October 1st 2023

We continue our series of introductions to remarkable Icelandic locals captured in our Autumn/Winter 23 editorial.

Meet Rubin Pollock, Icelandic musician and the lead guitarist of the renowned band Kaleo. Hailing from Iceland, Kaleo’s music often draws inspiration from the country’s breathtaking landscapes and rich musical heritage. They are known for their captivating live performances and have played in extraordinary locations within Iceland, such as inside a volcano crater and on an iceberg.

Kaleo’s success has made them one of Iceland’s most prominent musical exports, and they continue to captivate audiences worldwide with their soulful and genre-blending music.

When meeting Rubin during our journey through Iceland, he shared his personal perspective on life as a musician, memorable moments from live performances, and the joy of returning to Iceland after extensive travels. We had the pleasure of photographing him in the Gusto Shirt, Sandel Shirt Jacket, Derbin Shirt, and Banasa Pants.

Give us a small introduction about yourself.
My name is Rubin Pollock. I’m a 32 year old musician from Iceland.

As an Icelander, what’s the most exciting thing you’ve seen while growing up in Iceland?
We had a volcanic eruption right outside of Reykjavik recently. I sat there during the night for several hours completely in awe. That must be it.

Kaleo has gained a big following in the past years and recently celebrated its 10 year anniversary. What’s been your highlight since embarking on this journey?
It’s hard to pick a moment from the past 10 years. I guess being fortunate enough to travel the world and play music for people is the highlight. I’m grateful for that every single day. Except for when im in airports, then im not grateful for anything.

Anything particularly awkward that happened to you live on stage?
Yeah, we played this show in a beautiful venue in paris. Can’t remember the name, it’s an old theatre close to Sacré-Cœur. Well a few songs into the set i had this intense urge to pee. I thought it might go away, but it didn’t. It just got more intense. I was in the middle of song, when i realised i had no choice but to let go. So i stood there, in front of 2500 people with a spotlight on me, in a state of blissful relief as the pee slowly ran down my legs into my socks. Luckily i was wearing black jeans that night.

When returning to Iceland after a longer period away, what do you look forward to most every time?
It’s usually 6 AM when im returning from North America. The first thing i do is hit Vesturbæjarlaug, the pool in my neighboorhood. There’s usually a gathering of older people that go at the same time everyday. You’ll catch some great characters. The pools are the single greatest thing about this country.

Kaleo is known for performing in unusual locations in Iceland, like inside a volcano crater, inside an ice cave, and on an iceberg surrounded by water. Which extraordinary location in Iceland will be next?
That’s a good question. Hopefully somewhere warm!