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There are some projects that are just plain unique, that don’t need excessive hype or scene gimmicks to make them feel important. The Ruiner is one of them. The supergroup, which is composed of seasoned Aussie metal vets, has been described as the product of a death/grind/stoner/doom circus. Whatever the hell it is, it’s heavy, but not conventional, something bassist Jason PC (who you may know from Blood Duster or Dern Rutlidge) took care in pointing out.
“A lot of people want pure doom, and we’re not gonna give them that”, he stated. The outfit has just released their self-titled debut album, so whatever they are giving you, you can get your hands on now. But even though the record is technically the first from The Ruiner, they’re not unveiling it to an audience of strangers.
“People in the heavy scene know us”, PC clarified. “The history of the band is like, we all come from a group of bands started like twenty-five years ago”. The peak of the activity that they were involved in was the arrival of Christbait, a legendary project that united the death/grind scene in admiration. In fact, The Ruiner formed when the boys played a one-off show as a tribute to Christbait back in 2013.
“They were a little bit too early for that time, you know? The Big Day Out wouldn’t put them on, and they got a letter from the Big Day Out saying ‘girls won’t like you’. Even though their bass player was a girl! You know, it was a different time. But they were fucking unbelievable”.
You could list the projects the members of The Ruiner have been in until you’re out of paper, but the moral of the story is, according to PC, that they’ve “been around forever. So it’s hard for us to gauge what anyone thinks because we already feel like everyone knows what we do, you know? Even though the band itself is new”.
Having been around in the scene for so long, Jason PC is the perfect person to ask about what’s fundamentally changed in the metal niche that he’s been grounded in for so long, not only playing in bands but also operating Goatsound Studios. From what he’s observed, it’s the infrastructure.
“Back when we all started there wasn’t one”, he noted. “It was just fucking loose as shit, you know? You couldn’t go out and tour the way you do now. Young bands now…I don’t wanna say that they’ve got it easy. But the infrastructure and stuff, the money, is actually there now”.
Before “you’d do a gig, you’d fill the room, and all of a sudden the promoter would be gone, and there’s no money. Young bands who go out, they know about merchandise, they know how to make things appear. Back in the day, it was a big deal to have some fucking CDs. I know that sounds ridiculous now, but you know, it seems so much easier”.
It’s an interesting statement to make considering the prevalence of complaints that the digital world has made the struggle for musicians particularly difficult, what with downloads and an increased level of competition in the market, but it’s one that Jason PC stands by. “That’s fucking bullshit”, he put bluntly. “Generally if someone’s saying that it’s because their band is crap. If the band is good, people will come out and see the band”.
For artists in Australia’s heavy and doom scene right now, things should sail relatively smoothly, considering his observation that it’s “really fucking healthy”. Outfits like Witch Skull and Horsehunter were name-dropped as killing it, with “all these bands” having “unbelievable records out and people going to their shows”. It’s true that there’s a glaring division between metalcore artists on UNFD and the bands you’d see supporting The Ruiner, but it’s not something new.
“I think it’s always been that way. I think all the deathcore and stuff like that is all coming from hardcore, and then there’s the death metal. While there’s crossover, the two genres are still separate in where they’re coming from…there’s so much music now that people can afford to be really genre-specific and not move out of their comfort zone for a second”.
Given that they’ve got a strong scene supporting them, it’s easy to see a future for The Ruiner in metal. “We like just making music and stuff, and we’re old enough that we know what we do. You have bands say stuff like we’ll never sell out and that kind of stuff…it’s like this thing that bands say, but they don’t actually understand the meaning of what they’re saying.”
The Ruiner are “one of those bands that 1) we won’t sell out because no one’s buying and 2) we’re old enough that we just don’t give a fuck. We’re just gonna do exactly what we do and know that there’s a scene around it and people will come to see it”. If you wanna be one of those people, catch them at their album launch at Melbourne’s Tote Hotel this Saturday.
ALBUM LAUNCH SHOW
Saturday, November 5: The Tote, Melbourne
Official Event Page
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