SOIL Frontman On Using Kickstart To Fund Next Album: ‘We Wanted To Be In Complete Control’ conducted an interview with vocalist Ryan McCombs of Chicago heavy rockers SOIL prior to the band’s December 4 concert in Plymouth, U.K. with FOZZY. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below. How is it being back [in SOIL] now? Did you sort of step back into it like nothing’s changed or has there been more to it?

Ryan: It’s definitely different. I mean, we’re all getting along which has to be a positive. [laughs] But, you know, it’s cool because, you know, if you go back to my original stint with the band from the beginning, we were all a bit younger, definitely new in the professional side of the music business, and we let a lot of things get to us that over the years we’ve learned were trivial. I mean, at the end of the day, we wrote some good music together. I mean, I never want to be the guy patting myself on the back, but I think we did. And, you know, being back with these guys and writing again, we seem to be picking up right where we left off on that aspect, and that really should have been everything that was important. It’s, are you getting things across to people who need to hear it? When I hear people coming up and saying that we did, I wish we hadn’t ever lost sight of that. But at the end of the day, we let personal things get in the way of it, and like I said, that was some years ago, and we’ve all learned what’s important, and how trivial some of that stupid stuff was. And yeah, I was getting to the point with DROWNING POOL where things were getting stale for me, and I tend to have… I made a joke that the first show they recorded for that “Live in London” record we did, I said that I have commitment issues, but I think it’s true. It sucks to say it, but I think it’s true, I mean after a while, things with the business start getting to me, and just the same situation over and over again tends to wear on me, and I was getting to that point with DROWNING POOL, so it was just time to find something to re-spark that fire again. Singing the old material and remembering where I was mentally and emotionally when I wrote that stuff, it was cool to remember that all over again and feel it again. So with the new album then, you’re getting the fans to pledge for it. Is that a decision to move away from the controls of record labels?

Ryan: Absolutely. When we did the anniversary tour, that was all it was meant to be, but we had way too much fun doing it. We came back and I was in the mental state of not being sure what I wanted to do next. Anyway, we started talking about writing some new stuff and what we might do next, whether we might do a new record. All three of us, though, were of the same opinion that if we did a new record, we wanted to be in complete control of it. Too many times in our careers we’ve had people — you know, the “powers that be” — saying to do this or do that, and we’ve been there saying, “That’s not the right move,” but, you know, they have a say at the end of the day. We wanted to be at a point in our careers where we could make the choices and be the guy that you point the finger at if you screw up, and luckily, we’ve made enough contacts in the business that we feel like we know the right people to get involved in all of the different processes of doing the record on our own. We just felt like, especially in this day and age, that we wanted to record an album that was the truest sense of SOIL that we could get out there. I mean, I’ve been told for the last 12 years to cut my hair, to shave, to not dress like a vagabond, but I’m tired of having those arguments. I’ve had those stupid conversations like that affects the type of music you write, too many times, I don’t want to have them with some guy sat at the end of the table who is making way too much money, who is taking my kids’ money, but affects me in a negative way — so it had to be on our own. The problem is, I mean, you follow music so you know, there’s a big difference between the sort of money METALLICA makes compared to the sort of money the other 99.9% of bands make. So at this point, we needed help to be able to do this, and Kickstart provided us with the means to do it. At first, I felt like a bum sitting on a street corner with my hand out and didn’t like it, but I started talking to people about it and they were, like, “Do it.” Fans were even telling me to think about it. You know, you’re giving people a chance to come in and sit in on a studio day or watch us play. Before you started doing this and when you were just a fan, what if you’d had a chance to do it then for METALLICA or ALICE IN CHAINS? And I was, like, “Hell yeah!” They were awesome. They were, like, you know, “There are people out there who think the same about you guys.” I’m, like, “Woah! I don’t know about that.” I mean, you’re talking about ALICE IN CHAINS, but yeah. So, I mean, I started to get it more with what people were saying to me, thinking about how people get the chance to be involved and eat pizza or drink with their favorite bands… it’s cool.

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