Profile: Rubblebucket

Rubblebucket Indie Ambassador TVThe Band:


The People:
Alex Toth, Kalmia Traver, Adam Dotson, Darby Wolf, David Cole, Ian Hersey, Craig Myers, Jordan Brooks

Current Project: 
Tour in support of Omega La La

Brooklyn, NY via Burlington, VT

It isn’t often that you come across a touring, eight-piece afrobeat orchestra of sorts, let alone one that is winning praise from legions of young fans and the mainstream press alike. But that’s exactly what Rubblebucket is doing. Thanks to their uncanny ability to write musically complex, layered songs while still infusing them with catchy riffs and a blissful, pop-esque aura, the band is currently enjoying immense buzz and growth.

For this episode of IAtv, Ben sits down with band creators Alex Toth and Kalmia Traver to discuss how the band was formed, the roots of their sound, marketing & tour strategy, relocating to Brooklyn and much more. See it all in the video below, and be sure to catch one of band’s shows in a city near you on their current fall tour!

Rubblebucket Quick Tips:

  • Looking to start a new band? Don’t limit potential candidates to your immediate network! Alex and Kalmia found Rubblebucket’s future trombone player in a parade gig they scored through freelancing, and their keyboardist at a basement jam session. Everyone else came through recommendations from other musicians they respected.
  • Make sure your band is in a good position to relocate before you go ahead and do it. It’s always a risky proposition moving to a place like Brooklyn that’s already overrun with tons of other bands, but the move worked out well for Rubblebucket because they had momentum and direction before doing so.
  • As we’ve mentioned before, don’t forget about the possibility of forming your own label imprint to release your material, like Rubblebucket has done. It also helps that Rubblebucket’s management, Roll Call, has a label component to their business, and have in turn been able to help the band out with marketing strategy advice.
  • As a large band, you need to make sure the road can pay for the road before setting off and touring with a lot of members. Rubblebucket is unique and fortunate in that they are successful enough to tour with eight band members.
  • As the number of fans coming out to your shows in bigger markets grows, it’s smart to use the money made from those bigger markets to expand into smaller, not yet supportive markets around the country. With any luck, investing in those smaller markets now will turn them into larger markets in the future.
  • There are many ways to get fans’ email addresses. Rubblebucket chose to give Omega La La away on Facebook in exchange for a “like” and an email address before physical copies of the album were available, a strategy that tripled their page “likes” on Facebook and brought them tons of addresses.