If you like crossover & hardcore, and are not familiar with either This Is Hell or Extinction A.D, do yourself a favour and check them out immediately. You can even buy some stuff here if you so wish!
Rick was cool enough to let me pick his brain.
Straight off the bat, would you call yourself a hardcore kid in a metal band or a metalhead in a hardcore band?
If I had to label it, I’d say I’m a metal guy that discovered punk and eventually wound up playing in hardcore bands for years before deciding that I could do all three at once in whatever band I’m in, even if it leans more heavily in one direction or another.
This Is Hell have been quiet for a good while. Any plans on either a new album or, or assuming live music still exists after COVID, a tour or show?
To be honest I think we’re always down for whatever seems like it would be fun and gratifying. Shows, tours, new music, covers etc, it’s all situational. My favorite part about this is hell since 2016 is the fluid nature of the lineup. We have a small army of past/current members to choose from at any point for specific projects. Shit, even future members. We have some people in mind that we’ve never played with that we want to under the TIH banner at some point. If it’s Travis and myself, we can add and subtract others and it’s just different versions of the band.
Faithkiller is still one of my favourite metal albums in forever. Was there more freedom, or at least less restraint in writing the album than any of the This Is Hell releases?
No there actually was never any restraints on writing with this is hell and I think that is what made the band run its course initially. Every album sounds different from the one prior and while WE were fine with that, our crowds or fan base wasn’t always. We’d have fans if certain albums come and get a dose of other material and bum out on it. And when you’re four albums in, best case scenario is that 25% of the crowd is enjoying a specific song, that takes a bit of the fun out of it. With XAD we’ve evolved our sound as well but we have a bit more of a solid foundation these days and it’s been a lot of fun just naturally building off of that and expanding. So long answer short, no, I’m incapable of putting restrictions on what I’m writing. Punk, metal, hardcore... when it’s done right, it’s all one cacophony of house rocking.
Top FIVE musical influences?
Metallica, Slayer, Sick of it All, Testament, Dead Kennedys
Instagram tells us you have a new album in the works. Is there a semi-planned release date?
Unfortunately not due to covid. Just like everyone else, it really fucked us up. We had from late 2019-late 2020 planned and it’s been thrown off track totally but hey what can you do? Especially with that fucking moron “leading” our country. Leading us to the back of the line. We finished an ass kicking tour with Obituary in December, finalized everything musically in Jan-feb for the record after literally late 2015 when these songs started being written, left for a tour with fit for an autopsy in March with plans to begin recording between legs of that in late March early April and finish after the tour in late April. Before the first show was even over the tour was cancelled due to covid. We DID get the drums tracked at westfall studio and I recorded all the guitars at my home but we’re now in a holding period until the music industry is ready to move forward so we can compete the record. We had an absolute killer of a tour planned for the whole summer in the us and Canada which was pushed back to the fall and now it’s looking like maybe early/mid next year. So who knows what will come in the future now. We’re gonna try to do some remote recording of some other bullshit just to have some fun and present to people so we don’t feel like we’re dying. But the record will be called “national disaster” which is unreal appropriate. Like I said some of these songs began being written in 2015 and they’re eerily prophetic and on the nose of 2020 but you know, history repeats itself when you brains are too garbaged out to learn from past mistakes.
Dave Mustaine or Kirk Hammett and why? ( i hear a bit of Kill Em All era Metallica influence in Faithkiller especially).
I couldn’t pick one over the other specifically because I think they’re both vital in the roles they wound up in. Hammett is the perfect fit for Metallica where despite internet pseudo hindsight, mustaine was not. On the other hand, Megadeth is so different from Metallica and important in their own right and would metal have gotten to where it is if Metallica was at the top and there was no Megadeth filling that other void? I don’t think so. I think it worked out properly. That’s a bit of a dodgy answer but I think it’s the best way to answer it.
Outside of shredding, what keeps you busy?
I do two podcasts: Thrashers, Slashers and The Road To Wrestlemania where myself and a guest each week discuss an album and movie of their choice from a specific year as well as the wrestlemania, which airs every Monday and Stiff Shots Podcast which airs every Friday where myself and host Ryan rainbro discuss modern wrestling and make a bunch of sick jokes that are dumb as hell and rule. Applepodcast, Spotify, SoundCloud etc. I also do personal training with both one on one sessions and remote workout writeups and coaching through Ironhawk Training. Aside from that, I’m always watching wrestling, lifting weights and watching Ramones stuff on YouTube.
How can people support you guys seeing as touring is out indefinitely?
Check out our socials and interact with us because that’s always very fun and I can’t get enough of that. We have merch stores that we run and goodfight music runs so pick up stuff there. Bandcamp and streaming and such obviously.
Any last words?
Metal rules, punk rules, using your brain to be inclusive and progressive rules and being oppressive and a fucking moron sucks. Here’s the very place you can find everything I spoke about so far
Music- @extinctionad on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook
Podcasts - @thrashslashmaniapod on Instagram, @maniapod on Twitter, @stiffshotspod on twitter and Instagram, Stiff Shots Podcast network on Facebook
And I will always enjoy a Redbull or monster with someone that is cool as hell.