If you don’t know who Ilan Rubin is, well, you should. At the mere age of 11 he made his way into the Guinness Book of World Records as the youngest musician to ever play the Woodstock stage. The now 24-year-old drummer has been banging on the drums since the tender age of 8 and hasn’t looked back since.
Rubin has played drums for numerous noteworthy bands including NOFX, Lostprophets, Angels & Airwaves, Paramore, and one of my all time favorite bands, Nine Inch Nails. These days he is focusing his efforts on his solo project, The New Regime, which just released its third album, Exhibit A. This multi-talented musician writes, plays, and sings everything that is this new record. Check out what Rubin had to say to Press Pass LA in a recent interview.
PPLA: You were pretty much born to play the drums (play music in general), have you ever felt that there was something else you wanted to do in life?
Rubin: Honestly, no. From the moment I became obsessed with music and started worshiping bands my path was pretty decided upon.
PPLA: What lead you to call your solo project, The New Regime?
Rubin: Well the first thing that I was certain of was that I didn’t want to go by my name. That’s just boring. So finding a band name or a name to release music under was next, and I’m sure most musicians agree that it’s a pretty annoying process. I wanted a name that gave off a sense of something fresh and grandiose. “The New Regime” was pretty much the only name I had come up with that I didn’t hate.
PPLA: You’ve been a part of numerous noteworthy bands from Nine Inch Nails to Paramore; do you find that these bands influence your solo project?
Rubin: Nine Inch Nails would probably be the only band I’ve played with that would appear as an influence in my music. Trent is someone I’ve learned a lot from and there’s a lot to study in his music. To be a little more specific, there’s a lot I’ve learned from the NIN catalogue in terms of sound, songwriter, and I think Trent’s vocal phrasing is impeccable.
PPLA: Whose opinion do you value most when it comes to your solo work?
Rubin: That depends. It’s good to get opinions from people who are musicians and non-musicians alike. I do what I do regardless of what other people think but I suppose my brother/manager Aaron who engineers, mixes, and co-produces with me has an opinion I’d listen to most.
PPLA: What was the inspiration for your third installment of The New Regime Exhibit A?
Rubin: The music itself will always be the key inspiration for me. I’m constantly evolving as a writer and always seem to be inspired to write. I get a lot of ideas from just playing around with instruments and sounds. When something I’m playing excites me I pursue it.
PPLA: You play every instrument on this album. What are all the instruments that you play?
Rubin: Drums, Guitar, Piano and keyboards, and bass are the instruments I play well. However, to get certain sounds things like ukuleles, mandolins, violins, glockenspiels, and whatever else would make appearances. Whatever gets the job done!
PPLA: What is your favorite song on Exhibit A and why?
Rubin: That’s a hard question to answer. Every song on Exhibit A checks a certain box for me. If I had to narrow it down I’d probably go between “Touch of Reality” and “This Is a New World”. I like the menacing quality of “Touch of Reality” and I think it climaxes perfectly in the bridge. “This Is a New World” has a moody quality that takes you somewhere else and comes crashing back with a heavy bridge.
PPLA: What can we look forward to with The New Regime? Tours? Collaborations?
Rubin: More music is already in store from The New Regime. I’d love to tour as soon as I possibly can and as far as collaborations are concerned I have no idea.
PPLA: If you could collaborate with anyone on this project, who would it be?
Rubin: I’ve never really collaborated with anybody as a songwriter so I’m not too familiar with that process. But if I had to pick I’d love to get Jimmy Page, Paul McCartney, Martin Gore, and Trent involved on some music.
PPLA: Is there anything else you would like our readers to know about you and The New Regime?
Rubin: I think the main point to drive home about The New Regime is that I write, play, and sing everything heard on the recordings. It is not just a side project. It’s what I do just as playing drums for bands is what I do. The New Regime is the truest way I can represent myself musically. There you have it folks.If you didn’t know, now you know.
Be sure to check out the latest from Ilan Rubin and his solo career at TheNewRegimeMusic.com
Exhibit A dropped May 7th and Ilan Rubin’s new music video Daydream premiered this week June 3rd on Paste.