EXCLUSIVE: The Rubens Take Us Track By Track Through Their New Album '0202', Out Today

12 February 2021 | 8:30 am | The Rubens

The Rubens are back with a brand new album today, dubbed '0202'. Here, they share an exclusive track by track look at it for 'The Music' readers.

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Our first few drafts of the album track listing didn’t have this song as the opener. It’s always hard to figure it out, to find the right flow, and the first song is what kicks it all off. 

When we finally tried sitting this at the top it felt right. It’s a happy/sad song with drive that gives a feeling for what’s to come on the record.

Heavy Weather
The hook was tested in so many different ways before it became a horn line. Guitar, bass, synth patches weren’t working and couldn’t give it the energy it needed. Horns instantly felt bombastic and somehow cocky, in the right way. They brought the lift the song needed.

Live In Life
Live In Live was the blueprint for the way we ended up recording most of the record. We had collected a few demos but still touring pretty regularly so committing to a few months in the studio wasn’t possible at the time. 

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We recorded this song in Will’s [bass player, William Zeglis] studio at The Bunker then released it thinking it would be something to tide people over until the record but wouldn’t actually be on the record.

People responded to the song and it took off. It showed us that we didn’t need to block out a chunk of time for recording, we could jump in the studio when it suited and the songs were there.

Time Of My Life
We wrote this track while in LA in a much simpler time it seems. The hopefulness of it seems relevant now.

We were hung over and exhausted on a trip to LA and turned up to the studio feeling like we weren’t going to have a very productive day. We ended up writing one of our favourite songs on the album.

Muddy Evil Pain
A good indicator as to how we’ve grown as a band sonically. It’s essentially a folk-gospel song blended with heavily distorted pulsing synths, something we never would have considered doing on our first record but now comes naturally. It’s got so much energy, one we can’t wait to play live.

This song is meant to convey a feeling of envy for someone who seems to have their life under control while yours is spiralling downwards. The dreamy melodies and production are in contrast with the dark lyrics describing drug taking to try and escape and take a holiday.

After writing the demo for this song we spent a whole lot of time trying to work out how to best nail the drums and rhythm. We eventually realised that a live, raucous drum performance by Scotty [drummer, Scott Baldwin] along with a bunch of live shakers and cowbells was the go!

State Of My Mind
Zaac [guitarist, Zaac Margin] started writing the demo for this one in early 2019. It didn’t reach its final form until mid-2020. We spent a huge amount of time trying to get the rhythm and structure right and we think it was well worth it!

The last song we recorded for the album. By that stage we had a work flow in the studio, the process was smooth and let us focus on giving the song the attention it needed. The time from demo to finished studio recording was probably the quickest for any of our songs.

Back To Back
Sometimes we labour over songs for the longest time before they become complete and sometimes they come together the opposite (really fast). This one came quickly; chords, melody and lyrics, one after the other. It’s rare and always a pleasure when we’ve been labouring over other ideas for what can seem like forever.

This one was written during COVID. The feeling that ‘the party’s over’ was something that we’d been experiencing as a band after not being able to tour and the lyrics came really naturally. We feel more optimistic now though!

0202 is out now. Find out more about The Rubens via the buttons below. The Rubens are touring throughout 2021, head to theGuide for all the info.