Reuben

Straddling metal and hardcore punk, British trio Reuben began with Jamie Lenman and Jon Pierce, two friends who had been playing in bands together since they were 13. In 1998, they recruited drummer Jason Wilcox, formed a group called Angel, and began playing local shows and releasing demos. Wilcox left the band in 2000 and was replaced by Mark Lawton; the group would change its name to Reuben a year later. After Lawton decided to attend university, the band was again in search of a percussionist. Guy Davis moved from occasional fill-in to permanent member, and the trio released its first single, "Scared of the Police," in March of 2002. The video for the song was picked up by MTV2, exposing Reuben to a nationwide audience and catapulting them into the spotlight. Despite this initial success, talks between Reuben and independent studios continually fell through -- while they continued to release singles on a number of labels, they remained an unsigned band.

In the summer of 2003, Reuben self-financed and recorded their first album, Racecar Is Racecar Backwards, with the intent of releasing it on the Integrity label. Once again negotiations fell through, and only one single, "Stuck in My Throat," was released through the company. The album was eventually released in July 2004 on Xtra Mile, an imprint of the band's press agency and funded by SINE, an independent arm of Sony. Reuben spent the rest of the year on a headlining tour and returned to the studio at the beginning of 2005; their second album, Very Fast Very Dangerous, was released in September of the same year. It sold well, but not well enough for Sony to recoup its investment -- the company decided not to allocate any more money to Xtra Mile, and Reuben were forced to leave the label.

Once again unsigned, the band decided to embark on a new project -- an independent film chronicling life in an underground rock band. Filmed while the bandmembers were playing shows, rehearsing, recording, and even while working their day jobs, the finished DVD was sold while Reuben embarked on another tour in February 2007. Upon the tour's completion, the band set up its own label, Hideous Records, and sold both the DVD and an EP via its website. Reuben's third album, In Nothing We Trust, was released in the summer of 2007. ~ Katherine Fulton

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