by Alexandra Hall
“It all starts with a feeling,” Loper said. “That feeling has a place– sometimes a setting. The feeling of being drunk in a crowded bar and having fun with your friends does have a very clear setting, so it was easy to access.”
Public restrooms: the oasis amidst a desert of drunkenness. Andrew Loper’s gaze meets the camera’s eye from the angle of the mirror before disappearing back into the crowded bar. The moment of peace before re-entering the chaos of a night out is what Philadelphia duo Rubber’s newest single is all about.
“Fries and Wings” is a going out ballad. The other half of Rubber, John Della Franco, grounds the song with his bass while Loper’s vocals carry you away.
“Fries and Wings” hits especially hard considering the nights of going out with friends have been on a hiatus. But if the song doesn’t get you in that zone itself, the music video will entice you. The camera’s fisheye gaze and following of the duo’s nightly antics makes you feel like you’ve already had a drink or two.
“I love going out and getting drunk and being stupid,” Loper said. “That was something we missed out on for two years. So I wanted to hold onto that and memorialize it… I was trying to create a space that I could live in.”
Above all else, “Fries and Wings” is fun– and so is Rubber.
The Temple University grads have been making music under that name since 2017, when they had an awkward first meeting. After navigating some nebulous friendship dynamics the two discovered that they make a great team. Della Franco and Loper began playing open mics around campus and surprisingly, they were met with open arms. Soon, they were approached by someone from Temple’s student-run record label.
It was love at first jazz. The two connected over the shared history of playing and singing jazz music, which evolved into a tighter bond over adoration of 2000’s R&B music and hip-hop. All of which you can clearly hear in Rubber’s sound.
“We’re playing around with styles to eventually find something that suits us and that we can grow into,” Della Franco said. “I don’t feel like we’re looking for something to land on and say “Okay, this is our sound.” I feel like we’re in constant evolution.”
Their more recent singles like “Fries and Wings” and “Queen Cash” are synthy daydreams and some of Rubber’s future releases will be as well, but they want to go back to the basics.
“We’re starting to head back to writing the songs outside of the computer and then bringing them there once they’re written,” Della Franco said. “I want to get more into writing the songs on acoustic instruments because I missed that process.”
In the box or out of it, the duo is trying to sculpt their sound while still leaving room for experimentation.
“I think we are orbiting not necessarily our sound but what Rubber actually is,” Loper said. “We’re still in an experimental phase. My goal is to hone into a sound for a project, but not stick to that forever. I think things should evolve.”
The duo is passionate but not frantic. Even when discussing their future, there seemed to be no rush between the two. No push to upload a specific number of Tik Toks. No pressing need to release a finite number of singles on their trek to bigger success. Much like their sound, Rubber’s malleability is what makes them so unique. They’re just beginning to take form.
Until next time,
(if you want to hear more from me and stay in the loop, subscribe to my new newsletter: the Rocka Mag Recap)
Listen to “Wings and Fries” / Watch music video