EXCLUSIVE: Interview with NIN new boy Ilan Rubin!

As previously reported, Lostprophets drummer Ilan Rubin will joing Nine Inch Nails as their fully-fledged new drummer in the New Year. We hooked up with Ilan to find out more...

Hi Ilan. You've just landed the Nine Inch Nails gig. Had you met Trent Reznor before he asked you to join?
I had never met Trent before, but I knew he watched us (Lostprophets) for a bit at the Reading Festuval '07.

Are you a fan of Nine Inch Nails´ music?
Yes sir. My interest in electronics and this gig also coincided at the most perfect time possible.

Josh Freese was the previous NIN drummer. Does that daunt you in any way?
No it doesn't. I technically had to fill his shoes a bit since he recorded the majority of [Lostprophets album] Liberation Transmission, but I'm always a fan of a little competition too!

Trent Reznor is notoriously hard to work for, are you looking forward to the challenge?
Absolutely. I strive for perfection anyway, so I'm thinking we'll see eye to eye on a strong work ethic.

It´s a pretty different gig to Lostprophets. Is there anything you have found particularly difficult/ challenging so far?
I wouldn't necessarily say challenging or difficult, but I definitely have to take a different approach to the drumming. Consistency and discipline are especially important with all of these songs. But for my first time I'll have to play in some odd time signatures here and there and play to a click live.

Which are your favourite songs to play so far?
If I had to pick a few favourites so far, I'm really enjoying 'Letting You', 'March of the Pigs', '1,000,000', and on the slightly more electronic side of things 'The Big Come Down'.

Do you have much involvement with electronics/ sampling and do you have much previous experience with this?
I've been playing around with some electronics, Reason/Pro Tools, synths and that sort of thing at home for a few months now. If I'm needed for anything more than some electronic pads with the drums, I'm ready.

How much has your drum set-up changed for this gig?
I don't think my setup will change too much, but I think I'm gonna add an extra floor tom to my left like the last two or three NIN drummers. It seems like it would be very convenient for some of the drum parts. I'll have to add a couple of electronic pads to my left and right for some samples on a few songs too.

You have also been recording the new Lostprophets record. Can you reveal anything about it?
I can't reveal much more than I'm pretty sure this is the final phase of the album! I know it's been a long while but it's definitely coming to an end and will be out some time next year.

Are you leaving the band for good to work with NIN? How do you feel about parting ways with the guys?
Yes. I won't be able to do both simultaneously, but we're all leaving things on a good note. I have the support from the guys and they have mine.

What is on the horizon for yourself and Nine Inch Nails?
As far as I know, I'll be fulfilling all drumming duties, but I'm really looking forward to rehearsing and getting everything ready for the live show.

As well as playing for NIN Ilan also recently released the first album from his band The New Regime. You can check out tracks on his MySpac site or download the album from iTunes.

Chris Barnes

I'm MusicRadar's eCommerce Editor. In addition to testing the latest music gear, with a particular focus on electronic drums, it's my job to manage the 300+ buyer's guides on MusicRadar and help musicians find the right gear for them at the best prices. I dabble with guitar, but my main instrument is the drums, which I have been playing for 24 years. I've been a part of the music gear industry for 20 years, including 7 years as Editor of the UK's best-selling drum magazine Rhythm, and 5 years as a freelance music writer, during which time I worked with the world's biggest instrument brands including Roland, Boss, Laney and Natal.