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A Dirty Dozen with DAVE RAYMOND of RUBIKON – August 2019

| 27 August 2019 | Reply


According to a recent press release: “Rubikon, the rock band with Boston-area roots, returns with their first new album in four years. The Record, out September 20, 2019 on Round Hill Records, brings the band back to the basics, delivering a slew of swampy, hard rocking songs with hook-heavy vocal melodies such as the hard rock banger “Blood on My Hands,” their first single.  Loudwire included the track in their Spotify “Weekly Wire Playlist” and ABC News Radio premiered the video.  Listeners will also find a classic rock leaning, almost Americana side of the band on songs such as the pedal-steel laced “Devil’s Footsteps.” The video which Pure Grain Audio premiered and also featured in Loudwire’s Spotify “Weekly Wire Playlist” showcases a mellower side of their songwriting. All of the songs on The Record weave stories that meld together to create an intense musical mixture of hard rock riffs, rootsy rhythms, and soaring melodic vocals.” We get Dave Raymond to discuss new music, influences, and much more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets the band put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

The Record is Rubikon laser focused on crafting solid rock tunes that get us fired up when we play them.  That’s always the litmus test for us – if we enjoy playing a song, then we are happy campers.  One thing a listener might not know is that for this album, we showed up at the recording studio with quite a few unfinished songs – not a common move on our part.  The meter was running, and the pressure was on for all of us to deliver.  We focused on the craft and somehow pulled it off. Very fulfilling, I must say. As for nuggets, the idea of sacking the guitar solo in “The Gun” and plugging in a baritone saxophone solo instead is a good one. Live, it’s done on guitar, but we thought a sax would provide some different tonal color on the album.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

I blame thrash metal for getting me into music. Metallica, Megadeth, Testament, Anthrax, Sepultura, Slayer. So so good. That’s what got me started. After college, I was awarded a scholarship to go to France – I decided to stay in the US and go for rock and roll instead.  Haven’t looked back since; no offense to our friends in France, of course.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

Pantera. The best band of all time. And Slaughtered is their best tune.  Saw them live 13 times while they were a band to boot.

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

Pantera for sure. Blind Melon. Phish. Megadeth. Tool. Metallica. Rage Against the Machine. Notorious BIG. Testament. Mos Def. That’s five, right?

5. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

Great question. My answer will change by the minute, but right now I’d go with Kamasi Washington, since he’s doing such interesting things in the jazz world right now.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

I’d go with “rock and roll” and keep it at that – and fortunately I haven’t seen any bullshit about our music yet, but I look forward to it!

7. When the band are all hanging out together, who cooks; who gets the drinks in; and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

We order take out and drink a LOT of Bud Lights, no question there. Josh would be the guy that busts out the acoustics, and when he does, he’ll play cover tunes.  Stone Temple Pilots, goodness like that.

8. When was the last time you were star struck and who was it?

I met all the guys in Pantera back in the day, and all I said was, “Thank you for writing the best album of all time.” Referring to Vulgar Display of Power, of course. They were gracious and cool about it.  I remember Dime saying, “Right on, brother!” and giving me a fist bump.  So cool.

9. What is the best part of being a musician? If you could no longer be a musician for whatever reason, what would be your dream job?

The best part of music, to me, is the hard work that goes in to writing.  We will lock in for a weekend and play for 12 hours straight, three or four days in a row; I love the energy and emotion that goes into that.  It’s exhausting and, at the same time, incredibly rewarding.

10. What is one question you have always wanted an interviewer to ask – and what is the answer? Conversely, what question are you tired of answering?

Nobody ever asks me about how much I love making and re-making pedal boards.  So much fun. And I never get tired of answering the “how would you describe your music?” question – just kidding, I fucking hate that question!

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over”, even if it didn’t change your current situation?

I think the music is all an evolution of who we are as people, as friends, and humans. So, I’m not sure there could be any missteps if I look at it from that angle.  I do wish we had hit the road harder early on – we did the weekend warrior thing for a while and doing more aggressive touring would have matured the band more quickly, I imagine.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

I would love to have been in New Orleans when Blind Melon recorded Soup. The way they captured the local flavor at the front and back of the album, with the jazz funeral sounds, sandwiching some incredible rock songs, is just amazing.  Love that band.




Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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