|Born||Ottawa, Ontario, Canada|
|Genres||Alternative, art rock, industrial, orchestral pop, lo-fi, progressive metal|
|Labels||TVT Records, MCA Records, EMI Records, Zomba Records, Hi-Hat Recordings, Universal Records, Quattro Label|
Spookey Ruben (born Alan Deil) is a Canadian musician and experimental filmmaker. Best known for his song and music video "These days are old", Spookey's adventurous songwriting and eccentric production techniques often contrast high and low vocals, analogue keyboards, found sounds, sampled beats and stringed instruments such as electric and Spanish guitar. Spookey has released seven full-length solo albums and toured throughout Europe, Japan and North America. Spookey's diverse body of work ranges from directing music videos to working as a pop producer, songwriter, remixer and film composer.
Due to his father's work as an ESA space engineer Spookey grew up in Germany, the Netherlands, and Washington, D.C. In his childhood, Spookey's parents insisted he take up an instrument and so he chose classical guitar. At age 13 he got his hands on his first electric guitar and spent the remainder of his teenage years playing in an array of hardcore and speed metal bands (most notably Transilience). It was at this time that he received his nickname "Spooky", a result of his high-school friends teasing him about his appearance with his long hair and Satanic T-shirts. At age 19 he moved to Toronto and enrolled in film school at York University, but kept musical ideas rolling on a four-track recorder.
Spookey's home recording experiments led to the making of his solo debut album Modes of Transportation Vol. 1 (TVT Records) which was partially engineered and mixed by Gadi Foltys, Don Kerr, Brad Nelson and Mark Plati (David Bowie). International critical acclaim followed, hailing the album as the "Pet Sounds of the 90s" and "lo-fi pop masterpiece". In 1996, Ruben contributed to the AIDS benefit album Offbeat: A Red Hot Soundtrip produced by the Red Hot Organization. Disputes with TVT resulted in his leaving the label and years of apparent silence. Eventually, Ruben simultaneously released two separate CDs entitled Bed and Breakfast (Hi-Hat/Zomba) that were later repackaged as a double album. Alone at the Zoo, co-produced by John McEntire of Tortoise/The Sea and Cake was released as a special limited album of demos in 2003. On June 16, 2009 his full-length album, Mechanical Royalty, was released in Canada on Hi-Hat/Sonic Unyon. He has since released a new EP, Shackleton and is playing live dates in North America and Europe.
In 2008, Spookey Ruben began filming a series of short films (Spookey Ruben's Dizzy Playground) for Exclaim! and AUX Television. There have been seven episodes, which include musicians from various bands.
- Omen of the Goblet – Featuring Brendan Canning of Broken Social Scene
- Exit to Panama – Featuring Hannah Krapivinsky and Anna Edwards of Foxfire
- Space Package – Featuring John McEntire of Tortoise/The Sea and Cake
- Cavity Central – Featuring Melissa Auf der Maur of Hole/The Smashing Pumpkins
- Natural Born Grannies – Featuring Ariel Pink
- The Adventures of Spaghetti Cowboy - Featuring Leslie Feist of Feist/Broken Social Scene
- Puzzleface - Featuring Denis Bélanger of Voivod, Maylee Todd, Rodrigo Gudiño and legendary film director Ken Russell
- Modes of Transportation Vol. 1 (tvt records 1995, quattro Japan 1996, intercord Germany 1996, emi uk 1997)
- Wendy Mcdonald – Live in Japan EP (tvt records 1996)
- Modes of Transportation Vol. 2: What's a Boy to do? (quattro Japan 1998)
- Brunch (quattro Japan 2000)
- Bed and Breakfast (hi-hat/zomba – released separately in 2002, 2003 then repackaged in 2006)
- Alone At The Zoo (hi-hat 2003)
- Ausfahrt Walsrode EP (lamm/universal 2006)
- Mechanical Royalty (hi-hat/sonic unyon – special edition EP 2008; full length edition 2009)
- Shackleton (hi-hat – special limited edition EP 2010)
- Welsh Rarebits (hi-hat 2012)
- ""These days are old" (1995)
- "Running Away" (1995)
- "Wendy Mcdonald" (1996)
- "Brand New Game" (2002)
- "Shauna" (2003)
- "Glenn Take Care" (2003)
- "Are There Any People You Don't Love?" (2006)
- "Superpoke" (2009)
- "Spookey Ruben Biography". 123exp-biographies.
- "Spookey ruben bio version q-v4". hi-hat.ca.
- Modes of Transportation, Vol. 1: Information from. Answers.com (1995-10-03). Retrieved on 2012-01-05.
- "Watch Episode One of Spookey Ruben's Dizzy Playground". exclaim.ca.