Citizenship: The Rubens
The Australian Government isn’t the only entity that puts people through a rigorous cross-examination to prove their loyalty to a bunch of stars and a Union Jack. Each week at M+N, we make an Australian act kiss the flag by asking them questions about their favourite local acts: who they’ve been listening to recently, their underground heroes, or whether they prefer Kylie or Dannii Minogue.
Taking the test this week is Zaac Margin, guitarist for the soul-influenced NSW band The Rubens, which includes three Margin brothers total. Despite forming only early last year, they sold out four nights in Melbourne and three in Sydney on their latest national tour. They’re hitting the road again soon in support of their self-titled debut LP, out Sept. 14 on Ivy League.
a. ‘My Gun’ seems to have some Mark Ronson influence in the production? Or are we imagining that?
Hmm, I guess you could say there’s a bit of a Ronson influence to it, cos of the new soul sound of the track. There aren't any trumpets though, sooo...
b. How did you get Bertie Blackman to tour as your support act? Bit of a coup…
I don’t really have much to do with that side of things. I just play guitar, but I think it came down to our booking agent giving us ideas for support. And we really liked the idea of touring with her.
c. Any plans to tour America soon? If so, are you prepared to have audiences shoving hot sandwiches in your face?
I have no idea. I know we’re keen to go overseas next year and play some shows, but I’m not sure if it will be America or Europe. But yeah, I’m a pretty open-minded guy so I’m prepared for that.
Part 1. Geography
a. Tell us about your hometown.
Our hometown, Menangle, was a great place to grow up. It’s a nice small country town, but it’s also pretty close to Sydney so it’s the best of both worlds I guess. Not much to do, though.
b. Name your favourite bands from your neck of the woods.
We’re the only band in Menangle. Also the best band in Menangle.
c. Where’s your local and what’s it like?
Our local would probably be the Camden Hotel’ … it’s shite.
Part 2. History
a. Which Australian bands did you grow up listening to?
Pretty much the only Australian bands I listened to when I was way younger were AC/DC and The Saints. That’s all I can remember.
b. What’s the first Australian record you bought?
First Australian record I bought was probably the Sures EP, which was probably about three months ago. I didn’t really have any pocket money growing up. I loved Limewire, but now I realise illegal downloading is wrong. Buy my album.
c. Who’s your favourite Australian band/artist of all time?
I would have to say either Tame Impala, Royal Headache or AC/DC.
d. What’s the most “Australian” record ever produced?
Probably by that guy that sings ‘True Blue’ or whatever that song is called. That guy’s record.
Part 3. Current Affairs
a. Who are some of your favourite new Australian bands?
Alpine have recently released their album and it is fucking brilliant. I love those guys, and Pond are insanely good.
b. If you could collaborate with one current Australian artist, who would it be, and what would it sound like?
If I could choose, it would probably be Gotye. We could make a sweet video together. Don’t know what the song would sound like, though...
c. Last great local gig you saw.
We’ve kinda been too busy to go to other peoples shows lately, but Them Swoops supported us at Oxford Arts a few weeks ago and they always play brilliantly and I really enjoyed it. So that.
d. Do you think an Australian artist needs to go overseas to succeed?
No way. All you have to do is make good music; then you’ve succeeded. Such a long flight too.
Part 4. Multiple Choice
a. The Voice or Australia’s Got Talent?
The Voice. The TV just has to be on; I don’t really need to watch it, right?
b. Hungry Jacks or Red Rooster?
Hungry Jacks for sure. I could live off Whoppers. Everything else there sucks, though.
c. Northcote or Brunswick?
Northcote. (P.S. I’m from Sydney so who would listen to me?)
d. Potato cake or dim sim?
e. Dan Sultan or Dan Kelly?
f. Kylie or Dannii Minogue?
g. Cate Blanchett or Nicole Kidman?
h. Neighbours or Home & Away?
i. Cheezels or Twisties?
Cheezels for sure.
j. Kimbra or Gotye?
THE RUBENS NATIONAL TOUR (WITH BERTIE BLACKMAN)
Thurs, Sept 13 – The Loft, Warnambool, VIC
Fri, Sept 14 – Bended Elbow, Geelong, VIC
Sat, Sept 15 – Forum, Melbourne, VIC
Thurs, Sept 20– Uni Bar, Wollongong, NSW
Fri, Sept 21 – Metro, Sydney, NSW
Thurs, Sept 27 – Republic Bar, Hobart, TAS
Fri, Sept 28 – Hotel New York, Launceston, TAS
Sat, Sept 29 – The Gov, Adelaide, SA
Fri, Oct 5 – Capitol Theatre, Perth, WA*
Sat, Oct 6 – Prince of Wales, Bunbury, WA*
Sun, Oct 7 – Newport Hotel, Fremantle, WA*
Wed, Oct 10 – Hoey Moey, Coffs Harbour, NSW
Thurs, Oct 11 – Coolangatta Hotel, Gold Coast, QLD
Fri, Oct 12 – Hi-Fi, Brisbane, QLD
Sat, Oct 13 – Great Northern, Byron Bay, NSW
(* Bertie Blackman not appearing)