WITHIN THE RUINS: THE METALSUCKS INTERVIEW
Within the Ruins’ new video for “Invade.”
New England deathcore band Within the Ruins have been a favorite of mine for a little less than a year now. I though that their 2009 release Creature had a fresh new feel, especially when compared to the boring deathcore masses. It was technical and catchy at the same time without being overly repetitive. The band has always been fairly unknown, but their popularity recently started to increase coinciding with the pending release of their new album, from which two killer new songs have been posted. I recently talked with Tim Goergen, the band’s new vocalist (first half), and Joe Cocchi, the lead guitarist (second half), about their upcoming release.
You guys have got a new record, Invade, coming out in August. Can you describe it a bit for us?
We’re very proud with how it turned out. It’s got new vocals of course. The vocals and lyrics are more intense and so is all the music in general. It’s heavier too. It’s also more structured, and has crisper, bigger production.
More structured? How so?
It’s less repeating. Each song is more of a song than a series of riffs all next to each other. It’s more defined and it’s easier to listen to for people who maybe don’t know our sound or who don’t really know us as a band.
You mentioned that the lyrics were more intense than they were on Creature. Obviously, you didn’t write any of the stuff on Creature, but when I looked at the lyrics for Invade they seemed fairly similar to older stuff. How are they different?
I tried to write from more of a personal perspective. I was homeless for a while, and I had some drinking issues, so I put my personal experiences in there. I also tried to put in a positive tone so people who are listening can understand and maybe the songs can help them out.
So what is the songwriting process like for you guys?
Normally we start with a riff from Joe, and then we add drums sometimes with a machine, then I start writing lyrics, then we all start jamming on the song. It took us about one year to make so we could make sure it sounded the way we wanted it to sound. Actually, we’re already writing a new record (laughs).
Wow. You guys work fast.
Yeah, well, we’re always writing more music.
You’ve also had various lineup changes, in terms of your guitarist and your vocalist. Did those changes affect the way the album turned out for you or how the songs were written?
Not really, because about 80% of the album got written after the changes took place. Joe had already had two songs he wrote after Creature was released, but everything else was written after that.
From what I’ve heard so far (which is only the title track and the newest one you posted online today), the material on your new release is a lot more technical than the stuff off of Creature. Was that intentional, or did it just sort of happen?
It just kind of happened. I mean, Joe is fucking ridiculous at guitar (laughs). And all of us are always trying to top ourselves musically with what we can do.
I think I read in an interview that you cited bands like Metallica and As I Lay Dying as your main influences. How did that happen? You guys really don’t sound like either of those bands.
Haha, people ask us about our influences a lot. When we sit down as a band and listen to music, we mostly listen to stuff like Metallica, In Flames, Arch Enemy… all that good older metal. And Eminem (laughs).
It’s funny – you guys know there’s the whole wave of “Sumeriancore” bands going around, which Within the Ruins kind of fits into. Did that sound just kind of develop, since you don’t actually listen to any of those bands?
It just ended up that way. We’re always trying to create our own sound and we’re always evolving. We do have a little Meshuggah influence from that style of music, but we’re trying to create our own version of metal, something new that hasn’t been done before
What are your plans for after the album?
We’ve got a Canada tour lined up and then probably a US tour. We’ll hopefully have 2-3 US tours done by the end of the year.
Hopefully you’ll come to see me in San Francisco.
Yeah, we haven’t been there in a while. But we’ll try to get out there soon.
All right, I’ve got a few more questions about guitars.
I’ll hand you over to our guitarist, Joe.
Hey Joe. So the main question I and a few friends have been wondering is: why no 7 strings?
Well, I always used 6s, and I obviously started with a 6 string. We just kept tuning down and it always worked. It feels weird having an additional string on there. We have Caparisons.
I’ve got a Caparison too.
Really? Which model?
The TAT II.
Oh cool. We’re using Dellinger IIs, and they also have the 25.5” scale, so the heavier gauges work.
What gauge strings do you use?
Well, we make a custom set, kind of. We order individual strings and make a set that’s 70 54 36 24 18 15.
Wow, that’s heavy. And what amps do you guys use?
We recorded the new album with an ENGL Invader 150 and an ENGL Savage. We use a Fireball 100 and Savage on Mesa cabs live. We’ve got a pretty sweet deal with ENGL.
All right, I think that’s good. Thanks for your time.
Invade comes out August 31st on Victory Records. Visit Within the Ruins on Myspace.