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The Rubens

NSW five-piece The Rubens have had a massive year. They’ve released their third album; undertaken a huge global tour across Australia, New Zealand, Europe and the US; and to cap it all off – they supported Pink on her recent tour.

The cherry on the top will of course be their Darwin gig this December – the final show on this year’s tour. Keyboardist Elliot Margin spoke to Off The Leash.

You’ve just been touring with Pink! How did that come about?
Through our booking agent. He put us forward for the support slot a while back and we weren’t expecting anything to come of it. Then we got word that Pink had checked out our video for ‘Million Man’ and gave the thumbs up. It was nice to know she was personally involved and into us.

Have Pink’s audiences been giving you love? Have you amended your set to suit them?
It’s a different world to what we’re used to, playing arenas to thousands of people. That being said, her audience always treated us really nicely – whether they had heard of us or not. Being in the support slot meant we had a tight 35-minute set, which worked for us. We just picked out favourites from our three albums and crammed them in.

Did you spend much time with Pink? What’s she like?
We had a few moments behind the scenes. She’s just how people describe her – down to earth, super kind and quick witted.

You’re on a big national tour at the moment. What do you love about touring beyond the east coast capital cities?
We are – Darwin is the last show of the tour! We can’t wait. Audiences outside of major cities always bring added energy I think. Not getting as many bands coming through means they’re more ready to let loose.

When you tour around the regions down south, do you get to do it in a tour bus? Do you get to enjoy that experience of being a band on the road together?
Australia is so spread out that touring in a bus isn’t really worth it, which is a letdown if you’ve just watched Almost Famous. We did tour the US earlier this year and for the first time tried doing it in a bus. It’s definitely a different experience, living in such close quarters, sleeping in bunks as the bus drives down the highway to the next gig. Some of us enjoyed it more than others but we’re all glad we did it.

Who’s in charge of the playlist when you’re on the road? 
We try to pass the role of DJ between us because the pressure to play good stuff can really get to you – music on the road is very important. We probably hand the aux chord most often to our tour manager Ridge. He has great taste in music and tends not to let the pressure get to him. Young Thug, Blood Orange, Connan Mockasin, Big Wet and Powderfinger, he plays it all.

Sat 15 Dec | 8pm | Darwin Entertainment Centre | See the event listing

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