The Rubens Guide Us Through Their Instagram
We stalked The Rubens’ Instagram for inspiration ahead of our interview to find out a little bit more about what they’ve been up to, based on what they’ve been posting recently. Drummer, Scott Baldwin, gave us the low down on everything from the band’s new album to their go-to NYC haunts and even his favourite Disney movie.
Let’s start from 2 months ago on October 11th. There’s a photo of Sam and yourself in front of an American flag where you announce that you’re spending time in NY to record your new album. How long where you guys over there in total, have you just gotten back?
I’ve been back for a week. We started out the whole process down in Wollongong, which is quite close to home, just writing songs. We got David Khane our producer who also worked on the first album to fly out and we spent some time with him in Byron Bay for about a month, then about 5 days after that we flew over to NY and got underway with recording. So it’s been quite a long process. We haven’t done much playing, we miss that.
There’s a video a couple of days later of Zaac skateboarding down a hallway – Was that in your NY apartment?
Unfortunately that is our apartment. He didn’t ruin the floor but probably not ideal for the people who lived below because it was like 3 o’clock in the morning. It’s right near Madison square gardens, on 7th and 28th. It’s really close to everything; it’s a great spot.
You posted a few photos at Avatar studios where you were recording album #2 – Can you tell me a bit about what we can expect to hear?
It’s a much bigger sound. We tried to keep the original sounds of things; we tried to keep it really raw and big and real, that’s the main thing. The songs, some of them are a little bit faster and have a little bit more energy. Zaac the guitarist features a lot more in it, there’s some cool guitar lines. Elliot the back-up singer who also plays keys, he featured quite a lot on it with his vocals as well. In my view it’s a much more developed and more mature album.
Was NY an inspiration?
NY is mad. We spent time there doing the first album, so it’s like our second home, we know where everything is. It’s been very inspiring. I enjoyed it a lot more than the first one and I think it shows. We had a lot more fun in the studio in the booth, we were jumping around and all having fun and encouraging each other. With the first one I suppose we were all green so we didn’t really know how things happen, and we were nervous. This was a lot of fun and I think it shows in the album.
Can you see yourselves ever moving to America or do you want to always be Australia-based?
I would probably never move to America, I just like Australia too much. My friends and family all want to travel and that’s great, but people don’t realize how lucky we are out here. It’s just ridiculous. We have really good weather, we have extremely good food, the people are super nice. Even though we complain about our government, our government’s way better than heaps around the world. So we’re extremely fortunate. There are no beaches in the world like here. So I don’t think I would go to America. I would go for like a year but then I’m pretty much done.
3 weeks ago you posted a picture with Andrew from Grouplove, and last year you toured with them – this time did you work together on any new music?
No they’ve been flat out. We toured with them in America then caught up with them when they did Big Day Out. They came down to Wollongong when we were writing down at the beach so we hung out. We catch up with them when we’re in the same town, they’re good friends. We haven’t collaborated with them or anything. Maybe one day. Andrew is an insane surfer, he’s super good.
Who is the best surfer out of you guys?
I am definitely the best surfer because the others don’t really surf. They have a go. They’re better at other things.
Three weeks ago you posted a photo of a restaurant sign with the caption quoting Seinfeld – did you eat anywhere amazing in NYC?
Definitely compared to the first time we were there. The first time we recorded we were actually on a $10 a day budget. We saved up to get over there then we couldn’t really eat. We all lost like 10kg and didn’t have a home. This time it was much better.
Was there a favourite place for you?
Yeah up from the studio there’s like this Mexican Lime place and that was awesome. They had a happy hour every single day and awesome fajitas. If you want to go there it’s on 51st and 9th. It’s really good. Spend some time down at Lower East Side as well. There’s a pub called Donnybrooks. That’s like our local.
Back to your caption – are all of you Seinfeld fans (or one of you in particular)?
What’s the guy with the frizzy hair?
Yeah, we keep bagging out Will because he looks and acts exactly like Kramer. Will, who plays bass and Zaac, who plays guitar, they love that show and we all just watch it anyway because it’s hilarious. If we’re not watching Seinfeld we’re watching like CSI or something, or South Park.
Did you see Book Of Mormon in NY?
No, because it’s too expensive! It’s all booked out. I saw Phantom of the Opera, that’s just started up again. That was awesome, it was unbelievable, their voices and things are just crazy. Book of Mormon is meant to be extremely funny.
Yeah, see I love South Park but I feel like the humour didn’t translate as effectively on to real people. I think I’m the only person that thinks that though.
Sometimes it depends on the actors you get. I’ve seen the Lion King twice and if the character is having an off night or they’re not as good at it, it’s a downer. I went and saw the Lion King in Sydney again and Scar just wasn’t enthusiastic. It’s like they need to re-watch the Lion King.
I love the Lion King, it’s my favourite Disney Movie.
Yeah it’s so good, so good. It’s easily my favourite. I have a Simba doll. Not a doll, a teddy and you put your hand inside and make it roar. And I don’t still have it and it’s not still on my bed.
Ok, I believe you. Two weeks ago you posted about the fact that you guys are playing Falls at Marion Bay – how do you feel about it? Will that be the first time you play some of your new stuff live?
We played there last year and it was awesome, we did the whole set, but because the album won’t have released yet we’re just doing that one off festival in Tasmania. We’re hopefully going to play a few songs. I’m not sure how many yet. We don’t want to spoil too much but we want to see how it goes. I’m really looking forward to playing them.
When are you hoping to release the new album?
I want to release it in January but that’s not going to happen. Hopefully it’ll be out by May but that’s just me guessing, I don’t know.
Your most recent post was 1 week ago, of blurry Zaac on his birthday – How did you celebrate?
We went to the Camden Hotel, our local bar in our hometown, then we went to The Bunker. This is like a WW2 Bunker under the ground where officers used to hide and everything during the war and our friend owns it. So we go there and jam and stuff. It’s awesome. We just hung out there.
Originally published on The Interns