As a fan of Nine Inch Nails since the early 90’s, it’s been an amazing experience to watch the art of Trent Reznor grow leaps and bounds through out the years, both on record and stage. Solidifying his craft in innovating, and pushing boundaries between hard rock and industrial sounds, moved NIN into a ground breaking act that has lead them to world wide success. To this day, NIN continues to inspire bands of all genres, especially metal and hardcore, whether you like it or not.
With great power comes great responsibility, and in order to maintain Nine Inch Nails’ greatness, Trent has always had a knack for packing his band full of talented showmen of the highest caliber. I’ve seen many amazing players come and go, and sometimes even come back on Trent’s stage, ie: Robin Finck, not to mention the amazing addition of Atticus Ross finally joining the live ranks. But, today I’m here to talk about a name you should be focusing on, Mr. Ilan Rubin.
For nearly a decade, Rubin has not only outperformed his predecessors in NIN, but even out performs himself with every tour I see him on. As a young, naturally gifted, multi-instrumentalist, there seems to be no shortage of things for him to play on stage, which wound up being a key reason Trent has downgraded the amount of live members since 2009.
Even within a short year since NYC has last seen NIN live, the progress in Rubin's involvement is undeniable. Recently wrapping up a sold out residency in NYC, Trent strived to create a different experience every night, running up to 75 different songs the band had to learn for the occasion. This is clearly no easy task on a band, but watching Rubin go from drum set to piano, to bass, to cello, to any damn instrument he can put his eyes on – it’s not only become clear that his role within the band is rightfully valued, but should be someone you keep your eye on past his drumming duties for one of the greatest live bands in the world.
Being a multi-instrumentalist isn’t new, the black metal genre has plenty, but I’ve yet to see it done with the same grace, caliber and workload, especially within a single night.
When Rubin's not being a hard hitting groove machine, you might catch him programming, or playing percussion, piano, synthesizers, cello, ukulele, guitar, bass or singing, both within NIN and his own band, The New Regime, a terrific band I’m surprised more NIN fans aren’t hip to yet. Check them out below along with an incredible video explaining how Rubin uses electronic and acoustic drums simultaneously in NIN, it's a really interesting find for any drummer and NIN fan alike and gives just a small sample of the moving parts that goes into every amazing show they play.
Be sure to check out Ilan Rubin's band The New Regime right here, and catch him on tour with NIN right now, you'll be mesmerized by the talent!