Within The Ruins Interview by Patrick Lee
Members: Tim Goergen (vocals), Joe Cocchi (guitars) @ Bonecrusher Festival 2012
Within The Ruins are an American metal band with influences from Thrash, Tech-Metal and all sorts of other random stuff thrown into the blender for good measure!
Formed in 2003 when they were still in High School, they have released two self-produced EPs and two full length albums and an EP on Victory Records and are currently working on their brand new album.
I caught up with Tim Goergen (Vocals) and Joe Cocchi (Guitars) as they told me how their first trip to Europe was going and how much they love some of the smaller things in life.
So, hello guys!
Tim: Hello *waves* This Bonecrusher tour is your first time in the UK and Europe, how are you finding Europe as opposed to the US?
Tim: It’s a lot more acceptable of metal music over here, definitely
Joe: We were surprised actually with the first couple of nights in Germany, we had two shows there, and a lot of people knew our stuff and were really into it and we’re really thankful for that.
We were walking around today and just hanging out, it’s really different for sure but I can’t really explain it, I’m still trying to get a grasp of the whole thing.
We went to the mall the other day when we were in Germany and I mean, nothing looks familiar at all because it’s all different stores and the weird stuff that people sell.
Tim: And it’s all in German. *Both laugh* There was a H&M there though!
I’ve seen online that you guys are working on a new album, how is it sounding so far and any ideas on when it’s going to drop?
Joe: Well we’re shooting for a mid-Summer release, so July maybe August at the latest, I know that’s not very helpful but we are not positive on the release date yet, but yeah it’s going really good we have nine songs ready and after this tour is over we’re going to go home and go to the studio.
It’s different, but it’s still us and we think the fans are really going to dig it, we are really loving it so far Awesome, well so long as you guys are digging it really that’s definitely a good sign!
Tim: Exactly! You guys have had quite a few line-up changes in the past, do you think you have the perfect line-up now to devastate the world of metal?
Joe: I hope, I always think that we do and then something happens *Facepalms and they both laugh*
Tim: Then someone leaves Just up and vanishes!
Joe: It’s been me and our drummer for ten years we kinda started the band. We’ve known Tim forever Tim: It’s been like three years now I think, yeah
Joe: We don’t have anything else to do, we aren’t going anywhere, I mean the band is all that we do. We’ve had a few bass players in-and-out and we’ve had some fill-ins but it’s been a bit tough the last few years with all the touring and stuff, once you start touring people are like “nah I can’t do it, I’m outta here” but I’m really happy with Andrew who we now have playing bass for us, he used to play for ‘And Hell Followed With’ so he’s loving it and we should be good now!
Tim, did you find it a bit daunting when you first joined, trying to write stuff after they’d already released their first album?
Tim: Well I joined pretty soon after Creature [WTH’s first full-length] was released so I had plenty of time to write material for Invade [the second album] it wasn’t really that tough a transition, we matched up pretty well and pretty quickly
If I were to ask you guys what your personal favourite Within The Ruins song is, what would you say?
Joe: *pauses for a moment* Hmmm… I enjoy playing ‘Controller’ that we released last year on the [Omen] EP, that’s a really fun song to play live. Also ‘Versus’ and ‘Invade’ pretty much we’ve narrowed it down to….
Tim: Our favourite songs are pretty much what we play live *laughs*
Are there any lyrics that you would say are the most personal to you, I know a lot of ‘Invade’ is drawn from personal experiences?
Tim: It’s pretty much all personal, but as far as something that really hits home live-wise, I’d say I get the most into ‘Invade’ and ‘Versus’ because they’re two subjects that I’m pretty passionate about, it gives me that extra level of fire inside me, Especially when kids are screaming it back to me it just makes me go “Yeah!” *Shakes fists* you know what I mean?
So what made you guys both start doing what you’re doing in the first place? What started you shredding guitar and what started you screaming?
Joe: I got a guitar when I was young like, eight years old and my uncle actually had a band, like a hardcore kind of band and I used to go and try playing their stuff and to me it was just like “Whoa, this is crazy” Just playing with all of their gear and that kinda got me into it and I don’t know man, I’ve just kept playing since and it’s always been my priority and virtually all I’ve done since I got a guitar. I didn’t necessarily plan on doing this stuff, it just pretty much happened
Tim: I started with guitar when I was about thirteen and I didn’t start screaming until I was about seventeen in the high school band I was in, and there was just nothing else like it and I seemed to be getting kind of good at it so Joe: I can’t scream at all, I don’t understand what would get you into screaming, I just can’t do that at all and I never would have thought that anyone would be able to do that!
Tim: Well we were drunk in my first bands basement and we started banging out a Pantera cover so I just picked up the mic and everybody just stopped and was like “Dude, what the fuck was that? That was awesome!” and I was just like “Alright then” and that was it! Sick!
Well, you guys released the ‘Omen’ EP last year and on it were two cover Kansas’ ‘Carry On Wayward Son’ and Metallica’s ‘Fight Fire With Fire’
Joe: Yes we did! Did you guys find it daunting at all covering such big songs and doing them in trademark Within The Ruins style or did it just kind of flow straight out?
Joe: Yeah, we just kinda said “Lets cover a few songs for fun” the reason we put the EP out was because it had been a while since ‘Invade’ was out and we still weren’t ready for a full length so “why not throw out a couple of songs to keep people going until then?” So we had two originals at the time and decided on two covers. I’ve always listened to Metallica and our drummer and I used to play Metallica songs even before we started the band, so we thought “Lets do a Metallica song and lets do a weird song that people perhaps weren’t expecting”.
Tim: A total classic song ‘Carry On Wayward Son’, and it was fun, really fun!
Joe: Yeah! So we just kind of did it and played it, then recorded it and it came out as best as we could I guess
How have you found the feedback from fans and pretty much anyone who has listened to it so far?
Tim: It’s been mixed, everyone seems to like the Metallica cover, but some people don’t like things to be fucked with and they either love it or they hate it really it’s either “Ahhh they ruined a classic” or “wow they really put their own twist on this!” I have to say, Charlie here wasn’t such a big fan of the original Kansas song but once I’d shown her your version of it, she pretty much fell in love with it like I did!
Joe: That’s cool! It’s weird because it’s such an old song and like anyone who’s into metal and the sort of things that we do, I would guess that most people just don’t know the song and are perhaps the younger kids who are more into metal and stuff.
But then there’s the other side where the older fans who have heard the original for so long and then they hear how it sounds are way and they are like “What the fuck did you guys just do?” *Both laughs*but that’s why we did it I guess!
So, who would your classic and modern influences be?
Joe: Well the oldest band that I could think of, Black Sabbath was the first kind of “metal” CD that I got, then Metallica and Pantera, then more stuff like Arch Enemy, At The Gates, In Flames – those European-type metal bands. I don’t know I can’t really find shit to listen to anymore I mean we’ve established our sound and know what we’re doing in ourselves so we don’t really take much influence from stuff we listen to anymore
Tim: Well it’s kind of funny because all of the more recent bands that I’m a fan of really, are people that we have toured with *starts grinning*
That’s gotta be quite an awesome feeling to be playing not just what you love but with other bands that you love too!
Tim: Oh yeah definitely! Guys like Veil Of Maya, After The Burial and The Black Dahlia Murder It’s a bit of an old topic now really, but an awful lot of people seem to give a lot of grief to the Deathcore genre as a whole, what’s your take on this?
Joe: I personally don’t pay any attention or care at all, like I think it’s just people who sit there all day on their computers with nothing better to do. You mean like trolls? Tim: Exactly! *laughs*
Joe: Yeah that’s pretty much the only place I’ve seen that sort of sub-genre labelling and all that shit, in my opinion, it’s all just metal! When people ask us what sort of music we play, I say “Heavy metal”. We all share the same view I think *Tim nods in agreement* Whatever you want to call it, it’s metal.
You guys were signed to Victory in 2008, a label quickly and constantly developing into one of the biggest producers of awesome metal heavyweights in the world, what was it like when Victory originally approached you guys and you got signed?
Joe: *points at Tim* You obviously weren’t with us when we got signed Sorry Tim!
Tim: *Laughs* That’s alright don’t worry about it!
Joe: We really weren’t expecting it at all, we were getting to the point where we had recorded demo after demo and sent stuff to labels and skipped going to college and stuff like that when we thought “How long are we going to do this for without ACTUALLY doing it?”
We did a lot of DIY tours where we’d played to literally nobody for so long, when finally through Myspace I think it was, one of the Victory reps contacted us and we were like not thinking it was real at first but, yeah it was very exciting as that was like our first big goal that we were after. Once we got labelled it was like where do we go up from here?
I guess it gave you guys a chance to 100% concentrate on the music…
Joe: Yeah exactly, it was very very exciting! Is it the kind of point where you think “Yeah, I can quite my day job and just get stuck into the music”?
Joe: That’s what you think but no, that’s not how it is.
Tim: Yeah it takes a LOT of work Joe: Nope, I mean there are those bands that just get really lucky and just blow up going straight to the top and quit their day job but you gotta work hard man we still go back for weeks at a time and work.
So do you guys still have day jobs then?
Both at once: Oh yes Tim: You gotta pay those bills Joe: yeah it pays the bills, but it’s nice to have that little bit extra for other stuff Yeah every little helps I guess!
Are there any specific guilty pleasures that either of you have musically that you don’t like many people to know?
Tim: *Almost instantly* Dubstep.
Joe: Dubstep? See, even I didn’t fucking know that!
Tim: Yeah I do like a bit of dubstep, some of it is really awesome, but at the same time there is a lot of really bad stuff!
So should we expect to see any Within The Dubstep any time soon?
Joe: *shakes head* no way
Joe: I don’t actually listen to a very wide variety of music actually, a lot of metal Tim: And Eminem…
Joe: Yeah and Eminem, if I’m not listening to metal then I’m most likely listening to Eminem! *laughs*
I actually find that a lot with a lot of metal heads I know, Eminem seems to be quite a common place to go outside of metal!
Joe: Yeah, it is quite random but he’s…..he’s…
Tim: A sick dude! Eminem is a real sick dude!
We’ve already sort of touched off this, but say you meet someone who has never heard of Within The Ruins Before, how would you describe your sound to them?
Joe: Yeah, I’d most likely say metal….but it depends who’s asking really
Tim: Yeah because people ask me all the time “Oh, what kind of music do you play?” and I’m just like metal and they’re like “What, like Metallica” “A Little bit heavier than that” “Oh, kill-your-mother-music?” and I’m just like “Yeeeeah I guess that’s one way of putting it”
Joe: Exactly, especially now, when we’re going to the airport and the airport employees that help us carry our guitars and stuff are like “Ahhhh what kind of music do you guys play and what do you all do?” We’re like “Yeah heavy metal” “ahhhh screamy shit?” yeah that’s our usual reaction.
What about, say, a metal fan, how would you describe yourselves to them?
Joe: I usually just say “Fast riffs, heavy beats”….hmmm I don’t know, it’s kind of hard to describe our music.
Tim: I would say maybe math-metal but…
Joe: Yeah, probably tech metal
Tim: Yeah there’s a little bit of everything in there really You just take all sorts of influences and jam them into a blender and you guys are what comes out right?
Tim: Yes, exactly! Awesome guys!
Okay final question, do you like cheese?
Joe: Do I like cheese? I fucking LOVE cheese!
Tim: We eat so much cheese!
What kind of cheese?… Any favourites?
Joe: Swiss cheese, Gouda Cheese
Both: We’ll literally go to a store and just buy a solid block of cheese
Tim: We just keep passing it around the van taking chunks out of it!
Joe: I love cheese. Cheese and meats that’s pretty much what we’ve got that’s pretty much the basics of real sustenance right there, who needs anything else?!
We were in Germany for those two days and there was just a massive plat of all sorts of cheese!
Tim: It was SICK! Wow, awesome!
Alright, well thank you guys so much for giving us your time and I can’t wait to see you guys tearing this place apart!
Both: That’s no problem man, and thank you very much!
Catch Within The Ruins decimating Europe over the next few weeks with the Bonecrusher tour and the new album comes out mid-Summer so maybe we’ll get to see them again real soon!