The New Regime consists solely of Ilan Rubin, drummer of Nine Inch Nails and one time drummer for the Lostprophets. Rubin has had an unbelievably storied career and has accomplished more than many musicians twice his age. At eleven-years old Rubin entered the Guinness Book of World Records when he became the youngest person to play the Woodstock Festival. He has also played to sold-out crowds at festivals around the globe including Download, Reading/Leeds, Rock am Ring/Park, Fuji Rock, Summer Sonic, V Festival and more. Rubin took time out of his extremely busy schedule to speak to me about his career and latest CD, Speak Through The White Noise.
Now that your new CD, Speak Through The White Noise is complete, how do you feel about it? Are you satisfied with the outcome?
Ilan: I’m very satisfied with the outcome of the new album. I really put in the effort for a top notch album and that’s exactly what Speak Through The White Noise is.
I understand you do all of the writing and performing on the record. How long did it take?
Ilan: If you combined all of the actual recording time I’d say about 4 to 5 months. The process itself was stretched over a lengthy period of time since the first half was recorded just before I joined NIN. During the 2009 tours I managed to record another song on a day off and in some hotel rooms and write the second half of the album. When I got home in September ’09 I locked myself away until it was done.
Give us some insight into the record the meaning behind its title?
Ilan: I couldn’t call Speak Through The White Noise a concept album, but lyrically it tends to revolve around a fear/paranoia based manipulation coming from media outlets. The way I see it, news networks have basically become a form of entertainment in which events are often blown out of proportion and exaggerated for the worst as a tactic to reel in viewers, leaving them worried and paranoid. The title “Speak Through The White Noise” is a sort of a counter broadcast, a social commentary about what’s being done to people and where it’s coming from. Here’s a visual representation www.thenewregime.com.
You recently ran a promotion for fans to remix your song, “Remission Of Guilt.” What was the response to that? What was the final outcome?
Ilan: The response for the “Remission Of Guilt” remix contest was very cool. A lot of people sent in their remixes which varied greatly and were fun to go through. After sifting through them all I picked the two which either had the most votes or that I felt were the most creative. Ultimate Ears headphones and TNR merch were given away as prizes.
Are there any songs on Speak Through The White Noise that are personal favorites or that have good stories behind them?
Ilan: I couldn’t single out any particular song as a favorite because they each have something very different and special about them. As far as stories go, “What Brings Us Down” comes to mind. I recorded all of the music and lead vocals for that song on a day off during the NIN/JA tour. The rest of it was completed in the following two weeks where I’d record guitar parts directly into the computer, email them to my brother who recorded and mixed the album, he would re-amp those parts and then send them back to make sure the sounds were right. Synth parts were also done that way. Then one night after a show in NY we tracked all of the backup vocals and that was it.
What kind of music are you listening to? Do you keep abreast of new music?
Ilan: I don’t follow what’s going on with “what’s current” in the music world. There are always exceptions of course but pretty much every time I see or hear what’s doing well or what’s being pushed these days I get pretty irritated. However, I’m definitely looking forward to the new Radiohead album this Saturday.
Do you have any plans to tour in support of this record?
Ilan: Nothing is set in stone at the moment, but now that everything is wrapped up on the album side of things, touring is definitely the main priority. I’m eager to get out and show these songs off live.
What artists would fans be surprised to find on your iPod?
Ilan: I’m not exactly sure. What’s more surprising, The Dave Brubeck Quartet or German lessons?
Tell me about a book or two that you’ve read that you think other people should read?
Ilan: Most of what I read is history related. Other than that I read a lot of musical biographies, mainly on the great composers. So I couldn’t recommend too much outside of those genres. Books I’ve been meaning to get to are “The Interpretation of Dreams” and “The God Part of the Brain”.
If you had not become a musician what other career path would you have liked to attempt?
Ilan: I’m not sure. Probably something in the business world.
What three words best describe your band?
Ilan: Refreshing, quality, inventive.
If you were a superhero, who would it be and why?
Ilan: I was never into superheroes as a kid, but Superman comes to mind, so him. When I think of superheroes I think of flying. There you go.
Any closing words?
Ilan: It was lovely talking to you. [ END ]