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The Rubens: Created by Chance, Crafted by Choice

Friday 09th, March 2018 / 11:38
By Jordan Yeager

Photo by Giulia McGauhan

VANCOUVER – Imagine: you’ve been studying music for years. You’ve practiced diligently with your bandmates, working towards the goal you’ve shared for years. Your craft has been finely honed and now, your tracks are slowly moving up the charts – there’s no way you won’t make it.

Now scratch all of that. The Rubens – an Australian group comprised of Zaac, Sam, and Elliott Margin, Scott Baldwin, and William Zeglis – never planned to play together. Sometimes the best things are born of boredom.

“Us Margins grew up playing music individually, more alone in the bedroom than jamming together,” says one of the Margin brothers over email. “We had lessons growing up but never really studied our instruments. None of us can read music. It took crappy jobs and boredom to make us consider playing together when we were a little older. Starting a band was just a fun thing to do; we never really thought it would become our full time job. We’re very aware how lucky we are to now call this our job.”

Though The Rubens started out as disjointed fragments, they fit together quite comfortably as a whole – their sound is refined and instantly recognizable, while still leaving room for evolution from one release to the next. Their third album, coming in 2018, won’t be “a departure, [but] more of a continuation” of where the band has been heading.

“We’re firstly a rock band, but we take a lot of R&B [and] soul influence as well,” says Margin. “We’ve become more confident in our writing and have been pushing into more R&B territory with each album. Hoops was an extension of that side of our sound – we’re always looking for something new to try in our music. There’s high energy in a lot of the new stuff as well.”

The group’s first album, The Rubens, was nominated for a J Award for Best Album of the Year in 2012, and they haven’t slowed down since. So who knows? Next time you’re bored and over the nine-to-five lifestyle, get together with some friends and form a band – maybe you’ll follow The Rubens’ lead and be voted number 1 on the Triple J Hottest 100 list, too.

The Rubens play The Biltmore Cabaret on March 11.

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