TIDES OF RUIN (from l-r): Dom Birkin (bass), “Lankie McTall” (vocals/guitar), Dan Smallwood (guitar/vocals), Leighton Reed (drums)
INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN
From Stoke-on-Trent, four-piece Tides Of Ruin have their sights firmly set on domination of the metal world with a unique metalcore sound.
Before that, though, the band’s main aim is to get their debut EP recorded and released, and I spoke to them about that, and more, prior to the quartet’s recent set supporting American black metal juggernauts Abigail Williams in their home city.
How did the band get together?
DAN SMALLWOOD (guitar/vocals): We rose from the ashes of a previous band, Behead The Bride, and we’ve had a few line-up changes since we formed, but our current line-up is the most stable one we’ve had.
How did the name Tides Of Ruin come about?
DAN: Well, it came out of two names we had initially seriously considered. Lankie wanted the band to be called Throes Of Ruin, whereas I wanted us to be called The Conflicting Tides, so we decided to take parts of both names, and put them together.
What would you say was your songwriting approach?
DAN: Originally, I just brought songs to the table, but I think, as a band, you need everyone to bring some of their own input, so now, we all bring ideas to our practice sessions, which we will then jam out.
DOM BIRKIN (bass): Everyone sort of brings their own key things to the songwriting process, for example, Dan and Lankie will be thinking of guitar riffs, whereas obviously for me, as a bassist, I will be thinking more of structures, like “Shall we slow things down, or shall we speed things up?“, and stuff like that.
What inspires the band lyrically?
DAN: A lot of things, really.
DOM: Some songs have a political edge to them, actually, one of our songs, ‘Iceni’, is about the tribe of Boudica, so that’s historical.
DAN: Yeah, the idea for that came from a comic that Lankie had drawn on the subject.
DOM: Another one of our songs deals with mental health.
DAN: It’s kind of the stuff that we are all passionate about.
“LANKIE McTALL” (vocals/guitar): Another song we’ve done is about FGM, female genital mutilation, which is a really fucked-up concept, and happens in countries all around the world.
DAN: It’s something we all feel very strongly about.
Your main aim is to get your debut EP recorded and released. How far are you off achieving that at the moment?
DOM: We’ve been saying we’re going to get that out for the past two years!
DAN: It will come out eventually.
DOM: We’re aiming to get it out at some point next year, it’s just a case of time and money.
DAN: Our main aim, in addition to that, is to make sure that we don’t run out of things to do before we do get it out.
DOM: We’re definitely more of a gigging band, and obviously, you have bands who get stuff out every year or two, but we prefer to just focus on the gigging.
DAN: We do actually have some stuff recorded, some of which was taken from our live sets, but I suppose you could call ‘Iceni’ a single, as we recorded that earlier this year, and that’s something of ours that you can listen to at the moment, but you really do have to see us to get the full experience.
DOM: Yeah, that’s where it lies.
How is the experience, for you all, of playing live?
DOM: The best thing about being in a band, by far.
DAN: On stage, you can be, not necessarily somebody that you’re not, but you can afford to be more extravagant.
DOM: The day after a gig, though, is always the fucking worst, because your neck is absolutely killing you.
DAN: Too much headbanging, I reckon.
And finally, what is the band’s long-term aim?
DOM: I don’t think we’ve actually got that far, to be honest.
DAN: To get the EP recorded!
‘ICENI’, THE LATEST SINGLE FROM TIDES OF RUIN, IS AVAILABLE NOW, AND THE BAND’S DEBUT EP WILL BE RELEASED AT SOME POINT IN 2019.
FURTHER INFO ON TIDES OF RUIN CAN BE FOUND THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES: