Reuben Stone: On busking, taking chances and his newest single

Subscribe to Forte Magazine

Reuben Stone: On busking, taking chances and his newest single

“I left Christchurch after the earthquakes in 2012, I had nothing left man. I moved to Australia and said ‘What am I going to do now?’ So I bought a battery powered speaker and sat on Swanston Street and started playing,” says multi-instrumental artist Reuben Stone

“A lot of inspiration comes from that time, I thought I wouldn’t survive. If you go through something like that, a near death experience, nothing really scares you any more. I can be out on the streets anywhere in the world and it doesn’t scare me. You take a chance and meet a lot of strange people, but it doesn’t scare me really.”

Now being based in Brunswick, Reuben earns a living busking around Melbourne and as well as all over the world, even recording certain releases whilst playing on the street. Gaining a lot of attention for his unique blend of looped dub, psych and funk, Reuben has not only played sets as a busker but also smashing festivals such as Strawberry Fields, Yemaya and even the esteemed Burning Man.

Earlier this month he recorded his newest single ‘Push To The Limit’ in Los Angeles whilst experiencing two days free on his international tour.

“It was actually the studio where Rick Rubin engineered through the 90’s and it was a crazy place. I did two days there and it was a pretty wild experience. All the equipment is like a 1972 Neve million dollar recording console, hundreds of guitars, keyboards and effect units everywhere. It was kind of like a Disney Land of recording studios,” he laughs.

Beginning as a guitar instructor in Christchurch, Stone relocated after the horrific earthquakes to hit New Zealand in 2012. But it wasn’t until he came to Australia that he discovered the possibilities of the loop pedal, which he has now honed as his own unique sound.

“I started looping about 10 years ago when I was 17. I was doing a diploma of performance; I bought a pedal that had a loop function on it so I started practising my scales and stuff over the top of it. Then when I moved to Australia in 2012, I saw a guy called Dub FX who was using a loop station in a musical sense to write songs and I was like ‘whoa, I had never ever thought of that’, of using one like that.”

Being long time friends with Tash Sultana, another musician who gains a lot of acclaim for her talents in looping, Reuben is ecstatic at her recent success.

“It’s really cool to see someone who is so passionate about music and being multi-instrumental. I don’t have any siblings but every time I see Tash play I think, if I did have a sister they would probably be like her. She’s a really good friend.”

Now back in Australia, Reuben is playing a handful of shows including a slot playing at the beloved Queenscliff Music Festival.

“I’m pretty stoked on that man. I’m doing something like three stage shows and the Queenscliff Express, which is like a train that goes around. I’ve been trying to figure out how it’ll be, but I’m excited…Is it an actual train?”

Written by Alex Callan

When & Where: Queenscliff Music Festival, Queenscliff – November 25 – 27