Band Profile: Caboose

Swarthmore boasts a number of dedicated and talented bands. Caboose, an all first-year group composed of five members, is one such band. Dakota Gibbs ’19 initiated the formation of the group by first approaching Moses Rubin ’19, having heard him perform at the very first open mic night of the year.

Rubin said that shortly after the performance, Gibbs asked if he was interested in starting a band together.

“He came up to me right after and said, ‘I’m trying to start a band’…and I sort of ignored him, so credit to Dakota for following up with email, and then I was like ‘yeah, ok let’s do this,’” said Rubin.

The other three members, Nico Aldaco ’19, Max Barry ’19 and Henry Feinstein ’19, followed soon after, introduced through mutual friends. For example, Feinstein was already friends with Max Barry when the band was in search of a drummer in the spring, and, through this connection, Caboose was able to add its fifth member.

The origin of the band name Caboose also has a rather amusing back story. Rubin, who writes a lot of the lyrics for the songs the group has performed this year, often ends up incorporating trains into his imagery.

“As Moses brought more of the songs he had written, we noticed there was a theme of trains through all of them, so we picked Caboose,” Barry said.

And according to Rubin, the name has become a sort of joking matter when writing songs.

“It’s now become a part of the game where I will deliberately try to throw a train or two into everything. It’s not hard to do,” he said with a laugh. “[I find them] very poetic.”

Rubin writes most of the lyrics for the songs, but during the creative process, brings about one quarter of a finished product to the band and opens it up for further creativity. Additionally, with three singers in Caboose, the voices allow for a three-part harmony which gives the band members more interesting options to pair with instrumental arrangements.

“It’s been really helpful taking stuff to the band because they alleviate you from the burden of a lot of different choices … The end result is a lot better than what I would’ve had just doodling around on my guitar in my room,” Moses said.

Caboose will be performing Friday, April 15 at the Swarthmore Battle of the Bands  to vie for coveted opportunity to perform at Worthstock.


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