The Family Ruin's Johnny Gives the Rundown of their Debut Album, Music Making, and Touring


Hailing from York, UK, the electrifying five-piece known as The Family Ruin are a blast of face-melting riffs, thick grooves and rich harmonies. Recently signed to Ben Bruce (Asking Alexandria) and Kyle Borman's label KBB Records, these guys being influenced by modern heights like Avenged Sevenfold, Escape The Fate, and legends like Motley Crue and Def Leppard. They're a hard and heavy band ready to conquer the world. Frontman vocalist Johnny discusses their debut release, influences, and how these guys create their music along with some touring insight!


1. Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in The Family Ruin, and how long the band has been together.

Johnny: I’m Johnny and I’m the vocalist. The band was founded originally back in 2007 but we only got the line up sorted officially in February of 2013 when our lead guitarist Craig was the last member to join! That was when the band was truly forged.

2. Where is the band based out of and what is your music scene like there? Are there any local bands you could recommend?

Johnny: We’re based out of York UK, all Yorkshire born and bred! The music scene in the north of England is wild! So many amazing bands pouring out of here at the moment. If you haven’t already heard of Glamour Of The Kill then where have you been?! Get on that! Another up coming band from our home town is Us Amongst The Rest!  Those guys are doing great and well worth a listen!

3. How did you make KBB Records your home label and how have they been treating you guys since your arrival?

Johnny: Ben Bruce was working with a couple of guys we know from a studio in York. Sam and Joe graves of Innersound studios had just recorded an EP for us in the middle of 2013 and when Ben mentioned he was starting KBB they put us forward as a recommendation! Him and Kyle checked out our stuff and pretty much signed us there and then. Ben has known us for a while and knows we've been working hard for years so he knew we’d be able to give what’s needed and come up with the goods. KBB have been great. They have built the label with such a strong team of diverse and driven people. Everyone recognizes we’re starting from scratch and is putting 110% in to make it all work. It literally feels like a family because we seem to work as a huge team. There’s already so much exciting stuff in the pipeline, we look forward to an awesome future with KBB!

4. What's the story behind "Let It Burn" and why was it chosen as your single? Will we be seeing a video to accompany it or for any of the other songs?

Johnny: Let it burn was a song we wrote especially as an attention grabber to get everyone interested in our new Album. We were already into the process of writing the rest of the album when we wrote this from Scratch. We wanted something that had a real bad ass attitude to make people take notice. It’s is probably the heaviest song on the album too. We’ll definitely be doing some videos for the Album but at the moment I’m not sure which. You can watch the lyric video for Let It Burn Here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUtdIpGJ19c.

5. Where are you in the recording process of the new album?

Johnny: The album is finished! I have literally just got the final mix and master of it through this morning! Its sounds sick!!!

6. Who is producing the album? How has the producer aided the recording process?

Johnny: The album was produced by a team consisting of Sam and Joe Graves at Innersound and Joey Sturgis. We also had some extra production from Mike Kingswood from Glamour Of The Kill / Axewound as he sat in on a lot of the recording sessions. Mike helped me out with some of the vocal ideas.  It really helped bring the final sound together for the album. We had written most of the songs before we entered the studio and wrote a few in there. The producers all helped us understand the songs from an outside perspective and we’re able to offer alteration ideas and extras to add in etc.

7. Have you decided on a title and whether or not this album will be a concept release? How many songs will there be on the album?

Johnny: The album is called ‘Dearly Departed’ it’s not a concept release but a fist full of truth about human nature really. There are 14 songs on the Album, and I’m please to say its all killer, no filler!


8. Are there any surprises or any collaborations on the album?

Johnny: We decided not to do any collaborations on this debut album as we want it to be all about us (in the best way possible) we wanna make our mark on our own initially, but we’re definitely looking forward to having some guests on a track or two in the future. There are no surprises as such except for the fact the whole fucking album is a tasty surprise for your ears. There’s a piano track in the middle which may be a surprise for some people helps to chill the album out before picking up again, like an interval really.

9. When can we expect this album to be released?

Johnny: The album is due for release in the states on the 23rd of September this year!

10. What are your songs about? (What specific themes do they cover?)

Johnny: There are all sorts of themes on this album really and I’m pretty sure everyone can relate to most of them . The opening track ‘Bring Out Your Dead’ is like a welcome to the family track. It’s basically saying we’re all going through shit at different times but can come together and have a massive party. There are songs exploring the darker side of peoples thoughts, a song about how break ups can be messy, songs about the band struggle and missing your loved ones when your away from home for a long time,  songs about love and about hate, and of course there’s a bit on there about partying too hard haha! We've all woken up at some point like WTF?! ....right?

11. Do you write your own songs? (Discuss the songwriting process in detail.)

Johnny: Yeah we write everything ourselves. Usually we stat with either Craig or Langley bringing a riff to a rehearsal and we’ll jam on it. Then when we have a rough idea of how we want the song to be laid out we’ll demo it pretty roughly. Then I’ll take the song and write and record demo vocals at home. I usually spend a lot of time listening to the songs without vocals getting different ideas, the best way of doing this is listening to it while I’m doing other stuff, then i end up finding a melody without thinking about it too hard and having to force it.  We then go over the song together and make changes and improvements until we’re all happy with it.

12. Who are your musical influences?

Johnny: Our musical influences vary from Otis Redding to Black Sabbath and from Duran Duran to Avenged Sevenfold and everything in-between. Goth, Rock, Pop, Metal, Classical, Electro. You name it, it’s in there.

13. Has The Family Ruin ever played in the U.S. before? What do you think the audiences reactions towards your presents will be?

Johnny: Not yet! The Crown The Empire your will be our first trip to the states and we’re so stoked to be coming over. We hope the US will have a warm welcome for us. We've heard to crowds are awesome and always up for supporting new bands over there. We’re ready to put on a hell of a show and put the work in, so fingers crossed the audience will wanna go as hard as us when we play!

14. How do you promote your band and shows?

Johnny: We use all the various Social media to promote the band as well as flyering various shows when we’re in the relevant area and able to do so. We’ll be setting some street teams up soon which will be great. We get to involve some of the fans in helping spread the word and expand the Family. That’s the way we want to do it!

15. Describe your show, visual and musically for us.

Johnny: Rowdy, we want our shows to be a party more than a show! We have an awesome time on stage, its literally the most fun you can have so we want the crowd to feel that too. There’ll be a lot of bouncing and tasty slice of head banging. There’s loads of melody and plenty of chants for everyone to learn, arena style. There’s also some big drops for people who like to get down! Basically fill your drink to the top n get your party on!

16. What other plans do you guys have for this year?

Johnny: This year we plan to hit the states as much as possible. It’s all gonna be tour, tour, tour for us for as far as we can see. We need to promote this album everyone and come out and meet everyone! While we’re on the road we’ll also be writing new stuff and getting some videos down! Busy times!

17. What advice would you give to fellow bands, who want to do what you're doing?

Johnny: I’d say work hard but keep it fun! Nothing is gonna fall into your lap unless you’re very, very lucky but don’t be disheartened! Stick at it. It’s taken us a lot of hard work, a lot of time and a lot of support from our friends and family to get where we are today and we are literally only on the first rung of the ladder.

18. Any final words of wisdom?

Johnny: Yeah, if you’re bored of your life then change it. If you’re not in a position to change it then follow us on all our social media and we’ll at least solve some of your boredom! Plus whenever you come to a TFR show carry an extra few dollars because I’ll fuckin’ love you if you buy my broke ass a beer.

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