Musical savant and acclaimed instrumentalist Ilan Rubin (Nine Inch Nails, Angels and Airwaves) debuts his solo project with his new single “Talk Talk Talk,” out today. The lauded creative got his start at just seven years old when he picked up his first pair of drumsticks and recently became the youngest inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with Nine Inch Nails.
Rubin has spent the past several years writing, collaborating, and playing with several household names from Nine Inch Nails and Angels and Airwaves to Paramore, Beck, M83, Phantogram and numerous others. He can be heard across several major film scores including 2013’s Oblivion, 2015’s The Divergent Series: Insurgent, and 2018’s Robin Hood — as well as the highly anticipated video game Cyberpunk 2077, however his best work is right around the corner.
Rubin’s new solo project is a culmination of his years of experience collaborating with headlining artists, working on his own band The New Regime, and infusing the musical influences he was brought up with.
This debut reveals a side of Ilan we’ve never heard before, one where he felt free from creative limitations. “When I began making music on my own, It was a time when labels and agents were very focused on making sure that music was neatly boxed into a genre,” he explains. “Time and time again, I’d hear, ‘Are you a rock band? Are you more alternative leaning with a pop edge? You also have a pretty strong electronic element… so what are you?.’ I always found that absurd because who cares what something is as long as it’s good and fresh? I began this new project in late 2020 and was truly excited by the walls of genre finally coming down.” As for what’s to come, you’ll never know what to expect from Rubin, who’s a true music connoisseur: He might start any day listening Motown, funk, and 60s pop, before blasting rock, and then heading to the studio to experiment with everything from electronic sound design to classical orchestration.
Lead single “Talk Talk Talk” is an impressive introduction to the new project, showcasing Rubin’s songwriting prowess and dynamic voice. There’s something special in the way he sings– rife with emotion and power but controlled and calming at the same time. Immaculate live instrumentation (all performed and recorded by Rubin himself) lay the foundation for the track while ear-worming melodies and bright harmonies muse on the subject of saying what you really mean. On the single Ilan shares, “‘Talk Talk Talk’ is about being discontent with the day-to-day while being impatient for change. People can talk all day long, but more often than not it falls on tired ears. It’s a song about actions always speaking louder than words–there’s an ever increasing amount of information and nonsense to sift through, making it harder to get to the center of what’s real and what matters.”