Skip to main content

Nine Inch Nails drummer's success secret

Nine Inch Nails drummer Ilan Rubin has shared one of the secrets of this success for those who want to follow in his footsteps.

He’s been working with Trent Reznor since 2009, and he’s also a current member of Blink-182 frontman Tom DeLonge’s Angels & Airwaves. On top of that he’s worked with Paramore, Lostprophets and his own band New Regime.

Rubin tells MusicRadar: “The main thing is the person looks natural and comfortable with the way they’re playing. I think a lot of people try too hard to be performers – and it looks awkward.

“You don’t have to be headbanging all the time. Put on a show in your own way. Everybody performs differently.”

He believes he’s not an instant visual fit with any of the bands he’s known for, arguing: “You just have to carry yourself comfortably. It’s easy to spot somebody who’s trying too hard – then you instantly don’t buy it.”

His clothing tip is: “Very neutral, dark colours work. Nothing that stands out too much. Being genuine is the most important thing.”

NIN just kicked off a UK tour – remaining dates are:

May 20: Glasgow Hydro Arena

May 21: Cardiff Motorpoint Arena

May 23: London O2

May 24: Nottingham Capital FM Arena

May 25: Manchester Phones 4u Arena

Martin Kielty

Not only is one-time online news editor Martin an established rock journalist and drummer, but he’s also penned several books on music history, including SAHB Story: The Tale of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band (opens in new tab), a band he once managed, and the best-selling Apollo Memories (opens in new tab) about the history of the legendary and infamous Glasgow Apollo. Martin has written for Classic Rock and Prog and at one time had written more articles for Louder than anyone else (we think he's second now). He’s appeared on TV and when not delving intro all things music, can be found travelling along the UK’s vast canal network.