remember, or maybe he doesn't want me to say his age I’m not sure. But yeah its his birthday night so we are going to have a good night I think. Excited about that one.
So Vanfest in Forbes has a pretty Australian dominated lineup with people such as Angus Stone playing, Xavier Rudd and a host of other Australian acts. That kind of brings me to the question of whether you guys have any favourite Australian acts that you like to see or listen to?
Elliot: Well obviously, I think, everyone can agree that Tame Impala is amazing. They are on our list. They are one of our favourites. We also have some mates in a band called Dorsal Fins who are pretty great to watch live.
A few of those boys are from Saskwatch yeah?
Yeah, yeah exactly Saskwatch as well. Those two bands are two of the best Australian bands to watch live which makes sense because they both have the same members pretty much.
I remember one of your gigs at the Coolangatta Hotel late last year that Saskwatch was supporting and I think it might have been Zaac, who tried to climb the lighting on the stage and took a massive tumble.
Elliot: (Laughs) Yeah thats right, he fell on the drum kit I think. He was all good in the end, don't worry about him.
Haha good news. So this might be a hard question but out of ‘Hoops’ and your first album ‘The Rubens’, do you have a favourite or a preferred album?
Elliot: Honestly, by the time we have finished a record we never really listen to it again because you know, we spend three months in the studio listening to it over and over again. Its hard to then listen to it with fresh ears. I don't know, its funny. I think, I think ahhhhh. I’m not sure. Its such a hard question. They’re both our babies, they're both our favourites.
Nice diplomatic answer. They’re both my favourite too. So after these Corona shows you guys have Falls Festival to bring in the New Year, and then following that what are the plans for 2017?
Elliot: Yeah thats right, we’re all pretty excited about that one too. And after Falls we have two shows at the Melbourne Zoo and then two shows at the Taronga Zoo in Sydney. See the animals, and then play some shows. Then after that we are basically finished this cycle of shows so we will get stuck into writing album number three. We have already started but obviously next year we will be focusing on it more. Try and knuckle down and get that done.
Look forward to seeing how that unfolds man. Well keen for the third album. Do you mind if I ask you a few questions about this history of the Rubens?
Elliot: Go for it man.
Out of the three brothers in the band, Sam (Lead Singer), Zaac, and yourself who first started playing music?
Elliot: I think it was Sam because he was the oldest although we all picked up instruments when we were kids just because we thought it would be a good hobby to have and do together. I think Sam was the first one to pursue it as more of a writing and performing kind of thing though. I think he started that first.
And your first ever gig? Was it at Menangle, your hometown?
Elliot: Nah we have never played a gig at Menangle believe it or not. Mainly because theres not really any music venues where we grew up. We would have to travel into Sydney. Our first gig was at Candys Apartment. I think 25-30 of our family and friends showed up which was pretty cool. I think we were also supporting Dune Rats which was pretty cool.
Oh wow, Duneys.
Elliot: Yeah and we were so impressed. We were like holy shit, these guys flew down from Brisbane for a gig in Sydney. We were blown away by that. We were like, hopefully one day we can get on a plane and fly around and play gigs. That was the dream.
And now you’re living it!
Elliot: And now we’re living it.
Last question, which is about up and coming bands. If you had to give any advice to up and coming bands what would that be?
Elliot: I would say, practice. And write as much as you can. Obviously the saying goes, practice makes perfect. It took us probably a year of touring to actually feel like we were a tight band. We could pretty lazy with rehearsals as well, I mean the first time we played I think we only ran through the set two times (laughs). We thought we would be able to do this but now looking back we realise it was just awful. I think the best thing to do is practice as much as you can and write as much as you can and then play as many gigs as you can. Play as many gigs as you can and hope that it snowballs.
That sounds like sound good advice to me. Well, cool thanks again for taking time out for Rabbit Radio and we wish you all the best for the rest of your Corona shows and with the third album next year.
Elliot: No worries mate, thanks for having me.