Ilan Rubin

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Ilan Rubin
Angels&Airwaves Hansaring 04 Ilan Rubin.jpg
Background information
Born (1988-07-07) July 7, 1988 (age 33)
Los Angeles, California, United States
OriginSan Diego, California, United States
  • Musician
  • singer
  • songwriter
Years active1997–present
Associated acts

Ilan Rubin (born July 7, 1988) is an American musician, singer, and songwriter. He is known primarily for playing drums with bands such as Nine Inch Nails, Paramore, Lostprophets and Angels & Airwaves.[2] He also has his own solo project called The New Regime, in which he sings, plays all instruments in the studio and plays guitar in live performances.

As a member of Nine Inch Nails, in 2020 Rubin was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as the youngest living inductee in its history.[3] He is also the first Rock Hall inductee to be born in the 1980s.

Early life[edit]

Rubin was raised in San Diego, California. He began playing drums at the age of eight, when he discovered his father's 1968 Silver Sparkle Ludwig drum kit set up in the garage. After three months of "toying" with the kit, he had taught himself to play and was jamming with his older brothers.[4] By age nine, he was ready to play for F.o.N., a band that eventually would do three stints on the Vans Warped Tour, where Rubin would also fill in on drums for bands such as NOFX. In 1999, F.o.N. opened Woodstock '99 on the Emerging Artist Stage; as a result, 11-year-old Rubin gained entry into the Guinness Book of World Records as the youngest musician to ever play on a Woodstock stage.[5]

Shortly thereafter, Rubin submitted a video to Modern Drummer Magazine of him doing a solo during an F.o.N. performance, which was picked by the magazine as the winning entry in its "Best Undiscovered Drummer Under the Age of 18" contest. The winner of the 18-and-over category came from Argentina, and both drummers were invited to perform at the 2000 Modern Drummer Festival, by which time Rubin had turned 12. He has taken lessons from Blink-182's drummer Travis Barker and The Hooters' drummer David Uosikkinen.

Recording career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Immediately prior to working with Lostprophets, Rubin was the drummer for the band Denver Harbor, which included his older brother, Aaron, as bassist, who had played guitar in F.o.N., as well as 2 ex-members of the punk band Fenix TX. Denver Harbor was dropped from their label one year after their only full-length album, Scenic, was released in 2004 but not before the band did a few round-trip tours of the United States and one week in Japan with a re-united Fenix TX.

Lostprophets (2006–2008)[edit]

Rubin (right) performing with Lostprophets at the Leeds Festival 2007.

Rubin was the drummer for the Welsh band Lostprophets (although he is American). He replaced Mike Chiplin, founding member and original drummer, who left the band in 2005 to pursue other musical opportunities. Before finding Rubin, Lostprophets hired session drummer Josh Freese to record the tracks on Liberation Transmission. Then, after Rubin joined, he played the remaining two tracks on Liberation Transmission: "For All These Times Son, For All These Times" and "Everybody's Screaming!!!". The drummer on the demos for this period are unclear with all tracks, depending on the time the demos were made, potentially being recorded by either former drummer Mike Chiplin, frontman Ian Watkins (who occasionally plays drums in demos) or Rubin. Either Rubin or Freese may have recorded the B-Side, "Every Song", which comes from the album sessions. Rubin, however, toured from 2006 to 2008 with the band and appeared in the videos for "Rooftops (A Liberation Broadcast)", "A Town Called Hypocrisy", "Can't Catch Tomorrow (Good Shoes Won't Save You This Time)" and "4:AM Forever". He left the band in late 2008 but not before he tracked all of the drums and helped pen some of the music on the band's fourth studio release The Betrayed.

The New Regime (2007–present)[edit]

Rubin's first solo album, under the pseudonym 'The New Regime', called Coup, was recorded throughout 2007 and 2008 and released in November 2008. While touring with Nine Inch Nails and following the conclusion of the Wave Goodbye Tour Rubin worked on his second album, Speak Through The White Noise, which was released in April 2011.[6] Prior to this, Ilan released a free single titled 'Remission Of Guilt' through his website. It has been confirmed that this track will not be on the new album. in 2011 he went on Tour with Taking Back Sunday as an opening act. In 2013 and 2015, he released the two halves of his next project, titled Exhibit A and Exhibit B. On March 6, 2020, The New Regime released its fifth studio album, Heart Mind Body & Soul, featuring the singles "Turning a Blind Eye" and "Heart Mind Body & Soul." Over a five-month period prior to its release, Rubin released three EPs (Heart, Mind, and Body), each with four songs from the upcoming album that fit the themes of the titles.

Nine Inch Nails (2009–present)[edit]

Rubin performs with Nine Inch Nails in Santa Barbara, California, 2009

On November 15, 2008, Trent Reznor announced via the Nine Inch Nails website that Rubin would be joining industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails as their drummer after the departure of Josh Freese in late 2008. Upon learning of his skills as a multi-instrumentalist, Reznor decided to scale the latest live incarnation of Nine Inch Nails down to a four-piece, where Rubin contributed keyboards and percussion. The new lineup played the final Nine Inch Nails tour dubbed the "Wave Goodbye" tour, starting in Australia and New Zealand, then North America, continuing to Europe and Asia before returning to the U.S. for a final set of dates in smaller venues. During the last show at the Wiltern theatre, Reznor discussed the band's future, including new recordings featuring the current live band.

In February 2013, Reznor announced the return of Nine Inch Nails and revealed tour details. He also revealed that the new lineup of the band included Rubin, Eric Avery of Jane's Addiction, Adrian Belew of King Crimson, and Josh Eustis of Telefon Tel Aviv, as well as returning member Alessandro Cortini.[7]

Angels & Airwaves (2011–present)[edit]

In 2011, Rubin joined Angels & Airwaves, replacing drummer Atom Willard.[8] Although, every other member had left the band by 2014, Rubin remained partnered with founder and leader Tom DeLonge and the duo released the album The Dream Walker in December 2014, sharing songwriting and instrumental duties. Prior to guitarist David Kennedy’s return to the band in 2018, DeLonge and Rubin released two more EPs as a duo (...Of Nightmares in 2015 and Chasing Shadows in 2016, respectively).

Paramore (2012–2013)[edit]

On June 28, 2012 Paramore confirmed Rubin would drum on their fourth album, via Twitter,[9] Tumblr and Facebook,[10] though he didn't join as an official member of the band. Rubin recorded all the drums on their self-titled album and joined them for its subsequent tour.


Rubin is a co-owner of Q Drum Co; from whom he plays a signature custom kit, generally made of metal. He usually plays a simple setup consisting of a 26 inch bass drum, one 13-14 inch rack tom, 16 and 18 inch floor toms, and a 14 inch metal snare drum. His toms are fitted with clear Remo Controlled Sound Dots. His snare normally has a Remo X14, and his kick is fitted with the coated PowerStroke3. He uses clear Ambassadors on the resonant sides of all of his drums. He uses Vater Nude 1A drumsticks, Zildjian cymbals and DW 5000 series pedals and 9000 series stands. In addition to all of this, he will also sometimes incorporate several electronic accessories into his kit. These would include 2 pairs of Roland electronic pads (1 pair on each side of his kit), triggers on his snare and kick which are used to blend electronic samples with acoustic drum sounds, and a Roland KD-7, which is essentially a kick trigger that mounts to a traditional kick pedal. He also frequently records with his father's 1968 Ludwig Sparkle Drumset with a Supraphonic snare drum. His cymbal setup follows:

15" A Avedis Hi-Hats

19" A Avedis Crash Ride

20" A Avedis Crash Ride

24" K Zildjian Light Ride

Prior to joining the companies he is with today, Rubin endorsed OCDP drums and Paiste cymbals.

With the New Regime, his solo project, his 1980 prototype Gibson Les Paul is featured prominently. He has also used the Fender Jaguar thinline, Martin D-16GT and Fender Jaguar Bass, among other guitars. He also uses an assortment of Keyboards, Synthesizers and effects pedals. In the past, he was featured in a promotional video for the Akai Pro Advance 61 keyboard.


The New Regime live line up[edit]


Denver Harbor
  • Liberation Transmission (only drummed on "For All These Times Son, For All These Times" and "Everybody's Screaming!!!") (2006)
  • The Betrayed (2010)
  • Weapons (2012) (only on four bonus tracks produced by John Feldmann, recorded 2007)
The New Regime
  • "Eleanor Rigby" (The Beatles cover) (2007)
  • Coup (2008)
  • "Remission Of Guilt" (2010)
  • Speak Through The White Noise (2011)
  • Exhibit A (2013)
  • Exhibit B (2015)
  • Heart Mind Body & Soul (2020)
Angels & Airwaves
Nine Inch Nails


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Lostprophets drummer to join Nine Inch Nails full-time". NME. Retrieved 2014-07-22.
  3. ^ Varga, George (September 4, 2020). "San Diego's Ilan Rubin will be youngest Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee ever as member of Nine Inch Nails". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved September 21, 2020.
  4. ^ Payne, Chris (March 30, 2015). "Nine Inch Nails Drummer Ilan Rubin's The New Regime Premieres Exhibit B Album". Billboard.
  5. ^ "Youngest Performer Ever to Play Woodstock Takes to the AMP3.COM Emerging Artist Stage". 1999-07-16. Retrieved 2011-10-26.
  6. ^ Allen, Jay (October 25, 2013). "New Angels & Airwaves Drummer is Local Phenom is Ilan Rubin". San Diego Reader.
  7. ^ Phillips, Amy (February 25, 2013). "Trent Reznor Announces the Return of Nine Inch Nails: Extensive Touring for 2013 and 2014". Pitchfork. Retrieved February 25, 2013.
  8. ^ "Angels & Airwaves Announce New Album". Female First. 2011-10-20. Retrieved 2011-10-26.
  9. ^ "Paramore confirm album four drummer". Retrieved 2012-06-29.
  10. ^ "Muppet photograph". Retrieved 2014-07-22.

External links[edit]