Let the Scars Remain - Ryan McCombs speaks out.
Soil are a band who were formed back in Chicago Illinois in 1997 by Adam Zadel who was once with the Death Metal band 'Broken Hope' who released several albums and other members of Soil were also in 'Oppressor' another Death Metal band. Front man Ryan McCombs and bassist Tim King. With several time up changes Ryan left the band to join Drowning Pool back in 2004 and was replaced by A.J. Cavalier who left the band in 2011 when Ryan returned to the band. having made history with the bands debut album 'Throttle Junkie' which featured the bands hit single 'Halo' the band released a further 4 albums. Now with Ryan back in the band they are ready to record a new album for 2013, Ryan speaks out about his return and what the future holds for the band now signed to AFM Records.
Hey Ryan thanx for talking your time out and doing this interview before you hit the stage. I was looking at the bands back ground and noticed that the band evolved from the Death Metal band 'Broken Hope', please tell me more.
"Nice speaking to you Jason, thanx for coming pout to the show. To answer your question the original line up came out of 'Broken Hope' and the 3 of the guys were out of another Death Metal band called 'Oppressor' and they wanted to do something different away from the Death Metal scene and the stuff they grow up on like Rock and they got a hold of me through a band I was in back in Indiana where I lived were on a compilation CD of unsigned bands and they heard one of the songs that my old band had on there and they just called me asking me if I was interested in joining their new band. They wanted some vocals throwing down on the project they were doing and it just kind of went from there."
What was the bands music you were doing before you hooked up with these guys?
"Well I was in 2 different bands back in the day, 1 of them was a little bit more Hardcore and the other 1 was just Stoner Rock, we were good at what we did just I was looking for something more."
So when did Soil actually get together please?
It was 97 is when we 1st knew of our existence and they heard that CD I was telling you about and they liked that song I did so they just got a hold of me. They were thinking because I was in Indiana it was close to where they lived. (Ed: What did you think of the music from Broken Hope? Did you like it? Did you also think the idea would not work because of their roots?). Yes I did think it would not work, they were a extreme band who played some really heavy music and I didn't think it would work. I didn't know what to expect and growing up where I lived there was not that much of a music scene and we really never had any Death Metal band, especially playing original songs. A lot of band would be put on the bills with Death Metal band because they would not find a singer who could sing so it was easier for them to have a Death Metal singer in a band. My early opinions on Death Metal was it wasn't that good because of it but then again I got to meet these guys and I saw the talent in the guys who didn't want to play Death Metal anymore."
Which singers have inspired you in your up bring? Also how does the singer(s) reflect in your style?
"Well there was always music in my house when I was growing up. My dad was into music, my brother played in bands so I grew up with a lot of Rock & Roll, dad always listened too AC/DC, Aerosmith, Rolling Stones and he had a massive variety of music he would listen too. My brother is 5yrs older than me and he got me into Sabbath, Zeppelin, so there was always some loud noise going on in my house. I use to play bass to start with so singers didn't come into it till later on, I love Lane from Alice in Chains, that was the 1st singer I heard who I admired. Where I grew up there was a lot of Metallica. I don' think I have any similarities to Lane's vocals and when he passed away the singer from Seven Dust said I should try out for Alice In Chains & I knew my voice wasn't suitable for that band (laughing)."
When the band 1st started out you were signed to a label called J Records which you released you're debut album 'Throttle Junky', how do you compare that album to the later ones?
"Well it was an album we did before we signed to J Records and we were signed to a New York label called 'M.I.A' but the label went under a month after its release so in the eyes of the music industry we were damaged goods and we had a chance to sell the albums and we could not. So in the end we had a tough road convincing labels that we could still deliver the goods. J actually came to the rescue and it was a radio station in Florida that started playing our song 'Halo' and over night the labels wanted to sign us. J were a new label what had Whitney Houston and Aerosmith and I think it was either RCA or Arista Records."
So did the album get re-released because of M.I.A.?
"yeah I think so, after I left the band the band re-released it but it came after 'Scars' album & 'Redefine' which were released on J Records, and I left the band for about 9 months and I joined a band called 'Drowning Pool' in 2005 I joined the band and I quit them last October. (Ed: Why did you leave Soil in the 1st place?) I left because it was a bunch of guys trying to live their dreams and realizing what was important and what wasn't. At the time personally I was the only guy in the band with kids & wife and it was time for me to go home and be a father and husband, but this stinking music is in my soul (laughing).
So Ryan tell me a little bit about the last album you recorded 'Picture Perfect', why did the band decide to have that title for the album?
"I have no idea sorry, the music we are working on right now will be the 1st album I have done since 'Redefine' 2003 (Ed How does it feel to be back in the band?) It is fun, after the past we have realized that we need each other and the timing is right and we are having fun and we are blessed that we can do it and we are also wiser now. I am enjoying the music we are doing now as it is going back to my roots and the music we are writing just feels good."
Ok Ryan even though you didn't play on most of the albums how do you see each album as a progression?
"Well I think the past albums are a little different from what we can gather from the fans and the fans are really looking forward to see in the 3 of us been back together out of the original 5. Our guitar player Adam is responsible for 95% of the music written within the band and Tim out bass player has always been good at throwing riffs out and with my writing the lyrics again we really think that this next album will be our best. We have played some bits to friends and they say that the new stuff is great and we feel that is will be the next album to 'Redefine'."
So would I be right in saying you have new songs already wrote and ready to go?
"Yeah we do, we are ready to go into the studio and record and you are really never done and every other time a song will pop up in the studio but we feel really good about the material we have right now. We have an album plus worth of material wrote so far. We don't have any song titles so far for the songs but we are working on that. I have always loved the writing and recording process and watching a song come to life from that 1st riff to that final onslaught on the CD. A lot of the times lyrics will change as we are going through that recording process. We don't have a album title yet that will come last."
Do you have any ideas who you will use as a producer for the next album?
"We will be using Ulrich Wild who did the 'True Self' album who had worked with Deftones, Pantera. We will have about 11 songs, (Ed: What Spinal Tap?) Yeah we will go up to 11 (laughing)."
How did it feel to record a live DVD 'Re-Live-ing The Scars', as this was your 1st comeback?
"It was great and it was done at the 'Electric Ballroom' in London and we had rehearsed twice before the show and we were sitting backstage asking ourselves how the songs go again. We got together for 2 days before we left for London to jam out the set list. (Ed: Did you have a autocue to remember the lyrics?) No I didn't (laughing), but I did have a couple of pieces of paper on stage with lyrics or words on so I could remember the songs. We had a blast."
You are about to play the Ballroom again this week, how excited are you to be playing it again?
"Yeah I am really excited about it the whole band are, an when people ask me where my favourite place to play is I always said the London Astoria which is no longer there how. The UK has always been special to me as it was our 1st time out of the U.S.. I am hoping after the release of the album we can play some of the old festivals we use to play like Rock Am Ring, Download again or something like that."
So Ryan before we finish up how is the tour going so far for you?
"It's going really well, Fozzy are great guys so are Breed 77 we are all sharing the tour bus so it is nice to get along with people you know."
How happy are you with AFM Records?
"Well this is my 1st time working with them and working with Mike Exley is great, he is a great guy. AFM are a really good label they are supporting us to the max and they know how to promote a band. Everything is going really well."
Well thanks for your time Ryan, best of luck with the tour and the new album. Do you have anything to ad before we round the interview up?
"Yeah thanx for your support, to the fans enjoy the tour and look out for the new album in 2013. Cheers brother!!"
Thanx to Mike for the interview & Luke and Ryan.