Barnaby Monk 5 a.m., July 29
Speak Through the White Noise
Speak Through the White Noise is entirely written, sung, and played by Rubin.
Rubin has deftly created a climate of anxiety and discomfort, examining the current state of information dissemination, and how an economy of fear and anxiety has been created with the American public as the consumer.
“Live in Fear” is a call to arms, an argument for agency amidst searing guitars and hard-driving drums. At moments Rubin’s voice sounds unhinged as he questions where the madness comes from, fueling it as he tries to dismantle it.
“Enjoy the Bitterness” showcases Rubin’s piano skills laced with effect-laden vocals, a pop song buoyed by melody and anchored by foreboding vocals.
“What Brings Us Down” – mainly recorded in one day at home and completed in various hotel rooms on days off during 2009's NIN/JA tour – is slower-paced, imbuing it with a more pensive vibe. Acoustic guitars ramble under Rubin’s higher register singing, building to the chorus that sees sadness give way to frustration.
Ilan Rubin started his music career while still in grade school, picking up the drums at age eight and, in quick succession, mastering the guitar, bass, and piano. He was 11 when he performed at Woodstock 1999 with the local band Freak of Nature (aka FoN). Alongside his brothers Aaron (guitar) and Danny (bass), F.o.N. also appeared on several Vans Warped tours, and Modern Drummer magazine declared him “Best Undiscovered Drummer Under the Age of 18” in 1999.
After a tour overseas drumming for Welsh rock act Lostprophets, still not quite of legal drinking age in November 2008, he became the drummer for Nine Inch Nails. Astute Reader readers may remember that a previous NIN drummer had a medical mishap during a San Diego gig, only to find himself quickly replaced in the band.
Rubin released a solo album in 2008, Coup, recorded under the band name The New Regime, a moniker he kept for a 2011 album Speak Through the White Noise, entirely written, sung, and played by Rubin.