Only days before their UK tour, Ben Rubinstein of The Mariner’s Children talks to Imelda Hehir about the reality of a new band starting out
It’s still early days for Brighton’s alternative folk seven-piece band The Mariner’s Children, but the name is circulating quickly around the media and their reputation is growing. Ben Rubinstein opens his interview by telling o-two that: “I have only done one interview before, so I’m not very good at it.” But for a man unfamiliar with interviews, he has a firm opinion on the press and the genre grouping which he and his band are often subjected to.
“I mean it’s inevitable that the press will compare bands, [it’s a] sort of musical short hand.” He also isn’t keen on being part of a particular scene. “It’s my job to make music, and journalists can sort of decide what they want from it, but I don’t really like it to be honest.”
The band was recently featured as the Guardian’s ‘New Band of the Day’, in which they were described as a cross between Arcade Fire and Mumford and Sons. While Rubinstein is delighted and almost still surprised by the feature, he also says that “every band that plays an acoustic guitar” is now linked with Mumford and Sons.
Rubinstein tells o-two of his own musical preferences, such as “Akron family, Angels of Light, Iron and Wine – those sorts of people. I’m more interested in dense, textural psychedelic stuff.” He also recommends new bands such as tour buddies Tristan, as well as Kristin McClement.
When discussing The Mariner’s Children’s actual sound, Rubinstein explains: “The musical element I find most interesting is texture and finding parts that interlock rhythmically. The more instruments you have, the more opportunity you have to do that.” The singer then apologises for sounding “pretentious”.
The modest aspect to his character continues to emerge as we talk about the recording process of debut EP New Moore Island. Rubinstein explains how every recording was worked to an itinerary to record at every possible minute, as they couldn’t afford a longer time period. The numerous instruments required for their sound was an added contributory factor to how “stressful” it got.
o-two could conclude this article by insisting that The Mariner’s Children are the next big thing; but we wouldn’t want to sound pretentious.
The Mariner’s Children’s debut EP New Moore Island is out now.