How do you round out a year as the reigning champs of Triple J’s iconic Hottest 100?
It would be hard to find something to top touring North America, sold out shows in Sydney, Brisbane and London, and scoring some of the biggest hits for 2016; but The Rubens’ Elliott Margin reckons their first regional QLD regional tour – including a show in Townsville on their final night as #1 – is a good way to do it.
2016 was a massive year for you guys, were there any highlights?
Hottest 100 was obviously huge for us, the biggest thing that’s ever happened to us. But then I guess, a lot of shows after that – the whole year really – has been a lot of fun. A lot of good shows and a lot of travelling, which is fun and meeting a lot of people.
You were in the US and UK, what was that like?
It was good, in the US we toured with The Naked and Famous, played some shows around the country with them which was really cool. And the UK was fun as well, we got to play a couple of small Festivals there and some pubs and things and just hang out and drink a lot of beer.
Your next run of shows is here in regional Queensland, which you guys have never done before now. Why is it important to get out of the big cities and into the regional towns?
I think people don’t get that much live music out there, so when you do make the effort and get out there they really appreciate it and you can tell when you’re on stage and performing to them, they really, really give you back a lot of energy and it’s definitely worthwhile.
I mean, we played Groovin the Moo as well which is good because it gets out of the main cities and gets a little more rural, which is fun, cos you can see that straight away. You can feel the crowd and see the different people and they’re just so stoked to have different bands come out and play music for them.
Your Townsville show on January 25 is pegged as an “Australia Day Eve” gig – I didn’t realise that was a thing.
I didn’t know that was a thing either
OK – well I was going to ask you how someone should celebrate such an occasion, but maybe you can just give me the low-down on your plans for Australia Day instead
We’re playing Australia Day in Airlie and will see what happens really. We’re usually playing shows on big days like that, so we don’t make plans anymore.
What can we expect from the show?
I think we’re going to throw out a track that was a tag-along with the Deluxe Album. Apart from that, we’re just excited to play these shows. This is the end of the [album’s] cycle, really, so it’s kind of us just ticking off the album and we want to go out with a bang, so we’ll try to make these shows as big as possible.
What’s in the cards after this?
We have a couple of shows in Sydney and Melbourne at the zoos which will be fun. After that. It’s just us knuckling down and writing album number three we’ve already got demos in the works, so it’ll be no more live shows, just focusing on writing and recording.
We’re really excited about what we’ve been writing so we’re kind of itching to get it going because we’re excited about each track.
Any hints on what to expect?
Just absolute fire, straight up!
Lastly, you mentioned the Hottest 100 at the start – you guys are in contention again with ‘Same Drugs’ and your Like a Version cover of ‘Hello/KingKunta’. Do you think you can pull-off a double-whammy.
No, I don’t.
It’s actually a really nice feeling not to have any stress or worries going into it. It’s nice just to sit back and you know we’ve got mates in bands whose songs are in the running and we can just kind of sit back and cheer them on. It’s relaxing – it’s probably better for our mental health and our hearts, I think.
Are you willing to make a prediction, or will that ruin some friendships?
Ohhhhh…. I’ll make a vague prediction. I think Come On Mess Me Up by Cub Sport – I reckon that’s going to be a very high contender. I hope so, it’s an amazing song and they’re amazing people and they deserve it.
The Rubens will play at The Dalrymple Hotel on Wednesday, 25 January. Click here for tickets.