Every Mother's Nightmare's Rick Ruhl
By Jay Oakley
We have to start right off with Grind, man. It's out, it's a full-length release and it came out a couple months back. So, talk about it's release and the reception.
Man, it's really been cool. All the old fans that have been with us all along embraced it and we're seeing a lot of new faces. We tried to put a little bit of a twist on it, tried to modernize it a little bit and keep up with the times. All the shows have been going good, everyone seems to like it, enjoy it so we're happy. [Laughs]
It's really good, Rick. I hope you guys are proud because that record came out really good.
Yeah, I'm very proud of it. I was real leary about doing it but I jumped in with Justin Rimer, the producer and I didn't even know if he was going to talk to me. We were considered an 80s band, whatever that is but, we didn't even consider he would work with us. But, we sat down and talked with him and he put a little modern spin on these recordings and I was really liking what he was doing. We did a little test recording with "Loco Crazy" and it came out great, man. We just jumped in there and did a record and got in touch with Bill (Chavis, HighVolMusic) and we finished it out. We're happy, I'm very happy, we worked hard on it.
Yeah, "Loco Crazy" is really good, "Blown Away" is great and I really like "Swing Again." I think that song's awesome.
[Laughs] It's my last shot, man.
Let's just say it's the beginning of a lot of shots.
Yes, sir. We're trying for it to be.
So, talk a little bit about Every Mother's Nightmare right now. What do you guys have going on right now?
We're getting ready to do some stuff over seas that we've never gotten to do before, we're pretty pumped about that. We're getting ready to go down and play in Florida. They do a thing called 80s In The Park and that's a pretty big show that we're going to do with a couple of people from back in the day. Just going out on the road, playing and trying to hit as many fairs and anywhere we can play we're trying to hit it, man. We're just having fun playing and life is good right now.
So, you've got 80s In The Park coming up which is totally awesome and you're going over seas for the first time and you also have another large show coming up in four months called Sleazy Slimey Sunday and it's their third annual event.
Yeah, man! Looking forward to that. That's going to be awesome!
With a show like 80s In The Park, a show like Sleazy Slimey Sunday that features all of these big guns out of the scene plus up and coming bands that are next in line to keep the scene thriving, what is it playing with those guys, seeing old friends and making new ones?
Oh man, it's awesome. Two years ago, we played the M3 Festival and we got put up the with Queensrÿche and everybody and that was great. My favorite thing was I got to see Y&T for the first time and I'm an old school guy. [Laughs] Dave (Meniketti) sings and plays guitar, he's phenomenal and I just sit there, I love it. I'm glad to see all those guys still doing what they do.
What what it's worth, they've announced the lineup for M3, the weekend of Sleazy Slimey Sunday, and Y&T is back on it if you have a couple days off.
Yes, I saw that the other night and that's awesome!
So, getting back to Grind. Having Grind out with this modern day style, what is it about what you guys are doing now that has you really excited versus the music that you put out before?
Well, I did a record a while back called Smokin Delta Voodoo, which we are getting ready to re-release on Bill's label, I think what is most exciting about working with Bill and working with his label is he's a top notch dude, he's probably the first record guy that I've ever met that was straight up, no bull shit, just a straight up cat. But, I think the time's a little different now and with the internet stuff I think people are more open to music and that's how we've been seeing the new faces that we've seen. Everybody's real open, we played a bunch of festivals and everybody's just open to good music and when I was growing up that was key. There wasn't the internet throwing out records like Van Halen and stuff, you had to dig it out and find it. I'm just excited about that in general, everybody's open, there's not a big pigeon hole of what type of music you have to dig, you can go on the internet and find tons of great music and that's pretty cool, in my book.
So, involved with Grind, a couple years ago you put out a smaller version as an EP on your label with the beginning part of the current record. What was your plan at the time with releasing that EP and then having it grow a couple years later with some new tracks?
Then it was about trying to survive. I took a year off, I broke the band down, it was kind of a rough time for music for a while. I started playing with Lonnie Hammer on the drums and Travis Butler and me and Troy (Fleming) and we just started practicing one day with those cats and we tracked maybe four songs, four old songs and we just decided to write a record, that’s what we’ve always done. So, we did a five song EP and the idea was to, maybe, go out and play some shows, sell it out of the trunk of the car or whatever and see if we’ve got some interest. We ran into a buddy of ours, Larry Pintrow, he called Bill and he said, “Hey Bill! Seen the Nightmares lately?” and Bill was like, “No.” And, he goes, “You need to call Rick and check out what they’re doing.” He called me, I’ve been friends with Bill forever, he called me and I sent him a copy of the record and he called me about three days later and goes, “Let’s do a full-length record. Let’s do it on my label.” And I said, “OK. That sounds great.” That was the whole deal was just writing some more songs, through them out on a CD and, kind of, see where it goes. It went to the right people and I’m happy, man. It’s the best label. Out of all of the labels I’ve messed with in my lifetime this is the best place I’ve ever been. Like I said, he’s straight up and he does what he says and says what he does.
You guys are grinders, dude. Just like the album says.
Thank you, sir. This is the only thing we know how to do besides mow grass. [Laughs] You’ve got to love the music business to do this. Anybody that thinks you get rich automatically is way wrong. You definitely have to love it and be willing to eat a lot of peanut butter to do it. [Laughs]
But, you’ve got to admit, this is probably a little more fun than mowing grass.
Oh yeah, a little bit, I will say that. The scenery’s real good. [Laughs]
So, talk a little about the guys you have playing with you. You’ve had Jim (Phipps) and Troy (Fleming) with you forever but you’ve also got John (Guttery) and Travis (Butler). So, talk a little bit about the relationship with your boys.
Well, my boy Troy, Troy Fleming, he’s been in the band longer then Jim’s been in the band now. He’s been with me for twenty-one years, I think. We’re joined at the hip; I met him a long time ago. He was in a cover band called Saturn Cats and he came up and started jamming with me. It was me, him and Jim and we started doing originals. He’s been with me forever; he’s like my sergeant-in-arms. He’s a tough cat. John, I played with him in a little side project that I had one time in between the down-times on records and I just always liked playing with him and then when I started putting this back together he was the last piece. I got in touch with him, I ran into his wife somewhere and asked how I could get in touch with John and popped him back in the band and he’s a great dude. My boy, Travis Butler, he’s my ace-in-the-hole. He wanted to play with us so he came to practice, came to rehearsals the first day. Two or three months and it was just him and we were throwing all these songs at him and all these two live guitar parts and he was busting his ass. He’s been with me a long time and the band is good. Of course, me and Jim have been fighting with each other since way back in the day. We’re brothers, ya know. He’s mad at me right now, I made him mad yesterday for something I can’t remember what I did to him but he cussed me out. [Laughs] We love each other; we’ve been playing together for most of our lives. Before we played together we raced bicycles against each other.
What’s your current goal for Every Mother’s Nightmare? You’ve got Grind out and it’s still very early in the year, even if it’s 2018 alone, what’s your goal and what would you like to see Every Mother’s Nightmare do from here and moving forward?
Man, I think I just want to keep on growing and writing. After Grind is done, I’ve got about two or three more videos I’m going to shoot for this album but I just want to see where Grind’s going to go and then as soon as that’s done I’m going to re-release Smokin Delta Voodoo because the label that it was one when I first recorded it (Perris Records) didn’t have no push and Bill wants a shot to push it. Then the next record after Grind, I’m going to let him put that out and I’m going to write another record and I’m just going to do this until I die. [Laughs]
For all the fans that are looking forward to 80s In The Park and Sleazy Slimey Sunday because they’re big festival shows, are you planning to bring merch like Grind and shirts and stuff like that?
Yeah, we’re going to have albums, t-shirts, everything. Of course, you can get to places to buy our album on our website or our Facebook page. EveryMother’sNightmareBand on Facebook and our website is emnrocks.com. Or, you can go to HighVolMusic and find anything that you need to find out because Bill’s got it all covered.
So, all-in-all, it looks like we’ve got some sun shining down on Every Mother’s Nightmare and you seem pretty stoked.
Oh man, I’m very happy. Things are good. Like I said, a couple years ago, music was pretty rough all around and everybody thought we were broken up but we’ve been playing little clubs and anywhere we could play the whole time. It’s what we do and music’s a beautiful thing and if you can find ten people or ten thousand that will listen to you and let their guard down and groove with you and find out what you’re about, it’s a beautiful thing. I like it. [Laughs]
That’s great, Rick. I’m stationed out of Baltimore and you know they’re working to re-open Hammerjacks.
Yeah, I know. They called us a while back about playing when they re-open it and we’re waiting. I’ll tell you what, no bullshit, that place is one of my favorite places I ever played in my life. We played there with some very cool bands and just a very cool place, man.
Rick, thank you so much for taking a little bit of time. This was a lot of fun and all that matters is you enjoyed your interview and you felt respected and everything you were asked, you dug on.
Hey brother, it’s all good. I appreciate that you took the time to talk to my red-neck butt so I’m good with it. [Laughs] It’s all good.