Since the early 90’s, Tub Ring has been a true passion project. It’s survived multiple incantations, a revolving door of band members, and different record labels. Despite their longevity, they stayed under the radar as they toured constantly across the country year in and year out. With each music release, tour, and band member, the band found a way to create something new and spin their own unique take on their favorite genre. After going on hiatus for half a decade, the two long lasting members, Rob Kleiner and Kevin Gibson, have come back with a kickstarter for fans who’ve stuck around since the band’s early high school days and those who discovered them along the way as they toured the country with the likes of Foxy Shazam, The Birthday Massacre, Dog Fashion Disco, Mindless Self Indulgence, and others. Media Mikes got a chance to talk with them as they get ready to head back into the studio.
Jeremy Werner: After Tub Ring’s 2010 release, “Secret Handshake,” everything seemed to go silent and the touring stopped. A lot of fans seemed kind of in the dark for years, kind of just assuming that the band had called it quits. But here you are with a Kickstarter, a successful one at that, and some are wondering what’s happened over the past six years?
Rob Kleiner: After non-stop touring and making albums for a solid 10 years we were due for a break. Kevin and I had been the two constant members during that period of time. All the upkeep, finances, songwriting, planning, etc., fell on us and us alone. We were a bit tired and also broke. On top of all this I had started finding the biggest success I’d ever had in my music career writing and producing for bigger artists, which led me to move to Los Angeles to focus on that. Since arriving in LA all my creative attention has been aimed that direction.
Kevin Gibson: I got married, and enjoyed living a nice normal life. My love of music remained, but I became more of a music fan than a music creator. My wife and I follow Skrillex all over the country cause we’re nerdy superfans like that.
JW: What was it that got the ball rolling in terms of deciding to come back together, make a best of LP, make some new music, and start a crowdfunding page?
KG: Nothing in particular. I think we both had a little necessary time off, but then started seeing each other more often. Kinda seemed like the right time to do it. It was pretty organic. We had always said Tub Ring wasn’t dead, just on hiatus, so we wouldn’t want to be dirty liars now, would we?
RK: Our guitarist Patrick put the idea out there for making a best of vinyl. Kevin and I liked the idea, and decided it’d be fun to make a few new songs to accompany that.
JW: You reached your Kickstarter goal literally days after launching. What is it like seeing yourselves reach that goal so quickly?
RK: It’s beautiful. I remember a long time ago someone asking me, “What would make you happy in life?” My answer was, “to create someone’s ‘favorite’ music.” Maybe I achieved that. Maybe not. But it sure seems like this is a good indicator that I’ve made music that’s meant something to some people.
KG: It was pretty wonderful, actually. Tub Ring was always a labor of love for us, but I wondered if anyone would still care. Seems like they do, so I’m gonna try to live up to the love.
JW: The stretch goal is $30,000 to do a live show in Chicago. If you reach that…what would a possible second stretch goal be?
KG: Shit, I don’t know. Working on new stuff has been immediately enjoyable. To be honest, we’re playing it by ear. I suppose if not just the kickstarter, but everything else worked out we could always keep recording more music.
RK: We’ve definitely discussed that possibility. If there’s demand then yes. Perhaps we spin the new EP into a new album, or we do a small tour. We’ll have to cross that bridge when we come to it. Whatever people want could become possible.
JW: Because it’s been so long in between new releases of music, is there anything that’s been released by artists you like or any new music over the past six years that you’ve gravitated towards and look to incorporate in your new music?
RK: Absolutely. I write directly from my inspirations. My songs always end up sounding like what I’m listening to. My taste is always evolving. Hopefully my newer influences will work with the new TR material.
KG: Well, I love music and my music preferences are constantly changing. It’s pretty much the same as when Tub Ring was heavily active. Obviously I’m influenced by different music at different times, and it’s fun to incorporate new sounds and styles, but I don’t think we ever sit down and say, “I want this album to sound like this.” We just kinda write what we write and what comes out is Tub Ring.
JW: Is the Kickstarter for the fans or are you looking at trying to make some splashes with the new music?
RK: For the fans and for ourselves. If it brings in any new interest that’s great, but that’s certainly not the goal here.
KG: This Kickstarter is definitely for the fans, as well as us. I sure have fun making music. That being said, it’s not like I’d be upset if we made some more fans.
JW: With both of you on different ends of the country almost, what kind of strain does that put on the music making process?
KG: I don’t think it’s going to any strain at all really. We can bounce stuff back and forth immediately through the wonder of technology. I remember when Tub Ring started out I would write lyrics using a terrible room recording made from a boombox and a cassette. Basically it’s just adapting to the current situation.
RK: It does makes getting together a bit more expensive. That’s what the kickstarter is for to help with. Altogether though, it’s really not too bad of a strain.
JW: I’m sure that you have fans that you talk to all the time about your music, but is there anything you’ve worked on in the past or anything you’re working on now that you’re really proud of and you want people to go check out now?
KG: My Apartment looks nice.
RK: I can’t pimp out one of my artists without pimping out all of them – so instead of writing a novel, fans should just go to my website.