Tonight marks the third week of The Sister Ruby Band’s month-long residency at The Standard, Hollywood’s Desert Nights. The Sister Ruby Band is the psych-rock project of Los Angeles based Johnny Ruby, aka Marlon Rabenreither. The sound is psyched-out-Americana-meets-shoegaze-folky, which seems like a crazy mix but it all blends perfectly. We sat Marlon down to discuss the man, the myth, and the music behind what’s soon to be your new favorite band.
The Sister Ruby Band, aka Johnny Ruby, aka Marlon Rabenreither - photo by © Kyrone Oak
The Standard: How about starting off by telling us a bit about where you’re from and how you got into music?
The Sister Ruby Band: I grew up in Los Angeles, as a kid I lived in different parts of the city from Topanga Canyon to Echo Park. I have been playing music for almost as long as I can remember really, but it has only been within the last year or two that I have truly focused on recording and performing over all else.
What’s your favorite quote about The Sister Ruby Band?
Not actually much to choose from, but Kevin Bronson of Buzzbands LA always has a kind word to say about us “…The Sister Ruby Band straddles both worlds — oozing the gauzy snarl of British shoegazers and the stoned mysticism of the West Coast psych-rock elite.”
Tell us your top 5 songs you listen to over and over?
You Know More Than I Know - John Cale
Going Back - The Byrds
Adult Books - X
Shivers - Boys Next Door
Return Of The Grievous Angel - Gram Parsons
If you could pick any musician/band to jam with (living or dead), who would it be and why?
Probably Townes Van Zandt just because he is such a phenomenal song writer.
What’s the best adventure you’ve ever had as a musician?
Driving to Austin, Texas with the band this year for SXSW or performing in Amsterdam for Ryan McGinley’s opening there were both really great experiences.
How does Desert Nights feel as a venue? Does it’s intimacy and relaxed vibe influence what you play and your overall sound?
Desert Nights is a great venue for me, I like playing there because the acoustics are great, and it’s such a small space you can’t really hide from anyone in there, and you probably can’t get away with being anything less than sincere in that room. It’s such a different trip then playing in a bar in Silverlake or something like that. Additionally, we get to arrange songs and perform them in a different way than we normally would, whether it is stripping the songs down and doing them with an acoustic guitar or adding a 12-string guitar, it is a unique space in that sense.