The Wicked Channel Interview with Ryan McCombs lead singer of Soil

1.So you are back with Soil again? Is this temporary or is this now your home again?

I reckon it’s home again. I was getting that same burn out from ’94, business wise, before we did the anniversary tour in the UK last October. The same tour the live DVD comes from. We had such a good time over there that when we got back and people in the states started yelling for shows stateside, we just started booking some dates to keep it going. Just going with it.

2.The obvious question is, are you still a member of Drowning Pool? If not, care to talk about what happened? This is your chance to smack talk them if needed.

No, I’m no longer a member of DP. Like I said I was just really feeling the burn out creeping in again. Even with the fun I had in the UK when I got back my heart just wasn’t feeling it.. After a few weeks back in the states CJ and I spoke and it seemed like everyone was of like minds. Your always gonna have personality conflicts when you have multiple people living in close proximity but I got no trash to throw.. My 6 years in DP produced a lot of good memories..

3.Do you view you being in a band as hanging out with friends, having fun and making some money..or is this a business decision that if someone leaves, or you can find another person who would be a better fit, that you have no attachment to a guitarist, bassist or drummer?

It’s always got to come down to business or you won’t be doing it long. Their is that friendship quality in any band or I would hope there is. So it’s a mixture of the two. In this day and age if money is your motivation then go to law school.

4.How did it feel to sing Dave Williams’s songs live?

An honor.. I considered him a friend so it was a tip of the hat to him whenever I did his songs.

5.If Jason Jones did last in Drowning Pool and you never got in, would Soil w/ you singing, still be going today?

No. I didn’t quit one to join the other. There was 9 months there in between that I wanted nothing to do with the music business.

6.Do you think when you and Jason sang for Drowning Pool, it was the right thing to still call themselves Drowning Pool? Should they have changed the name, like Drowning Soil or Soil Pool?

That would have made no sense when Jason was a member…lol
Those three guys bled swet and sacrificed to make that name mean what it did just as much as Davey. I feel they had/have every right to keep that name.

7.Scars, was hailed by critics as one of the best hard rock records. Do you sit back and think what bad timing to release this cd on 9/11/01?

You can’t help but think about it a little but then u feel like a shitnugget for even giving it a second of thought as it wasn’t even a pimple on the arse of the events of 9/11.

8.Do you think J Records had any idea how to market a hard rock cd? I mean their talent roster was Rod Stewart, Pitbull, and Fantasia among many other pop radio and r and b staples. I mean this was Clive Davis’s label? What made them sign Soil, you seem like a stretch for them?

Way back in the day Clive Davis had a lot of success in the rock world and put together a staff of people at J that worked on some of our favorite cd’s. The sales pitch was that he wanted to prove he still had it in the rock realm. I can’t point at any one factor as to why we signed with J. There were a lot of factors that made us feel like it was the right decision at the time..

9.One of your first songs for Drowning Pool was on the WWE cd. Are you a wrestling fan? Or did you go to the arena and walk beside these guys and say..” What you do is fake, I am a rock star”? If you answer yes, can we upload a video of what the result was?

I was a fan back in the good old days. The days of Hogan, Jimmy ‘superfly’ Snuka, Rowdy Roddy, etc. Not so much any more. Both my boys went through a phase that they Were really into it so I would watch from the road if I caught one of the shows on so I would have something else to talk to them on the phone about..

10.We usually do name association where we give you a name, and you tell us how you feel or what you think. This is different, you are Ryan McCombs, we want to give you cds..and you give us your thoughts.

a.Drowning Pool-Sinner

Dave Williams. A beautiful soul and a band that quickly became good friends and later band mates. Was an honor to be a part of the band that produced a CD like that one during my time with them.

b.Metallica-St Anger

Confusing. I never bashed the changes the band went through musically. To me they were natural. This album seemed a little forced in order to appease the old school fans that wanted the old school heaviness. It’s F’N Metallica at the end of the day. They could put out a best of John Denver covers and I would respect it to a degree cause they deserve that. They traveled a hard road and by kicking a door open to the mainstream with their style of music they changed the coarse of music.. That’s the sh*t legends are made of.

c.Limp Bizkit-Significant Other

To be honest I’m not familiar with the CD. They did their thing, obviously good, but it just wasn’t my cup of rum at the end of the day..

d.Kid Rock-Devil Without a Cause

Didn’t it go like “Diamond” or something?!?!? What the hell am I gonna say about that? Like it or not there’s a certain amount of jealousy involved if one was to bash an album that sold like that F’N thing did.

e.Soil-Throttle Junkies

A great experience wrapped around bad decisions. I believe there were some good songs in there somewhere. They just needed more of a “blow up & rebuild” process that we’ve learned to use in preproduction over the years.

f.Slipknot-Iowa

All I have to say is “Corey Taylor”. He is hands down, IMO, the best vocalist and lyricist doing it today. I listen to his words the same way today as I did Alice In Chains growing up.

11.You are at a cd signing, a kid comes up to you. ” Ryan, you are awesome, a god, would you sign my cd”. And the kid pulls out a burn copy of your cd that he stole. What would you do?

Been there.. A few to many times… I rib’em a bit about the burn but I sign the thing. I don’t know his/her situation in life. That may be the only way they could have that music in their hands. If they’re there then they’re allowing me to do what I do.

12.Same cd signing, a hot, I mean hot woman comes up to you..and she is all over you, and you are pretty cool with her..and she asks also would you sign her cd, and pulls out a burn as well. What would you do this time?

Give her a bit more grief about it cause a hot girl can get a guy to buy her whatever she wants. The end result is the same. I probably spend a second or two longer watching her walk away is all.

13.Do you think downloading killed the music industry? Or that downloading is a call to arms from fans, for getting some bands who charge too much for cds, that are not their best work?

Downloading kicked the industries ass. Remember the bands aren’t charging the cash. That’s the business folk. If it made some bands second guess the quality of their work then good but it has hurt everyone. I had a discussion with a kid that just couldn’t see my point until I explained it this way.. His Dad was an auto worker. I asked him if everyone in the world could come to his Dads factory and drive of with a free new car then how long would his Dad have a job? His Dad makes cars. Musicians make songs. If the product doesn’t sale then that individual looses their job & has to find other means to keep the lights on at home.

14.Do you think if the internet did not exist, we would be in this recession, and entertainment from all forms would be taking these big hits?

That’s a tough one. I ain’t no political science major or economist but I think to get where we have as a nation it’s taken a little more than the Internet. Entertainment wise no. The Internet has made it a faceless action.

15.Do you think the fans were receptive with you being in Drowning Pool?

I think it was a 63/37 split at first. Positive to my ears. Some dissed it merely for the fact they thought I left one for the other. Those that realized I was done and gone were happy that I was doing something again it seemed.

16.What would be your dream tour?

To me a good tour is dictated by who you are sharing the road with. So when I think about it I look at it a bit selfishly. Who would I want to be spending my days around. I know a lot of good people to tour with but if i had to quickly put some names out there from the top of my head.. Godsmack, 5FDP, BLS, Sevendust. I could go on for awhile with that one. Sharing a stage other than a festival date with Metallica would be pretty legendary.

17.People assume Ryan because you have toured with two bands who have had success, that your life is all glitz and glam, and you have dollars galore. Is this a true perception?

I have been through a divorce and a break up of a three year live-in relationship in the past few years so I have lost what LITTLE I’ve had twice recently. Just because your CD is on the same rack at Best Buy as Staind does not mean your making the same money…lol The difference in income between two bands who’s CD’s may be next to one another on a sales rack can be as different as the worth of a ’86 Nissan Sentra and a 2012 Bentley. Both bands I’ve been in toured for like 11 out of 12 months a year. We had to in order to survive. Paycheck to paycheck is all I’ve ever known

18.We know right now, money is tight for all of us. A lot of fans have to save a paycheck to buy that ticket to go see you live. As they do for most bands they are into. As of late, there has been this trend that bands are charging their fans to hang out with them after and sign stuff. If you were the fan and living the way most fans are living right now, would you pay this extra on top of the concert ticket, and t shirt price?

I’ve been on tours where the merchandise costs were stupid regardless of the economy..lol

As far as charging for meet and greets? I’ve been a part of it. Your right. Times are hard for everyone right now. EVERYONE!!..lol as it becomes harder to make a buck you try to find new ways to earn one. My feelings on it though is that if your going to offer something like that u need to make it an experience. Spend some time with the individual. Figure out a way that he or she is crossing a boundary of sorts.

19.Lets be honest. When bands like Metallica, U2, and etc stop touring. The death of the stadium tour will follow. Do you see any bands right now that in 5 to 10 years, well beside Soil, who could headline a stadium and fill it?

Lol… Hell I’m so old I remember when one headliner and one support band was the norm and arenas were packed.. Now it’s the 5 band bill and the rooms are smaller. I don’t know really. The industry is a scary place right now. I hope there is an I’ll have to leave it at that.

20.I read an article that listed bands like Dave fronted Drowning Pool, and Soil as part of some nu metal scene. Do you think either of you fit into this nu metal scene? Also were you a fan of nu metal?

Not at all. I never understood that but I also never wasted time being concerned with it. When I can dictate the mindset of others you’ll know cause I won’t be broke anymore and a lot of sh*t will change in this world..lol

21.What was the last cd, you had to rush out and go buy on the day of release? And where did you buy it from?

Latest 5FDP I think. I believe it was Target or Best Buy. No it was Skindreds Union Black CD and I bought it online cause it wasn’t released in the U.S., at that time anyway.

22.Let’s be honest Ryan, a band like Soil was tailor made for a magazine like Metal Edge, or hell even RIP. Now it seems like overseas metal magazines are still alive and exist. And America, all we get is a Revolver once in a while, and maybe Decibel. Do you think that the death of most metal magazines hurt metal music? I mean, they still have tons of pop rock and rap publications, and those scenes thrive still.

It was definitely another means to reaching out that was cut off. I never thought about the pop rock and rap publications in correlation to it’s ongoing success.. U bring up a good thought.

23. Would you ever do reality tv? I mean, American Idol with you on it, could be a must watch. Or better yet, you can be like Bret Michaels and get like all these girls to degrade themselves and humiliate each other in the name of metal?

Sure.. If it was the right situation. I won’t be on some housewives of Dunkirk Indiana or an American Idle type thing as one is stupid and I wouldn’t make the first cut on the other. I’ve had a couple ideas but in all of them it’s more about something that connects with the people that allow us to do what we do and perhaps build a stronger fan base for the rock/metal genre.

24.If people knew you had this song on your ipod they would laugh? If you throw out a Lady Gaga, or Adele reference. I think question 28 may come to life quicker than you think.

Oh I got some oddballs in there. There’s a track or two of Rihanna and Pink in there.. I got some weird shit in there like a track from the movies “Annie” and “Grease”..lol U want to see a mood change? Go from Slayers “Disciple” to Jerry Reeds “East bound and down”.. WTF!!

25.Do you look at all the hair bands from the 80’s who live on their past glories and think that they should call it a day? Do you look at all the nu metal bands from the 90’s and think the same?

NOPE!! I’ve tried to walk away. Twice!.. For some people they desire the emotional tie to the spot light. Look at reports coming out on the former NFL player Junior Seau. Others would explode if they couldn’t get all the junk inside them out. I don’t know what kind of lunatic I would be if I didn’t have music as a release valve.

26.What is the best cd of all time to you? You get one pick, no ties and it cannot be a band you are associated with…

For me personally. Alice in Chains “Facelift”.

27. Re-LIVE-ing The Scars IN LONDON is out now, how was making this with the guys after all these years?

We had a blast during that run. I really wish more could have been captured. Usually u save London for last on a UK run as that’s where the majority of the press will be and u want to work through the jet lag and smooth everything out. This tour it was the first show. Then throw on top of that our first true performance together in 7 years for Adam, Tim and I and Jon’s first one with us period. Aaaand we had only rehearsed two drunken nights before we left for the UK. The show that came out of us that night was truly an example of what an amazing crowd can bring out of a group of 4 jackholes.

28. Do you think fans have too much freedom and too big a voice on the internet? What would you do if you met some of the people who shit talk you behind a screen, and had the nuts or hole to admit to you they did it?

I’ve heard of people slamming me on the Internet and some have valid points actually, others are WTF?!?!? To the later I would just apologize that their lives turned out so shitty for them. I heard of one once where someone stated that they were glad Dave Williams was dead cause Drowning Pool sucked with or without him.. What kinda miserable fucktard makes such a statement. Regardless of ur opinion of his work that’s someones son, nephew, cousin, sibling and/or friend. I can only imagine the miserable, small dicked, failed musician bitter dumbass that would feel ok about writing something like that. Their lives must have played out so tragically.

29. Are you a fan of horror films? Name some favs…

No. I used to be but I went to see a horror flick several years ago and afterwards I was sore as hell from being all tensed up for 2 hours. I was like I spent how much to feel like this?!?! I’m old and shit it takes me awhile to unwind from stuff like that..lol

30.Thank you so much Ryan, you know I am a fan..this is your chance, you made it thru this “questioning”…give some plugs, and tell us what is going on with you, Soil and the future..thank you so much

First of all thanks for the time in putting this together James. As far as Soil goes we have a lot of plans and we are working on a lot of avenues that will allow us to hopefully accomplish these things while keeping it as much about us and our Fans/family as posable.. The music we are writing has everyone feeling a lil’ younger right now and the energy behind and around Soil is very addictive. We are hoping to get all the ends tied up so we can do it right and get the songs out sooner than later. But doing it right is the key. You can keep up with all of this as it happens on Soils official and or soils street team facebook pages as well as catch various rants on my own Facebook at www.facebook.com/ryanmccombsofficial

Most importantly thanks to everyone reading this for allowing me to do what i do and to still be around doing it..

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There you have it..Give it up to Ryan McCombs!!! Not only did he answer everything, but he really had fun with this. He did not shy away from the obvious Drowning Pool questions. And he put a lot of thought into the answers. He knew this was for you Soil fans, and gave you something really cool.


  • Stacie S.

    When it comes to SOiL, I usually have to put my two cents in! Throttle Junkies is a fantastic album to jam to!! Ryan makes it sound like good songs are hidden in there, but they are throughout the album–Man I Am, She, Concrete Slave, Dam#ing Eden, ETC…, ETC… Sometimes the BEST music is the one where a group is just jammin it out and sounding different than all the mainstream popular junk!!! I know to make it albums need to be sold, but in the process I believe groups get just a little bit more into a fake mold… of putting out a record of what they think people want to hear and losing parts of their sound in the process (but what do I know). If aspects of the music business leads groups to tour more, than so be it– tours are the funnest part! 🙂