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Mario Rubalcaba

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Mario Rubalcaba
Rubalcaba performing with Hot Snakes in 2011
Rubalcaba performing with Hot Snakes in 2011
Background information
Birth nameMario Rubalcaba
Also known asRuby Mars
OriginSan Diego, California, United States
Occupation(s)Drummer, skateboarder
Instrument(s)Drums, guitar

Mario Rubalcaba (also known by the pseudonym Ruby Mars) is an American drummer from San Diego, notable as a member of numerous rock bands including Clikatat Ikatowi, Thingy, Rocket from the Crypt, Hot Snakes, Earthless, the Sultans, and Off! He has also played on albums by The Black Heart Procession and Pinback and was formerly a professional skateboarder.

Skateboarding career


In the late 1980s and early 1990s Rubalcaba was a professional skateboarder, skating for Team Alva. Though he no longer skates professionally, he does work at Black Box, a skateboarding distribution company and skate park in San Diego.[1]

Musical career


Rubalcaba's drumming career began in 1990 with the San Diego post-hardcore band 411. The group released the single Say It in 1990 and the album This Isn't Me in 1991 before disbanding. He next joined the hardcore punk band Chicano-Christ, playing on their eponymous 1991 album. In late 1993 Rubalcaba co-started the post-hardcore San Diego "supergroup" Clikatat Ikatowi (after the demise of Heroin), which included guitarist Scott Bartoloni, performing on Orchestrated & Conducted by Clikatat Ikatowi (1996) and August 29 + 30 1995 (1997) including Clikatat Ikatowi's final release, the EP River of Souls (posthumously released in 1998). In 1994 he became involved with the Louisville, Kentucky-based Metroschifter, a recently launched project of singer/guitarist Scott Ritcher. The four band members each lived in different cities and wrote songs by mailing recorded tracks back and forth to each other. The band's first tour in May 1994 was booked before the members had ever met each other in person, and they practiced together only twice before beginning the tour.[2] Their first album, The Metroschifter Capsule, was recorded two weeks after the band formed. Lacking the funds to mix and release it, they took pre-orders for personalized copies and raised enough money to release it on Ritcher's Slamdek label.[2] Rubalcaba recorded two singles with Metroschifter, For the Love of Basic Cable in December 1994 and Number One for a Second in May 1995, before leaving the group on good terms in December 1996.[2]

In 1997 he next joined the indie rock band Thingy, performing on the album Songs About Angels, Evil, and Running Around on Fire. From 1998 to 2000 Rubalcalba moved to Chicago; there he collaborated with guitarist Bill Skibbe and bassist Jessica Ruffins of The Jaks in an experimental, instrumental group called Sea of Tombs. Their recordings were later released as an eponymous EP in September 2001. In 1999 and 2000 he performed on four releases by The Black Heart Procession: on the tracks "A Light So Dim" and "It's a Crime I Never Told You About the Diamonds in Your Eyes" on the album 2, all tracks on the EPs Fish the Holes on Frozen Lakes and A Three Song Recording, and "A Heart Like Mine" on the album Three. All four releases also included contributions by Jason Crane of Rocket from the Crypt, a band that Rubalcaba would later join. 2000 also saw Rubalcaba's final recording with Thingy, on the album To the Innocent.

In September 2000 Rubalcaba returned to San Diego to join Rocket from the Crypt, replacing drummer Adam Willard. He performed on the albums Group Sounds (2001) and Live from Camp X-Ray (2002) and their accompanying tours. In 2001 he became a founding member of the instrumental psychedelic rock band Earthless with bassist Mike Eginton and guitarist Isaiah Mitchell. In 2002 he also joined a new lineup of the hardcore punk band Battalion of Saints, reuniting with Clikatat Ikatowi guitarist Scott Bartoloni.[3] In 2003 he joined Mannekin Piss, in which he played guitar with future Sultans bassist Dean Reis, performing on the 2004 EP Planet Death.[4] In 2004 he joined one of Rocket from the Crypt singer/guitarist John Reis' other bands, Hot Snakes, replacing drummer Jason Kourkounis. With Hot Snakes he performed on the album Audit in Progress (2004) and the Peel Sessions EP (2005). Earthless' debut Sonic Prayer was released in April 2005.

Rubalcaba (back) performing with John Reis in the Sultans at their final performance on January 10, 2007.

After a tour of Australia in Spring 2005 Hot Snakes announced their breakup. A live performance recorded that May for Australian radio station Triple J was released in 2006 as Thunder Down Under. Rocket from the Crypt soon announced their breakup as well; their final performance on Halloween 2005 was recorded and released in 2008 as R.I.P. In January 2006 Rubalcaba replaced Tony Di Prima in another of John Reis' bands, the Sultans, which also included Reis' brother and former Mannekin Piss bassist Dean Reis. The Sultans performed infrequently until their breakup a year later. In 2007 Earthless released their second album Rhythms from a Cosmic Sky. Later that year Rubalcaba performed on the track "From Nothing to Nowhere" on Pinback's album Autumn of the Seraphs and filled in for J Mascis in Witch for several live performances. In October 2008 Earthless released the live album Live at Roadburn, an album that documents the bands unexpected promotion to the “big stage” and a much larger crowd.[5] He is also part owner of the independent record store Thirsty Moon in the Hillcrest Area of San Diego.[1]

In 2009 Rubalcaba joined the hardcore punk supergroup Off! with singer Keith Morris, guitarist Dimitri Coats, and bassist Steven Shane McDonald.[6] The band's first album, First Four EPs, was released in 2010.



This section lists albums and EPs on which Rubalcaba has performed.

Year Act Title Record label
1991 411 This Isn't Me Workshed
Chicano-Christ Chicano-Christ Nemesis
1994 Metroschifter The Metroschifter Capsule Slamdek/Conversion
1995 Metroschifter Fort Saint Metroschifter Doghouse
1996 Clikatat Ikatowi Orchestrated and Conducted by Clikatat Ikatowi Gravity
1997 August 29 + 30 1995
Thingy Songs About Angels, Evil, and Running Around on Fire Headhunter
1998 Clikatat Ikatowi River of Souls Gravity
1999 The Black Heart Procession 2 Touch and Go
Fish the Holes on Frozen Lakes Galaxia
A Three Song Recording Up
2000 Thingy To the Innocent Absolutely Kosher
The Black Heart Procession Three Touch and Go
2001 Rocket from the Crypt Group Sounds Vagrant
Sea of Tombs Sea of Tombs Gravity
2002 Rocket from the Crypt Live from Camp X-Ray Vagrant
2004 Mannekin Piss Planet Death Flapping Jet
Hot Snakes Audit in Progress Swami
2005 Peel Sessions
Earthless Sonic Prayer Gravity
2006 Hot Snakes Thunder Down Under Swami
2007 Earthless Rhythms from a Cosmic Sky Tee Pee
Pinback Autumn of the Seraphs Touch and Go
2008 Rocket from the Crypt R.I.P. Vagrant
Earthless Live at Roadburn Tee Pee
2010 Off! First Four EPs Vice
2012 Off!
2014 Wasted Years
2018 Earthless Black Heaven Nuclear Blast
2018 From The West Silver Current Records


  1. ^ a b Crosland, George. "Earthless Record Review/Interview". skateboard-revolution.com. Skateboard Revolution. Retrieved 2009-02-17.[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ a b c "Timeline of Metroschifter - History". Metroschifter official website. slamdek.com. Archived from the original on 2009-06-29. Retrieved 2009-02-17.
  3. ^ "Battalion of Saints". taang.com. Taang! Records. Retrieved 2009-02-22.
  4. ^ "Mannekin Piss". flappingjet.com. Flapping Jet Records. Retrieved 2009-02-22.
  5. ^ "Ep170: Mario Rubalcaba (Earthless, OFF!, Hot Snakes, Rocket From the Crypt, Clikitat Ikatowi)". Conan Neutron's Protonic Reversal. 2020-05-16. Retrieved 2020-07-11.
  6. ^ "Interviews: Keith Morris (Off!, Black Flag, Circle Jerks)". punknews.org. 31 May 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-05.