Since the birth of Ruben Vine and the childhood that was lived out in the Sussex countryside, his life has taken many varied twists and turns through lighter and darker times.
The evenings he and his generation spent huddled under their duvets listening to John Peel play his eclectic taste in music provided him with an ally who mirrored his very similar musical tendencies. This ally along with his Grandmother, her Brother, Punk and Elvis Presley were the main companions throughout his adolescent years within rural Sussex in the late seventies and early eighties. Like most good singer-songwriters his life and the experiences that have unfolded before him came from taking the path less trodden in life, a choice that was made when he left home soon after finishing school, this has given him the foundations for the tales and messages that are presented within his music today.
In the difficult and emotional times that have occurred during his life he has used his art and lifelong love of music to exorcise and calm his demons. This process and the events that are part of his life form the foundations of his creative abilities. Two years were spent isolated in Devon allowing him to hone his craft, producing a thoroughly unique and personal sound and style which has elements and references to his diverse taste in music that first began with his roots in the eighties alternative scene, before moving back to the outskirts of Brighton and his current base. This is a singer and songwriter whose words and music can not only touch your heart, but rally you to dance and at times scream words of personal defiance.
Due to a desire to have full control over his music and the way it is presented, Ruben has not only played the majority of instruments on his recordings, but also produces and engineers all his songs within his studio outside of Brighton where he also currently resides. All his songs find their first voice through either his acoustic bass, reed organ or the piano. The sound produced through these instruments is evident in all his creations, so listen closely for that bass or the wonderful sound that ushers forth from the 1960′s reed organ.
Everything is constructed with the performance and the delivery of the songs in mind. Each song tells it’s own story and has it’s own life and Ruben’s vocal delivery and style plus his clever use of language make these songs performance pieces in their own right. The end result always seems to get the reaction and comments that justify Rubens vision for his music. ‘When I close my eyes its like the band is playing live in the room with me.’ This is what some people have been saying and this was always his intention, a real natural sound without the over production so much music suffers from nowadays.
Ruben writes his material as a complete body of material to form an album. The art of the album has been lost in recent years, but Ruben holds true to his roots and beliefs in this iconic format. From first to last track you are listening to an album. He made a compromise by releasing ‘It All Begins Somewhere’ EP which was released to give people a bite sized piece of ‘Seated with Devils and Angels’ but he has never been comfortable with this as it is an album project. Every track has it’s place on the album and is designed to take to on a musical journey. Long live the album!
Musical influences and likes are endless and varied. They include the likes of PJ Harvey, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Tom Waits, The Kills, Crass, Adam and the Ants, Killing Joke, Micah P Hinson, Solomon Burke, The Minutemen, Bad Brains, Iggy Pop, The Subhumans, The Pixies…
If you feel there’s something missing from your life then maybe Ruben and his words can help fill part of that space. Love, loss, dissatisfaction, hope, faith and belief are the cornerstones of an existence he has become very skilled in surviving in this age of low expectation and media fantasy. As soon as you’ve heard just a few of his songs you know you are with a man who has been seated with devils and angels and embodies the slave manifesto.