Rest Among Ruins – Taking Listeners on a Journey Part II

Friday, 19th June 2015

Dead Rhetoric: Is there anything going on with Raunchy at the moment?

Semesky: I am going there next month. We are playing Copenhell in Denmark with Slipknot and Gojira. And get this, The Darkness is still a thing and they are playing! They must still believe in a thing called love. I personally, other than Slipknot – I love seeing them live, but Gojira, I saw live once before and they were unreal. They are so amazing live. I’m also a sucker for dive-bombs on guitar. There’s just something about it that gives me chills and they do so many, it’s amazing. So I’m really excited for that.

Our guitarist, Lars, is a graphic designer, and he designed our cover [for Vices.Virtues.Visions]. He actually just sent us a draft that he started doing for the next album. I’m not sure if it’s going to be the album art itself or what it’s going to be. But he broke it up and zoomed in on certain parts and sent us a square picture of different little segments of the art itself and it looks amazing. So obviously he has a concept in mind already and we are probably going to start writing for the next album maybe in the next three or four months. There might be a fall tour in Europe but I’m not exactly sure.

Dead Rhetoric: When you are writing with Raunchy, how does songwriting compare seeing how you are in the US and they are in Europe?

Semesky: Interestingly, it’s almost identical to how I have written with all of my bands, even Rest Among Ruins. It’s this new age of technology, with everyone being able to record on their own and then file share. That’s sort of how we’ve been doing it. Granted, our drummer and guitar player in Raunchy will get together in our rehearsal studio in Copenhagen and they will jam out songs the old school way, but for the most part, everyone is recording themselves and then sharing the files and once the guitars have been done and there’s an arrangement to the song, Morten, our drummer, he’ll just write some songs on Superior Drummer for the sake of getting drums on there without going to a studio and record. All of our drums on the album are live drums, but for the purpose of recording, he’ll program some drums and then Jesper will record his bass parts, and eventually it will come down to Jeppe, our other vocalist, and myself and we’ll start recording vocals. That’s how the process was for Vices. That’s basically how it’s worked for Rest Among Ruins, Intervals, and The HAARP Machine. So fortunately for me, joining a band from Denmark, the writing process wasn’t that much different compared to what I was already used to.

Dead Rhetoric: The one band I haven’t heard you mention…is Ordinance still around?

Semesky: Yeah, that’s funny you mention that. We are basically on the last round of mixes for our album. So the RAR album is going to be followed-up right away by the Ordinance album. It’s going to be a 15 song concept album – go figure. I’m really, really excited about this one. Everything really came together and it’s a really solid sounding package. Eduardo Apolonia, the same guy who mixed The HAARP Machine album is doing this one. He’s doing a phenomenal job and we love working with him. Every once in a while, there are language barrier issues but for the most part we are able to communicate really well. The artwork for it is amazing too. Jordan Salmon, the same guy who did the Rest Among Ruins album, is handling this.

Again, it’s a concept album. I’m kind of obsessed with that structure to my writing. It provides a really nice framework for me to really put all my creative energy into it when I’m writing. I think people are really going to like that one. It’s also going to be a bit different than the first one. For the first album, I tracked my vocals in two days. They had another vocalist before me. The guy mixing it was Navene Koperweis (ex-Animals as Leaders, Entheos) and he was about to go on Summer Slaughter. Ordinance basically dropped their previous vocalist and I had been playing in bands with Alex Rudinger since he was 14. The band that we started when he was just a kid had broken up. So when they dropped their singer, Ordinance just called me up and asked if I wanted to sing for them. I agreed and they said they needed the album done in like a week. So the first one was a bit rushed. For this one, a lot more thought went into it on my end and I think people are really going to enjoy it.

Dead Rhetoric: So what does the rest of 2015 look like, Rest Among Ruins or what-have-you?

Semesky: As far as RAR goes, the album is going to be released soon. We’ve gotten a surprising amount of really good press on this. Hopefully that’s an indicator of what people will be thinking about the album. I would imagine, as I mentioned earlier, I’m slowly working on solo material very slowly but it’s going to be very much a priority of mine. I’d imagine that I’ll be hitting the writing again for RAR probably by next year. RAR will continue to write and will be putting out another album within the next two years, but we’ll be taking our time with it. With Raunchy, we’ll be writing again and we have this festival coming up. We may have a European tour in the fall. With Ordinance, there will be a release there, probably in the fall I would imagine – or late summer.

I’m just going to be continuing with lessons and lots of guest vocal appearances. Right after Copenhell, I’m flying to England to shoot a music video with this band called Dzyen. I did guest vocals on one of their songs. I’m sort of lumped into the djent vocals right now because of being with Intervals. So all the djent vocalists within the scene, like Spencer from Periphery, Chris from Monuments, and Ashe and Dan from Tesseract are all going to be on this album. All of whom are incredible vocalists – I don’t mean to devalue djent by any means because I love the genre and those happen to be some really amazing vocalists. But this band Zion is having guest appearances from those guys, myself, and a few others. They shot a video with Dan, and a video with Ashe, and I’m going over to England right after Copenhell to shoot that video. I am also working on an EDM song right now for the management company I worked with for Intervals and The HAARP Machine.

Lots of random projects – did I mention I’m ADD? I really need to narrow my focus or something. You know what, screw all this, I want to be American Idol [laughs]. So it’s going to be very busy – lots of singing and recording. Hopefully even more performing – I’m excited for everything that’s to come.

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