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A Dirty Dozen with MIKE RUBIN from KING FALCON – April 2023

| 17 April 2023 | Reply

According to a recent press release: “Queens, New York based rock outfit King Falcon have released their new song “Cadillac” on Mascot Records. Melding indie-rock adventurousness with Classic Rock swagger, King Falcon’s ultra-catchy songwriting recalls artists like Black Keys, Cage The Elephant, Tame Impala, The Killers, Royal Blood, and Beck. “Cadillac” was produced by Marshall Altman (Citizen Cope, Matt Nathanson, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Mark Broussard) and mixed by 12-time Grammy-nominated mixing engineer and producer Mark Needham (The Killers, Imagine Dragons, Fleetwood Mac, The Airborne Toxic Event). The song is brimming with earworm-worthy guitar riffage, a soaring chorus, soulfully melodic lead vocals, and vibrant indie-rock atmospherics. Michael Rubin is the creative driving force behind King Falcon, but drummer and sometimes recording engineer James Terranova is essential to the band’s spirit. His fastidious, plan-ahead persona is the perfect counterpoint to Michael’s freewheeling personality, and the pair have an old-married-couple kind of connection. “I would take a bullet for him, but I may also be that person to shoot him,” Michael jokes. Up until now, King Falcon has been a guitar and drums duo, but the twosome is welcoming drummer Tom Diognardi and moving James to bass.” We get Mike to discuss new music, influences, and more.

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

“Cadillac” is the King Falcon song that I think most directly resembles my vibe as a person and as an artist. I absolutely love old cars and I wanted to write a song that could give other people that same feeling of just how cool it is to be behind the wheel of a 19 foot-long, bright red car from the 1950s with gigantic fins on the back. It’s not about speed, it’s about style. The song is the same way. As for hidden nuggets – if you watch the “Cadillac” video, the guy playing the police officer is actually my father! He’s been in a couple of music videos as an extra before, but this is probably his biggest on-screen role!

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

If you would believe it, I used to be a big fan of the game “Guitar Hero”. One day my pops saw me playing and he said “Man why don’t you get yourself a real guitar…”  That was when I was 9 years old, and here I am now.

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

The first guitar player to really have a monumental impact on my playing was David Gilmour. His phrasing spoke to me as a young player because he would write guitar lines that you could sing like a vocal line. I might be wrong, but I would argue that more people know every single note of a Pink Floyd solo than they do with most other bands. All of my life I was pretty strictly interested in classic rock. It was all about Steely Dan, Zeppelin, Floyd, and all of those other rock bands from the late 60s and early 70s. The first modern band to really blow me away was Tame Impala. I started listening to them and the mix of songwriting and production value absolutely blew me away. Kevin Parker is an insanely talented dude.

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

Diana Ross. Weird pick I know – but I just love her very much and would love to write a song with her. Secretly I wish I were a guitar player in an R&B / Soul group. It looks fun and she’s the queen of the old-school scene.

5. What is your favorite activity when out of the studio and/or not on tour?  What do you like to do to unwind?

Like I said, I am a big car guy. I’ve got an old Mustang that always needs to be fixed in some way and that certainly takes up plenty of my time. Anybody who has a “project car” knows that when you say it’s “finished” you don’t really mean that. You just mean that it’s good enough until something breaks again! That could be six months from now, five minutes from now, or anything in between. Just the other day all of my interior lights stopped working while I was on the highway so I know I have some sort of electrical issue.  That’s part of the fun of owning a classic car, I guess…

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?

Vintage inspired rock with modern production and pop sensibilities. Sonically, somewhere in between The Strokes, The White Stripes, and The Killers with more focus on the guitar. Everybody always says that our drummer looks like Machine Gun Kelly and it drives him nuts!

King Falcon – Cadillac – Single Cover Artwork

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

I am definitely the guy for cooking and bringing the drinks. Tom is the guy with the acoustic guitar, and James is the guy who actually remembers to bring the spatula and seasonings because Tom and I forgot them!

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

I recently got to play Ace Frehley in the movie Spinning Gold. One day on set I looked over and I saw actor Vincent Pastore. Crazy enough, I was actually in the middle of watching The Sopranos at the time so it was even more unbelievable that he was actually here standing right in front of me!  He was the coolest guy. In between scenes he sat with me and other actors just chatting. He even played Blackjack with us. Overall, just an awesome dude.

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?

I’d say it’s a toss-up between being a racecar driver and being a professional ice cream taster for me. 😉

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?

I have always wanted an interviewer to ask me if I have a favorite guitar! It’s a ‘57 Strat that I chased for 10 years. The story gets even more crazy because when I finally got it, I learned that the owner used to be in a band with my grandfather in the 1960s. Tired of answering? That’s an interesting question. I usually don’t like answering questions about what specific lyrics mean. Some stuff is meant to be left up to the fan’s interpretation, I think.

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?

No. It’s all part of the journey, and I really feel that. Even the bad stuff eventually makes you who you are.

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?

Wow this is such a hard question. Just one??  It might have to be the Meddle album by Pink Floyd. I would love to have seen them put together all 23 minutes of “Echoes” perfectly on analog tape. The difficulty of that bends my mind.  Additionally, it would be cool to see such an important and influential band in the studio that early on in their career when they were just regular ‘ol blokes.






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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