Ruben Romano

I have zero doubts that Ruben Romano is stoner and psych rock royalty.  Romano is best known for is skills behind the drum kit. Look no further then is work on the first three Fu Manchu records and then with the mighty Nebula. He is a founding member of both bands and his unique style played a tremendous role in their success.  Currently Ruben is fronting the fuzzed out psychedelic rock’n’roll band The Freeks. Romano stepped out from the kit and is playing guitar and singing with The Freeks but you can still detect his signature sound. Since 2007 The Freeks have been doing their thing and they do it very well!! I highly recommend you check them out. Their last album “Shattered” is killer and come spring 2018 they will be dropping a new one on us! The Freeks got an aggressive approach to dropping a laid back good ole fashion ass kicking  groove.  Ruben was kind enough to take part in our random question segment.

WH – What is your go to guilty pleasure band/artist?

Romana – I got quite a few really, and in the end I don’t feel so guilty any more, John Denver, K.C. & the Sunshine Band can qualify under this. I used to say, Rod Stewart 78 era but given his time prior with Ronnie Lane and Small Faces still keeps him cool in my book no matter how much pink satin there was.

WH – If you could make an album with one band/artist dead or alive who is it and why?

Romana – Hard one, but I would have to choose one of these two bands, either The Incredible Bongo Band or Dennis Coffey & the Detroit Guitar band. Why? both those bands influence me as a kid due to the heavy percussions going off. I’m first a drummer and those were some awesome drum records due to all the hand drums involved

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WH – Favorite genre of music besides your own?

Romana – An other one hard to pin point to just one, Um, we can revert back to my answer in question # 2, There is a certain era of fuzz wha funk instrumental bands that I enjoy, I welcome all genres really, My Mom was a disco queen so there might be some of that in there to, hence the guilty pleasure of K.C & Sunshine band, (again due to some funky percussions there), although her all time favorite tune was Hang On Sloopy by the McCoys so bubble gum pop of the 60’s hits me good, like the Archies. I guess I can say that “Music” is my favorite genre, how bout that?

WH – Favorite tour food/snack?

Romana –  Maybe not my favorite snack but what I used to survive on tour with was a loaf of bread and a jar of peanut butter, That alone could last me a week, so I always had to make sure to grab plastic knives from the truck stop joints.

WH – Besides music name one hobby you enjoy?

Romana – Um, maybe stitching, not necessarily quilting but I can make a pair of jeans last a good long time with a needle and thread. Not really a hobby but more a survival tactic.

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WH – What was the last gift you gave someone?

Romana – One pocket coffee, it’s a small chocolate with liquid espresso inside it.

WH – If you could sing one song on American Idol, what would it be?

Romana –  “Do ya think I’m sexy” by Rod Stewart or “Fire Poem” by The Crazy World of Arthur Brown

WH – What song best describes you?

Romana –  Easy Like Sunday Morning or Comfortably Numb

WH – What nickname would you give yourself?

Pacing Tiger, because there is always something else to get done, but as a kid it was always something like Roobie doobie-do, and yes i did, so I had to learn how to roll a good doobie for my brothers! Right?

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WH – If you could steal one song from anyone which one would it be and why?

Romana –  Always giving my self the choice so either “Magic Potion” by The Open Mind or “Tractor” by Monster Magnet, because I love those songs

WH – What inspirational quote have you used for motivation?

Romana –  “Love is the Secret Password”. or just plain and simple, “I’ll do it myself”

WH – Give your bandmates nicknames?

Romana –

Jonathan Hall- The Bear

Bob Lee- Blind Owl

(but both those have already been taken by Canned Heat)

Esteban Chavez- Dr. Patient

Ray Piller- The Pile driver

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WH – What is one band you would suggest people check out?

Romano – Live- Slow Season- there Drummer is awesome! and of course my band The Freeks!! haha! duh!

THANKS AGAIN RUBEN! Like I said earlier, this dude is rock n roll royalty. I’m really looking forward to checking out what The Freeks put out this spring! In the meantime you can check out The Freeks at:

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Nebula’s Rise

 

Its really really hard to think that Nebula is already turning 20!! Holy shit where did the time go? I can remember it like it was yesterday when I first heard of this new band (Nebula) featuring Fu Manchu members Eddie Glass(Guitar) and Ruben Romano(Drums). I was living in Santa Cruz at the time and just dropped out of high school. I was down by pleasure point checking the waves. I was cruising on my skate with my disc man in hand rocking Fu Manchu’s “In Search Off.” I posted up on the rail with the boys like usual to shoot the shit. After asking what I was listening to a bro of mine informed of Glass and Romano leaving to start a new project. This really got my attention and I remember being really being excited for this. I’m a greedy music fan. The more the better!

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So fast forward to the fall of 98. Nebula had dropped “Let It Burn” and I got copy in hand. At this point I could drive and I loaded the disc into my old hand me down station wagon and hit play. Now you should know, that car was a piece of shit but I put money into a decent car stereo and it could crank! So… “Let It Burn” starts!! Ruben is doing that pattern on the ride symbol and the bass lines kicks in and is groovy. The psyched out sounds swell in and build to the main riff and holy fuck!! I take off in my station wagon to a whole other fucking planet!! “Welcome To Elevation” is an understatement. “Let It Burn” became one of “those records” for me. It opened doors. It opened my mind and lifted me to another level. “Down The Highway” was my station wagon’s theme song. Surf trips up and down the west coast now had a soundtrack for me and my friends.

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Lets fast forward now to end of summer 99. Nebula drops “To The Center” on us. Again the album starts with Romano doing his thing on the drums. Its got this jazzy feel and then he does this little skip pattern on the kick drum and the weed i’m smoking gets magically better. The bass and guitar lines take you to groove planet and then BOOM! “Taking off to the center of the universe!” That Glass riff hits and grooves hard. Eyes closed, summer sun out and life is good. “To The Center”, like “Let It Burn,” became an anthem album my crew.  Those albums for me, are best played start to finish. Nebula’s music was always a journey for me.

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1999 also brought us Nebulas EP’s “Sun Creature” and the split with Lowrider that eventually became to the “Dos EPs” release in 2002. I could not get enough of this band at the time and still do this day crank those records. Nebula had elements of Fu but with out a doubt did their own thing and created their own sound. For me, high school would not be the same with out the music of Nebula!

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So why am I bringing up Nebula now!! Well Heavy Psych Sounds is doing what Heavy Psych Sounds does and thats support and deliver great rock n roll. To help celebrate Nebulas 20th trip around the sun they are going to re-issue all of their first releases. I’m especially pumped for this because I fell like this band never got the credits they deserve.  Glass and Romana are stoner rock pioneers starting with Fu Manchu and then with Nebula. Along with Mark Abshire on bass Nebula was in a class of their own when it came to skill and delivery. Their albums no doubt had a huge impact on present and past stoner rock bands.  Nebula deserves their due and these record deserve some praise. If you know you know. IF YOU DON’T KNOW YOU BEST CATCH UP!

 

HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS RELEASE SCHEDULE 

LET IT BURN

  JAN. 26TH 2018

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BLACK VINYL / DIGIPAK / DIGITAL

TO THE CENTER 

FEB. 16TH 2018

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BLACK VINYL / DIGIPAK / DIGITAL

 

DOS EPS

MARCH 2ND 2018

HPS067_Nebula-DosEPs_72dpi400 LTD YELLOW TRANSPARENT SPLATTER MULTICOLOUR VINYL
BLACK VINYL / DIGIPAK / DIGITAL

 

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