Groovy thrash metallers Death Rattle have got a new album up their sleeves, it being titled "Volition", with a single and video to accompany it called "Love and War". Guitarist and main guy Ryan Vanderwolk talks about the album, it's single and video release, and what other plans these guys have got planned out.
1. What role do you play in the band?
Ryan: Ryan VanderWolk-Lead guitar, general manager, founder.
2. Why the name Death Rattle?
Ryan: Shortly after we formed the band, I was on the phone with Jimmy, the other guitar player and we were throwing around band name possibilities. On my bed I had a Pantera "Reinventing the Steel" guitar book, as I glanced at the back there was the song titles and Death Rattle jumped out at me. I almost threw it out there in passing. Although at the time we had thrown around a bunch of different band names that one just ended up sticking. We never officially agreed on it, but it ended up working out.
3. What has influenced your sound and style?
Ryan: We collectively are big fans of Groove metal, that's pretty much what we were founded on. Bands like Pantera, Lamb of God, Down, Gojira, Soilwork, Mastodon, Killswitch Engage, and Tool probably round out our Collective favorites.
4. What are your songs about? ( what specific themes do they cover)
Ryan: I honestly feel that generally this is something that gets looked into too deeply. Although some of our songs do have a direct point or topic, there are also just as many that don't really serve a purpose as far as sending a message. We do have songs that range from political discourse to battle songs and everything in between. I always joke about the fact that I personally don't know about half of the lyrics to my favorite bands of all time, to me personally I think the music is the most important thing, and the vocal sounds more than trying to send some profound message.
5. Do you write your own songs?
Ryan: Yes we write our own songs. We are big fans of playing covers as we play many and have a lot of fun doing so, but most importantly is our own music. Typically it starts with a guitar riff, that builds into a song. Then Chris, the drummer can get a hold of it and he starts to work in his creative energy and start to really help put the song into perspective. After that we all get together and fine-tune as a band. Lastly vocals get written typically by committee, especially on "Volition".
6. How do you describe your music to people?
Ryan: I typically say we are a metal band or a groove metal band.
7. What upcoming plans do you have for the upcoming tour that you will take part in?
Ryan: When we are on tour we really like to try to take advantage of all the places we get to visit, and this upcoming tour takes us pretty much around the whole country and it's over 11,000 miles of driving, so we are lucky to be able to see a lot. Otherwise we are just looking forward to getting out there and playing our brand of metal.
8. Can you disclose the details of the song Love and War and the video as well?
Ryan: Love and War was written by Chris and I musically, we actually wrote that when we were dealing with a pretty dark time in the band and we were struggling in many ways. Lyrically the song talks about political corruption, and past political transgressions that have led to division and War. I think in our current times it's very relevant.
9. What would be one word to describe your album "Volition"?
10. What can people expect when listening to "Volition"?
Ryan: High energy groove metal.
11. What has the writing and recording process been like for this album?
Ryan: It was quite extensive. It took over 2 years to record it. After we had it mostly done we trashed it and started over, hence why it took so long. We also dealt with various adversities as far as member issues, timing, finances, health issue etc. We really had to fight hard to get this album done.
12. Did you get the album that you wanted or was there things you wanted to that did not get to?
Ryan: I think, from our experience and experiences of other people that I've read about or talked to, that there are always things you'd like to change when you do an album. Nothing ever comes out as perfect as you hope. I do feel really good about this album, as does the band. We are proud of it and we look forward to getting it out there.
13. If you had to pick a track off this album to show someone who has never heard your band before, which song would it be?
Ryan: I would say "Sentenced to Hell". I think that song captures a lot of what we try to do, as well as the fact that it is the song on the album that was the most collective effort throughout. Although this song might be slightly more of a "dark horse" then some other songs, I would say the song shows what we're all about.
14. How do you say you differ from other bands and artists on the scene?
Ryan: I think what we are doing is unique and special. Although we have very distinctive influences generally, we feel that there are not a lot of bands out there doing the type of groove metal that we do.
15. What does the rest of the year have lined up for you guys?
Ryan: Well we have a near full US tour coming up which we are really looking forward to in support of our friends in "The Convalescence". When we return home we plan to work hard on the next album!