Soil's Tim King
By Jay Oakley
So I'm here with Tim from Soil. How are you doing today, man?
So you guys are here tonight playing House of Rock in White Marsh, Maryland. You have recently had a new record come out called Whole, why don't you tell us a little bit about it?
The new record Whole came out August 20th. It's our first record back with Ryan (McCombs) on vocals. We like to kinda think of it as the record that fits perfectly in between the records Scars and Re*de*fine. It's got that real hard edge, angry aspect of Scars but it still has those melodic elements we started to incorporate in the Re*de*fine record. We're really happy about it, it's been doing really well. The first single "Shine On" is out and it's been charting. It's good to see that people still remember us and still want to hear Soil and especially with Ryan back.
Definitely, because you guys have gone through a couple of lineup changes, a couple people leaving and other people returning. But you guys got together originally after your band Oppressor.
With that band going down was that thought of more like, "well that time has passed" and you wanted to do something different with Soil or was it, not necessarily anything negative, but was it just time for a change with this band?
Well it kinda came because Oppressor was a death metal band that the three of us were in and we had toured with like Cannibal Corpse and Cradle of Filth and the main-stays of the genre. We had done OK for ourselves but the thing was black metal started moving in really heavy at the time and kinda the reason we started playing death metal was more anti-image and anti-stuff like that and out of playing your instruments as heavy and as fast as you could and all the black metal stuff started coming in where they were wearing the corpse paint, and having the images of burning down churches, worshiping Satan and all that and it wasn't our thing. We just got sick of how it was just absorbing the scene so instead of breaking up or doing whatever or getting mad about it we just said hey why don't we form a side project that gets back even further to our roots like Corrosion of Conformity, Metallica, ya know AC/DC, Aerosmith stuff like that. We just started jamming and started having a ton of fun with it and I actually discovered Ryan from an unsigned band compilation CD and I heard him sing and was like this guy would be perfect for our little side project.
Was it a solo thing he was doing at the time?
He was in a band called DEM and he was just amazing. I knew right then and there hearing that one song that he was the right guy for us. I wrote him a hand written letter [Laughs] because back then email was just barely coming out. They had their little band contact address so I wrote him a hand written letter and he called me back on the phone and that's how we got Ryan into the fold. What we did was we started playing shows in Chicago for fun and it just kept getting bigger and bigger and bigger. Next thing we know we're opening regional dates for Incubus, Save Ferris, Korn we did a show with, we just kept getting bigger and bigger. We just kinda, for lack of anything else, kinda stopped doing Oppressor. It just kinda faded away and we just focused more on Soil because it was just going so fast and the rest is history.
Nice. So you're a couple shows in now with Dope but overall how's the tour been going for you?
Its been really good. Dope are really good friends of ours, Edsel's a really good friend of mine personally and we live right by each other. We're always hanging out at each others houses, going out for dinner or whatever, so our bands have played together before and it's a really good fit so we figured we'd team up and do a little run together.
Where are you going from here? Are there any other shows in Maryland or are you heading out?
No, we're off to, I wanna say, yeah Nashua, New Hampshire tomorrow and then we go up through the east coast and dip down back through the south and out through the mid-west.
Nice, wow you have kind of an up and then like a hook kind of route.
Yeah it's been kind of a hook. We started in Atlanta on this one because we've been out for 10 days prior doing radio festivals and things like that then we hooked up with Dope to start this tour. I actually personally like Maryland. My mom's entire side of the family's from Annapolis, so I grew up summers and stuff spending with my grandparents and the whole family would go out to a place right on the Chesapeake Bay so I'm definitely familiar with this area. There's a long history for me out here.
So when it comes to putting together records especially when you have gaps going here and there do you fine it hard trying to stick to your basic kind of sound or do you guys kind of like to experiment with things at times?
With this record, kind of like with all records, we write what we feel at the time and there has always been that Soil sound. Ya know, we down-tuned the guitars and we all have a certain way of writing, styles and things like that and that kind of gives the definitive sound.
I would say our Picture Perfect record was, everybody has that experimental record in their career path, and that was kinda our experimental record where we were going for a lot more layers and we didn't actually us a rhythm guitar on that it was all four-piece like Pantera-style where just the bass and the drums are going during the guitar solos and stuff which was a departure and kinda cool.
On this new one with Ryan back we just kinda naturally gravitated back towards that original Soil sound, ya know, because his voice lent itself to certain kind of riffs and things like that. Ya know, me and Adam (Zadel) put together the music for this record and we were just throwing it out, the stuff that was coming out was just very Scars-esque, very old, 2000, 2001-type Soil. And Ryan putting all the lyrics to it, it was just magic this time, very cool actually.
When your not playing and you have your down time what do you like to listen to? Any old favorites?
Speaking of death metal, I've been on this death metal kick lately. Like I love that new Carcass record Surgical Steel, and I've just recently dug up some of my old Napalm Death records. Mötley Crüe's my favorite band in the world so I'm playing that all the time and I just bought Dokken's Back for the Attack on Ebay so I've been spinning that one. Newer bands, I really like that band Art of Dying, I think they are just an amazing band.
Do you have a favorite new band? A band that has come out recently that you're just really into?
What's weird is, just very recently like within the last couple of weeks, we did a bunch of radio festivals with Asking Alexandria and me and the singer (Danny Worsnop) just happen to be hanging out one night and we had some drinks and stuff and we became buddies, so I went on iTunes and bought a couple of their records and was like damn why didn't I discover this band earlier and I think they're really great and on the newer side of things I like the Black Veil Brides. I think they're pretty good. Being someone who grew up in the 80s with W.A.S.P. and Mötley Crüe and Judas Priest and all that. I kinda like the way they give that little throwback to it.
Well Tim, I wanted to thank you very much for taking a second to talk to me before your show.
Oh anytime. Thanks for taking the time to come out and hang with us, we'll have a few beers later.