Rhubarb: Lights On.

8 July 2002 | 12:00 am | Eden Howard
Originally Appeared In

New York State Of Mind

Rhubarb play The Zoo on Saturday

Rhubarb’s flame has been burning bright since the release of the debut album Kamikaze in 1999. The band landed the top twenty spot in the Triple J Hottest 100 with the buoyant Exerciser single. Their second album Slow Motion has already spawned a singles with it’s title track as well as the high rotation Light On Your Shoulder. About to make it’s airtime debut is the latest track from the disc, New York, and the band have a Brisbane date set firmly in the middle of some pretty extensive touring commitments.

“When we’re touring you find out whether people like you or not, because they’re either coming to see you or they aren’t coming,” bassist Caleb laughs. “The last tour we did was great. It was as good as we could have hoped for.”

“There’s been a bit of a shift now with people coming along actually asking us not to play Exerciser, which is great,” he explains. “We don’t think it’s a bad song, it’s just the one song that doesn’t fit in with any of the rest of Rhubarb’s music. It can be kind of hard to play something night after night when you don’t think it suits the band.”

“Having said that, it did financially give us the freedom to push the band full time, but it’s time to move on. I think crowds have moved on too. We play some of the mellower stuff from the record, but that’s mostly it. I think we’re just more mature with our songwriting.”

While Caleb did not play on the band’s Kamikaze debut, he was still heavily involved in the creation of the recording.

“I actually produced the album for the guys,” he explains. “They gave me a call when they were looking to record Kamikaze, and I really got to know them then, and we’ve been awesome friends since then.”

The vision for the album that was to become Slow Motion was different from the outset that the goal for the bands debut.

“Even before I joined the band the guys were aiming a lot higher with what they wanted to record this time around. We didn’t want to make another Kamikaze, it’s a younger sounding record. We just wanted to make a record that we could handle playing every night. The kind of thing we’d be into listening to at home.”

As well his work with Rhubarb, Caleb’s production talents are also in demand around Brisbane’s studios. Then there’s trying to find time to work on his ‘other band’, Leo Nine.

“I don’t find it too bad. I’ve been bounding things a while with Leo Nine and Battered Fish before that. I can kind of switch between modes whenever I like. It was hard at first, but It’s easier to switch between roles now.”

“I guess Leo Nine is the bastard child of the outfit. It’s suffering the most – it’s pretty rare that we can get together for rehearsals or writing. It’s hard enough to be in one band at a time, every member has to make an investment for a band to keep going, and you can only really afford to do that with one band at a time. Even though that’s the case we’re going to try and record by the end of the year. It’s just a case of being efficient with your time, or it just won’t work out. Rhubarb’s the main focus, we’ve just trying to cram everything in on the side between tours.”