I’m a homicidal maniac!
An interview with AC of The Ruined.
Justin (Apathy) Stankus
The Ruined are an epic 5-piece horror-punk band from Peterborough, UK with influences including The Offspring, The Misfits, Ramones, The Cult and The Damned. The band consists of: Nekro (Vocals/Keyboards), Dammit (Guitar/Backing Vocals), The Cream (Guitar/Backing Vocals), Ian (Bass) and AC (Drums). The band formed in the summer of 2004 and have since completed numerous UK tours and a European tour, along with releasing many split EPs. Their long awaited LP, “Hear Lies”, was released through Rowdy Farrago on Halloween 2006 to a ravage of fans salivating like zombies and critics moistening their vampire fangs. It was met with overwhelming praise and the album has received positive reviews in fanzines and popular music press. At the launch party for ‘Hear Lies’, they also unveiled the video to lead single ‘Death Will Be A Lady’. The band is currently shooting for a new video and are expecting to release a new album in the near future!
Alright AC let’s do this! I am super excited to get this interview underway!
First could I get your name and your position within the band?
I’m AC and I play drums for The Ruined.
How did everyone meet and come together to form The Ruined? How did the name of the band come about as well?
The band started when the singer and an old friend got together to write music about their love for horror films. The songs began to flow and members from other bands in our town, (Peterborough) were brought in. After a few line-up changes and a few more horror films later, the line up was finalized. The band then began writing for our debut album, “Hear Lies”.
When you the look at the state of the horror-punk scene, here in the US it seems to be surviving especially when you compare it to scene across the globe in Europe where it seems to be doing the exact opposite and thriving! Do you agree with this statement? Whether you agree or disagree why?
It’s really hard to say to be honest. There are so many sub-genres at the moment, I mean, we’ve seen big bands come and go in the space that we have been together (which is almost 9 years this year!) The Horror scene seems to be quite niche over here; we seem to be billed in with Physco-billy and Rocka-billy bands but personally I believe that’s because of the themes of the music etc. When you look at our music it’s more Punk Rock than anything else.
Of all the genres out there whether it being rock, metal, industrial, country, grindcore, etc. why did the band choose punk rock? What about it personally lured you in? What was your first experience with the genre?
I don’t know to be honest. Probably for the simple reason that we just like punk rock bands? That’s a cop out of an answer I know. 🙂
This question could be part of my last one, but I felt the need for it to be a separate from the other. When I listen to bands in the horror-punk scene (to me at least) most of the bands, like literally 98% always seem to be a Psycho-billy or Rock-a-billy. And Horror-punk the genre and not the scene always seems to be on the bottom shelf of the three. Do you agree? Also why did the band decide or chose to stick with the punk route?
Yeh I do agree. We just like punk rock music. We all prefer the pace and energy of it. I don’t know why we’re at the bottom of the three though? Maybe the “new school” listeners dig the fashion thats involved with rockabilly and physcobilly.
I fucking love the artwork for your two albums, especially for Hear Lies. How does an artist get chosen for the honor and who usually comes up with the ideas for the artwork?
We got lucky with the first album as we managed to get the guy who did the Gallows first album before he became really exclusive. Both times we had a play on words title and just said what each song was about to the artists who then came up with what you see today.
Does the band have any pre-show obsessions or rituals?
Not really. It’s hard to travel together all the time so we are split for most the journeys to venues. Working also splits us as we all finish at different times. We’ll turn up and sound check and pretty much chill where we can. We’re not big on not mixing with people before and after shows if that makes sense? I see loads of bands who aren’t really interested in watching other bands or chatting to peeps before or after shows.
What is the best show you’ve played so far, or I guess in other words your favorite show you’ve played?
For me, probably the whole of the European tour we did a few years ago. I remember when we played a place called St. Quentin in France in an awesome bar which had about 20 people in it. Those 20 people made more noise and were more up for it than some of the venues in the UK where we played to 200 plus easily. It’s really strange. It’s such a great feeling to know that people will be up for a good gig even though your not local to the town or the country!
Every horror band or fan obviously had/has a huge love and influence for/from The Misfits, and I’m sure they had/have a big impact on the band though I am not sure to what degree. But if you had to exclude them as your first influence (if they were) and had to pick another band that had the second most influence on the band, who would you say it was and why?
Definitely The Offspring. Every album is just Punk Rock genius! You can’t argue about that!
The band has been around for 11 years now? Please correct me if I am wrong. During this time, what do you guys as a band think is the most important thing you have learned? Personally what is the most important thing you have learned?
9 years I think, haha you’ve got me wondering now? Maybe I should call one of the guys? Although saying that it’s 2am here! Hmmmm, we learn all the time. I could list endless things. It may sound cliche but I think it’s remaining friends and having fun. That counts through all of the trials and tribulations there are to being in a band. Where’s the fun in playing music you love with people you don’t get along with? It wouldn’t work in my view.
What are your favorite bands to share the stage with?
Is this as a band or for me?? If you’re asking me I’d say (to name a few) The Flatliners (one of my favourite bands!!) A Wilhelm Scream (Another favourite!) The Gallows, The Arteries, Random Hand…. I seriously could go on and on here!
What is your personal view on religion? And does the band have a view on it? With most bands I listen to there is never a shortage of songs about murder, necrophilia, ghouls, horror movies, killing your girlfriend, etc. But most bands seem to not put much focus on religion were I feel it kind of goes hand in hand with the whole horror thing. The Quintessentials seems to be the only band that really state a view on it as far I’ve seen. How does the band feel about the subject and does it have any influence on the band’s music?
I see what your saying but we’re not religious. If the music offends people then don’t listen to it, its not like we’re actually murdering people in graveyards or turning into savages hahaha. The songs were more geared up about experiences in life like bills and bills (waves of zombies coming to get you) Living in a city that seems to be full of people who care about no-one and nothing (City of the dead) etc etc. That’s more we’re the themes lie. Nothing on religion yet…….But thanks for the idea!
Top 4 favorite horror movies! Go!
Is this as a band or me?? I’ll do two of each:
Me: Evil Dead, Halloween
Band: The Lost Boys, Night of the Living Dead
What are your favorite 4 bands in horror-punk scene currently?
Personally (and it may sound contrived) but I don’t really have any. I’m more into punk rock and metal.
More of a goofy question but what have you currently been listening to? And if you were to suggest a band to your fans to check out, who would it be?
I cannot stop listening to The Flatliners, A Wilhelm scream and Pantera. Bit of an odd 3rd one out there but I looked on my iPod the other day and they were in my top 25 most listened! So I would definitely say to check them out!
What is your favorite song to play live? Also what is your favorite album so far? Hear Lies? Or Cry Wolf? How come?
Homicidal Maniac for me. It’s a mix of fast pace and dirty break downs that are awesome when played live. No favourite album though, I love them both for different reasons. Hear Lies, because everything was new and exciting and Cry Wolf because we had come such a long way from where we had first started.
What’s a day like in the life of The Ruined?
A day in the life aye…..I’ll change it slightly to a day in the life of The Ruined on tour. That’s easier to answer. We’d wake up from the night before in a strange house from a crazy house party or in the van shattered, all agree with need breakfast and then the buzz starts again. It’s like the Friday feeling for 3 weeks!! We’ll chat about really random things like Cindy Lauper, Family Guy, Music, the gigs ahead; we’ll do funny film quotes for hours! I always get the lines wrong but it’s even funnier! Play the gig that night, party with the locals and pass out somewhere. Good Times!!
How do you feel the punk scene in general is doing in the UK? Have you heard any new bands lately, or any punk bands outta the UK we should check out? I am a big fan of The Infested and Thee Infidels, don’t know if you have heard of them or not. Would be awesome if you guys did a tour together!
Cool, I’ll have to check them out! The UK scene seems to be going back underground again. People don’t have the money to go out to a club these days and watch a live band. But then again its only my opinion. A lot of venues are closing down. Check out Random Hand, Andrew Cream and The Arteries. Excellent bands!
This is a signature question of mine and I ask every band I interview this question. So let me set it up for you, your band is Headlining the Greatest Halloween party in history! Seriously, nothing in the future or past will ever touch it! You have 6 and only 6 choices of supporting horror-punk bands. Who are they? (They can be past or present)
Good question! Not sure I’m the best person to ask in the band though as I’m more of a rock and metal fan. (sorry to all your readers for letting you down) 🙂
You get to play 4 covers by Danzig, whether it’s from The Misifts/Samhain/Danzig but you also get to play them with Danzig himself! What covers would you chose?
Hybrid Moments, All Hell Breaks Loose, Mother, and Die Die My Darling. Love those songs!
Are there any big tours in the works for the future? Will we see The Ruined in the US anytime soon? Can you spill your guts on this subject at all?
We’d love to come to the states. We’ve been asked a few times but through unfortunate reasons they never came through :-(. Unfortunately a few months back our singer (Shauny P) decided to leave the band. We’re all still friends though. We’ve decided to take some time out and regroup as a band. We’re in the process of shooting a new video which will be done for the summer hopefully. Shooting the last scenes in a few weeks time. After that, we’ll start looking for a new singer and begin writing a new album! We were talking about touring towards the end of the year so we best got a move on finding a new singer!
Is there any new material in the works? An upcoming EP, or even album? What can fans expect music wise from The Ruined for the near future?
Yeh, as I said, we have new material we are working on but I’m sure it will all start coming together much better with a new singer. Watch this space!
How do you feel the band’s music has progressed since first starting the band?
Thats a tough one as I think we have stayed punk rock throughout??
Inevitably now that I am in the closing segment of the interview I have to ask. Who were/are your biggest influences on you personally and the band itself and why?
For me, I have quite an eclectic taste. Most bands I listen to give me something to take home and try out and then put a spin on. I can’t really single any out. We’re all pretty much like that. I think that’s what makes the music. Bring all our personal preferences and experiences with bands together and seeing what we come up with.
In closing I sincerely thank you for taking the time to do this interview with me, and in closing is there anything you would like to add?
Thank you for your interest in us buddy. Its great to know people are still into finding new bands and checking them out! Please keep buzzing me for more info, interviews etc…
You can check out The Ruined at their Myspace or Facebook!
If you get the chance make sure to buy their albums, “Hear Lies”, and “Cry Wolf” you will not be disappointed! You can find both albums on iTunes, so after reading this get your ass to iTunes and support the band, so fucking epic!!!
– Justin Apathy