Over two years on from their seminal ‘Hoops’ record, The Rubens are on the verge of releasing their third studio album.
The Rubens’ 2015 single ‘Hoops’ was a runaway success, securing top spot on triple j’s Hottest 100 the following year.
Frontman Sam Margin explains how the song connects to the current album they’re about to release. “The good thing is that when we wrote that single ‘Hoops’ that was when we’d finished the album and that song didn’t exist,” Sam says.
“We were about to release that album and we wrote that song right at the last minute and it was definitely the bridging song between the record we’d just made and then where we were heading.
"It was almost like we were writing that song for our next album but we wrote it in time to just fit it on to that album and get it out.
Click here to read Elliott Margin's (keys/ vocals) 5 favourite McDonald's meals.
“So I guess ‘Hoops’ was the first song that was heading towards the new direction, which is this current album. That made us feel confident because that was the song that people liked the most off the record and that was actually the new vibe of the band.”
Since ‘Hoops’, The Rubens have continued developing towards a more defined sonic identity rooted firmly in hip hop but retaining the feel of a live rock band.
The first taste of what they’ve achieved is the new single ‘Million Man’, which Sam says is an overall representative of their new dynamic.
“'Million Man’ in particular is like a song that represents every sound that we’ve got on this new record,” he says.
“There are a lot of songs that are still like ‘Hoops’ and quite stripped-back and they’re more of just a groove and R&B vocals on the top, then there are other songs that are more big, raucous, rock & roll songs and I guess ‘Million Man’ had a bit of everything in there… it does represent everything on the record.
“On the record there’s a few ballads, some more rocky ones and mainly it’s beat driven, stripped-back R&B stuff similar to ‘Hoops’.”
The Rubens are heading out on a short single tour for ‘Million Man’, playing just three shows in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney as part of a larger world tour that has them playing in New Zealand, the US and the UK. Sam says he and the band are looking forward to playing live again and showing fans the new material they’ve been working on.
He also says they’ll be back for a national album tour once the new record is released. “We’re hoping at these shows there’s going to be a lot of core fans from the last record and people who like ‘Million Man, “ he says.
“But we figure we’ll be treating them to a bunch of songs they haven’t heard; we’ll probably play four or five songs off the new record. It’s going to be the first taste for people.”
The Rubens Tour DatesSat 24 Feb - The Tivoli Theatre (Brisbane)
Thu 1 Mar - Forum Melbourne
Sat 3 Mar - Sydney Opera House