Interview: The New Regime
Mon, 20 May 2013 10:16:54
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Ilan Rubin is as mult-talented as musicians come. Not only is he drumming for Nine Inch Nails all summer, he provided the impeccable percussion on Paramore's latest album. However, the best way to enter into his world is via The New Regime. His debut EP for the group Exhibit A [iTunes link] is awe-inspiring and immersive collection that tempers electronic grit with lush rock melodies. In other words, it's downright enigmatic and entrancing.
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Ilan Rubin discusses The New Regime's Exhibit A, what's on the horizon, and so much more.
Did you approach Exhibit A with a particular vision or vibe in mind?
I actually didn't. That's part of the reason I wanted to put it out as an EP. With the music I'd written since the last album I put out, I almost had enough material for two albums. Because it wasn't approached with a specific vision in mind, I wanted to split it up and put it in two fairly long EPs. Once I had the group of songs I figured would make a well-rounded release, I did what I could to make them flow as best as possible in terms of the tracklisting and little things to connect songs from end to beginning. There was no distinct vision in mind from the conception.
Is it important for you to paint visual pictures with the songs?
It's really interesting you say that because it is. That's something I really wanted to dive into with these songs. That's exactly it. I appreciate how other people like to tell stories with their songs. However, with these songs, I enjoy painting a picture rather than telling a story.
What encourages that?
Music is what's most important to me. When I'm doing something lyrically, I want to leave things open to interpretation. Anytime I have things that are somewhat personal, that comes across in the lyrics. I want to allow people to adapt it into their own experience. I put a lot into the music, and it does quite a bit by itself. I put a lot of different textures into it. I think the lyrics enhance the picturesque way of going about.
What does "Daydream" mean to you?
It isn't something too specific. The most specific point of the song is in the chorus when it goes, "I don't want it your way when I can have it my way". That's one of the hooks. The verse is painting all of these random pictures. Lyrically, it's built to paint all of those images. Then, in the chorus, it becomes a more realistic thing. It's like, "I don't care about all of this. I want it this way".
How did "Know How It Feels" come together?
That's one of the more different songs I've written. It was a fun little experiment. I thought, "This is coming to me right now. I'll finish it, record it, and see what I think about it". I did that and said, "I really enjoy this and it should make the EP to showcase a different side of things". That's what it was. I ended up loving it. Instinctively, I like for albums to end the opposite way of the way they started. Exhibit A starts with a very heavy song, "Hope Is Gone". I liked for it to have a release at the end. It takes you through this trip and ends with a softer release of music.
How does Exhibit B connect to Exhibit A?
It'll be different, but it picks up where this one leaves off. The music will differ, but it will be the opposing EP to this one. It's like the mirror image almost.
What artists shaped you?
I have this holy trinity of bands who are always with me. My main three are Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, and Queen. I'm always listening to them. Led Zeppelin has been one of my favorite bands since I was eight-years-old. I'm constantly listening to them and learning from them. Everything else I'm listening to gets blended in. I'm a big fan of classical music. That finds its way in through harmony or piano. I've been listening to lots of Depeche Mode for the past year or so.
What's next for you?
Between Nine Inch Nails and finishing up Exhibit B, I've got my plate full.
Have you heard The New Regime?