RIPE & RUIN
RIPE & RUIN
The British alternative rockers, Biffy Clyro (which make sense to mention here because they are one of the few bands that all of Ripe & Ruin agree on), recently said in an interview, ‘We fear that in today's music world the concept of the band will disappear more and more. Just a couple of guys getting together and setting off on this long journey to find a personal and a band chemistry. Developing their own sound, writing songs and recording them in an expensive studio. To look for a label, to release a record, to promote the whole thing and so on: in times when you can record and produce your music comfortably on your computer this will disappear more and more.’
The guys from Ripe & Ruin are interesting, headstrong, reflective and optically somewhat anachronistic types, their response to Biffy Clyro is, “This might be correct. But we don't care”. That response says everything about the attitude, the urgency, the drive and the commitment with which the three friends from Hamburg's St. Pauli district have had since they began making their own style of rock music when they first met five years ago.
Ripe & Ruin's own journey has also been a long one: sometimes they were a five piece, then a quartet, and now a trio for the last two and a half years. Bassist and singer, Gordon Domnick, says, ‘When we finally found ‘us’ we decided that from now on there are no more compromises! Since then every decision we made was in favor of the band and the music. Driving from Hamburg to Munich for a single show? Of course we have to do that! Coming back from a vacation earlier for a festival slot? Definitely! Nowadays If you decide to start a band that you want to make a living from, that’s probably the only way. Always give your everything!’
‘To play as a trio wasn’t intentionally planned’, says guitarist, Florian Kaninck, ‘it just came naturally after our second guitarist quit. We just tried it and found that we didn’t miss anything if we put everything in the right place’. Gordon, a man of concise summaries added ‘Period. It’s just the right thing for us.’ Especially since Gordon doesn't really play the bass like a typical bass player - in his playing you hear octavers, distorters, chords, and every now and then you get a solid beat. Incidentally, something that applies to all three musicians is their range of suspense from finely chiseled detailed work to broad-gauge, maximally reinforced walls of sound.
January 24th marks the release of their debut album "Everything for Nothing". The album follows the two EPs "The Eye of the World" and "Breaking Circles". Both previous releases have garnered some popularity in the online world (e.g. the first single "Clarity" made it to number 8 on the Top 5 Spotify Viral Charts). “Everything for Nothing” offers nine songs of tremendous density and showcases the bands’ strong development over the past two years. ‘A lot of Hendrix, Clapton, Stones and Led Zep but also newer stuff like Black Keys, Chili Peppers and so on’ says Gordon. These influences now combine in a perfect way with guitarist Florian, who originates from contemporary alternative rock (mentioned at the beginning as he just listened to Biffy "up and down for many years ") and drummer, Jannis Balzer, who comes from a blues and prog rock background. As a result Ripe & Ruin sound as beautiful as they are brutal, as in your soul as in your face and always in love with detail and perfection. They can hardly be pinned down to a particular genre, they just do what they like. Again, the beautiful anachronism of not giving a shit about what "you should do" as a rock band in 2020.
‘We do most of our songwriting together which is actually not very economical and terribly time-consuming,’ reports Gordon, ‘It can easily take six or seven rehearsals arranging a single song.’ If you love rock music and have been listening to it for a long time, you will notice and feel the charming doggedness about every little detail.
The album was recorded in Hamburg at the HOME Studios by rock producer and legend Franz Plasa (including Selig, Falco, Brett). ‘Franz was the perfect man for us,"’says Jannis, ‘because he simply knows what a rock band needs in terms of inspiration and support without robbing them of their idiosyncrasies’. ‘We probably just make rock music that suits his taste, so we’re a good match,’ adds Florian.
Unlike the current hype and the musical zero culture, which revolves around the same beats and irrelevant lyrics, Ripe & Ruin still relies on authenticity. Their music is and remains an alternative to musical fast food: ‘... honesty instead of polish, pomp and circumstance’ -Classic Rock Magazine.
Now you can listen to a wonderfully independent work which in some moments will remind you of fantastic bands from the ‘90s such as Big Chief, Truly, Malfunkshun, Eleven or Wellwater Conspiracy - references that Ripe & Ruin had never known before. Which in turn only proves one thing; "Everything for Nothing" doesn't have to shy away from comparisons, because there are hardly any. This record speaks for itself – as does the band on stage, as you will be able to experience on the upcoming tour in February 2020.
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