Exclusive Interview: Ruina on Writing and Recording!
As March fast approaches and the promise of new material from Ruina, we caught up with main man Harvey Lake to chat about how he writes and records music for the band. Knowing no boundaries and loving to experiment, debut EP “Nemesis” was strictly Metallic Hardcore in a similar vein to early Deez Nuts. Since that dropped the release of covers by Bullet For My Valentine and Snow Patrol as well as a couple of singles including the impressive “Ceremony” which touches on Post-Hardcore and Metalcore has seen any form of chains very much broken.
As a multi instrumentalist who writes and records their own work (and is prolific with covers as well!), when it comes to Ruina are you handling your own mixing, mastering, production and engineering or do you have an outside ear somewhere along the line? “Thanks! We record all our music at our home studio, then we send off our projects to 105mm Studios to mix and master the tracks“
Does not having to use a studio and recording using your own equipment in your own time take the pressure off and help you explore your ideas? “I personally find it more peaceful being able to take more time on the songs, revisiting them in split sessions. Rather than shelling out for studio time with all members distracting each other and f*cking about haha! There’s no pressure when Matt and myself sit down to track my already written songs. He’ll be very honest with me if something isn’t initially working, but the end result for the material we’re releasing this year shows how much dedication and time has been spent on it“
We’ve seen you in other bands like MSRY; how does the writing process differ between flying solo and being part of the team? When it comes to writing, where do you start, riff, rhythm or lyric? “You’re right, I’ve been in a lot of f*cking bands man haha! The reason I initially decided to go solo was to be able to make music I truly believed in and to make music unclouded by any ego or image manifested by others. I know what I want to make, and it brings me joy to see fans enjoying it too. Usually it all starts off with a riff idea, vocal hook and a rhythmic pattern, then it all comes together naturally. I never go into writing thinking “Is this RUINA though?” because RUINA can be whatever it needs to be, song by song“
When it comes to gear, what are your old reliables and what do you experiment with and change around? How much time do you invest in things like getting the right drum sound or guitar tone for example? “I’m actually the worst person to ask about this kind of stuff haha! I guess when it comes to tracking any guitars, I’ve used EMG pickups every time. I find them very reliable and consistent with whatever tone is set up on the project. I really love the kit tones from GGD, those guys at Periphery know their shit. Other than those very specific things, I’m very much an idea, no gear kind of guy haha!“
When we’ve spoken to other bands, they’ve often said that the writing is the reverse of the recording, in terms of the order in which the instruments are laid down, drums last in the writing phase but first in the recording phase for example. How do you do it with your material?“As I said before, whatever comes first comes first. I don’t restrict myself from doing any particular instrument first or last. Eventually it all comes together. However, as a drummer too, I do love rewriting drum parts after it’s all laid down. Changing a drum pattern for 10 seconds in a song can totally shift the feel and general mood. Rhythm is definitely a focus of mine.“