Kris Engelhart of BackstageAxxess.com recently conducted an interview with SOIL/ex-DROWNING POOL singer Ryan McCombs. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
BackstageAxxess.com: Looking at your career, things seem to have come full circle for you, leaving SOIL and joining DROWNING POOL and now back with SOIL. How does it feel to be back with the band?
McCombs: It's good, you know. The time away, I think it allowed all of us to try and have that, well, to have that time away. We spent so much time in the early days on the road together. We toured like real road dogs back in the day. Out of the first 13 months after the release of "Scars", I think we tallied up two to three weeks of time off that we actually had, actually in our own beds in our own homes. We spent every waking day together, so I think the time away, it was just really exactly what we needed as human beings. We have a lot of fun together now. I mean, we did a lot of growing up. We realize what's important and realized that the little trivial things that used to get on our nerves aren't so important. We have a lot of fun now.
BackstageAxxess.com: Now after so many years playing with DROWNING POOL, what was the reason for your departure from that band?
McCombs: You know, it's just me. I've got like this seven-year itch thing. I was in SOIL for seven years. I was in DROWNING POOL for seven years. I was married for seven years. It just, honestly, I'm a small-town guy. I grew up in a small town in Indiana, and the music industry is a pretty disgusting business. I think any big business is a pretty disgusting business, probably, when you delve into it. The music industry has just a lot of shady people involved in it. I just can't really stomach that type of person and being infested with so much of it. Sometimes you just need to step away and re-energize the old batteries and just get away from it for a little bit; which has happened to me too many times now. You need to step away from it and go back home and remember that people can generally be good, but it just doesn't seem to be an industry that has much of that quality.
BackstageAxxess.com: Do you have any relationship with the guys in DROWNING POOL now? Or did you just go your separate ways?
McCombs: I mean, I don't have any of them in my life that I keep in contact with, but when we see each other, it's fine. We did a few different festivals together since we parted ways, and each time we just had a blast hanging out. The last one we did together, a festival we did this last summer, I'd get up on stage and I did "Bodies" with them at the end of the show and just had a good time. But yeah, we still have a good relationship. We were on the same bus and everything.
BackstageAxxess.com: Now this record is the first independent effort by SOIL. What led the band to go in that direction and how did that make the whole process different?
McCombs: Well, you know, we're all sitting here blessed in the fact that 16 years later we're still doing this. I mean, SOIL's name is stil sellable. We still have the opportunity to do what we do because people out there give us the time of day. To still be able to do it is just amazing. But we were sitting there and we did this 10th anniversary tour of the album "Scars" while we were over in the U.K., which is kind of what started the whole us getting back together. And then when we got back, we started talking about, "Should we do another record? We have it in us." And the more we talked about it, the more we realized we were all on the same page 16 years later being able to do this. We've been screwed, sorry, we've been messed over every way possible, and if we were gonna do it again, if we were gonna do another SOIL record, we wanted it on our terms. We wanted to call the shots. We wanted to make the decisions. When you're sitting with a label, you're being stretched and pulled in every direction. You're being told what the single is. You're being told how you're gonna market it, how your plays are going. You're told just do it. At the end of the day, you're sitting there and your pocket is empty and there's somebody sitting there shrugging their shoulders saying, "Oh, I guess we messed up." We just were all on the same page. We knew that if we were going to do another SOIL record, we wanted it to be done by us. We wanted to call the shots. We wanted to make the decisions. We did some Kickstarter projects as well as some individual backing. We had people backing us and we were actually able to get that done. The number one thing that we get from doing it this way is the album is us. In the studio, we didn't have anybody trying to guide the ship. We were calling the shots, so it made it a very comfortable studio experience for ourselves, as well as for Ulrich Wild, who produced it. Because we didn't have to worry about sending the music off and getting it OKed or getting someone sitting behind some desk in New York City's approval. As long as what we were doing was what we were feeling, the result is probably the truest SOIL album that we've ever written.
Read the entire interview at BackstageAxxess.com.