The Rubs – Impossible Dream (Q&A)

‘Working on the next LP at the moment. Hoping to get it released in a year. It’s gonna be all over the place with a loose space/future theme a la Electric Light Orchestra’s ‘Time’.’, says J. Montanaro (Joey Rubbish).

Well, I just found out about ‘Impossible Dream’, brand new to me (Thanks to The Power Pop Show).

Recommended If You Like: The Nerves, Donny Denim, The Jeanies, The Toms, Plimsouls, Nick Lowe, Real Kids, The Fevers, Dutchess & Duke, Nobunny, Rockpile, Wreckless Eric









If you could tour the world with 2 other bands, who would you ask to join?

I’d ask my other band, The Whiffs and maybe we both could open for Nick Lowe…that would be tite.

Magic can happen when you are playing in front of a crowd. Can you recall such a moment?

I wouldn’t describe it as magic, but I’ve always enjoyed it when some sort of technical difficulty or mistake happens on stage and the band just keeps plowing through it. For me, it’s like a little-unplanned challenge to overcome and laugh at and the audience always appreciates it when they know something’s fucked up and they see it doesn’t bother you. I used to play drums in a band called Uh Bones from Chicago and my drum set would inevitably fall apart every show and I would have to finish a song with a collapsed floor tom leg or a busted kick pedal. That’s fun for me- something different to mix it up.


If the budget was unlimited, how would you record the next record?

Hire Todd Rundgren to produce it and let him decide the rest.

What would change if Disney would call and tell you they are going to use your song in their next movie?

I’d actually make some money for once.

What’s up for the rest of the year?

Working on the next LP at the moment. Hoping to get it released in a year. It’s gonna be all over the place with a loose space/future theme a la Electric Light Orchestra’s ‘Time’. Lots of different synths and keyboards, mellotron, sound clips. I think we’re gonna call it ‘Dust’.



Joey Rubbish must be stopped, but it’s too late for that. As the architect of every note on this immaculate new LP, he joins the ranks of other groundbreaking modern home-recording luminaries such as Jay Reatard, Nobunny, Mikey Hyde of Medication, and Rich Crook of Lost Sounds/Lover!, all able to cover every instrumental note recorded, as well as the vocals & recording. Not a small feat and worth noting since it’s such a rare thing to pull off, especially when it’s this nuanced and complex, even by power pop standards. And with that, The Rubs second offering is finally here with Impossible Dream, a full spectrum of songs so tightly-knit, so cleverly-written, and so impossibly dreamy, you won’t be able to pull them out of your skull for eternity. Agonizingly articulate pop that can barely contain its own excitement, these songs just keep hitting you, one after another, each better than the last, just continuously pounding their unwavering contagiousness into your brazen heart.

It’s not like The Rubs are reinventing the guitar with Impossible Dream, but this LP has something brilliant humming at its core, something stark, genuine, and extremely vulnerable. And yet so charming and confident, it’s almost dizzying in its bravado. From the instant “Wrong Right Girl” kicks off, it’s a tense and tender tear through the highs and lows of girls, summer, breakups, and tight jeans, drizzled with a reduction of those irresistible vocal hooks. With a run through a series of songs all named after individual heart-breakers (Judy, Amy, Ruby, & Emily), from slow-burners to hyper-charged rockers, there’s such a great variety of styles and deliveries you just don’t see very often in modern power pop. And let’s not forget, the attention to detail, as well as the overall production control, is top-notch, which really adds depth to these incredible songs. Timeless stuff that avoids any & all modern pitfalls, Impossible Dream is a new high watermark in Chicago pop lineage you really need in your life.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s