HomeBad Ass AsiansAl Chan recalls decades with the cult band you should know

Al Chan recalls decades with the cult band you should know

By Mimi Chen, AsAmNews Music Writer

The Rubinoos is a band that is not a household name in the American rock music landscape, but yet they should be.  For a band that has been pretty much self-released and self-managed, they have a legacy of music and performing that spans over 40 years. 

Recently AsAmNews sat down with Al Chan, the long-time bassist for the Rubinoos.

Chan, while not a founding member of the band, joined shortly as their bass player in 1980 after its creation in the 70’s and has been with them since.  He credits their longevity to how they work well with each other. 

“We love playing with each other, we’re all friends. And we’re all kind of perfectionists,” he said.

And sure, while it doesn’t pay all the bills, he admitted that, he’s “always looked at it as a labor of love and straight from the heart.”

In all those years, he revealed that he never really saw any racism in their tours across the world. 

“If it’s there, I don’t recognize it at all. Maybe it’s just maybe it was the way I was raised.  My parents were from Hawaii and they just make fun of everybody, but lightweight you know. They have this sense of humor about things. And honestly, if I ever get any kind of vibe from anybody, you know, I ignore it. I usually gravitate towards good people and they gravitate towards me. You know, that’s one thing I love about touring is meeting people,” Chan said.

He admits that maybe there was one incident. “Maybe there was one time when I was in Madrid, where I heard a weird remark, but,  just let it slide,” he stated.

While the pandemic put a dent in their performing schedule, he says they already have a gig planned for next year. at the Mosswood Meltdown for the beginning of July in Oakland. “We’ll be playing on a bill with Plastic Bertrand, remember him?  And Bikini Kill.”

Check out our full interview with Al Chan.

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  1. He’s a legend. So glad you got a chance to interview Al. He’s a huge inspiration seeing an Asian in a legendary US band. When I first saw The Runinoos I was like omg there’s an asian on bass and he’s bad ass.


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