Our team, Kieron and Debz caught up with Ryan McCombs of SOiL on their recent tour.
Alt Ent: So, it’s been a year since you were here in the UK. How does it feel to be back?
McCombs (Soil): Good, I mean not because I’m sitting here, but for me, whenever I leave I’m ready to come back. I’ve said for years now, I wanna retire in NY but I like it here. Probably more than I like it at home.
Alt Ent: How are the UK fans compared to the rest of the world?
McCombs (Soil): It’s not fair to really ask me that (laughs), it was always harder for us back in the States to find success than it was here. Instantly here for us we were immediately embraced, we were welcomed with open arms. It’s always been that way here. It’s like a home from home for us.
Alt Ent: Do you prefer playing the larger venues or the smaller, intimate gigs like this one?
McCombs (Soil): Either, they both have their positives and negatives. I mean I’m not gonna bull shit you, there’s nothing more thrilling than playing in front of tens of thousands of people at a festival, but at the same time in a situation like this you can have some communication, you can have some dialogue back and forth and have some fun.
Alt Ent: Your’re going to be over here for Thanksgiving, how will you be spending it?
McCombs (Soil): In the last 20 years that I’ve been with Soil and Drowning Pool, I’ve missed more than I’ve been home for. To me, if you can find some place that resembles Thanksgiving, then awesome, but it’s been a long time since I’ve been able to enjoy a green bean casserole, it’s those little things you know?
Alt Ent: Will you be making it home for Christmas?
McCombs (Soil): Yeah, yeah, that’s the one holiday you don’t miss. No matter how busy you are, I always make it home for Christmas. I’ve probably missed every other holiday you can imagine, birthdays and all that kinda stuff.
Alt Ent: That must really suck
Yeah, when they were younger I used to go home and the kids would say “Who the fuck are you?” (Laughs)
Alt Ent: How do you guys like to spend your down time when on tour?
McCombs (Soil): Just chilling out in a hotel, sleeping in a bed that isn’t moving, that’s attached to a bus. I’ve been in bands with guys before who, when on a day off, would go looking for a show to go to and that just sounds like the worst thing in the world to be doing. I don’t wanna work on a day off. Fuck that.
Alt Ent: You just want a PJ day
McCombs (Soil): Yeah, absolutely, you just wanna chill out. I’m a huge American Football nut so I’m really happy if I get a day off and it’s a Monday or a Sunday. I can catch up with it then.
Alt Ent: What have you been doing since the last studio album release?
McCombs (Soil): We’ve been doing the odd weekend show, say a Wednesday, Thursday, Friday or a Thursday, Friday, Saturday then we don’t see each other for another month, then do it again. This is the first real tour we’ve probably done in a year.
Alt Ent: You guys are working on a new album…
McCombs (Soil): Yeah we started a few months ago, we’re just at the throwing ideas at each other stage right now. We started throwing some around just before coming out to do this, but once we get home, get settled in, we’ll probably get a few days relaxing behind us then get together.
Alt Ent: Can we expect the Soil we all know and love or are you going in a new direction?
McCombs (Soil): It’s all we can do, we’re not good enough to do anything else (chuckles). I don’t have the range to sing anything different. Adam writes 75% of the music and I write 100% of the lyrics. What Adam doesn’t write tends to fall to Tim to finish up. We’ve got all the ingredients to do what we do, which is all we know how to do.
Alt Ent: What drives you to write what you do?
McCombs (Soil): Waking up, I’ve got notepads and notepads and notepads from over the years, I get an idea for some lyrics that I’ll never use.
Alt Ent: So there could effectively be 3 or 4 Soil albums out there?
McCombs (Soil): Oh yeah, definitely, easily, easily. Whenever Adam throws music at me, I write down whatever comes out.
Alt Ent: Are your children musically inclined?
McCombs (Soil): No, thank god. I think having me as a Dad put them off. When they were little I think having me as a Dad was cool, they’d come out to the shows, see the big stage but then they hit the younger teen phase and then made sense of the fact it’s what Daddy does that keeps him away for so long. Then they get older and suddenly you’re cool again.
Alt Ent: Who are your main influences, who inspired you to start writing?
McCombs (Soil): My Dad and my brother, my Dad couldn’t play an instrument to save his life but he could hit the play button on the stereo like a fucking champ. My brother was in bands, he’s 5 years older than me so was in bands and stuff when I was growing up.
At home we had 4 huge speaker cabinets in the living room, so Dad would play AC/DC a lot. So my 1st exposure to rock and heavy metal was from him. He’d listen to everything from Credence Clear Water to AC/DC, Pink Floyd, Aerosmith, The Grateful Dead, The Rolling Stones.
My brother was an 80’s kid so he used to listen to a lot of Guns ‘n’ Roses, Motley Crue, all that hair metal.
Alt Ent: What can we expect from you next year?
McCombs (Soil): we’ll be celebrating our 20th anniversary of the band, so we’ll throw something out there recording-wise and probably tour and we might come back over here before doing a full U.S run. That will take up a full year.
We’d like to hope we’d get invited to play one of the big U.K festivals too. You just never know.