Stillwater Log Jam: 12 Questions with Ruben

With Log Jam right around the corner, Stillwater Current reached out to local band, Ruben, to answer a few questions before they hit the main stage on Friday, July 18.

Ruben will play from 5:45-6:30 p.m. on the Freight House Music Stage in north Lowell Park. Ruben has recently released their EP “The Orchard.”

You can take a listen here.

Without further adieu, here’s a bit about Ruben:

Briefly describe Ruben’s history. How did the band come to be? How have you grown together?

Mack, Sam and Dan grew up playing music together in Lake Elmo and later met Catie through the local music scene.

Since Catie joined the band we have incorporated more vocal harmonies from having four singers. Also, as we have grown, so has the music. We have been more receptive to each others influences, and have experimented with more ambitious arrangements as we get older and better at what we do. We have definitely become a little more creative in how we make a song.

What is it like to be playing the main stage for Stillwater Log Jam?

It’s exciting to be apart of a festival in a community that has been so important and integral to our development as a band and as people.

What can people who have never heard you before expect from a live Ruben set?

In a single descriptive word from each band member, we’d say: Harmony. Raucous. Joyful. Crispy.

Who are some of your personal musical influences?

Catie – Deborah Harry

Dan – Brian Wilson

Sam – Keith Richards

Mack – Levon Helm 

How do those artists influence Ruben?

Individually 😉 

In a tweet, how would you describe Ruben?

Our hashtag is #fatband, because when we’re on the road we eat poorly.

What’s your favorite song to perform live? Why?

“It’s Alright,” because we get to cut loose, and the harmonies sound cool over the rock ’n’ roll music.

How does a song, or setlist for that matter, come together for Ruben?

We comprise a set list after we have arrived at a show and gotten a certain feel or energy from the crowd. We go off the mood of the room.

I noticed all four of you sing, how does that allow you to venture into different areas of music while playing together?

The songs never come to us under a certain formula, so we don’t follow any strict sound or protocol for making them, this allows us to, because we have so many different singers and types of voices, find the right singer for the song when ever it comes and whatever style it is. Some of us are better at singing a certain style of music that others, or some of us sound better on ballads than on rockers. To summarize, it gives us options.

What band or musician are you most into right now? 

Sam – Ted Nugent

Catie – Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Dan – The “Colored Emotions” album by Night Moves

Mack – I don’t listen to music.

Who is the best rock n’ roll band of all time? 

It’s a 4-way tie between The Band, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles and Led Zeppelin.

If you had a theme song that played every time you took a stroll down Main Street, what would it be?

The Seinfeld theme.

You can also catch Ruben at the  Square Lake Music Festival on Aug. 9; at Summer Tuesdays on Aug. 19; and at  Lift Bridge Brewery on the first Friday of each month.

Want more local stuff?

Stillwater Current is on a mission to spread local news. 

If you like what you see, try our daily email.