Reuben Bullock woke up at a friend’s house near California’s Joshua Tree National Park about a week ago, after a cell phone was slid under his door playing the song Black Water.
Then another phone. And another.
They were all playing the trailer for the upcoming Netflix movie El Camino: A Breaking Bad movie – and the song from his Calgary-based band, Reuben and the Dark, was featured.
“I open my eyes and I was like trying to put together what was happening. I just looked down the floor and saw all these phones that were playing the video,” Bullock told LiveWire Calgary.
“It was pretty surreal. I mean, definitely, like a really magical moment. I teared up.”
Breaking Bad a dream break
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie is scheduled for release Oct. 11 on Netflix and is said to be a continuation of the popular AMC TV series that aired from 2008 to 2013. It shows what comes after the series finale to character Jesse Pinkman.
Bullock said it took him a bit to warm up to the series; like most people it was tough to get past that first few dark episodes in season 1. A few years later, he picked it up again in the final season and binge watched it.
“I got totally caught up in it and just had so much respect for the director and the music supervisor and the music that they use in it,” he said.
“It was kind of this crazy dream of mine. While I was watching it, I was like, ‘this would be like the Holy Grail getting a song in this TV show. And I always had that in my mind. But (the show) was done.”
Having now seen the film at its Los Angeles premier Monday night, Bullock said it’s eerie how the song Black Water, from the 2014 album Funeral Sky, matches the character arc of Pinkman.
Bullock knew for maybe six weeks that the producers had been eying the song for the trailer. It was something he wanted to keep out of his mind.
Originally, the studio wasn’t so keen on moving forward with it because it had already appeared once in a Woody Harrelson movie called The Glass Castle.
“I watched the trailer again after seeing the movie. And I absolutely know why they used the song,” Bullock said.
“The reason has to just be like it’s so strangely in sync with what his character’s been through.”
Reuben and the Dark new album: un | love
While fresh off the rush of being the featured artist in the Breaking Bad trailer, the indie alt-folks band is dropping a new, full length album Oct. 25 called un | love, with the first new song faultline.
Bullock said this album goes back to the feel of the 2014 Funeral Sky album and the Black Water song. He said they’re after a more natural sound.
“It’s taking a different perspective on songwriting, on recording; it’s approaching concepts from different angles,” he said.
“No big producers, no big studios, just trying to flush out songs in really honest ways.”
This album toys with a few new “soundscapes” Bullock said, and the band was involved in the music production this time around.
“We just explored everything we wanted to explore. No one from any record label was telling us what to do or how it should sound. No one was kind of looking over our shoulders, there was no input into any of the songs,” he said.
“This is really just kind of back to the core of why you write songs and how you want to record them and, and really just doing it exactly the way that we want it.”
First an album, then a cross-Canada tour
Reuben and the Dark will head out on cross-Canada tour again, starting with a show in Pentiction, BC at the Dream Café.
It swings westward through Alberta with dates at the Banff Centre Oct. 18 and 19, in Red Deer at Bo’s on Oct. 22, the Jasper Legion Oct. 23 and then to Camrose Oct. 25 at the Bailey Theatre and St. Albert Oct. 29.
The band will play in Calgary Feb. 28 at The Palace.
Bullock said there’s always an energy when they come back to their home province.
“There’s so much positive support that I look forward to playing Alberta because it’s it just feels like family – it feels like home. There’s so much love for the band,” he said.
For more information, visit reubenandthedark.com