“We think that we make pop songs, but definitely with a certain kind of twist.” It’s Artturi Taira on the phone from Madrid, talking about his band Rubik. “You might wanna call it art rock or prog rock.” What’s that about, “the twist”? “We get bored easily in the studio, and we want to move on after we write the songs and make decent arrangements. It’s probably got something to do with the fact that we’re really, like, into many kinds of music scenes.” This is possibly an understatement from a singer/guitarist who writes a variety of instruments into his songs that support other genres. The band Rubik features indie rockers with new wavish tendencies and clarinet, synth, weird vocals, and sometimes mariachi brass.
To not like them at first is not unusual; Rubik kind of sneaks up on a listener. Someone called them Sigur Rós on acid, but “unearthly” is more accurate. Go back in time, hire Bowie to produce the Beatles, add glitzy ’80s synth tracks, and you have the idea. “It’s hard to define what our influences are when we take in so many styles of music and digest them.”
Rubik is not well known outside of Europe. You’d have to be the web equivalent of a record-store crate-digger to find them, but the effort is well spent. They began with a core membership of four in Finland in 2003, but in performance there are up to ten musicians onstage. “Whoever can make the show is part of the band that night.” In India, Taira says, “There were five different lineups.” This will be their first trip to San Diego. “I don’t know much about San Diego. I imagine it’s really hot there.” He imagines us as friendly people. “Don’t leave without eating Mexican,” I tell him. “If you get confused, just ask for a burrito. You can’t miss.”
RUBIK: Soma, Friday, November 4, 7pm. 619-226-7662. $13.