MTB (@MTLTeddyBearExp): Welcome back to the Metal Teddy Bear Experience here on 90.3 WMSC Upper Montclair. This is your host, Chris, and I’m on the phone with Tim, the vocalist of Within the Ruins. What’s up man, how are you doing?
Tim: Doing good man, how are you doing?
MTB (@MTLTeddyBearExp): I’ve been pretty good. Had to walk all the way here because we are on campus. We have a really big campus here. So, it was really cold out and windy, all that, because we are getting that storm. How’s it by you?
Tim: Doing pretty good. Stayed in Philadelphia. Gotten into a little drunken debauchery. So we’re drinking a lot of water in the van right now, trying to get over our hangovers (Laughs).
MTB (@MTLTeddyBearExp): Oh, so that sounds fun. Right now you are on tour with Born of Osiris, Volumes, Oceans Ate Alaska and Fire from the Gods. So I guess you are having fun touring with all of them, right?
Tim: Yeah, we’ve known Born of Osiris for a long time, and known Volumes. Just met Oceans Ate Alaska and Fire from the Gods. Those dudes are all rad as well. It has been a really fun tour.
MTB (@MTLTeddyBearExp): So, you said you had some drunken fun right there. Can you share any fun stories?
Tim: Yeah, actually, last night got a little out of hand. Backstage they had a keg, for all the bands, with a tap handle and all that. I walk backstage and everyone just starts grabbing me, turning me upside down and pouring beer in my face. People start wrestling, broken glass on the floor. It got pretty out of hand. Definitely the rowdiest after-party of the tour yet, for sure.
MTB (@MTLTeddyBearExp): So no one was hurt, right?
Tim: No, no, no Thankfully.
MTB (@MTLTeddyBearExp): You guys just released your fifth album, Halfway Human, with eOne records. Can you tell us a little about this record, like what direction or what goal you had with this record?
Tim: Well, we always try to top ourselves. So, that was goal number one and I think we achieved that. We wanted to explore melody a little bit more. I started doing experimenting with clean vocals on the last record. Once we got Paolo Galang, our new bass player, we knew he had some angelic soulful voice. We wanted to explore that and everything came out great. No regrets at all. Super happy with the way it came out.
MTB (@MTLTeddyBearExp): Like you said, you were trying to get a little bit more melody and you said, Paolo had great clean vocals. So, I noticed “Objective Reality” featured it for the first time. Was it just Paolo that lead you that way, or was it that you wanted clean vocals on this record?
Tim: No, we were all gungho about it. When they did pre-production for the record, we wrote a couple songs with clean vocals in mind and, once we actually got in the studio, we were working with Jim Fogarty, who has worked with Killswitch Engage and All That Remains and stuff. So he’s well-versed in the melodic realm of metal. While I was doing the main vocals, he would give them parts to just go work on. He would be like, “Here go try this out”. We didn’t write with clean vocals in mind but let’s just see how it sounds. And we just kept doing that and they would come back and be like, “wow, that’s sick, let’s roll with that”. That’s how a lot of the clean vocals came to be on the record.
MTB (@MTLTeddyBearExp): Other bands have tried to incorporate clean vocals into new albums after being primarily a death vocal screaming kind of band. Most notably now Suicide Silence tried that with their self-titled record and they’ve been getting a lot of flak for it. So why do you think fans really enjoyed your clean vocals on Halfway Human and bands like Suicide Silence have been getting a lot of flak for it?
Tim: Well, you know, I’m not going to talk trash on my boys in Suicide Silence. They did a solo departure from their sound and it’s a big risk and they really went for it. We didn’t do that. We introduced clean vocals to our already existing sound that people already love us for. So, I think that definitely worked in our favor. There are some people that are metal elitists that are like, “clean vocals suck! blah blah blah”, but I think for the most part people have appreciated it and they know that we didn’t have any ill-intent by adding clean vocals. We just wanted to expand upon our sound.
MTB (@MTLTeddyBearExp): Definitely, I really agree with that because after a while, doing the same thing over and over, you always want to try something different. It’s more fun that way.
Tim: Exactly, exactly. We are not reinventing the wheel but just making it better.
MTB (@MTLTeddyBearExp): On my show, I ask three random silly questions, are you ready to take part in that?
MTB (@MTLTeddyBearExp): Number one. What is your favorite thing to do that is not music related?
Tim: Um, I would say being home with my lady and my friends and my family. Something that we don’t get to do a lot being on the road all the time.
MTB (@MTLTeddyBearExp): How many shows would you say you play a year?
Tim: That’s a good question. I can sum it up in how many months we’re usually gone. We’re usually gone seven months out of the year. Whatever that equates to.
MTB (@MTLTeddyBearExp): Oh wow, that’s a good chunk of the year.
Tim: Yeah (laughs)
MTB (@MTLTeddyBearExp): If you could become any celebrity, who would you become?
Tim: Um, Lady Gaga….Lady Gaga, yeah.
MTB (@MTLTeddyBearExp): Why’s that?
Tim: She got to play with Metallica. Definitely Lady Gaga.
MTB (@MTLTeddyBearExp): Oh okay, so one of your goals is to play with Metallica?
Tim: Yeah, that’s like the ultimate.
MTB (@MTLTeddyBearExp): That’s awesome. Question number 3. Who would win in a fight, a bear or a lion?
Tim: Um, that’s a good one. I would say the lion just because it’s a little quicker.
MTB (@MTLTeddyBearExp): I always think of, “The Revenant”, when it destroyed Leonardo DiCaprio in that movie, the bear.
Tim: Yeah, that’s a very disturbing scene. He gets mauled twice, it’s like “Ahh! Stop it! The man has had enough!” (laughs)
MTB (@MTLTeddyBearExp): As we mentioned before, Born of Osiris, Volumes, Oceans Ate Alaska and Fire from the Gods are with Within the Ruins on their current tour. Tomorrow you are stopping by us at Gramercy Theater, in New York. Do you like playing the New York area?
Tim: Yes, I’m actually from the New York area. I live in Westchester County, so home town gig for me.
MTB (@MTLTeddyBearExp): Oh, awesome. We are stationed here in Montclair, New Jersey. So it’s like 20 minutes away.
Tim: Oh, awesome. I know exactly where Montclair is.
MTB (@MTLTeddyBearExp): Maybe you can stop by sometime. That would be awesome.
Tim: Yeah, it’s funny because I actually Uber when I’m home. So I actually worked in Jersey. I’ve been in Montclair quite a bit.
MTB (@MTLTeddyBearExp): Do you have anything planned after this tour?
Tim: Yes, we are going to have about a month off and then we go back out with our friends Upon a Burning Body and Kublai Khan and this new band Coldcasket.
MTB (@MTLTeddyBearExp): Thanks for doing this interview. I really appreciate it. I hope it doesn’t snow like two feet or whatever they’ve been projecting.
Tim: Yeah, fingers crossed man, fingers crossed!
It turns out that it did snow and the show has been postponed until Sunday, June 25th.