ORIGINALLY from Kuopio, the Rubik crew settled in the capital during the early 2000s and now has its training ground at the legendary Helsinki venue, Kulttuuritalo. Made up of four core members, with a group of around 30 other people who have a part in what makes the sound of Rubik to varying extents, the band rose to the attention of this nation of ours during the year 2007 in the wake of their debut album Bad Conscience Patrol.
From the very beginning Rubik was hyped to the extent that could easily put on damaging pressure to starting musicians, but Artturi Taira, the lead man of the group, assures that the band was never affected by the high hopes of the early days. “We’ve always aimed at, and I believe succeeded, in keeping our independence as a band and not letting too much pressure in from the outside,” he says.
The sound of Rubik is not easily defined, but represents very much its own style. “I think that good music is such that you can’t point out one particular influence of genre it fits into,” Taira comments, but admits to drawing influence from the music that has inhabited his subconscious for a long time: the music of his youth with the likes of The Beatles, David Bowie and old Finnish prog rock. “Our sound is the end result of a concoction of things. It stems from the music of our youth, but we don’t listen to anything for the purpose of drawing inspiration from it. I actually avoid listening to new music, especially while making an album, for the very reason of not wanting to be influenced by what’s out there right now.”
Rubik’s third album Solar has been in the making for a year and a bit and is just about to be released. The nine tracks on the album were chosen from a total of 18 and finalised with the helping hand of famed mixer Ben H. Allen, who has previously worked with the likes of Animal Collective and Cut Copy. “Ben’s handiwork is evident on the album, he has given our sound a different touch and this is what we wanted – someone from the outside with a new perspective,” Taira explains. “Ben has a great understanding of older music and he has created a lot of art rock, which is important for us. He gave the album that certain depth it didn’t have before, that almost close to a 3D sound, if that makes any sense!”
With the album release at hand Rubik has set out on a tour of Finland, followed by a number of gigs across Europe later in the spring. More hype has been directed their way as the group will take to the stage as the first Finnish band to date at the Primavera Sound festival in Barcelona in May. “I’m actually very surprised no other Finnish band has been invited to play there. But once again, we won’t be building any huge expectations for the gig but treat is as one of many. Hopefully we’ll draw some more attention to Finnish bands by being there, but there’s always the possibility we’ll create the opposite reaction,” Taira laughs.
Rubik at Tavastia, Helsinki 9 April. For more tour dates go to: www.rubikband.net
Text Petra Nyman, Photo Noora Isoeskeli