Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Frankie: well how about you start us off (who's talking, whats your role in the band, and who are your partners in crime!?)
Jay: This is Jay, I am the singer. The others are Jake and Jeff on guitar, john on bass and Keith maddog on drums.
Frankie: you guys are from Connecticut right, close to the Mass. border?
Jay: We are actually from all over – but mostly from MA now due to some defectors. Jake, Jeff, and John live in Mass, Keith is from LI, and I am the only remaining person in CT.
Frankie: Is just about every member of Ambitions an ex-member of With Honor, what other bands have you all come from?
Jay: Three of us are. We were also all in other bands before as well. Keith was in Thieves & Assassins from LI and has been doing multiple duties with other bands as of late. A few of us play in a new band called Unforgiven.
Frankie: when did you guys start the band, and when Ambitions was formed did you guys have any real plans for the band at all, did you ever envision that you'd have put out three 7"s and an LP?
Jay: Ha wow that seems like a lot! We first started in 2006. Our original plan was to not really have much of a plan other than creating a band that represented ourselves and that we were proud of. The band started as a 3 piece, with me Jeff and john sharing duties on recording for the “Question” EP. We would then get fill-ins to play out live, at one point we had matt fox and matt Fletcher from Shai Hulud filling in, and Mark Choiniere from Throwdown among others. Later we cemented the lineup and recorded “Stranger”.
Frankie: when someone listens to Ambitions, it's evident that there's a lot of different "sounds" involved. What bands would you say have really influenced Ambitions the most?
Jay: Honestly, we really let everything out on “Stranger”. So our influences are everything from post-hardcore bands like Shelter & Quicksand to alt-rock like Pearl Jam, Sponge, and even Queensryche haha. We really tried to focus on making songs rather than an album that just embodies a “sound” or a “feeling”.
Frankie: I noticed that every song has a lot going on, there are lots of layers, whether it be guitars, drums, or vocals. Everybody plays just as an important role as the other, and no one instrument gets overshadowed by another. Did you aim to have that kind of depth to Ambitions' sound?
Jay: We tried! Hopefully at times we succeeded.
Frankie: Lyrically what do you cover in your songs, would I be right if I interpreted some to be about change, this generation, and good times/memories?
Jay: I would say that’s a fair statement. In the new album I feel like I invested some more of myself, and also wrote a few songs in character which was a change for me, like “Losing Control” and “Redemptive Soul” but there are some theories and pieces of me in those as well.
Frankie: isn't Ambitions kind of like a weekend warrior band, you guys work a lot during the week and play on days off/weekends?
Jay: That’s how it’s become at this point. We were a little more active, say, a year ago where we did some tours with Bane, Modern Life Is War, and Down to Nothing. It was always up in the air and we never wanted to come to a point where touring became a necessity and lost the fun like it has in past bands. Right now we all have steady day jobs, so we are doing what we can. We will probably be a bit more active in the summer, and we have yet to hit the west coast!! We would like to hit Europe as well.
Frankie: who has the most serious/strictest job?
Jay: I guess that would be me. I recently got a new job in Order Management at a tool company – so vacation is limited and even weekend shows can be tough. But we’ll make it work somehow!
Frankie: in 2007 you guys signed to Bridge 9 Records, how has that gone for you? were there any real big changes, going from Thinkfast! to Bridge 9?
Jay: When we first started this band, we laid down a few ground rules. The first was that we would do exactly what we wanted without bending to anyone’s expectations, and also that we would only work with people who we believed in and believed in us. In past bands, we sometimes felt like we were compromising based on politics or what have you. Both B9 and TF! have been great to work with and great as people, so we have no complaints! I wouldn’t say there has been a significant difference in working with the two.
Frankie: How'd recording of the new LP "stranger" go?was it stressful to write all those songs and new material for Ambitions first full-length?
Jay: Not really – we had a lot of fun. We also had time to do demo tracks for pre-production so we had time on tour to listen back and make changes. The recording was a long process, but I think in the end it was worth it.
Frankie: all of Ambitions releases have been recorded at Silver-Bullet Studios, what’s up with that, is it close to where you guys live now?
Jay: It’s about 20 minutes from where I live, and where John and Jeff used to live as well. Plus we got to record with our good friend Greg who helped produce the record and was a great soundboard for ideas. So we got to take our time and really map out what we wanted to do.
Frankie: What's your favorite part of playing shows?
Jay: I think the energy of the crowd – especially the feeling of playing a new song for the first time and having people know the words and connecting with what you are saying. It makes it all worthwhile.
Frankie: With your vinyl releases, has the band picked the colors or does the label get final say?
Jay: A little of both. We usually coordinate with the label and brainstorm ideas for cool colors that fit the scheme of the layout. I think the “Stranger” and “Neon Lights” vinyl came out especially neat.
Frankie: what's your favorite HC band that is still around and playing today?
Jay: Hard to say, it’s tough to keep up these days! I’d say Crime in Stereo and Hostage Calm from CT are two current bands I love to watch.
Frankie: on Bridge 9 you guys have a shirt with a sniper on it, is there any symbolism there?
Jay: None that I know of – ha. But I didn’t really have a hand in that particular design.
Frankie: Any bands that you really miss?
Jay: I miss Fastbreak, an old CT band, and I wish The Hope Conspiracy would play more shows.
Frankie: five words that just aren’t used enough?
Jay: Afterburner, eliminator, recycler, antennae, beards
Frankie: what’s wrong with the youth of today?
Jay: Technology. I think today’s youth is so inundated with information and everything is so easy, that a lot of work ethic has been lost. In music, it seems like people aren’t as attached to bands because there are so many to choose from. And with downloading making music so accessible, it also makes it easier to disregard. I’m not sure there is a way to change this; it’s just the way society is progressing. It makes being in a band that much harder – and more rewarding if you can connect with people!
Frankie: hey, thanks for doing the interview. Have any final words/shout outs/ or threats you'd like to make?Thanks to you for the interview and interest. Hopefully we’ll be back up to Maine soon – and not in hurricane conditions haha!
Jay: Thanks to the people we have come across who have helped us out for the right reasons – you know who you are, and who you aren’t. We appreciate anyone who has supported this band thus far, and hope to see you soon!
Friday, March 7, 2008
Anthony: My name is Anthony, and I do vocals in The Carrier. We came together under the title "The Carrier" almost two years ago. Before that we were in other bands together. Never in 1000 years would i of thought that we would do half of the things that we have already done as a band.
Anthony: I dont think that its to soon for a new release, since it's only a 7" and it wont be out for a few months. We were really pumped on these songs when we went into the studio to record them. We recorded them just to have them recorded, then thought that it would be cool to release on a 7".
Carter: Can you shed some light on the new EP?
Anthony: The new 7" is different from One Year Later. Its alot darker than OYL. Lyrically, I tried something new on this EP since it was only three songs. Although its different from some of our older stuff, it doest stray to far away from our sound.
Carter: You’re still a relatively new band it seems. What is it like to be releasing your third record?
Anthony: Its awesome. the demo was the first release, then Words of War Records wanted to put a few songs from that on a 7". Then for the OYL, we decided to team up with Rock Vegas Records. They did an awesome job on the release. KM hooked it up.
Anthony: I personally think that share/sendspace sites are great. Its an easy way for someone who hears a bands name to find out what their about in a matter of seconds. Although you may not get that many people buying your physical album, if they're into what your doing they'll come see you play and buy a t-shirt or something. With the use of ipods, cds are pretty much becoming obsolete.
Carter: When you play shows you are most likely playing to someone who is just getting into hardcore and are their doorway into something new and exciting. Any bands that had this same effect on you?
Anthony: Id say Hammer Bros had that effect on me. When I was in highschool, i knew that on most weekends i would be able to see them and have a good time. That band has progressed so much from their first demo in 2004 I believe. I actually found a tape version of it at my house the othe day and put it in a tape player. It was just as good as the first time I heard it.
Carter: One year later is really good. Do you have any plans on doing a vinyl release of the record?
Anthony: Were not really sure if were going to be releasing it on vinyl yet. There is talks of a possible release, just nothing is set in stone yet.
Carter: You’re getting the chance to hit the road more. Is playing out and sharing your songs a big part of this band? Any songs you really like to play live?
Anthony: Playing shows and touring is the best part about being in this band. We do this band because we love the music were playing, and its really cool to see that some people are diggin what were doing. Its a weird feeling not knowing where your going to be the next day, what your going to see, who you might meet, or even where your going to sleep. Although we don't play it alot, my favorite song to play is probably One Year Later. That song hits me the hardest.
Carter: What would you rather be remembered for: awesome records or awesome shows?
Anthony: Awesome records.
Carter: Thoughts on Ken Stewart?
Anthony: Ken Stewart is awesome. He's going to be doing the artwork for our new release NLCSM. He took our idea, and put it perfectly to paper. His art is awesome, and were lucky enough that he want to work with us on our new release.
Carter: Shout outs or anything else you would like to tell the readers?
Anthony: Bonus Army Mosh taking over the world. thanks!
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Carter: thanks for doing this interview! For those who haven’t seen your work how would you describe it to them?
Zomb: No problem man, I'm always happy to help furthering independent media and entertainment. I guess you could call my stuff urban modern-art, street art, graffiti, art, crap, awesome, whatever you'd like, it all means the same really.
Carter: how long have you been at this? Is their any other art forms that you work with?
Zomb: I have been doing graffiti art/street art for a long time now. I first got interested when I was in high school, around '96-'97, drawing like crazy on my books, in my books, lockers, black boards, etc...it was an escape from the bullshit at school, that and my head phones, haha. I have stoped many times since then, some due to legal troubles, some because of life's situations, like kids, bands, skateboarding, you know, just life in general.
Carter: I really liked how you apply stencil work as well as freehand design into your work. Although these styles are common with graffiti artists you have a way of making it your own. I was wondering if their were any special touches that you incorporate in your work to make them unique.
Zomb: Well my basic background comes from graffiti, first and foremost, but over the years I have been jaded by the graffiti scene as a whole, the attitudes, outlooks, cliques, competitiveness, basically all the things that I hated about team sports, and school. I looked at graffiti as more of a backlash to society, and another chance for a faceless kid to tell a story. I try to further progress my work, and incorporate diffrent mediums and techniques constantly. I love making art period, and finding new ways and things to make it work. I have used scrapbooking techniques before, acrylic paint, wheat paste, spraypaint, stencils, stickers, clothing, skateboards. I just love to paint and make art period.
Carter: Do you like to work on canvas or walls better. What is your favorite piece you’ve done so far?
Zomb: Well, they both have diffrent feelings, and honestly I'm not sure which I like better. With canvas you have time, lots of it, to create what you want, and you can use other mediums and whatnot on them. Plus they always look nice on my walls of my house, haha. It's nice to have that freedom and time to work, Especially in comparrison to working on walls. With walls, you have the adrenalin rush of doing something illegal, and also for me I have the feeling that I am doing something right for society, I feel that I am putting up a huge middle finger to comercialism and advertising, and it feels good and refreshing. Also with walls you have less time to work on your piece, but that can in turn be a good thing, sometimes I can ruin a piece because I am working too long on it, and I am trying to fix every little wrong thing. So the limited time can be a good thing too. Both are really fun, and each one lets me recieve and diffrent feeling and emotion, it's great!
Carter: Do you believe that street art is a good medium for reaching and sharing messages with other people?
Zomb: Most definately, as long as people are willing to turn off the initial negative reactions, and really think for a moment. Some really great points are being made through street art, like for instance, BANKSY, the dude is extremely talented, and his work is that of social/political commentary, and he really strives to make people rethink and unlearn. That is something I eventually want to achieve, something outside of being pretty or dope, but something with a message.
Carter: do you feel that street/graffiti art is neglected because some people don’t see it as much as art as just a form of mindless vandalism?
Zomb: It is neglected to some point, but really since like '82, it has blown up. You have it in advertising billboards, commericals, designer clothing, cd covers. So really more and more people over the years have really grown to accept it. I mean it has even reached modern art galleries. It was an art movement, the only art movement that was created by kids, for kids, and now people are paying well into the thousands for pieces of work. It's crazy. Then on the other hand, you most definately have the people, who see it on the streets everyday and only get to see the midless vandalism part, which I can also identify with, as there are hundreds and hundreds of kids out there just doing it for the vandilism side. In smaller places it's kind of diffrent though, places where graffiti is just starting to surface, and there will actually be kids doing it for the artistic side and they actually have something to say, but it's negleted by the mass local public, because they just don't understand it. It's all relative though.
Carter: when you come up with a piece in your blackbook then recreate that image on a wall or canvas do you change much or do you like to keep it close to how it looked in the blackbook?
Zomb: When I create something in my blackbook, it's there as more of a blueprint, or a guideline of how I want that pice to go. And then I just let fate take over when I'm carrying out the image onto a canvas or wall, adn I just let it transform. A lot of my best works have been due to accidents, mess-ups and fuck-ups. Nothing has ever come out as planned, and I find that very soothing. It's very metaphoric to life in itself.
Carter: Do you believe that art always needs to have some deep message to be worthwhile or you think that art can still have a powerful impression without a definite message?
Zomb: Art doesn't necesarily need to have a deep message, because I feel every work of art has a story in itself. Especially graffiti/street art. Like it makes you ask questions like "who was this person?" "how did they get away with this?" "what did they use?" "why did they do this?" and so on. However I am very partial to art that has a deep message in it, but I have learned over the years to appreciate it all. It's all like a book, they all have something to say or teach us.
Carter: Besides the usual places you might expect to see street art such as a wall or in a notebook you have done something unique in doing your art on records. What influenced you to use vinyl as a canvas?
Zomb: Well, I have been involved and influenced throughout my whole life by music, all of it. Every single genre and subgenre, I can gain something and find beauty in it, and I like how that can tranfuse into art as well. I also was looking to do something more unique and cheaper than canvas. It helps me stay in touch with the working class and poor. Art supplies can be expensive, so I have a friend that moved in next to a record store and every week they were throwing away vinyl, basically contributing to the unnecesary pile of trash in this world, so I asked him to start taking them off the road, and thought it would be a really neat idea to infuse the art with the music, and at the same time recycling. I have find out now, that I am not the only one who does this, but thats ok. A lot of people play around with it, but it's my main medium right now.
Carter: what are some of the artists or people who you look up too and get inspiration from? Do you ever gain inspiration from a non-street artist?
Zomb: I get inspiration from everywhere, and everyone. It all comes from my life and the shit I have gone through. The loves, the heartaches, the fun, the bad times. i also draw influence from certain authors like Daniel Quinn, Charles Bukowski, Jack Kerouac, Chuck Klosterman, Chuck Palanuick and many many others, reading is a huge influence for me. Also my outrage for alot of the injustices of the world, animal liberation, social oppression, political agendas, and the like. As far as artists go, it ranges. Local graffiti artists and crews like LEARN, ICH, SEPT, ALKE, JURNE, CEMEK, TURDL, KG, ZURK, BERN, RENT, PANIC, NAP 71, HBT, YME, WUT, SFL, and the like. For graffitit artist worldwide it has come from a lot of diffrent dudes. JA, COPE, SABER, RIME, REYES, and all of MSK, AWR, TKO, SKUF, NOXER, UNTOLD, NECKFACE, DONDI, BLADE, BANKSY, OBEY GIANT, GOLD 1, NOWAE and all of FNK, and the list could go on and on. I love it all. For non graffiti/street artists, it would have to be Jackson Pollock, Salvador Dali, Cezanne. I could really make this list go all day, but for the readers I'll cut it short.
Carter: Any last shout outs?
Zomb: Shout out to Nowae, and the rest of my FNK crew, my girl Jenni, you are seriously the best ever! My crazy cat Lakai, all the hobos under bridges, every animal, vitamin water, vegan and straightedge movements, and everyone who read this, keep your mind open and stay informed, you can make a diffrence.
www.myspace.com/zomb_one (my main art page)
www.myspace.com/heartshardcore (Add my new band!) (Hello Carter, haha)
Also support these sites/organizations
www.hrw.org (Human Rights Watch)
www.zeitgeistmovie.com (Watch movie for free online)
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Frankie: So who out of the band am I talking to and who are the rest of the members/whats their role?
Sean: Well I'm Sean I sing, the rest of guys are Peterson on guitar, Whitey on Bass, Kyle also on guitar, and Enrique on the drums.
Frankie: Where are you guys from and hows the scene there?
Sean: The band started with everyone living in Lowell, MA up in the Merrimack Valley, that speaks for itself. Great hardcore scene, awesome people, sweet shows, super supportive environment. I now live in Boston as does Whitey, and Chris is moving here. Calling ourselves from the Valley or Boston, it's not a big deal or an image/label thing. If anything it's just to clarify where we're from. I'm from the Cape, Whitey is from Syracuse, and Enrique is from Puerto Rico so we're all over the place.
Frankie: When did Maintain take shape and how did the name come about?
Sean: Maintain started in the spring/summer of 2005 with just Peterson and I working on songs, trying to develop a sound and piece together a band. This took for ever and almost a year later when we were about to record a demo and have our first show we still didn't have a name. Peterson came up with the name Maintain on a road trip to some show in CT and there was something about it we liked. I think that night I came up with the words for the song Maintain, it took on its own meaning for us, so it worked.
Frankie: Personally I think you guys have a great sound, to me it sounds kind of like(and I hate doing comparisons) bane meets have heart, but where does Maintain take influences from, and of your influences are any old school legends like Black Flag and Minor Threat?
Sean: Well, it's nice to be compared as a mix of one of my favorite hardcore bands ever and our friends who also totally rule but, Anyways, we take a lot of influence from mid-90's jams, in particularly Trial, Strife, Undertow, Outspoken, earlier Earth Crisis, Unbroken, anything along those lines which I think our newer material reflects way more than our demo. As far as Black Flag goes, I am one of ten million people proudly with a tattoo of the bars, I don't care how generic it is, they rule. Minor Threat, same thing minus the tattoo, those bands will always be the greatest to me and always be inspiring. Other classics include Youth of Today, Judge and even though Inside Out only released those six songs (find the live unreleased material, it rules) they are still one of the best to me.
Frankie: Now onto the new 7", Searching for balance. Where was it recorded and how do feel about the way it came out?
Sean: Searching for Balance was recorded at the Getaway Group recordings in Wakefield, MA by Jay Maas who is cranking out the hits Hammer Bros. ep, Shipwreck 7" and lp, Soul Control and I Rise material and a ton more. We worked with him for our demo last year and it was a rad experience so naturally that was the place to go. The record could definitely have come out better, definitely on our part. We didn't have the proper amount of time to prepare so I don't think everyone was 100% on all the songs. But yo it's hardcore and I just happen to be super picky about everything we do. It sounds rad, Jay and I were able to try some new things out with the mix and post production, so yeah we're pumped on it.
Frankie: As a partial buddhist myself, I was interested in the cover art with the buddha, and asian background setting, is the art just something to go along with the album name, or does it have some connection with the band/vocalists views?
Sean: To clarify, that's not the Buddha or a Buddha on the cover and I wouldn't want people to necessarily think that but it does appear in that way for a reason. We had some rough ideas involving Japanese art, particularly a lot of turn of the century wood block prints and how they depict nature. The idea of the individual whom I preferred to resemble a Buddhist monk was to have him existing in a volatile environment but be able to exist unharmed. The artist Ken Stewart took this and just totally went with it and did his thing. Personally I have with increasing voracity been studying Hinduism and Buddhism for a good while now and could go on for hours on the impact this knowledge has had on me. In short, many people in the band are engaged in some form of a spiritual consciousness that takes many different forms, we are by all means not a homogenous group of people.
Frankie: By being on Words of War Records, one can guess that the band is straight edge, but everyone's way of living straight edge is a little different, so where do you guys stand when comes to Straight Edge? (and are you posi as well?)
Sean: Actually we aren't all straight edge and I want to say it's really cool of Words of War to see the value in bands even if they don't fit the straight edge mold. Some of us are and I'm not going to give you run down of who is and who isn't because I don't feel the need to alienate anyone or fit any mold. I'd say just about all the great Straight Edge songs have been written so even if we were, that's not what I'm going to be talking about. Some of us you will see regularly x'd up and proud of our commitments but theirs other poisons in society to be combated and that's where you'll find us.
Frankie: How do you feel about the current state of the hardcore and straight edge scenes?
Sean: As far as hardcore goes, if I were to complain I'd be ungrateful because I'm lucky to see so many awesome shows in the area and all the great bands coming out of here. But I will gripe about straight edge kids showing their pride. C'mon! I'm always down to x up and pass the sharpie around the room so look for me at a show. How you gonna go see Have Heart and Verse playing these out of control shows together and not x up.
Frankie: I know you guys started playing quite a few shows lately, and are planning on playing a bunch-load more, but out of the ones you've already played, which ones have been your favorite, and who have you enjoyed sharing the stage with the most?
Sean: Best show to date was recently in Burlington, VT at an awesome club called 242 Main. We played with Unrestrained, I Adapt from Iceland, and My Revenge. Those bands rule, what they stand for is amazing, we played our best set ever in front of a small crowd that made us feel so at home. I didn't want to leave. Also, opening up for Bane in Cambridge was something I'll never forget. But honestly the bands we play with on a regular basis makes us an incredibly fortunate band at basically any show lately we're playing with our friends whose bands totally rip.
Frankie: Are there any bands these days that really capture your interest, that just have a great sound/and or message?
Sean: Absolutely. We played with Charge in February, that band blew me away. Unrestrained rule, Harder the Fight are the tightest band in the world, Gather a vegan sxe band from California unfortunately just broke up like two days before me doing this interview, tons of bands doing there thing all over the place.. too many to name.
Frankie: Is there anything you'd really want to change about the scene? Is there anything in the hardcore scene that really just grinds your gears?
Sean: I feel like hardcore is this really great forum to share and spread ideas. I've made friends that have changed my life and seen great bands with powerful messages but I feel like we could all work a little harder, talk more to one another to really advocate progressive ideas. But I understand for many people that's just not where there head is at and some don't give a shit. I don't want to tell people what to think I just want to work to create more of a collectivist network for ideas.
Frankie: Thanks for doing the interview, and answering my questions, are there any final words or shout outs/thank yous that you want to put out there?
Sean: Support our brother Josh Hynes. Paypal donations for legal council etc. to email@example.com make sure you get that right, trick email address.
Ryan Eyestone is an illustrator extraordinaire and just an all around cool guy. Its evident that he puts 110% into all his works, wheter it be a t'shirt design or or a limited edition print. He has a distinct illustrative style and has done designs for the likes of Outbreak, The Carrier, The Homefront, Integrity, Detonate records, and more.
Frankie: So just to start us off, where did you grow up
and where is you home base now?
Eyestone: I grew up in Waterville and Skowhegan. Stuck there still.
Frankie: As a kid were you always drawing, and what did you mostly draw?
Eyestone: I’ve been drawing since I was a baby. I have some drawings I made when I was 1. I was always a big fan of monsters and ghosts when I first started out…I guess that wasn’t really a phase.
Frankie: I see that the undead play a role in your art but what are your other influences, what other artist do you look up to?
Eyestone: Well, to be fair, the undead definitely play a larger role in my commission work, as opposed to my personal projects. The kids these days love zombies, and they’re a lot of fun to draw, so it’s kind of a win-win situation with those.
As for artists I look up to, the list is pretty epic in proportion. Currently, I’m really digging Ashley Wood, James Jean, Arthur Rackham, Jon Dyer Baizley and Mike Mignola.
Frankie: What do you draw inspiration from? Does music play a role in this?
Eyestone: I draw inspiration from whatever things are going on in my life that I want to address, exorcise or make a comment on. Music has always had a gigantic role in my artwork. Either the turntable is spinning or the itunes are playing when I’m at work on a new piece.
Frankie: When did you start selling prints, while you were attending Umaine?
Eyestone: I started selling prints shortly after I graduated from Umaine. While I was there, I did a few commission jobs, but spent the majority of my time focusing on school and building up my portfolio. People had been asking about prints for a few years, so I decided to collect some of my favorites and make them available.
Frankie: How long have you been doing illustration work for other people?
Eyestone: My commission work began during my Sophmore year at Umaine, when I took on a job for Stand or Fall. I don’t know if their album I did the art for was ever released, but the experience was great, as I have a lot of good memories of that band, at that time.
Frankie: Do you get a good feeling by taking part in the music community, does it give you a better feeling of connection with the bands?
Eyestone: I love working for bands and people I can relate to. There is nothing better than doing artwork for a band that you absolutely love. I don’t know if it makes me feel closer to the bands, but it definietely feels like I’m contributing something legitimate to the same community that has given me some incredible times.
Frankie: I noticed that you use a fair share of digital coloring, is all your work done that way, if not what other mediums do work with?
Eyestone: Currently, 95% of my work is digital coloring, just because it saves time and it’s easier to fix mistakes. In the past, I did a lot of watercolor work, which I intend to bring back soon. The same goes for ink wash.
Frankie: Going along with the last question, are your outlines done in ink or are they done in pencil and then gone over digitally?
Eyestone: Up until a year or so ago, all of my work was inked by hand. Last year I took the plunge and got a Wacom, and it has been one of the best investments I’ve ever made. The majority of my stuff is inked digitally, now. I kind of miss having nice hand-drawn originals, though, and I intend to do a little more by hand.
Frankie: What has been your favorite project so far? What has been your favorite print that you've done?
Eyestone: My favorite project so far…is a 3-way tie. I always like my more recnt work, because I get better from project to project. I love the shirt I just did for Outbreak with a stressed-out dude who has an axe in his head and a huge wave of blood pouring out. The shirt was fun to draw, and Ryan from Outbreak had them printed up as a HUGE chest-print. Next, I just did a design for The Carrier that came out identically to how I saw it in my head before I even laid pencil to paper, and I’m really proud of it. Last, I really love how the artwork I did for the recent SparkstheRescue EP came out. Easily some of my most polished work. That Sparks piece is also my favorite print…I’ve already sold out of the first batch, and am planning on printing up a second run with some special packaging within the next few weeks.
Frankie: Is there any certain thing you wont draw up, or have you gotten any really ridiculous requests before?
Eyestone: If an idea is stupid, I won’t do it. Same goes for if I know drawing it is going to be boring. If I’m not enjoying a job, it shows in my work. I’ve rejected a few jobs before, both because the ideas were really lame and because I didn’t feel that the potential client took themselves seriously.
Frankie: I know that when I paint or draw I listen to lots of music, does the same go for you? What bands/music really get your creative brain waves going?
Eyestone: I like to work to anything that I can’t get sick of…this week I’ve been jamming Mind Eraser, the new Pig Destroyer, the Hated, the Fountain soundtrack, the Hold Steady, Explosions in the Sky and The Carrier.
Frankie: You graduated from Umaine last year right? What was your major, and do you plan on going right into a career with that or do you see yourself sticking more to the illustration work you've been doing?
Eyestone: I went to school for New Media. That was a huge mistake. I should have gone for Studio Art. The New Media Major is the closest thing Orono has to a Graphic Design program, but it doesn’t cater to artists at all. I could give two shits about New Media Art or Web Design right now. I didn’t learn anything in school that I couldn’t have learned on my own and honed my skills on things that actually applied to me.
Frankie: Are we going to see any new prints from you in the near future or are you putting more time into other things?
Eyestone: I’m planning a second Triptych for the end of summer, but with a larger-scale format and all-new art. I also want to get started on a graphic-novel treatment, but I’m not sure when that will get rolling, as I’m currently swamped with jobs.
Frankie: Thanks for answering my questions, any final words(before you take to the Random Question Hot Seat!)?
Eyestone: Stay positive. All of the good things in hardcore today have nothing to do with “the scene”. Support your local bands and artists.
Frankie: And now For the RANDOM QUESTION HOT SEAT!(insert booming announcer voice here...) 1.Coffee or Tea?
Frankie: 2.Are you a vegetarian?
Eyestone: I was until I was 7, but now, NO
Frankie: 3.Ipods...for or against?
Frankie: 4.Jet Li or Jackie Chan?
Eyestone: JACKIE CHAN…he just wants to make you laugh
Frankie: 5.Last show you went to?
Eyestone: Outbreak/Wake Up Call Tour Kickoff
Frankie: 6.Favorite food?
Eyestone: Longhorn Steakhouse. The whole menu.
Frankie: 7.Favorite holiday?
Frankie: 8.Have you ever gotten a paper cut on you tongue from licking the envelope?
Eyestone: No, but I chipped my front tooth opening a shirt-mailer bag from ebay.
Frankie: 9.Do you find babies cute or appauling?
Eyestone: Cute. What the fuck.
Frankie: 10.Zombies or Vampires?
Eyestone: Zombies, so far.
Rob: Well at first we weren’t going to use Prepare to be Let Down as the title. We just didn’t like the original title as much. As the artwork was getting finished we just went with that, which also happens to be the title of the first track. Just goes along with the entire feel of this band. Never expect life to just hand you things, always count on the worst case scenario. The Ruiner camp is a negative bunch of dudes…
Carter: What was touring Europe like? Do you have any interesting stories from the trip?
Rob: It was pretty mind blowing to say the least. You realize how much you can hate your closest friends. Ok that’s not totally true. But it gets kind of difficult to only be able to really communicate with the same 4-5 dudes all the time. A lot of this new record came to be because of that trip. Most of the music was written but lyrically I spent a lot of time changing things and finishing songs over there. I have tons of stories but nothing that would really interest anyone, in my opinion. I will say the treatment in Europe is incredible. You get fed almost all 3 meals for each show. Being a big fan of food I was pretty excited about this.
Carter: What thing do you think the band ruins the most?
Rob: Each others lives…
Carter: Are there any places that you would like to play next that you haven’t been before?
Rob: We are hoping to play Japan and Brazil next year, as well as Australia hopefully. I mean our main focus as a band is to tour everywhere we possibly can.
Carter: Were there any changes in songwriting between ‘What Could Possibly Go Right’ and ‘Prepare to Be Let Down’?
Rob: We have a new drummer so the drumming is a little bit more straight forward. For the most part it’s roughly the same. It’s heavier in parts and much faster in others. It’s a good progression I think.
Carter: Does the band have any direct influences for your sound or does it just play off of ideas you get from each other?
Rob: We just play off of each other for the most part. The writing process in this band is a difficult thing. We tend to trash a lot of stuff and start from scratch a lot.
Carter: Are there any bands in which you would really like to play a tour with?
Rob: Not really any specific bands. We just want to tour with our friends and have a good time.
Carter: How has being signed to Bridge Nine been so far for you?
Rob: It’s been great; Chris and Karl are great dudes. We couldn’t be happier to be where we are right now.
Carter: In ten years could you imagine there being a band that would cite Ruiner as a major influence?
Rob: Umm I guess so. I mean we cite bands as influences that existed in the last 5 years. Shit I could cite local bands we came up with as influences. You don’t have to be the staple bands to influence someone’s musical interest and taste.
Carter: What was the most memorable show that you’ve ever played?
Rob: The release show for our first 7” was pretty crazy. It was also Never Enough from Baltimore’s last show. So a lot of memories went into that one. We did this acoustic set playing Black Sabbath and Black Flag covers once here in Baltimore. I don’t think I will ever forget that show.
Carter: Who did the artwork for the new album and 7”? Did the band have input on the imagery that is portrayed?
Rob: A guy named Greg Houston, an amazingly gifted and odd individual. We didn’t really have that much import. We checked out his work and liked a piece he did so pretty much he took that idea and went with it.
Carter: Are there any songs from the new record that stand out to you personally?
Rob: The last 2 tracks are my favorite songs off of it. I think Sleepless is one of my favorite songs. Every song stands out to me at some point in my day to day life.
Carter: If you had to describe Ruiner in one word what would it be?
Carter: Does the band have any rituals or hobbies that they do in the van between shows?
Rob: We sometimes play the movie game. That’s where you try to connect people from different movies. For the most part we sleep a lot. We just got this shuttle bus thing so that will probably change the way things go for us I’m sure.
Carter: Are there any bands that you think are underrated right now that are worth checking out?
Rob: I don’t know about underrated but Pulling Teeth are great. Sick Fix from the DC area also. I think Another Breath from Syracuse deserve a bit more respect. Also the same can be said for How We Are from Rochester, sadly they are breaking up this summer. I’m sure I could think of more but whatever.
Carter: What do you think about interviews?
Rob: I hate them. Just because most people ask me the same fucking questions that can be found on our website/myspace. I like this one though. Honestly I just take forever getting to them and if the questions aren’t interesting I’m never compelled to start cause I don’t want to respond with lame answers. Someone is probably reading this right now and saying “well these answers don’t exactly rule” well I’m sorry its late and I’ve been listening to Danzig II for about the 40th time now.
Carter: If somehow the band was all trapped on an island with no food, which one of you do you think would be the first to offer that the other guys eat his body to survive?
Rob: I will have to say none. We would probably decide on a fight to the death. Which would make the whole band turn on me first then fight amongst them selves. In the end I would imagine Steve or Joey winning.
Carter: Finally I just wanted to know what could possibly go right?
Rob: In the end... Nothing
Frankie: So who am I talking to and what's your role in Soul Control?
Jim: This is Jim, I play guitar in SC.
Frankie: Who are the other members and what do they do?
Jim: Mattdude sings, Eric plays bass and Ant is on drums.
Frankie: How and when did Soul Control form and how did you come up with the name "Soul Control"?
Jim: We formed in November as an offshoot of Matt, Eric and Ant trying to rekindle a band they were in in the late 90's. "Soul Control" is the name of
an unreleased Into Another record and Mattdude had been trying for about 2 years to get people to start a band called Soul Control with him.
Frankie: Where are you all from?
Jim: Providence, RI.
Frankie: You guys have a unique sound compared to most bands these days. Where do you get your biggest influences from?
Jim: Life in general. Hardcore wise...Burn, Quicksand, Later Bad Brains. Non-Hardcore...The Beatles, Ride...
Frankie: You Recently got signed to Rivalry Records and now have a new 7" out. How is Rivalry treating you?
Jim: Awesome. Kyle is a great dude and he has a lot of faith in us, can't ask for more than that.
Frankie: Was the 7" actually recorded before you got signed to Rivalry Rec.?
Jim: The Soul Control Ep is our demo. We got contacted by Kyle so soon after recording that we only actually made about 200 demos and he felt the recording was good enough to be released so there it is.
Frankie: How has the response to Soul Control been?
Jim: Better than we ever could have hoped for and we are extremely grateful for everything that has happened so far.
Frankie: Lyrically what do you stand for, what's the message Soul Control trys to get out there?
Jim: Well we don't really "stand" for anything but our basic message thus far has been based on thought and introspection. Lyrically we are influenced by
a lot of eastern/western literature and a universal spirituality.
Frankie: As you guys have started playing more shows, what ones have been your favorite so far and which band's been the most fun to play with?
Jim: We try to make every show the best show we've ever played. Its kind of hard to figure out "what to do" to our music and we understand that so we just get lost in it and have fun and hope some others come along with us. You might not be able to mosh but you can def enter the vibe-zone with us haha. We went to richmond last weekend and the scene there is awesome. Fav bands we've played with are I Rise, Swamp Thing, Bracewar, Saint Jude, Have Heart, Verse and Bane.
Frankie: What's the story behind the s/t 7" cover art(with the head turned against the crowd of other heads)?
Jim: Anthony stole the dust jacket off of a psychology text book when he was in middle school and knew that one day he'd be in a band and THAT would be the cover.
10-12 years later his vision came true. Turns out a band called The Faux already used it, guess they had the same vision haha.
Frankie: Any plans on putting out a full length anytime soon, or is Soul Control touring out the summer?
Jim: We're currently recording for a new Ep on Rivalry that'll be out in July. It'll be a 4-5 song 7" and the CD version will also contain the first Ep and the 2 songs from our split with I Rise. We'll tour on that for the rest of the year and around this time next year we'll record and release a full length.
Frankie: So what do the guys of Soul Control like to do when they're not playing in the band?
Jim: Elimination frisbee.
Frankie: thanks for answering my questions hopefully you'll make it to Maine sometime!...
Final Words/Shout Outs?
Jim: Thanks for wanting to do the interview, good luck with the zine. Shout outs to everybody in the world.
Frankie: prepare to be Randomized!!
1. Big dogs or little dogs?
Jim: Dogs in general!
Frankie: 2. Bad Brains or Black Flag?
Jim: Dude, Bad Brains. Not even close.
Frankie: 3. Anyone in the band play the harmonica?
Jim: Yes, I grew up in the Mississippi Delta and played harp for Clams Casino, a local blues legend.
Frankie: 4. Allergies to peanuts?
Jim: No, but mattdude hates Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches. Total commie.
Frankie: 5.Worst job ever had?
Jim: Professional Body Builder.
Frankie: 6.Dumbest craze to ever sweep through the "scene"?
Jim: "Rock and Roll"...it'll never last.
Frankie: 7.Who would you rather hang out with?
A. a homeless man, with many stories of old.
B. Donald Trump.
D. or A proffesional burgler.
Jim: A homeless man that has stories about robbing donald trump.
Frankie: 8.Love tv or hate tv?
Frankie: 9.Where do you buy new music?
Jim: Usually at gigs. I only buy vinyl.
Frankie: 10.Favorite shirt?
Jim: This Electric Wizard shirt that I'm wearing right now.
Frankie: 11.Favorite snack for the road?