Michael Rubin

Michael Rubin, King Falcon – Interview Transcript: LOST FRIEND TO HEROIN AT 15

Craig Garber (00:00.827)

Hey everybody, this is Craig Garber. Welcome to Everyone Loves Guitar with a great guest here with Michael Rubin from the band King Falcon. And I want to give a quick shout out to John Blycher for hooking us up. John, I appreciate you always bringing me some really great guests and thank you very much for your support. Michael’s a primary songwriter, vocalist and guitarist at the New York City rock trio, King Falcon. He and bassist, oh, well, he and the original bassist, James Ternovey began playing together when they were 12 and 15 years old. The band recently released their first album called King Falcon.

great album and man, your videos were really, I wanna have some questions about that, but it was shocking to see videos like that. You don’t really, you don’t see videos like that anymore. Everything’s like AI or just hanging out in a room. That was really cool. I mean, especially being from New York City, I really enjoyed seeing that. But Mike, thanks so much for coming on the show. I really appreciate your time.

Michael Rubin (00:46.926)

Thank you, man, appreciate it.

Michael Rubin (00:51.31)

Craig, thanks for having me. I’m so excited to be here. Excited to be here with a fellow guitar player. And I’m excited to admire your guitar collection back there, man. You got some greatest hits. You got the 335, you got the Strat, the Paul, the SG. What more do you need?

Craig Garber (00:55.712)

Yeah, well, thank you.

Craig Garber (01:04.035)

Yeah, honestly, I’m very blessed with my guitars, man. I’m really quite happy. And I play them all. I’m not like a collector. I don’t collect stuff. So, but talk about, you have a good story. You started playing guitar, Mike, from the video game Guitar Hero, Come to Life. Talk about that story. It’s fun.

Michael Rubin (01:20.055)


It’s funny, it almost sounds made up, but it is true. I was playing guitar hero one day and I don’t know, I must’ve been like eight or nine years old and my dad walked in and he was like, how about you just grow up and play real guitar and quit being a loser? And that’s pretty much exactly how it happened. So I got a guitar for my 10th birthday from my grandpa. It was a Korean Telecaster knockoff. It was a thin line Tele. The crazy part is that it was semi-hollow.

but it was like 12 pounds. So it’s just the heaviest guitar. And I was this little kid with like a heavy telecaster. Anyway, I loved that thing. It had two P90s. Anyway, I was a student at School of Rock for a while. And then I worked at School of Rock and kind of had a lot of my roots there. But I also got a lot of my chops playing in jams around New York City. So the one that I got started at was like the Bitter End Jam. And the funny thing about that is I-

Craig Garber (01:51.655)


Craig Garber (02:12.212)

Oh sure man, I used to go there all the time.

Michael Rubin (02:14.486)

Well, you know, it’s Monday night at one o’clock in the morning. So I was the only like I was the only 13 year old kid there. Monday night, one o’clock in the morning, everybody was like, don’t you have school tomorrow? But this is my life. So I would always just kind of do stuff like that and put music first. And I will say, I mean, I always did all right in school, but my focus was always the music and doing all that. So, yeah, I mean, it’s just kind of been like a whole life thing for me. But it did start just for me playing Guitar Hero and my dad saying, how about you just pick up a real one?

Craig Garber (02:17.279)

No, I didn’t.

Craig Garber (02:43.355)

That’s so cool. So your parents, I would assume, have been extremely supportive of your career.

Michael Rubin (02:47.87)

Yeah, they’ve been amazingly supportive and sometimes they’re really cool. I know some people be grudged to say that their parents are cool, but the one thing that I’ve been very fortunate of is that when it comes to music, they’re very supportive. And actually my mom is, after I graduated school of rock, she owns and operates a couple of school of rocks now. So she just believed so heartedly in it that she is kind of helping teach and things as well. Yeah, it’s cool.

Craig Garber (03:11.687)

That’s really cool. That’s cool, man. That’s good. That’s a great start. So your first band, you’re just a teenager. You wind up playing South by Southwest in Austin and the 2020 NAMM convention in Anaheim, which I was there. Did you get sick after that? Dude, I was sick as a dog.

Michael Rubin (03:30.666)

You know what? I kind of always get sick. I don’t even remember. You probably can hear I have a little bit of a sinus infection now. Um, I probably. I got I got COVID four times, man. Vaccine or not doesn’t matter. I just I’ve always get sick.

Craig Garber (03:38.136)

Oh, it was like bad.

Craig Garber (03:44.899)

Wow, you probably have good immunity at this point, so which is good. So how did you get those gigs as a teenager, South by Southwest and NAMM? That’s like an amazingly encouraging start.

Michael Rubin (03:47.302)

I think I have bad immunity, if anything.

Michael Rubin (03:58.846)

Yeah, well, so the thing about some that band was called the Inoculated Canaries. We’ll get to that in a minute. Worst band name of all time. But the thing that it did for us is that it was so weird that when people saw the word Inoculated, they would know it was us. So we cut we’re on the radio in a couple of states. I mean, the first time that I noticed that we started to have a little bit of success with that band was we played a gig in Asbury Park, New Jersey, and it was on the beach. Right. And

Craig Garber (04:04.211)


Craig Garber (04:14.724)


Craig Garber (04:27.483)


Michael Rubin (04:28.802)

I wasn’t really expecting anything. There was 350 people there and it was like, I mean, as far as you could see, because it was a small section of the beach. And right before we started the show, people came running up to us and they were like, Oh my God, did we miss it? We heard you guys on the radio. We drove two hours to get here and they like knew our songs and all that. I was like, Holy crap, we’re like really doing something here. So that band kind of started to pick up some momentum, but we hit a ceiling. And the reason that we hit a ceiling, there’s two. Number one is that

Craig Garber (04:45.279)


Michael Rubin (04:57.566)

We were a live band, so a lot of the music that you hear on the radio, there’s a lot of production, there’s a lot of synthesizers, there’s a lot of like, you know, just like ear candy stuff that’s in there. And we weren’t doing that when we did all of the Canaries records. It was the boys are in the room. We set up the mics, we record what it sounds like. And then that’s what that’s it. You know, you mix it and you roll, just like how they did it back in the day. But sonically, that didn’t have the same.

Craig Garber (05:18.587)

Like old school, yeah.

Michael Rubin (05:23.618)

depth, thickness and impact is stuff that was produced in a more modern way. So you’re competing with stuff that just sounds way louder. That’s number one. The second thing was that nobody knew how to spell inoculated. That was a big problem. So with King Falcon, the inoculated canaries actually still has some fans. I was at a bar the other day and somebody came running up to me and they were like, you look familiar. Were you in the band the inoculated canaries? It was crazy. So we didn’t want to kill off the canaries, although in effect they’re

Craig Garber (05:29.892)


Craig Garber (05:33.918)


Craig Garber (05:47.515)

That is crazy, man. Holy shit.

Michael Rubin (05:52.322)

they’re killed because we haven’t really played any gigs. But when we started King Falcon, and I say we, James was also in the Canaries with me. When we started King Falcon, we wanted to keep the bird idea in case anybody looked back and was like, hey, they’re both bird bands. But we wanted something that was a little bit cooler and a little bit more slick, you know? And I sort of, yes, easy to spell. And also I kind of figured that we were kids when we started the Canaries and that’s like a small bird and…

Craig Garber (05:59.964)


Craig Garber (06:07.083)

Yeah, yeah.

Craig Garber (06:10.691)

and easy to spell. Ha ha ha.

Michael Rubin (06:19.878)

Now we’re serious about this and the Falcon is a predator bird. So, you know, we’re really business and we’re here. So that’s kind of how King Falcon got its start.

Craig Garber (06:23.539)

Sure. Yeah, that made sense, man.

Craig Garber (06:30.991)

Very cool, man, this is a good story. But how did you get the gigs in Anaheim though? And how did you get those gigs?

Michael Rubin (06:37.486)

I mean, we just kind of had so much momentum that it was no big deal reaching out and getting the gig. Yeah, I mean, South by Southwest is it’s an interesting festival because it’s not like there’s a big stage that you go play at. So it’s a lot of local bars and things. So it’s a lot easier to get a gig for sure. But I mean, we got a pretty good gig and it was sold out. And as far as NAMM goes, I…

Craig Garber (06:50.233)


Craig Garber (06:55.98)


Michael Rubin (07:01.454)

I’ve had a couple of endorsements throughout my time. I’ve had a Fender endorsement, I’ve had an endorsement from ESP, but the endorsement that actually got me to NAMM was an endorsement from a company called Michael Kelly Guitars and a good friend of mine. You know Steve Paizani? Yeah, so I went there and I played one of his guitars. Okay, yeah, yeah. Yeah, he sold it to Steve. So I went kind of on behalf of Steve, who’s a friend of mine and…

Craig Garber (07:13.431)

Yeah, yeah. He. Yeah. No, I don’t know, Steve, but I know the guy who used to own the company. Tracy was his name.


Michael Rubin (07:29.394)

He got us the gig and it was great. But yeah, I mean, you know, all that stuff kind of happens when you have momentum. And that definitely helps a lot.

Craig Garber (07:31.867)

That’s cool!

Craig Garber (07:35.759)

That’s awesome, man. That’s great. Great experience, man. Uh, so then, uh, the canaries break up. You decide to go in a different direction musically. And so you form King Falcon. You put a great track together. Um, and an amazing video. We’re going to have some questions for you, but it’s called when the party’s over. I mean, that was, let’s talk about the video first. First of all, the song was great. Um, how the hell

Michael Rubin (08:00.738)

Thank you.

Craig Garber (08:03.059)

Did you manage to get time square like completely empty? I mean, unless you block stuff out.

Michael Rubin (08:09.49)

So the only way… Sorry, hang on. I got a phone call in the middle of this and I think the recording restarted. Is that a problem? Okay, cool. Just check it. Okay, great. So we could only film that video because of COVID. So that was middle of coronavirus, middle of the whole world being shut down. We put together a team of people. One was my cousin, who is a…

Craig Garber (08:18.115)

No, no, you’re fine. No, it didn’t, yeah, you’re fine. You’re totally fine.

Michael Rubin (08:36.83)

He’s a director and producer and kind of just like knows a whole lot of people. He got us in touch with the guy who actually directed it, Oliver Warren, who I should say is a mastermind genius of all sorts. I mean, the guy is an amazing just like storyteller and he has a great vision for the shot. He’s the kind of guy who put together the idea really for what the video looked like and what those visuals were going to be. But the only way we were able to do that was…

Gorilla video style. I mean, we rolled out at two o’clock in the morning in the middle of COVID, and we were just right in Times Square. And the funny thing is the final shot, it’s me kind of walking away into the distance with the guitar behind my back and the sun’s coming up. We shot that about 5.30 in the morning, one block off of Times Square. And we had to do the take three or four times because I guess I just wasn’t walking right. And there was a cop who came around and I thought he was about to stop us, but he held up traffic just enough time for us to get that last shot.

Craig Garber (09:32.515)

Oh, that’s so cool.

Michael Rubin (09:32.998)

And that was it, we all went home and had a good sleep after a long night of work. But yeah, it was COVID, it was right in the middle of the night, and I don’t think that we can ever do that video again. And I think that’s why it was so important for us to do it. Because there’s only one shot that you’re going to get to do something like that without a million billion dollar budget. And I’m glad that we did it.

Craig Garber (09:54.055)

How’s that video given you any traction? Does anything come out of that? Cause it’s a really, really good video.

Michael Rubin (09:59.058)

So that video got us our record deal. That is the video that got us our record deal. So, Shake came out and that’s a cool song, but it was the very first song that we ever even wrote. I mean, there wasn’t even like, we tried writing songs and then we didn’t like it and then it was Shake. I mean, King Falcon was the name, next day it’s like, let’s write a song and Shake Shake. I mean, that was the first thing that we ever did. And then after that,

Craig Garber (10:03.463)

Oh man, awesome.

Craig Garber (10:22.788)


Michael Rubin (10:28.542)

we were like, okay, we really need to do something that’s gonna kind of push the boundary. And so I’ll tell you what When the Party’s Over is about, because the video and what the song ended up becoming are kind of different from what the original song was about. When the Party’s Over eventually ended up becoming about COVID and like this whole life of partying that we’ve had.

Craig Garber (10:41.639)

Thank you.

Michael Rubin (10:50.126)

Meaning like, just letting shit fly free, you know, everybody’s at the club hanging out, whatever. And then now it’s like if there’s five people in a room together and it’s your family, like someone’s probably gonna drop dead, you know. That was the feeling that everybody had. Kind of like pre-911 versus post-911 flying, the party was absolutely over, you know. So every generation has one big event that happens where it’s like, oh, shit just got real. And now…

Craig Garber (11:00.688)

Right, right.

Craig Garber (11:07.343)

Yeah, yeah, definitely.

Michael Rubin (11:19.718)

we all need to kind of reassess. I think ours is COVID, but generationally, that’s the thing. That’s what the song came about. But the song was actually originally about one of my students who overdosed on heroin and died. And it was at a party. And where do we go when the party’s over? Because he was 15 years old, he was in his mom’s basement, and his mom found him the next day. And it was crazy because I had a lesson with him on

Craig Garber (11:23.139)

Yeah. No, I agree with you there. Yeah.

Craig Garber (11:33.447)


Craig Garber (11:40.708)

Wow, dude, I just got goosebumps. That’s…

Michael Rubin (11:48.77)

Saturday and I went to the funeral on a Wednesday and it was, I mean, it was crazy.

Craig Garber (11:53.967)

Wow, was it the first funeral you probably have been to?

Michael Rubin (11:57.714)

Definitely first funeral for somebody young. I mean, I’ve seen, you know, like I went to my great grandma’s funeral and great grandpa and things like that. But seeing somebody who was younger than me in the casket was tough. And I didn’t write the song immediately. I mean, it took a couple years. It’s not like, you know, because you got to process something like that. You know, you can’t just like go home and like, oh, I’m going to write a song about it. Like, no, you got to marinate on it a little bit because it’s tough.

Craig Garber (12:08.999)


Craig Garber (12:20.722)


Michael Rubin (12:23.494)

But that’s what the song was originally about. And I remember I showed it to our producer at the time and he was like, that’s great, but we got to turn it down so that everybody doesn’t get real sad when they hear it. And then COVID happened and then we kind of changed the meaning of the song a little bit. But that original chorus idea comes from that. And yeah, just didn’t want to make everybody cry at shows. So maybe someday I’ll revisit it, but I do have an original set of lyrics that are much more dark written down somewhere.

Craig Garber (12:52.764)

And it’s a great, it’s a really happy track too. That’s the thing. Like I would imagine when you play that everybody’s like dancing and like singing the lyrics or something. It’s a great, fun track.

Michael Rubin (13:00.238)

Yeah. Well, that’s another thing that I really like in music. I think so one of my favorite bands is Pink Floyd. I see you’re a Pink Floyd fan as well. And I think one of the things that they do well is this juxtaposition between music that sounds one way and lyrics that are another way. You know, music that’s bright and uplifting, but like, you know, life is not uplifting. Yeah. Roger. That’s Roger Waters as a whole thing. So I was always influenced by that, always influenced by David

Craig Garber (13:06.755)

Oh, yeah, huge, huge.

Craig Garber (13:15.088)


Craig Garber (13:19.247)

Roger Waters. Yeah.

Michael Rubin (13:29.65)

He was probably the guitar player I stole most from. And I’ll admit that 100%. He’s incredible. I don’t have to sell you on that.

Craig Garber (13:29.679)

Yeah, phenomenal. Yeah.

Craig Garber (13:35.991)

Yep. No, he’s my number one. I always has been since I was, you know, your age younger than you. Yeah. Without a doubt. Yeah.

Michael Rubin (13:42.47)

He’s the guy, he’s the man. I just think it’s ironic that Jim Irsay owns his guitar. Looking back on all the songs, Big Man, Pig Man, Haha, Sherrod, You Are. Now the richest guy in the whole fucking world owns this guitar. You might believe that, sorry.

Craig Garber (13:49.867)

Oh, I know, the black strat.


Craig Garber (13:57.715)

Yeah, right. It is very ironic. That’s a that’s a good. No, no, it’s this is the Wild West, man. You can say whatever the hell you want. No, please. Absolutely. Feel free. Wow. What guitar in the when the party’s over video, what guitar are you playing? It kind of looked like a sort of like a Brian May guitar.

Michael Rubin (14:05.253)

Alright, cool.

Michael Rubin (14:15.278)

Oh man, so I don’t have it on the wall behind me. I have it downstairs, but I found it on Reverb. And crazy story. So it’s a 1973 Yolana Rubin, and it was made in Czechoslovakia. There’s only a couple hundred of them, but mine was modified by a guy named Peter Malinowski. Peter Malinowski is a custom guitar builder. And when I was a kid, I was crazy about his stuff, but he kind of, I don’t want to say he stopped building, but the guitars that he makes now are a little bit more reserved than the ones that he used to make. I mean, he used to make like art pieces.

Craig Garber (14:42.771)

Okay. Check him out.

Michael Rubin (14:44.038)

But I saw that this one was for sale from him, and it literally had my name on it because my last name is Ruben, and it was on the headstock of the guitar. So it felt like it was a custom guitar made just for me. And I wanted, like, I have a lot of Gibson’s and Fenders and things like that. I’m clearly a big guitar. I think I have about 55 guitars at this point, but I use all of them. Well, I’ve paired it back to 55. I’ve been doing this for about 10 years, man. I think I had about 85 guitars at my peak.

Craig Garber (14:49.639)


Craig Garber (14:55.407)


Craig Garber (15:01.411)

Yeah, you are a collector. Already? Wow.

Craig Garber (15:13.751)

Oh my god. Well, good for you, man.

Michael Rubin (15:14.098)

Um, so yeah, so I had to roll it back a little bit, but with this video, I didn’t want it to be about anything flashy out. And I wanted a guitar that kind of intentionally didn’t have like a brand name on it because this was this is a serious video and it’s not like, hey, look at me in all my fancy guitars. Don’t get me wrong. Some videos are, hey, look at me in my fancy guitars, but not that one. So I wanted a guitar that kind of just had my name on it and just was a guitar, you know, and would have people.

Craig Garber (15:30.491)

Sure. Yeah, yeah. All right.

Michael Rubin (15:41.798)

not focusing so much on what brand it is or whatever, and just kind of taking in the video and the message.

Craig Garber (15:48.151)

Only a true guitar collector would be thinking that deep about this, which is great. I understand it totally. It makes a ton of sense.

Michael Rubin (15:53.094)

So real quick on the topic of being a true guitar nerd. So I was in a movie once, very exciting I know, but I played Ace Freely in a movie called Spinning Gold. And they wanted me to do it because I would get the hands right and actually play guitar. And they gave me the wrong guitars for one scene. There was two guitars, there was a faded Les Paul burst and an unfaded burst. And they wanted me to use the faded one for the chronologically early shots.

Craig Garber (16:03.707)

That’s wild. Whoop.

Michael Rubin (16:19.642)

and the unfaded one for the chronologically late shots, which makes no sense because the guitar would technically fade over time. Now, the reason is because the first shot early on in Kiss’s career is when they’re playing in the hotel and sprinklers go off. And the unfaded guitar was a legit custom shop Les Paul that they didn’t want me to get wet. Now, me being the guy I was insisted that that’s the guitar that we use for that. So I know that there’s a Les Paul somewhere with water damage because of my fault. But.

Craig Garber (16:23.708)


Craig Garber (16:38.937)


Craig Garber (16:46.503)

That’s funny.

Michael Rubin (16:47.63)

I want every Kiss fan who watches this to know that I did it so that it was more authentic.

Craig Garber (16:52.451)

What was the name of that movie?

Michael Rubin (16:54.298)

Spinning Gold. It’s about Casablanca Records and the Bogart family.

Craig Garber (17:01.487)

How the hell did you get cast in that?

Michael Rubin (17:04.346)

When you’re on a record label, sometimes you get weird phone calls. Uh, that’s- this was- I got a phone call from somebody at the label at, I dunno, 11 o’clock at night, and I’m in my pajamas, whatever, cause, you know, rock stars go to bed at- at reasonable hours. Um, yeah, he calls me up and he’s like, Hey man, you know how to play any Kiss songs? I’m like, I guess I could figure it out. Send me a video, cool. So I sent him a two second video, next thing I know, the director of the-

Craig Garber (17:08.103)

That’s crazy.

Craig Garber (17:20.015)

Ruh. Hahaha.

Michael Rubin (17:30.266)

He’s calling me and he’s like, oh, we got a spot for you. And I don’t know who this guy is. I don’t know anything. I show up at the filming like Jay Farrow’s there. Like the guy. Have you seen the Sopranos? The guy who played big pussy is in that as well. Just like just like a whole bunch of big actors. And I’m like, how did I step? I had a trailer like I didn’t even have any lines. It was crazy. Spinning gold. Yeah.

Craig Garber (17:43.792)

Yeah, of course. Yeah.

Craig Garber (17:47.99)

Oh my god.

Craig Garber (17:55.059)

That’s wild. It’s called spinning goal. Is that on like, is it on like, I’m assuming it’s on like Netflix, Hulu or Amazon or something. Okay. That’s cool. Did you, I guess, did you get to meet any of the band members or ACE? No.

Michael Rubin (18:02.65)

Yeah, you can get it on Amazon Prime if you want to watch it there.

Yeah, it’s a cool music movie.

Of Kiss, no. None of those guys showed up, but I did get to hang out with everybody who was on set and they were all very cool. I gotta say, Jay Farrow is one of the absolute nicest guys. He even followed me back on Instagram, which was pretty cool. I don’t know if he still does, but yeah, it was cool.

Craig Garber (18:25.339)

That is cool. That’s awesome, man. Very cool, congratulations. So what is that? I wanna go back to that guitar a second, that Yolana Rubin, what does it sound like? What’s the closest guitar it might sound like?

Michael Rubin (18:36.594)

So, structurally it’s basically an ES-330, so it’s fully hollow and has 2 P90s, however it has a bolt on neck. So it’s a little bit snappier, kind of like a fender. So if you can imagine an ES-330 with a bolt on neck, that’s basically what it is. So I mean it’s full and it’s woody, but it’s not quite as dark because it has a bolt on neck, and it’s a maple neck like a fender.

Craig Garber (18:41.369)


Craig Garber (18:45.39)


Craig Garber (18:52.412)


Craig Garber (18:57.275)

bolt on it yeah.

Okay, that’s interesting. I’ve never seen it, but it was interesting guitar. I wasn’t sure what it was.

Michael Rubin (19:04.506)

Yeah, and if you look up what they look like, they normally look totally different than mine. The P90s in mine were made by Peter Malinowski. They normally come with some weird Russian-ish pickups. And if you’ve ever played one of those Soviet guitars from that era, they sound like garbage. They’re very low output, but it’s kind of because they couldn’t import American guitars. But I know the Russian people wanted to rock and roll. I could say my people because my dad is from Russia, even though…

Craig Garber (19:27.047)


Michael Rubin (19:31.386)

I know there’s a lot of shit going on with Russia right now and I don’t necessarily agree with it, but my family is from Russia. But not to get political, I mean, it’s really sad what’s going on. But the one thing we can take solace in is that the Russians make pretty shitty guitars.

Craig Garber (19:42.997)

There’s so much sad shit going on now.

Craig Garber (19:48.315)

But they make good tubes, apparently. That’s the only ones who make tubes, I think, or anywhere nowadays.

Michael Rubin (19:52.43)

Yes, that meant China. But now I think you can’t even really get the Russian tubes anymore. So, yeah.

Craig Garber (19:57.459)

I read that recently, yeah. Talk about, you said the video got you your contract. Talk about how that came about, because I thought you had some great hustle making that happen.

Michael Rubin (20:11.258)

Yeah, so if you just look at King Falcon, it looks like we didn’t do a whole lot before we got the record deal. We put out one song and then we filmed that one video and then we got a record deal. But it’s also based on the 10 years of work that came from the Canaries before it. So a record company sees that and they see how much you’ve moved it, and then they see this shiny new thing with a lot of potential, and they were really excited about it. And the other thing that worked for us in our favor is…

Because of COVID, we did not meet in person one single person from the label until after the record was mixed and mastered, which is crazy to think about. So the first time that they saw us play live, the album was done. So, I mean, expectations were set, you know, and it was us in a room with just the president of the label sitting there with a notebook. And he was like, OK, play.

Craig Garber (20:52.983)

Oh wow. Yeah.

Michael Rubin (21:11.346)

crazy, you know, so you want to talk about nerves, man. Once I survived that, I felt like I could pretty much survive anything like if a bear was coming at me in the woods, but take this guy no problem, you know, so that yeah, that was one of those moments. But a lot of it was because of covid and they had to take a risk because nobody knew how long it was going to be. Nobody knew when we were going to be able to see bands again. But if records if record companies don’t sign young bands, they don’t make any money.

Craig Garber (21:12.379)

That is crazy.

Craig Garber (21:19.995)


Craig Garber (21:23.4)


Michael Rubin (21:36.174)

and then there are no more record companies. So they had to sign somebody and we were the ones that were still out there doing something. So.

Craig Garber (21:36.311)

Sure. Yeah.

Craig Garber (21:42.867)

Let’s talk about how you got the record over to them. Made it happen.

Michael Rubin (21:47.648)

Uh, what do you mean?

Craig Garber (21:48.615)

Didn’t you like market the record or the video? You like actively promoted it, didn’t you? To get it and-

Michael Rubin (21:54.418)

No, so when the party’s over didn’t come out until we had already been signed. Only Shake was out. Yeah, yeah, yeah. We basically had a little press kit that we sent out to a couple of labels, but the one that I was really looking at was Mascot, which is the ones who ended up signing us, because Mascot is a guitar label. I mean, they have Kenny Wayne Shepard. They’ve got P.O.D., Cro-Bot. I think they used to have Eric Johnson. I mean, just like…

Craig Garber (22:01.766)

Oh, I didn’t know that. Okay.

Michael Rubin (22:20.358)

Guitar player, guitar player, guitar player. They do Joe Bonamassa’s like European stuff. I mean, just all guitar. So we sent them that and I’m telling you, as soon as they got that video, after we had reached out to them a couple of times, the video happened, next day we had a contract. It was like that fast. So sometimes all you need is just one really, really good piece of content that somebody believes in and then they see the vision. So shout out to Ron Berman, he’s the president of the label.

Craig Garber (22:21.252)

Yeah, tons.

Craig Garber (22:36.571)

That’s amazing. That’s very cool.

Craig Garber (22:45.263)


Michael Rubin (22:48.958)

Thanks for believing in King Falcon, my man.

Craig Garber (22:51.335)

But also to, you know, I give you credit for doing the outreach. People, you know, all the time are like, especially nowadays, cause there, there’s not a lot of labels and they’re like, well, what do I do with this thing? But you did something with it. You made it happen. So pat on your back, man. Uh, let’s talk about a couple of tracks. I really enjoyed off the record. Everybody’s down. I thought it was a great song to open the album with catchy upbeat track. The lyrics. I was curious. Is that a, is it.

about not particularly liking who you are or who you used to be and the difficulty of overcoming that or because it was good lyrics.

Michael Rubin (23:24.498)

So, yeah, I mean, that’s kind of it, but it’s about a couple things. It’s mostly about myself. That’s the song that’s… It’s the first song on the record and it’s kind of like our introduction to the world. And it’s like my introduction about myself. So, I grew up in Catholic school and not to say that there’s anything wrong with religion or whatever, but Catholic school is usually very oppressive. So I was the only kid that…

Craig Garber (23:36.164)


Michael Rubin (23:49.286)

had long hair and I always got ridiculed for it. You know, I was the only kid that was like into rock and roll and I was just like very much a standout by myself, you know, like, you know, I would always question why we had to wear the stupid uniforms and things like that. And just, I don’t know, just like a rowdy kid in a Catholic school, you can imagine that. And I always felt kind of excommunicated and I always felt like I never found my crowd. And that never happened until I fully devoted myself to music and…

That’s what the song is about. What the song is about is even though everybody tells you, hey, music is a stupid idea, you should go do finance instead. Or, you know, being an artist is not… Like somebody who paints, you know, that’s… Or being a sculptor. Or, you know what, if you just like… If you just believe in anything, if you want to be the world’s biggest bottle cap collector, and you want to have every single bottle cap because that’s important to you, then you got to just fucking go out there and do it no matter who says it’s weird or who says it ain’t right.

Craig Garber (24:20.055)


Michael Rubin (24:47.526)

Because it’s your life and you only get one of them. So, you know, everybody’s down, but everything is coming back around if you let it. You know, that’s the chorus, that’s the idea. So, yeah, I mean, I really kind of have always lived that, which is, you know, being an outcast because your beliefs are not exactly what everybody else believes, but that’s what makes you interesting and that’s how you really be the change you want to see in the world. Change doesn’t come without some resistance.

Craig Garber (24:49.7)


Craig Garber (24:57.181)


Craig Garber (25:13.028)


Michael Rubin (25:16.454)

and resistance creates heat and you gotta just live with it.

Craig Garber (25:21.927)

So let me ask you this, I really have a lot of respect for you that that’s your mindset at the age you’re at. That’s really cool. Where did that come from? And like, how did you get so confident?

Michael Rubin (25:34.862)

So I want to chalk it up to two things. Number one, I want to chalk it up to my parents being entrepreneurs. And I have seen them in building businesses from like… So my dad came here from Russia with… And he tells me all the time his family had $20. They had a chessboard and he had a teddy bear and that was it. You know, so he came here and he was, I mean, he was an eight-year-old kid. He came here with nothing and not being able to speak the language. So he had to build everything that he had from absolutely nothing.

Craig Garber (25:40.155)

Okay, that makes sense.

Craig Garber (25:53.544)


Michael Rubin (26:03.302)

And my mom kind of the same way, too. You know, her whole life, she wanted to be a lawyer, and everybody wouldn’t let her because she was a woman. And she freaking did it, you know? She wanted to run the School of Rock, and everybody was like, oh, having a woman run School of Rock. Now she runs more School of Rocks than anybody else in the whole world, you know? So just seeing the two of them constantly be met with no from the world and go, that’s your problem, not mine.

Craig Garber (26:10.535)


Craig Garber (26:28.656)


Michael Rubin (26:29.222)

That’s really what inspired me with King Falcon because that’s the hardest part about being in a band. You know, everybody thinks that you’re going to be in a band with like your buds from when you’re kids and you’re going to just ride off into the sunset and have a hit record, make a whole bunch of money. And that’s not how it is. It’s failure after failure, after people saying no, after people slamming the door in your face, after people hearing the demo and going, I don’t see it every single time. And if you let even one of those take you down,

Craig Garber (26:43.262)

No, not at all.

Michael Rubin (26:56.038)

That’s it. You spend the rest of your life thinking, man, I should have done this. I should have done this as opposed to just like dying trying, you know, like that’s really how I believe in it. And that’s the only way that you can commit yourself to this life because it’s a life of being a carny. You know, you drive around in a van with all your other little clowns and you put on the show from city to city. And if you’re not ready for that, go be an accountant.

Craig Garber (27:10.971)

Yeah, it is funny.

Craig Garber (27:20.239)

Yeah, yeah, man, I give you a lot of props for that. But serious, man, really good. I’m so nice to hear that, man. I bet on you for sure.

Michael Rubin (27:28.306)

I appreciate that man, and I think anybody else who has that mindset is unstoppable. Nothing is scarier than a person who won’t take no for an answer.

Craig Garber (27:35.703)

Yeah, I like that. I’m gonna write that down. I might put that on your thumbnail. You have a track on there called Go On. Really nice blues rock ballad which I love. Are you playing slide on there or is that an acoustic guitar?

Michael Rubin (27:52.046)

No, so I can actually, I have the guitar with me, I can show you, hang on. So, this is one of my favorites. It is this guitar right here. So it is a 1946 Harmony Monterey. And the cool thing about the 45-46 model is that this bridge piece and all the other little trimmings are made of wood. And that’s because there was a metal shortage from all the metal going toward the World War II effort.

Craig Garber (27:54.851)

Yeah, I’d love to see it.

Craig Garber (28:06.78)


Craig Garber (28:17.863)

The war. Yeah.

Michael Rubin (28:19.306)

So all of the other models, like I think end of 46 on have metal pieces, but only the first kind of year and a half of these guitars have them. I bought this from an old guy on Reverb, and after we finished recording the album I sent it to him, and he was so happy to hear about it. He’s like, man, I’m so happy the guitar is still being used and yeah, it’s really cool.

Craig Garber (28:39.259)

That’s really, that was nice of you to do. It was like good promo, but it was nice of you to do that. That’s really sweet.

Michael Rubin (28:44.05)

So yeah, I feel that way about guitars. They’re more than just things, you know, they’re the stories that we put on them our whole lives. And if you’ll let me, I have one guitar story that is like kind of closest to my heart. So I got a lot of fancy guitars, as you can see, but the one that is most special to me is it’s a refinished 1957 Stratocaster. And I’ve had kind of like a 10 year long story with that guitar. With the Canaries.

Craig Garber (28:52.7)


Yeah, sure.

Michael Rubin (29:11.978)

I must have been about 12 years old. A guy comes up to me at we’re playing in a church parking lot because like my grandpa got us the gig or whatever, you know? And this old guy comes up comes up to me, an old Italian guy. He’s like, hey, and thick accent, which I’m not going to try to replicate. But he’s like, hey, I got this Fender Stratocaster. I guess I’m going to try to replicate. He told me he had a Fender Strat and it was for sale. So the next day I go over to his house with my mom, of course, and he pulls out this guitar.

Craig Garber (29:28.051)


Craig Garber (29:39.751)

You’re 12 when this happens.

Michael Rubin (29:41.55)

Yeah, I was like 12 or 11 or so. Like, I’m really, really young.

Craig Garber (29:44.359)

That’s kind of a weird, like I couldn’t imagine going over to a 12 year old and saying those things. I just.

Michael Rubin (29:49.978)

Well, he just, I mean, he just saw us play the set, you know, so I mean, he’s like, you know, but the weirder thing about it was that it was a few thousand bucks, which I didn’t have because I am 12. Like I have like, I got like my $50 Christmas money, like I don’t have anything, you know, but I but I saw this guitar and I fell in love with it. It had the most flamey maple neck ever. And it was just lightweight and just beautiful guitar. But I let it go for a few years, probably about eight years because I couldn’t afford it.

Craig Garber (29:52.732)


Craig Garber (30:01.724)


Craig Garber (30:05.479)


Michael Rubin (30:19.774)

One day, I remember this guitar kind of out of the blue because I’m talking with another buddy of mine about some guitars and I’m thinking there’s no way that this guy’s still alive because he was in his 80s when I met him that first time and this is about almost 10 years ago. I still have his phone number so I call him up. What do you know, he’s still alive and he lives walking distance from my house. He moved and he lives close to me. I’m like, no way. So I walk over, right, spend the whole day with the guy. Right?

Talking about the guitar, he showed me his polka record from the 60s. Yeah, like all this cool stuff, you know, he told me that the guitar was refinished by a guild employee who was his friend, which actually makes sense because he’s an Italian guy and guild was run by a lot of Italians and kind of in the 80s. Like the story checks out. So bring the guitar home because now I’m older, now I have a couple of grand to spend on a guitar. And a few weeks go by and my grandfather…

Craig Garber (30:50.435)

It’s polka records, that’s so funny.

Michael Rubin (31:15.23)

comes over to my house and he sees the guitar and he’s like, wait a second, I know that guitar. You bought it from Filippo. I used to play with him in Italy in around 1968, 1967. That was his guitar. And I’m losing my mind that this guitar has found its way back to me. Now, another week or two goes by, it’s the morning of the very first King Falcon gig. And I find out that Filippo passed. And I mean, it was really sad. I mean, he lived a good life. I think he was about 90, you know?

Craig Garber (31:29.065)

Oh my god!

Craig Garber (31:39.387)


Michael Rubin (31:45.062)

but it was sad. Yeah, it was sad, man. And I definitely feel like it’s my responsibility to be the caretaker of that guitar. And that’s one of those that I’ll never part with because it’s just kind of so intertwined with my life. But yeah, so that’s why. Oh, no, I have it in another room, but I can send you a picture of it. It’s a 57 strats, refinished, but it’s a sunburst and it’s a hard tail, which is interesting. It doesn’t have a whammy bar.

Craig Garber (31:45.363)

That’s crazy, this whole story is crazy.

Craig Garber (31:59.879)

Which, let me see the guitar, man. Is it handy?


Craig Garber (32:13.272)


Michael Rubin (32:14.686)

But yeah, that’s the one that’s most special. And that’s why I always like to reconnect with owners, because you never know what a guitar meant to them. You know, like that guy’s whole musical life is represented on that one piece, you know? So if anything happens to it, I mean, it’s like that guy’s whole existence is kind of erased. And that’s how I feel like after I pass some day, all these guitars are going to kind of go on to carry the story. So.

Craig Garber (32:20.21)


Craig Garber (32:35.719)

All right. That’s so, did your grandfather get to hook up with the guy?

Michael Rubin (32:41.806)

Not really. You know, I think that last time they saw each other was probably 2001, 2002. So I was only like one or two years old at that point.

Craig Garber (32:50.329)


Okay. What a great story, man. Thank you for sharing that. That’s really cool. But you said we talked earlier, you grew up in Whitestone in Queens. What was your childhood like? Still there on whites. What was your childhood? Whites on is a great area, dude. It’s, it’s perfect to live in the city. What was, what was growing up there like?

Michael Rubin (33:01.37)

Yes, I’m still here.

Michael Rubin (33:08.251)

Yeah, it’s cool.

Michael Rubin (33:12.806)

Um, what was growing up here like? So the cool thing about Whitestone, um, is that everybody here’s a car guy. Uh, so I, as I grew up, I learned that that’s not the case everywhere. Like as I walk around Whitestone, I mean, it’s like everybody’s dad has a Chevelle, had like a Camaro, had a this. There’s a guy on the corner who collects… Totally, yeah, there’s a guy on the corner who collects Volkswagens. He’s got a bus, he’s got a whole bunch of old Beatles from the 60s.

Craig Garber (33:20.038)

Ha ha.

Craig Garber (33:32.531)

changing the oil on the weekends.

Michael Rubin (33:41.514)

And that really had a huge impact on me because I’m a massive car guy. If I wasn’t a guitar player, I’d want to be a race car driver. That would be my dream job. Race car driver first, rock star second, and then astronaut third. I’ve just always loved cars, and I think a lot of that has to do with just my upbringing and everybody around here. When the new Lamborghini would come out, it was the biggest thing at school. And it was weird for me when I went to college and I had this bigger group of people that…

Craig Garber (33:45.274)


Craig Garber (33:55.972)


Michael Rubin (34:09.134)

Everybody didn’t give a shit about stuff like that, you know, like it was weird. Um, so I went to Fordham in, uh, Lincoln.

Craig Garber (34:13.235)

Where’d you go to college? Oh yeah, right across. Yeah, I know exactly where that is. I grew up not far from there, yeah. I know exactly.

Michael Rubin (34:20.37)

Uh, you’re by the Rose Hill one. That’s where you were, right? Cause you were from the Bronx. Yeah. There’s two. There’s one in Midtown Manhattan and then there’s one in the Bronx. Yeah, I’ve been to both. Uh, but the one in Midtown Manhattan is a little more artsy. So you’re not going to get a whole lot of.

Craig Garber (34:24.467)

I was, yes, oh, there’s another campus? Oh, I didn’t know that. I didn’t know that. Oh, that’s cool.

Craig Garber (34:34.831)

Oh my God, one of the Bronx is like hundreds of years old, I think probably. It’s been around long.

Michael Rubin (34:39.63)

Yeah, yeah. But in the Midtown one, you’re not going to get a whole lot of RC theater kids who are gearheads and want to get covered in oil and stuff like that. So, you know, just different worlds for me.

Craig Garber (34:48.907)

Right, totally. Yeah. Yeah, that’s cool, man. That’s so funny. Yeah, Fordham is a great school. You’re very bright. I mean, listen to you. I’m like, God, you must be well read because usually people that read a lot are pretty, you know, they’re speaking is more intelligent. Yeah, you could tell, man. That’s good.

Michael Rubin (35:01.726)

I try. I have read a book or two in my day. I remember one time I was a kid and I was on a tour and with a bunch of other kids. And the tour guide asked all the kids if they like reading and I was trying to be cool. And I was like, no, books are stupid. My mom just kicked me.

Craig Garber (35:21.308)

Yeah, now it’s like, yeah, I like reading. It’s like, it’s totally the opposite. Nobody reads though anymore. It’s kind of sad. It’s not a lot of people read. I mean, they read like Instagram posts, you know, or TikTok or something like that, but they don’t read books, which is sad. Let me, okay, so let me ask you this. You have no frame of reference personally, as experience goes, as today’s music business, as yesterday’s music business, but.

Michael Rubin (35:27.74)


Craig Garber (35:46.811)

For you, what is the biggest challenge of navigating your way through today’s music business, which is what you know?

Michael Rubin (35:53.54)

What’s your biggest challenge?

Craig Garber (36:18.24)

Oh, like social media, the, yeah.

Michael Rubin (36:20.126)

I’m like not a TikTok guy, you know? Or you know, there’s just a lot of other times where you have to perform things that feel very unnatural, you know? And like I’m a very introverted guy. I don’t really let everybody kind of into my life so much. But being a public figure, you’re kind of motivated to do that. So the key is how much of it do you show so that people feel like they know you versus keeping your own…

Craig Garber (36:48.016)


Michael Rubin (36:49.438)

private space, you know? And that’s the thing that I think everybody struggles with. And that’s something that didn’t exist. Cause you know, with Led Zeppelin, they came out, you saw them, and then they got back on the plane and did whatever drugs they did and nobody knew about it. And then you get to the next place and whatever. So it wasn’t like this constant, like we’re constantly following it. Right. The mystery was part of it, but now people feel like they’re entitled to kind of your whole life. And that’s weird for me.

Craig Garber (36:51.982)

I totally get that.

Craig Garber (37:01.238)


Craig Garber (37:07.311)

and nobody expected to know either. It was like, I don’t care what they’re.

Craig Garber (37:15.501)


Interesting that you say that because I feel the same way and I know that if I was more active on social media Say more active in a way of like sharing more of my personal opinions, which I never do because I’m not really I Don’t really give a shit about my opinions are my opinion, you know, like I don’t really feel like Like what you’re just saying I’m not interested in putting that out there I don’t really care what anybody thinks of me

Michael Rubin (37:45.902)

Yeah, I like to that my most controversial opinion is that 70s Gibson’s are the best. That’s my that’s my most controversial opinion.

Craig Garber (37:53.672)

Yeah, but you know what? The more controversial you get, you know, they love it. Like, it’s funny, man, my wife watches, you know, when she unwinds from work, she’ll watch like reality TV. And I’ll walk out there and I’ll be like, babe, how do you watch this? And then I’ll look at it and I’m like, Oh my god, there’s just so much drama. These people have like, no fucking coping skills, like anything.

And I’m like, okay, I get it now because this is such good TV because everybody wants to see the mess of everyone else’s life, I guess. Yeah, I guess, man. It’s really weird, but I really appreciate that you said that because most people are, uh, most musicians I talk to that are older feel the same way, but it’s interesting to hear. You’re a guy that grew up with social media and you’re like, yeah, it’s still, you know, I’m doing it for work, not for.

Michael Rubin (38:22.174)

Everybody likes rubbernecking the dumpster fire.

Michael Rubin (38:42.03)

Well, cause you know what, cause that’s not what I signed up for. I didn’t sign up to be a TikToker. I didn’t sign up to make reels. I signed up to write songs and hopefully people like them and are affected by them. It’s just that you have to, you have to play this whole marketing game, uh, in a way that you kind of don’t elsewhere. Um, but, but that’s where everybody’s attention is now. So it’s like, you, if you can’t beat them, join them.

Craig Garber (38:45.844)


Craig Garber (38:53.638)


Craig Garber (38:59.868)


Craig Garber (39:05.775)

Yeah, no, I feel you on that man. Thank you so much. That’s a very honest answer. Let’s talk about your gear for a minute. You have a really nice collection of vintage guitars already. What is your go-to guitar right now and what other two would round out your top three? And also if the Trini isn’t in your top three, can you tell me about it anyway? Cause I saw that, yeah.

Michael Rubin (39:16.766)


Michael Rubin (39:26.066)

Sure, yeah, yeah. So I have kind of, I have two separate sets of guitars. I have guitars that go on the road, and I have guitars that do not go on the road. And the reason that the guitars behind me don’t go on the road is not because I don’t love them, it’s just because some of them are so historically valuable that if anything happens to them, like if I, like, okay. This green Firebird that’s back here, it’s a 1965 non-reverse Firebird 5 in Kerry Green. As far as I’m aware…

Craig Garber (39:32.471)

Okay. Sure.

Craig Garber (39:43.344)


Craig Garber (39:53.511)


Michael Rubin (39:55.182)

It is the only one in existence. There’s only one in that color. It was at the Songbirds Museum in Chattanooga, Tennessee, before I got it. There might be another one, but as far as I have looked, and I have a pretty wide network, I have not been able to find another one. So I’m going to tentatively call it one of one. If I scratch it. That’s a long story. I’ve done some, so I’ve done some business with the guy from the museum and.

Craig Garber (39:58.107)


Craig Garber (40:02.919)


Craig Garber (40:13.659)

How did you get that guitar if it was at the museum?

Michael Rubin (40:22.202)

We came to an agreement on this guitar. I’ll maybe tell you off camera, but it’s a funny story. But anyway, so I got that guitar. If I even put one ding in it, now I have put a ding in a piece of Gibson history. So if I sweat on it, now I just sweat on Gibson. So I kind of feel guilty with some of these guitars doing that. My.

Craig Garber (40:23.727)

That’s cool. That’s great.

Craig Garber (40:37.18)

Oh, absolutely.

Michael Rubin (40:46.722)

So my favorite sounding guitar is the one next to it. It’s a 1955 Gibson Les Paul, and it came from the daughter of the original owner, a woman by the name of Doris King. Um, and cool that her last name was King and the band is King Falcon, but also King is just like a blues last name as hell, which is awesome. Um, but she was a little old lady and she never really stood up playing it. So the whole back of the guitar is perfect. Doesn’t have any belt ration or anything. So.

Craig Garber (40:51.399)


Craig Garber (41:02.511)

Yeah, totally.

Craig Garber (41:10.812)

Oh my god.

Michael Rubin (41:12.85)

Just some of these guitars, I would kind of feel really guilty. And I’m not Joe Bonamassa, where I have like a tech who follows me, that I can just hand my guitars off to him and he takes care of them. So these don’t tour mostly for that. Also, I don’t want them to get stolen. That would be great.

Craig Garber (41:21.629)


Craig Garber (41:26.899)

Of course, a million reasons to not take those things on the road. Yeah, yeah, for sure.

Michael Rubin (41:30.906)

Yes, but the guitars I do take on the road, so I have three that come on the road with me. My number one is a 1975 Gibson Flying V, and the reason I like that is because, huge controversial opinion here for any guitar player who knows about vintage stuff. The Gibson necks that are three pieces with the volute are the best necks that Gibson ever made. I don’t care who says what, and I got all the 50s and 60s stuff here to prove it.

Craig Garber (41:41.042)


Craig Garber (41:56.791)

I have read that in several articles.

Michael Rubin (42:00.71)

Here’s why that Les Paul behind me the 55 gold top sounds great. If it’s cold out tomorrow, everything moves. If it falls off the stand, it’s now broken. If I’m going to go on tour for six months and bring a guitar through all the different humidity, all the different climate changes, having a neck that’s stronger because it’s three pieces of opposing grain and has a reinforced headstock joint is just more practical.

Craig Garber (42:11.249)


Craig Garber (42:26.236)


Michael Rubin (42:28.002)

And as long as you have a good set of pickups, I promise you that nobody is going to notice the difference when you’re playing through all your gear, a compressor, front of house, like nobody’s going to hear that the neck is three pieces instead of one, you know. No, exactly.

Craig Garber (42:39.119)

Right. Absolutely, no, no one’s even gonna be thinking about that. And if they are, they should be studying something online, not at a concert.

Michael Rubin (42:47.694)

Yeah, like I know that Eric Johnson can hear the difference between batteries, but I don’t think that your average person can, especially not in that setting and not after two drinks anyway. So, and by the way, the 75 V sounds amazing. It’s an amazing guitar. The only thing that would sound better would be a 1958 V, but that’s like an $800,000 guitar. So I don’t have that money. I’m not going to toy with that guitar, even if I did. So that’s my number one.

Craig Garber (42:52.563)

I’m sorry.

Yes. Yeah.

Craig Garber (43:09.561)

Yeah, yeah.

Michael Rubin (43:16.802)

And my number two and three are basically variations of that guitar. My number two is a 1974 Les Paul Deluxe. It’s wine red. It’s got P90s in it. And I bought it from a pawn shop.

Craig Garber (43:16.935)


Craig Garber (43:28.443)

got P 90s. That’s on. Did they put those in because that’s usually the mini humbuckers. Yeah.

Michael Rubin (43:30.31)

So somebody put those in it. Normally would have had many humbuckers, but somebody, I prefer the P90s and somebody took them out and put P90s in, which is better. And my third guitar is a 1970 SG, also three-piece neck with the volute. That guitar has had some serious, there’s random holes under the pick guard and it’s got new pickups in it and just like all this stuff. I love, somebody broke off the strap pin and just like re-drilled another one. So.

Craig Garber (43:40.327)


Craig Garber (43:59.124)

Ha ha

Michael Rubin (43:59.75)

Yeah, I mean, those are the kind of guitars you wanna tour with because they don’t get in the way of the show. You know, like if I jump and I spin around and like something happens, whatever, it’s the show. You know, like I put a big fat scratch in that Les Paul as soon as I got it and it broke my heart. But now every scratch that’s in it, I’m like, oh yeah, that one’s from Cleveland, that one’s from, you know, Minnesota, like that one’s from Nebraska. Like I just remember the gigs that they happened at. But those are my three that I tour with.

Craig Garber (44:03.075)

Yeah. Yes.

Craig Garber (44:09.732)


Craig Garber (44:20.036)

That’s cool.

Craig Garber (44:24.155)

That’s like your work tools. Those are your work tools.

Michael Rubin (44:28.238)

Yeah, so you asked about the Trini Lopez. OK, so this is a cool guitar, and this is the one that I really this wasn’t my first vintage guitar, but this is my first custom color vintage guitar. So it’s a 1966 factory black Trini Lopez. And from what I understand, they only made 20 in black. And there are only three that have the Bigsby. Now, I think this one of the Bigsby on this one was dealer added.

Craig Garber (44:30.267)

The training man. Yeah, that is just like.

Craig Garber (44:41.875)

It’s a beautiful guitar.

Craig Garber (44:50.284)


Craig Garber (44:57.561)


Michael Rubin (44:58.094)

White original from the factory, but it’s a period Vixby, and it’s been on there a long time. The only thing about this guitar is the back of the neck has been over sprayed because there was a couple of dings in the previous owner wanted to get them out. But other than that, it’s a fully original guitar in every aspect, and I wanted one with the Vixby. So the fact that there’s only two others out there with the Vixby means you can’t really be too picky. But yeah, here it is. So these are the…

Craig Garber (45:02.703)

That’s awesome.

Craig Garber (45:21.487)

Helen, what kind of pickups are in there?

Michael Rubin (45:26.27)

They’re called patent numbers. So obviously they’re humbuckers, but just in different… Hey.

Craig Garber (45:31.571)

That’s my little kitten.

Michael Rubin (45:34.706)

Hi. Thanks for saying hello.

Craig Garber (45:37.267)

Come on, Hazel.

Michael Rubin (45:39.99)

So the first generation of humbucker pickups I’m sure you’re familiar with are called patent applied for pickups. Yeah, the patent number is basically the same thing. But it’s when they actually got the patent and like there’s a couple of little differences with like, I don’t know. I I’m not exactly sure what the difference is, but they’re minute. They’re basically the same pickups. So Sonically, they’re really close.

Craig Garber (45:45.379)

Yeah, the P.F.s, yeah.

Craig Garber (46:01.015)

Sonically, they’re very similar though, aren’t they? Yeah

Michael Rubin (46:04.894)

The biggest difference about this guitar is that it doesn’t have the stop bar tailpiece like that. So this one has the bigsby In late 60s, they all have this trapeze setup thing And that’s why I wanted to run with the bigsby is because you get a little more sustain But the distance here being wider than the regular stop tail being here kind of lose a little bit of sustain But I yeah, and that’s why jazz guys prefer them because you get more attack and less stain Which is kind of better for jazz

Craig Garber (46:10.66)


Craig Garber (46:14.724)


Craig Garber (46:24.731)

Do you? Sorry, man.

Craig Garber (46:33.25)

Yeah, yeah, sure.

Michael Rubin (46:34.022)

But as far as I’m aware, they did not make any Trini Lopez’s that had a stop bar. So thanks, man. Yeah, this is one of my favorites. I love this. And this is also in the music video for Cadillac.

Craig Garber (46:39.067)

That’s a beautiful guitar, man. Really beautiful.

Craig Garber (46:45.735)

Oh, cool. Let me ask you this. Do you have another deluxe with the mini hums?

Michael Rubin (46:47.021)


Michael Rubin (46:51.226)

Um, I don’t. Um, I’ll be honest, I hate to say it, but I just kinda don’t like how they look.

Craig Garber (46:59.247)

What do they sound like? Cause I’m sort of, I had a guy, oh, sorry, man. Come on. Sorry, I decided to let her in. Maybe this is a bad idea. I had a guy on my show, Jeff Carlesi. He’s the guy at one of the founding members of 38 Special. And he did all his solos on that Les Paul Deluxe. And he was telling, you know, he was, he loves it. And I was just curious what it, like what it sounded like. Cause I’m sort of interested in trying one or looking around for one, but.

You know, I don’t, I just don’t know what it sounds like.

Michael Rubin (47:31.602)

Yeah, I mean, they sound great. You know, they’re kind of somewhere in between a P90 and a Humbucker. You know, they’re maybe a little bit less bitey than a Humbucker. A lot of people compare them to the Firebird pickup, but I’m not sure that that’s totally accurate because the Firebird pickup is a little bit more like a Les Paul and a Tele pickup mixed together. So, again, I haven’t spent too much time. Like, I haven’t recorded with one.

Craig Garber (47:54.707)


Michael Rubin (47:59.99)

And I always feel like I don’t exactly know where it sits in the mix until I hear it recorded the same way. Because how it feels in the room, how it feels in the room by yourself is always very different versus how it feels in the mix, you know? Like sometimes I’ll play a guitar and I’m like, oh, this sounds great. And then as soon as I play it with a band, it gets lost, you know? The one thing I’ll say about minis is that if you’re coming from a strat or something like that, you’ll definitely get a huge push, you know, in kind of the mid-range. But yeah, I haven’t I don’t…

Craig Garber (48:00.179)


Craig Garber (48:06.491)

That makes sense.

Craig Garber (48:12.259)

Yeah, that’s interesting.

Craig Garber (48:26.169)


Michael Rubin (48:29.342)

own one. I haven’t really spent a whole lot of time with mini humbuckers but they are cool.

Craig Garber (48:33.491)

Cool, because thanks for sharing that. I don’t know what, I have not heard them at all, but you got some, is there one there that like, the 57 strat is the, if there’s a fire, that’s the one you’re pulling.

Michael Rubin (48:46.894)

Yeah, well, actually, so I have two 57 struts. There’s the refinished one is downstairs and I have an original one sitting behind me. Yeah, I guess that honestly probably that green firebird just because of how rare it is. But one of the one of the more recent guitars that I got is bring it down. It’s this guy here. So this is a 1965 Jazzmaster and this is in Sherwood green. I have been after this color.

Craig Garber (48:54.501)


Craig Garber (49:01.443)

Yeah, it’s a beautiful guitar, man.

Michael Rubin (49:16.87)

for about four years. It is one of the rarest Fender colors of all time. As far as I’m aware, I think they only made six Jazzmasters in this color. This is…

Craig Garber (49:27.059)

How do you find that out? You’re like so wired into this, man. How do you get this intel?

Michael Rubin (49:30.386)

So, it’s not 100% right because there’s no shipping totals for Fender. The only year that we get shipping totals for Fender is 1966, and this is 1965. What I’m going based on is the ones that have been publicly for sale, kind of in the last like 15 years. So, there could be 10, there could be four that we haven’t seen, there could be… No worries.

Craig Garber (49:52.463)

Michael, hang on one second. Let me get rid of this cat, because she’s going to be, I really apologize. My wife just poked her head in there. Here you go, babe, thank you.

Michael Rubin (49:59.408)

Sure, sure.

Craig Garber (50:03.751)

So sorry, man. So you’re going based on the ones that have been publicly for sale.

Michael Rubin (50:05.21)

All good.

Yeah, the ones that have kind of publicly sold. Also, just looking at the chronology, like the earliest one that I was able to find has a non matching headstock. So it doesn’t have the green headstock. It has a slab board and it has gold hardware. And I believe that one dates to 5960 and kind of just throughout the years, you can see one or two during every year. And this one being a 65 is really the end of the run. So through that time, I’ve only been able to find six that have ever been offered for sale.

And this chronologically would be number six of the six. So I don’t want to say for sure, but this may be one of the last Sherwood Green Jazz Masters that was originally produced.

Craig Garber (50:38.3)

That’s amazing.

Craig Garber (50:48.879)

So when, let’s say, let’s talk about that guitar. What prompted you to buy that? Like something had to get into your head and said, I need one of these, or I, you know, that really turns me on. What, what?

Michael Rubin (50:57.426)

So yeah, I mean, it’s my favorite color. I love green. Green has always been my favorite color, like British racing green. Like if I was a bajillionaire, quadrillionaire, I would have a whole heap of cars that would be dark green with like tan interior. That’s my just favorite old guy color combination. And I know that there’s a Sherwood green strat. I know that there’s a couple of them, but they are probably quadruple, maybe five times the price.

Craig Garber (51:15.472)

Yeah, yeah.

Craig Garber (51:26.053)


Michael Rubin (51:28.838)

I haven’t even seen one for sale publicly anywhere. I mean, they’re impossible to find. I’ve seen a couple Jaguars, but to be honest, I’m actually not a huge Jaguar fan, even though these four Jags would not give you that impression. I much prefer the Jazzmaster, and a Telly is also kind of out of the question, because custom color Tellys are just impossibly rare, and green is like…

Craig Garber (51:41.195)


Craig Garber (51:45.028)


Michael Rubin (51:53.606)

the most impossibly rare color, second only to pink. So the Jazzmaster was kind of the one that naturally presented itself and I looked for one for a long time. I almost bought this one a couple of years ago, but then it got this exact guitar, but then it got sold and then it sort of found its way back and everybody knew, everybody in the community knew that I was looking for this one. So when it was available again, before it was even listed, I got the first phone call and I was like, I’ll be there in an hour, done.

Craig Garber (52:02.183)


Craig Garber (52:19.643)

That’s so you say in the community, you mean like locally in New York where you’re or like online.

Michael Rubin (52:23.098)

No, no, like, no, I got a call from a buddy of mine in Florida that the guitar was in Nashville. This is a global community. I’ve got a guy in Australia I deal with. I’ve got a guy in London I deal with, a couple of guys in California. Like, the guitar community is, there’s really only a handful of guys that know where all this shit is, and they watch it like hawks. So it’s crazy.

Craig Garber (52:43.003)

That’s wild.

That’s pretty cool. Um, that’s really amazing. I find this fascinating. 

Craig Garber (53:25.823)

Like what initially turns you on about it? Is it the aesthetics? Looks like or is there something about a particular guitar sound? Because you’ve got like different flavors of every guitar pretty much.

Michael Rubin (53:37.298)

Sure. So again, I like to use them all for recording. So I like to make sure I don’t have too many of one thing. Now I know I have a lot of Jags and Jazzmasters, but they are all different years and they all have very different specs from each other. So I have reasons for having each one of them. But what originally drew me to vintage guitars in general is just the fact that every time you see them, they are unapproachable. They’re behind glass. It’s like, they’re…

Craig Garber (53:48.761)


Craig Garber (54:02.93)


Michael Rubin (54:03.654)

just right there, but you can never touch them. So ever since I was a kid, it was one of those things where I was like, you know what? I’m no longer is there going to be a piece of glass between me and those guitars. Like I’m going to do whatever I got to do, even if it’s putting myself in financial jeopardy, which I have, I sure have to make it happen so that I can have some of these guitars and freaking use them like my students play these guitars sometimes. Like if I have students that are getting really good, I’ll bring them in and be like, here, you play a 1962 Jaguar.

Craig Garber (54:18.767)


Craig Garber (54:25.906)


Michael Rubin (54:34.33)

You ever played one before? So, and for me it was also really important because that’s how my teacher kind of got me started. I remember when I was 12 or 13 years old, my guitar teacher, Bern, he came into the lesson one day and he brought us 1961 Strat. And I was just like taken by it. I was like, oh my God. And it had been refinished. I mean, he’s got different pickups in it. Like it was rode hard and put up wet.

Craig Garber (54:35.963)

That’s pretty cool.

Michael Rubin (55:01.922)

just the way that it felt like an old baseball glove that was perfectly worn in. I mean, it just kind of took me and ever since then I was like, I need to have vintage guitars because, you know, it’s like, like if you’re a car guy driving a new car with boost and traction control and screens and heads up display, it’s not the same as driving like a 1963 Ferrari with just V12 and like a steering wheel, you know?

Craig Garber (55:24.452)


Craig Garber (55:28.22)


Michael Rubin (55:28.634)

Like, there’s nothing better than that. And again, I can’t afford one of those either. But even if I could get as close to drive like a, I don’t know, like a freaking Camaro from the early 90s or something like that, just something that feels real, you know. And I think just with so many with the manufacturing processes getting so perfect now that it takes some of the soul out, you see these old guitars like check this out. Have you ever actually seen the finish on a 57 strat up close? It looks like garbage. It looks like shit. Look at this.

Craig Garber (55:47.429)


Craig Garber (55:55.718)

No, never.

Michael Rubin (55:58.222)

It looks like a child did that with a paintbrush. But but it’s original and that’s how it was. And you can imagine, like Leo and his little, you know, elves working in the magic Santa shop, putting these things together like this. There’s a human element to them and everyone is different like a snowflake. So that to me is what makes them special. And that’s what drew me into them. And then on top of that, finding out that like the colors are a rarity on top of that, it was like, well, you got to get the whole rainbow.

Craig Garber (56:01.262)

Yeah, it does.

Craig Garber (56:08.698)


Craig Garber (56:14.736)

Yeah, yeah.

Michael Rubin (56:25.839)

uh… and it became a slippery slope from there man

Craig Garber (56:26.579)


No, but it’s nice to see how much genuine joy you have in these, man. It’s really, really nice to see that.

Michael Rubin (56:34.438)

Thanks, I appreciate it and I like most sharing it with people. I like when people come and they appreciate them for what they are and when you put a guitar in somebody’s hand and they’re like, oh my god, I never thought I would hold one of these, you know, that’s my favorite.

Craig Garber (56:46.731)

Yeah, that’s what I was thinking as you brought it out. That 55 gold top is the neck like incredibly thick.

Michael Rubin (56:55.95)

No, not too thick. It feels… Honestly, hate to say it, but they do a pretty good job with the reissues getting the neck shapes right. The thing that they don’t get right are the P90s. They do a great job with humbuckers, man. A lot of the modern PAFs sound better than original ones, but P90s, they just don’t make them like they used to because they have such a delicate nature. And I’ll tell you what, maybe this is just…

Craig Garber (57:04.42)


Craig Garber (57:14.972)


Michael Rubin (57:22.834)

coming from a guy who can’t afford a Burst because they’re half a million dollars, but I like P90s better, and these guitars are rarer than Bursts. If anybody tries to tell you that the Burst was like a failed experiment, it’s not true. They sold 1,500 of them, they were mega expensive, and they made them for three full years, 58, 59, 60. The only reason they’re so expensive is because there is one guy who owns 350 of them.

Craig Garber (57:31.26)


Craig Garber (57:49.415)


Michael Rubin (57:51.03)

Uh, what’s his name? He’s a CEO of something. Uh, oh, Dirk Ziff. Yeah, if you look up Dirk Ziff, he owns like 300 plus bursts. And that’s the reason they’re worth so much money is because one guy who is already a billionaire owns all of them. They’re they made one third as many of these in this configuration as they did bursts. And the only reason everybody wants a burst is so they can look like Jimmy Hendry, uh, Jimmy Page.

Craig Garber (57:57.447)

I don’t know of what interesting.

Craig Garber (58:08.541)

Oh, so he’s hogged the whole market. He’s clogged up the whole market.

Craig Garber (58:16.551)


Craig Garber (58:21.307)

You know what, man? I love P nineties myself and I have a guitar with a couple of Lawler P nineties in particular. And I ha I mean, I have never played a set of pickups that I enjoy as much as those, man. I re and they’re so versatile. Yeah. So versatile, man. Well, thanks for sharing that, man. I really, uh, that was a joy to see how happy you are. Have you ever sold a guitar? You wish you can get back.

Michael Rubin (58:34.526)

I agree. It’s a perfect Goldilocks between the two.

Michael Rubin (58:48.57)

No, I there’s a lot that usually goes into me selling a guitar I marinate on it for a while. I almost sold one but I backed out at the last minute The the rarest guitar that I sold that I don’t feel bad selling. Well, I traded it. It was a 1978 ES 240 and if you don’t know what that is, it’s basically an ES 335 But it was a prototype that they made with a coil tap

and officially they only made three. Mine was the third one of the three. And it was beautiful, but the neck pickup didn’t sound that good. And I didn’t want to modify it because it was a Gibson prototype. So I ended up trading it to a guy who was a Norlin collector. I mean, 70s Gipsons are like his thing. So he was more than happy to have it and it was going to just kind of be on display. He traded me an 84 Les Paul custom for it.

Craig Garber (59:17.051)


Craig Garber (59:20.583)


Craig Garber (59:35.545)


Michael Rubin (59:46.11)

I kind of got screwed on that deal because it had some modifications that I didn’t figure out until later and I learned a lot from that. But I traded that for the 1970 SG that I now gig with.

Craig Garber (59:56.747)

Okay, so it came out in the end, everything worked out.

Michael Rubin (59:59.622)

Yeah, it came out alright, but that was the only guitar that was mega rare that I sold. A lot of other things were guitars that I sold so I could buy the ones behind me that were kind of above.

Craig Garber (01:00:10.279)

sure. How many? How about how often do you get a new guitar or you know, trade guitars?

Michael Rubin (01:00:17.198)

It depends, man. Like, I’ll go, sometimes I’ll go a year without buying one and then sometimes I’ll buy three in one shot. Like, these Jags, like these three right here, I bought at the same time because, sort of, so I’ll tell you the story real quick. Did you hear about Robbie Z?

Craig Garber (01:00:24.103)


Craig Garber (01:00:28.46)

Oh, from the same person?

Craig Garber (01:00:35.327)

I know that name, somebody has told me about it. Oh, you know what, I read it in your bio.

Michael Rubin (01:00:36.658)

So maybe you heard about the… Yeah, so maybe you heard about the massive guitar theft in early 2020. Yeah, okay. So Robbie Z, right? He had a whole bunch of these guitars stolen from him at the beginning of 2020. All custom color offsets, about 200 of them, all stolen. Long story on that, you can go look it up on YouTube if you want to hear it. But basically, this red one, it’s a 1965 Dakota Red Jaguar, it was his.

Craig Garber (01:00:43.971)

I read it just in your bio and I saw it. Yeah.

Michael Rubin (01:01:05.134)

And there’s a video of him on YouTube with it, but I didn’t see it at that time. Somebody sold me the guitar, and then as soon as I bought it, I get a text message from another buddy of mine, because it’s a small community. And he’s like, hey, dude, that’s a stolen guitar. I was like, no way. You’re kidding me. So I find Robbie Z. I reach out to him. I’m like, hey, dude, I think I bought one of your guitars. So he writes me back, and he goes, well, luckily for you, the guy you bought it from bought it from me. So we’re good.

Craig Garber (01:01:33.64)

Oh, so that wasn’t one of the stolen ones.

Michael Rubin (01:01:35.758)

I was like, oh, thank God. He’s like, however, I just got two more back that were stolen and I’m going to sell them if you want them. And I’m like, well, shit. So that’s how I got the blue one and the gold one. And I actually did buy another one of his stolen guitars at some point, but it was stolen. So I sent it back to him and I had to go through a whole long fight of getting my own money back. But he had so many guitars that somehow I just keep running into him.

Craig Garber (01:01:45.435)

That’s so funny.

Craig Garber (01:01:57.991)

Did you get it?

Craig Garber (01:02:02.211)

Did you get your money back at least?

Michael Rubin (01:02:04.002)

I did, it took me about a month, but it was a 19th, yeah, it did, cause it was expensive, but it was a 1966 foam green Jaguar, and it had dots and binding on the fretboard, so I mean, incredibly rare, Joe Bonamassa has one, and I owned it for about 16 hours before I found out it was stolen and sent it back.

Craig Garber (01:02:05.859)

Yeah, that really sucks.

Craig Garber (01:02:20.007)


Craig Garber (01:02:24.923)

Ha ha.

Well, it was very cool of you to do that, man.

Michael Rubin (01:02:29.934)

Well, I know the guy, so I mean, it would have been pretty messed up with me for just hanging on to his guitar. And he’s a nice dude. I mean, I sent him a t-shirt and all that, and he sent me a real nice thank you. So we’ve got a good relationship.

Craig Garber (01:02:36.275)

Oh, I know, but…

Craig Garber (01:02:43.195)

That’s good, man. Mike, tell me your top three Desert Island discs. Just for this moment, because that obviously changes.

Michael Rubin (01:02:48.899)


Okay, Currents by Tame Impala, Can’t Buy a Thrill, Steely Dan, and maybe Darkside. Tried to avoid that one, but it’s hard, man. It’s just such a great album.

Craig Garber (01:03:00.243)

Steely Dan.

Craig Garber (01:03:10.383)

Yeah, that’s my number one for sure. It’s funny. I remember when I was a kid, you know, that, that series of Steely Dan records was so popular. I remember taking the train to school and having my walkman on there, listening to that record. And you know, they’re, they’re kind of like a New York band. They’re not from the city, but they’re just from outside the city, you know? So it was really like a cool thing. It’s like listening to Simon Garfunkel back in the day, you know, when they’re, when you’re on the train or something. All right. Tell me one event.

Michael Rubin (01:03:29.063)


Michael Rubin (01:03:35.912)

Yeah, yeah.

Craig Garber (01:03:38.767)

personal, not musical, that took place in your life. If this thing hadn’t happened, you wouldn’t be the person you are.

Michael Rubin (01:03:46.974)

That’s a good question. I guess the easy answer would be to say my dad making fun of me for not playing Guitar Hero too much. Oh man, I’m not sure. That’s tough. You know, seeing Avril Lavigne when I was eight years old, that was my first concert ever. And I was a big fan of the song Skater Boy.

Craig Garber (01:03:56.375)

It’s funny.

Michael Rubin (01:04:15.678)

because I wanted to learn how to play. I had a skateboard and I was really into the Tony Hawk video games and all that. And I think in my little kid brain, that was the moment where I was like, I’m gonna be a rock star, I’m gonna be in this world of like alternative people, you know, like doing skateboarding and all that shit. I never really learned how to skateboard, but I learned how to play guitar. But that was the moment that I was like, wait a second, this is something cool.

Craig Garber (01:04:15.75)


Craig Garber (01:04:41.307)

Who was her guitar player then, do you know? Yeah, interesting. What do you like most about yourself, man?

Michael Rubin (01:04:43.433)

I have no idea.

Michael Rubin (01:04:52.272)

That’s a tough one, man.

Craig Garber (01:04:53.263)

It is a tough question. You’re a super likable guy, by the way. I mean, you’re easy as hell to talk to and you’re bright, man. That’s like two nice, two, two really like good tick boxes to tick off, man.

Michael Rubin (01:05:05.202)

Thanks, man. I appreciate it. I fancy myself as the kind of guy who, if you’re a friend of mine, I will put myself at great discomfort for you. All my friends know that if they need something at 3 o’clock in the morning, I’ll probably answer the phone. And I think that’s just a really important thing for kind of everybody to do because otherwise, it’s really easy to be alone in life. You know what I mean? You got to have a couple people who will go through the shit for you. And I just want to be a guy who can do that for the people close to me as well.

Craig Garber (01:05:18.387)

That’s nice.

Craig Garber (01:05:27.461)


Craig Garber (01:05:35.379)

That’s kind, man. You have any hobbies outside of music?

Michael Rubin (01:05:40.346)

Working on my car, man. That’s my biggest thing. So I’ve got a 1999 Mustang GT. It was my dad’s, which is funny because I’m also a 1999 model. That’s when I was born. And if you think about it, imagine this. My dad, like his wife is about to pop a kid. And he’s like, I’m going to go buy a freaking Mustang. And the funny thing is, if you met my dad, it makes no sense. He’s the most pragmatic guy. He’s like, nah.

Craig Garber (01:05:43.375)

What do you drive?

Craig Garber (01:05:47.844)

Very cool tie.

Craig Garber (01:05:53.469)

I’m a 1999 model.

Michael Rubin (01:06:09.846)

sports car guy but for some reason he had a lapse in judgment in 99 and he bought that car and I never let him sell it so when I was 16 he gave me the keys and that’s been my car

Craig Garber (01:06:21.427)

think it’s really cool that you have that car. That’s really awesome. I mean,

Michael Rubin (01:06:24.514)

Yeah, it’s not the coolest car, not the fastest car, but there’s pictures of me as a baby in it with my dad and he looks way younger. And someday I’ll pass it down in the same way and I think that’s cool.

Craig Garber (01:06:31.045)


Craig Garber (01:06:35.539)

Well, I’m sure as a dad myself, I can tell you right now that when your dad sees you pulling up in there, I’m sure it’s like means a lot to him, you know, to have those sort of memories together, man. So that’s cool.

Michael Rubin (01:06:46.574)

Yeah, he likes to joke with me and be like, oh, you gotta sell that old thing. But every time I threaten to actually do it, he starts getting cold feet. He’s like, whoa, hang on, you gotta get that car. Ha ha ha.

Craig Garber (01:06:52.823)

Yeah, yeah, I bet. Hell yeah. Mike, toughest decision you ever had to make or most difficult thing you ever had to do?

Michael Rubin (01:07:02.334)

Um, well, this may be a good time to talk about the two guys in the band leaving. So, when stuff hits a point where it starts getting serious, people start getting scared, because when you fail, you land back at home. That’s where you end up. But when you succeed, you end up somewhere very different and scary than you were before.

Craig Garber (01:07:06.691)

Yeah, let’s talk definitely.

Michael Rubin (01:07:31.694)

with a whole bunch of new responsibilities and your life is different. So after we got the record deal and after we got a manager, which was the big thing, that manager kind of sat us down and was like, look, your life is going to change. I mean, you guys are going to be on the road three, four months out of the year. And just like, you know, it’s going to be a big commitment. You guys got to make sure you’re ready for that. And I think the reality of that settled in.

and I think that the other guys were just not ready for that. Now, it comes out in other ways. It’s not like anybody actually came out and said, oh, I’m not ready for that. But that was kind of the general sense that I got, is that there’s a massive sacrifice that’s involved with being in a band and living on the road and do all this stuff. And I think the reality of that just kind of hit the other two guys at the same time. And they were like, you know what? I don’t want to do this anymore.

Craig Garber (01:08:03.452)

What interests what they? Yeah.

Craig Garber (01:08:11.813)


Michael Rubin (01:08:27.43)

They’re also they were also a little bit older than me. I’m 25. They’re both 30 So I think at 30 you kind of have a life decision that you need to make

Craig Garber (01:08:35.443)

Yeah, that’s interesting though, but that opportunity is like, you know, you finally have it, you know.

Michael Rubin (01:08:43.482)

Yeah, well, listen, I mean, I don’t want to harp too much on anything negative, but I could say for one that for James, I saw the writing on the wall for a minute. I know what he wants to do is just have a kid and settle down and then that’s it. So he’s pretty much completely retired from music. It was sudden and it was tough because he and I, I mean, we did the Canaries together. We have worked together in bands for about 10 years.

Craig Garber (01:08:48.071)


Craig Garber (01:08:57.041)


Craig Garber (01:09:08.377)


Michael Rubin (01:09:10.082)

So, you know, I mean, it’s not super amicable, like we haven’t really spoken to each other, but it’s more because of the way that it happened. Like, you know, he kind of always has a little bit of a crass edge to him. He kind of just came to me and was like, I’m done. That’s it, you know, and that was the whole conversation. So, that, the 12 hours that ensued after the guys in the band had quit were really hard for me because here we were like,

Craig Garber (01:09:26.098)


Michael Rubin (01:09:37.658)

We’re talking about going on the road for three months this year, you know, moving the band forward. And now it’s like, wait a second. Now it really is just me. I mean, it kind of always was like I was the primary songwriter. Like I book all the gigs. Like I always did everything. But.

Craig Garber (01:09:46.375)


Craig Garber (01:09:52.475)

But you know what I noticed on your credits, I was surprised that I read that you the prime, but everybody had credit songwriting credit.

Michael Rubin (01:09:59.534)

Yes, so I always wanted to make sure that it was even, so I split everything with those guys. Now I…

Craig Garber (01:10:06.151)

That was incredibly cool. I mean, look, even though royalties aren’t today what they used to be, that’s incredibly fucking generous and non-existent.

Michael Rubin (01:10:14.791)


Tom got credit for songs that we wrote before he joined the band. You know, so I mean, it was one of those things where I really wanted to make sure that we went into everything fair. And it’s tough because it’s one of those things where you feel like no matter how much you do, it can kind of come back to bite you later when people are like, that’s it. I’m done. I’m not doing this. But… So…

Craig Garber (01:10:21.923)

Yeah, that was incorrect. Yeah.

Craig Garber (01:10:38.447)

Yeah, note to self, keep my credit next time.

Michael Rubin (01:10:43.174)

But we had already kind of gotten so much momentum with King Falcon and people saw that we were doing so much that I’ll tell you this James quit and 12 hours later. I had fully replaced him because I had gotten a phone call from a friend of mine And he was like hey man, I heard about it which was crazy already heard about it He’s like I just want you to know I already know all the songs. I’ve been playing bass for 12 years I love this band and if you don’t have a van I have two

that we can go on the road in. And I was like, you’re in, dude, done. So there was like, so James left, I was so upset when he left that I drove home in our tour van, by the way, at like 90 miles an hour. And I got pulled over and I almost lost my license. And the cop saw that I was having a bad night. And keep in mind, if I had lost my license, it would have been the end of the tour. He saw I was having a bad night and he was like, I think you just need to get home, kid, and you need to just like get your head on straight.

Craig Garber (01:11:14.455)

Oh my God, you’re in. Wow.

Craig Garber (01:11:35.406)


Michael Rubin (01:11:42.382)

And the next day, like all these good things kept happening to me. And that’s when I really became convinced that if you just won’t take no for an answer and you just get out there and you just keep doing it, no matter what happens to you, you’re going to be all right and you’re going to figure it out. You know, that was the moment that like, I don’t, I don’t super believe in too much stuff from the universe, but if I did, that was the universe saying, here you go, keep going. You know, so.

Craig Garber (01:11:45.707)

That’s nice.

Craig Garber (01:12:03.877)

Yeah, yeah.

Michael Rubin (01:12:06.118)

That was the most difficult 12 hours for me, which is when I really thought I was by myself. And then I was like, wait a second, I’m not. There’s a lot of people who believe in this and there’s a lot of people who see the potential in this, you know? So…

Craig Garber (01:12:17.115)

That’s nice. That’s nice. So and so now you have so now you’re still looking for a drummer.

Michael Rubin (01:12:23.002)

Yeah, we’re still looking for a drummer. I have a couple people who we’ve been auditioning and stuff, but I just don’t want to settle for a drummer. You know what I mean? It’s gotta be somebody who is good, knows what’s up, but also has that fire that’s like, you know what? If it doesn’t come to me, I’m gonna grab it by the throat. That’s what makes this work. Like our new bass player, Joe, he was like, there’s no way I’m not gonna be in this band. You know, like there’s a spot for me and I’m gonna do it.

Craig Garber (01:12:30.523)


Craig Garber (01:12:40.413)


Michael Rubin (01:12:50.654)

Absolutely everything to make sure I get it, you know, and that’s the kind of thing that that’s how you move this forward You know like even with Tom with our old drummer not to not to go around saying stuff, but our first Big opening spot was for a guy called Des Rocks. Maybe you’ve heard of him Check him out. I mean he opened up for the Stones for Muse our first time opening up Was gonna be in the middle of Tom’s vacation and I sent him a text. I was like dude so exciting

Craig Garber (01:12:53.34)


Craig Garber (01:12:57.04)


Craig Garber (01:13:08.22)

No, sorry.

Michael Rubin (01:13:19.046)

And he wrote me back, he was like, bro, that fucking sucks, dude. I got to, and he didn’t, he didn’t come to the show. We got another drummer. You know? So I should have known that it was coming and it kind of always was me pushing it from the beginning, but it sucks because, you know, like I said, I mean, I gave everything equally and you know, you, you kind of expect that from people and sometimes you don’t get it. So.

Craig Garber (01:13:24.856)

Oh my god.

Craig Garber (01:13:31.383)


Craig Garber (01:13:42.607)

Yeah. Expectations are tough because if they don’t get met, you feel like you get let down, but you’re the one who had the expectation. So it’s like, I kind of got it. You want to be eaten humble pie on something that you are, especially if your expectations are based on yourself and how you handle things. And then you expect other people to be like you because I used to be like that. And then one of my good friends said to me, he goes, Garber, your problem is you have expectations and your expectations are based on yourself.

you have no right doing that. I’m like, you know what, you’re 100% right. So

Michael Rubin (01:14:16.514)

It’s true, because I mean, for me, the choice was obvious. The thing that nobody else knew is that I also had a vacation plan that week. My best buddy, who, by the way, is like a prince in Russia, invited me invited me to Greece to go hang out on a yacht for a week. And I was like, that sounds great. But my band has a gig. I can’t go. You know, and my trip was all expense paid, baby. You know, but I still couldn’t go because it’s like that’s not. That’s not what’s important to me. What’s important is pushing forward this band that we’ve been working on forever. So

Craig Garber (01:14:26.045)

Ha ha!

Craig Garber (01:14:33.551)

Yeah, yeah. Wow.

Craig Garber (01:14:40.251)

That’s not the priority.

Michael Rubin (01:14:45.05)

Sometimes people are just not made to deal with things that are uncomfortable. Everybody likes to say, hey, I like to be, I’m in a rock band and we’ve got a record deal and we’re going on tour. But when it actually comes time to like, you know, leave your family for a month to go live in a van and like, you know, shit in the gas station bathroom for a month, people like, actually don’t want to do this. So, you know.

Craig Garber (01:15:03.32)

Right, right.

Yeah. Shit. Well, good for you, man. I’m really happy for you. Yeah, I bet on you, man, for sure. Two, two more questions. Best advice you’ve ever been given? Who gave it to you?

Michael Rubin (01:15:14.73)

Appreciate it, man. Thank you.

Michael Rubin (01:15:23.255)

Man, that’s tough. Again, kind of more along the same, but it was from my dad. And it was kind of in the midst of all this stuff going on. He was like, you know what? You come from a whole family of risk takers. And if you take a risk and you commit yourself hard enough to it, it always pays off. And he told me about his father. So my grandfather on my dad’s side was a sports journalist in Russia. He was Jewish, so he was pretty.

people were pretty prejudiced against him, but he was pretty famous as well. So he, his thing was that he was writing about how the pursuit of sports is a noble one because it’s an athlete dedicating their body and their, their spirit to the game for, for glory of like making the game. And what the government wanted him to write was basically that they’re doing it for the glory of Russia, you know, cause that’s what

Craig Garber (01:16:05.575)


Craig Garber (01:16:16.307)

Oh, I was wondering as you said that how much freedom would that did a sports journalist have to write back in that day?

Michael Rubin (01:16:19.462)

So he wouldn’t change what he wrote. So they basically were like, you gotta leave or we’re gonna kill you. So that’s why they came to America. And that’s why they were only allowed to come here with nothing basically. So, you know, he came here and he started another newspaper and just kind of kept it rolling and made a life for himself, you know? And same thing happened with my grandfather. I mean, my grandfather was, my other grandfather on my mom’s side was a touring musician in Italy. And

Craig Garber (01:16:30.375)

Holy sh-

Michael Rubin (01:16:49.058)

uh… kind of didn’t have a lot of money but he was like whatever would make it happen and then became well-known in illy and ended up coming to america to play gig at carnegie hall uh… and his wife was nine months pregnant she was like you’re not going to leave me here so he came here for the gig and my mom was born and they just stayed you know so is all my whole life is kind of just been here from people before me taking risks and you know and i think that’s the biggest thing is that if you don’t take risks you always stay exactly where you are

Craig Garber (01:16:57.412)


Craig Garber (01:17:06.119)

That’s wild.

Craig Garber (01:17:11.559)

Taking risks, yeah.

Michael Rubin (01:17:17.742)

And there’s going to be discomfort in taking those risks, and you just got to be prepared to deal with that.

Craig Garber (01:17:22.503)

That’s very cool, man. I really like everything you said there. That was awesome. Last question, Mike. What’s the thing in your life that’s making you the happiest right now?

Michael Rubin (01:17:34.094)

Oh, it’s tough. I’ve tried not to take too much happiness from things and a lot from kind of situations and people. I’ll say I just went on a really great.

Craig Garber (01:17:46.063)

Yeah, that’s what I meant. Like what’s the experience that’s going on in your life now that’s making you happy?

Michael Rubin (01:17:50.514)

I just went on a really great road trip with my best friend. He bought a car in Nashville and it’s a stick shift and he doesn’t know how to drive stick shift. So we flew down there and I taught him how to drive and we kind of drove back. Yeah, and he figured it out sort of on the way, but I don’t know, it was great for me to take a little break from all the stuff going on in my life and just like recenter myself with people who I’m really solid with and take a minute to kind of just reevaluate.

Craig Garber (01:18:02.959)

And you drove back up to this. That’s so fun.

Craig Garber (01:18:15.603)


Michael Rubin (01:18:19.546)

my inner circle and be reminded of just how solid that is. Cause it’s very easy to have one or two things happen in your life where you’re like, wait a second, everything’s kind of shaken up. But then you take a step back and you’re like, you know what, my car might be broken. All my guitars might not have strings on them, but I got a solid group of people around me who I can trust with my money and with my secrets and not have to worry about it. So.

Craig Garber (01:18:43.131)

All right, awesome. Well, listen, let me tell people where they could find you. First of all, I would love everybody to check out the new King Falcon album. It’s really awesome. There’s, you know, so many good songs on there. Everyone, everybody’s down. Rabbit gets the gun. My name is go on. And there’s a lot of cool tracks on there. It’s a really good like bar band rock and roll. Is that fair to say that?

Michael Rubin (01:19:07.894)

Uh, I don’t know if it’s quite so bar-band. I think it’s uh, I think we’re a little bit more arena rock-rock and roll, but hey.

Craig Garber (01:19:08.667)

How would you prefer to?

Craig Garber (01:19:14.767)

Arena rock and roll. Yeah, that’s a set this let’s let the bar higher arena rock and roll I have no problem endorsing that for sure man Put it this way you put the music on you’re gonna get up and move or you’re gonna pick up your guitar And it sounds really good. So I think you’ll like it. So please check it out Also, you could follow the guys on or michael and uh king falcon on instagram If you go to his website at king falcon band.com and you purchase the t-shirt. He will actually

Michael Rubin (01:19:28.574)

appreciate it.

Craig Garber (01:19:42.343)

put it in the envelope with love and send it to you. So please do that and support these guys anyway you can. Anything else we could promote, man? Any, once you find the new drummer, what’s touring plans, if any, coming up?

Michael Rubin (01:19:45.196)

Yes. Oh, I mean, we’re going to be across the whole country. So, I mean, you’re either going to see… We’re always in the Midwest. We always end up there for sure. We’re obviously always in New York. I want to see us go out to California because I love sunny California. But trust me, when there’s a tour,

Craig Garber (01:20:07.015)

That would be great. Sure.

Michael Rubin (01:20:11.45)

We’re looking to be on the road probably about April, May at the latest. But if we’re on the road in May, that means something went wrong. I would love to be on the road like second week of April. That would be awesome. And we’ll be around the whole country, so you’ll have a chance to see us for sure.

Craig Garber (01:20:13.683)

That’s great.

Michael Rubin (01:20:28.754)

Hell yeah.

Michael Rubin (01:20:33.406)

Appreciate you.

Craig Garber (01:20:36.009)

Awesome. I

Michael Rubin (01:20:51.377)


Craig Garber (01:20:56.527)

Be nice, go play your guitar and have fun. Until next time, peace and love everybody. I’m out. Michael, thank you so much, brother.

Michael Rubin (01:21:02.046)

Appreciate you.

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