Steven Rice, lead guitarist with American thrashers Kill Ritual took time out of preparing for their up coming US tour to answer a few questions about writing their album Serpentine Ritual, the up coming tour and the bands plans for the future.
PM – Hi there, first of all, thanks for taking the time to complete this interview. I know our subscribers will be eager to read what you have to say.
You’re album “The Serpentine Ritual” came out last October. Can you briefly tell us about it?
SR – Well the CD took about a year to write and record from the time we started the band and took about another year to release it once we found a deal. So it was a good 2 year chunk, but we worked on it in small doses since we have members spread thru out California and we had to work around work schedules etc., to make it happen. All in all I think the CD came out pretty well and we’re proud of the output. It’s just a hint of what the bands capable of, but definitely sets the tone for what we’ll be doing in the future.
PM – What were your main influences for the album, who/what are they and how did they influence you?
SR – Honestly we never really discussed that as we put the CD together. We just took it song by song and let it happen. Of course everyone involved has influences and musically inspiration and a lot of them aren’t even in the metal genre, but surprisingly we never argued about a damn song and just made it happen. The usual suspects of bands were there for reference, being your Maiden, Priest, Bay Area Thrash, Old School Metal etc.
PM – When you write songs is it group collaboration or is there the writers in the band?
SR – I write all the music at this point and Wayne (drums) and Josh (vocals) and I arrange the songs for vocals. Once there Josh handles all the lyrics and melodies.
PM – Do you have a particular writing process for songs or is it different for each song that you come up with?
SR – Yeah I usually make demos at home and hand it off to the Josh and Wayne and they get the songs up to speed and we then rehearse and arrange them and cut them again for final production. Once there Danyael our bassist gets involved and records his tracks and finally we do additional guitars.
PM – What is your favourite track from the album and why?
SR – Probably “Torn Down”. I just think it’s real strong vocally and has some cool hooks and groove. Close second would be the opening title track which has some nice guitar work.
PM – Is there an overall subject or theme to the new album or is each song about a different matter?
SR – Josh likes to mix it up because every song is different so it warrants an individual approach song by song. I prefer this anyway because it makes for a more varied listen.
PM – What has been your biggest challenge as a band and how did you overcome it?
SR – Just getting the damn CD out! It’s no shock that it’s hard to get a band up and running and in the public eye these days because there seems to be no shortage of bands or subgenres all taking a piece of the pie.
PM – What do you like most about today’s metal scene?
SR – Definitely the freaking fans. Most metal fans are great down to earth people who just want to bang heads and drink beer which is all good in our book!
PM – What do you like the least about today’s metal scene?
SR – Too many subgenres and bands and closed minded elitist who think if it ain’t their favourite genre of metal it’s shit.
PM – You have just announced your US tour in March; do you have any plans for a UK or European tour?
SR – We’d love to come over to the UK and Europe if given the chance. The US Tour was of our own making and we found a good booker to make it happen. Our management Rock N Growl now has a booking arm so hopefully we’ll see some action over there soon.
PM – What are you looking to forward most whilst you’re on the road?
SR – Playing. The rest of it is just driving and sleeping so that 1 hour a day makes it worth it. Well that and the beer HA!
PM – After the tour is over what other plans do you have.
SR – We’re well into the recording of our next CD which should be completed by May with a little luck. It’ll be off to Sweden again to have Andy LaRocque mix and master and we’ll hopefully have it out by the end of the year. The new material is even more unique this time around with some very cool songs that are probably a little more chorus orientate and slightly progressive. We also have a new guitarist who’ll make his debut on this also and it’ll be definitely a little more shreddy since he also plays leads which takes a little of the burden off myself.
PM – To wrap this up, do you have any words for the fans that will be reading this?
If you’ve had a chance to listen to our CD and enjoyed it thanx! If not give it a go and if you hated it thanx anyway! HA! Thanx PlanetMosh for the interview and cheers to all. Let the Metal flow!
Kill Ritual kick off their tour in Gilbert, Arizona on March 1st and on the road for the full month before finishing up in Las Vegas, Nevada. Fingers crossed they make their way over here sometime soon.