Ruinebell is the "dark apocalyptic metallic crust" project band of two of the current extreme music scenes most prolific musicians, namely Lasse Pyykkö ( the driving force and mastermind behind such bands as Hooded Menace, Claws, Plegethon etc.) and Dopi ( Machetazo drummer/vocalist and also currently in female fronted Doomrockers Deadmask and the deadly Generic Death aswell as being a founding member of the now defunct Dishammer). The music of Ruinebell is heavily influenced by the classic dark British 80's crust of Amebix and Axegrinder laced with strong dissonant elements of classic Voivod and with a nod to the heaviness of "Streetcleaner" era of Godflesh.
The bands debut offering "Demise In Disgrace" featuring 2 songs was released a little while ago by the Doomentia label and seriously impressed these ears so I sent some questions to gain more knowledge about this project and it's origins and for them to talk about this collaboration in their own words and recieved answers from both Dopi and Lasse:-
Hails guys! Please give us a quick background history on Ruinebell, how did this project between you both first come to discussions?! How quickly did it take to come to life musically after you first talked about it?
Dopi: We already knew each other from doing mail and trading records, then one day Lasse told me about some new songs he had, and asked me to join on vocals and drums. As soon as I heard the demo he sent me, I was totally shocked, so I had to join! I always wanted to play something like this, old industrial and metallic stenchcore are some of my fave musical styles.
Lasse: Hi there! I wanted to write dark and metallic crust songs inspired mostly by the likes of Amebix and Axegrinder . Originally I had plans to find members for the band here in Joensuu, Finland but it turned out a bit complicated. A month or two passed before I contacted Dopi about the project. We have been in touch for some years already and I knew he´d probably like this stuff. Ruinebell turned out to be a perfect project to start the hopefully longlife collaboration as it was something neither of us haven´t exactly done before. So for us this was more exciting and reasonable idea than say a death metal project.
Your 7" " Demise in Disgrace" has been released by Doomentia and features 2 songs of dark apocalyptic heavy metallic crust which brings to mind classic Amebix, Axegrinder with some hints of Voivod for the sake of comparisons, are you guys totally satisifed with how this recording turned out?
Dopi: Of course, I think it came out perfect. We put a lot of effort and concentration in this recording.
Lasse: Yeah, it turned out excellent but the next offering, whatever and whenever that will be, is going to be even better. Yeah, I know bands always say that but I mean that.
Please tell people in your own words what they can expect from this collaboration and debut joint recording?
Dopi: Musically, people will check out our potential in different areas than our usual death metal/grindcore bands. And ideologically, people will see how pessimistic and dark is our view of this fucked up world we live in.
Lasse: Yeah, Dopi nailed it very well. I´d like to add that this is not just some random Amebix worship band by two metalheads but we have our own approach to it. We bring nothing unprecedented to the table but then again we don´t sound exactly like any other band. This should be good reason enough for everyone at least a bit interested in metal/punk to check us out, and for us to keep doing this.
How have the reactions been to the bands music so far in terms of reviews and general feedback?
Dopi: By the way I haven’t seen too many reviews, but I traded and sold a few copies already and everybody got a good surprise.
Lasse: So far so good. I have read only one review and it was mere praise.
How did you initially hook up with the label for this release?
Dopi: I think Doomentia was interested in it before the recording was done, when Lasse just told him about the idea. Both Hooded Menace and Machetazo work with Doomentia, we know this record label kicks ass.
Lasse: Lukas at Doomentia loves the bands that Ruinebell is influenced by so it wasn´t a brainer that he was interested to hear the demo tracks when I told him about it. The next thing I knew we were recording the 7".
What was the writing and recording process like for this recording, please tell us abit about that. Was it quite strange living so far away from each other? I guess the internet makes the world a much smaller place thesedays and it is very easy to send music files and ideas back and forth via emails etc.. but did the distance between yourself and Lasse cause any particular problems at any point?. Who is responsible for the majority of music writing for this project or do you both contribute your fair share of ideas for riffs, arrangements etc..?
Dopi: We are veteran and conscientious recording freaks, so distance didn’t cause big trouble. It was a fuckin’ awesome experience, we never practised the songs together but anyway it was funny and very satisfactory to work in the distance. Lasse wrote everything, I practised for a couple of months over demos he sent me, adding some details and my style to it.
Lasse: It´s not necessary to see eye to eye to pull it off. I´d say it can be more efficient to work this way as the focus is in the work and nothing else. You don´t get to chit chat and hang out as much fun as that would be. Of course it would make us more powerful unit if we could meet up and invoke this stench in the rehearsal room and take it to the studio but working with a distance is good enough. It still sounds like a a real band playing together and raising hell. I had written all the music before Dopi joined the project but next time Dopi will write something too I guess.
Have you only wrote/recorded 2 songs so far or have you done more? Is there new material and ideas in the pipeline/ What can we expect next from the band release wise?
Dopi: Only that couple of songs. No idea about next releases, to record a full length abum would be great but maybe too much to work in the distance, but I’m sure we’ll join forces again, maybe another EP, or split?
Lasse: Yeah, those are the only songs we have so far. I have a couple of riffs but it´s way too early to talk about the new material.
I take it this is not just a one off collaboration but something you will both be working on again in the not too distant future?
Dopi: Yes, really hope so.
Lasse: Yeah, we are determined to keep thing thing alive. Hopefully it won´t take too long to unleash the next 7", 12" or whatever.
How did you initially get in touch each other, are you big fans of your other musical projects? Have you both actually met in person or is this project just born out of internet - mail communication?
Dopi: We started to trade our bands records some years ago, and I already knew previous Lasse’s work with Phlegethon since I got “Fresco lungs” MLP, back in 1991.
I’m a total Blind Dead fanatic too so gotta love Hooded Menace. We met this year at Maryland Deathfest in the USA, but it was short, festivals use to be crazy places to meet people, you know.
Lasse: Yeah, Machetazo owns! I came across the band only something like six years back or so. You see, I was so behind of everything in the underground metal scene when I "woke up" from my 14 year slumber. Yeah, we met briefly at MDF. That was cool.
Please tell us a bit about the bands name? Who came up with that?
Dopi: Shit, can’t remember about it right now, I know we shared a few names before this one, but don’t remember if finally Lasse came with this name or it was a combination of two ideas.
Lasse: The bell of ruin. The gloomy sound you´ll wake up to at the dawn of the apocalypse, haha! I remember we brainstormed the name for quite a while. As far as I recall I think it was me who came up with Ruinbell and Ruinebell. I introduced the idea of using "ruin" in French as "ruine" because it looked somewhat cooler that way.
Lyrically where does the inspiration come from?
Dopi: Lasse wrote them, surely not inspired by the beauty of this world.
Lasse: Yeah, basically the lyrics are a big apocalyptic feast. Turn on the TV or pick up a newspaper…it´s a deranged, dark world and it´s not gonna end nicely.
What bands fuel and shape the sound of Ruinebell?
Dopi: Good stuff from the old 80’s like Voivod and Amebix, together with the amazing “Rise Of The Serpent Men” LP by Axegrinder, and the heaviness of that masterpiece by Godflesh named “Streetcleaner”. These are obvious influences, but guess that subsconciously we put lots more, cos’ I’ve heard so many different comparisions from people.
Lasse: Yeah those are the obvious ones. It would be cool to read more comments and reviews especially as this is our debut. It´s interesting to hear how people see it.
Do you feel any musical affinity with any other current bands in a similar style? What is your opinion on bands such as Morne and Filth of Mankind who also have a strong Axegrinder influence? What is your opinion on the current crust scene in general?
Dopi: To be honest I don’t know many bands in a similar style to Ruinebell. But I like Morne a lot, I saw them live months ago and they killed me.
Lasse: Yeah, I agree with Dopi. I guess you can spot out like "this riff sounds like Voivod! This one brings Amebix to mind!"" and so forth but the entirety is our own. I don´t follow the current crust scene that much but I love Morne. Filth of Mankind are great too.
Do you plan to ever take Ruinebell onto the live stage? Is that something you would personally like to do with this project?
Dopi: I never thought about it really, it would be hard to plan, also we would need more people involved.
Lasse: It doesn´t seem realistic nor necessary. The idea doesn´t even interest me much.
What is up with your other bands right now? You are busy guys!! How do you find the time to create so much music?
Dopi: Guess I am addicted to play a few different kinds of music. Anyway Machetazo is the main one, right now we’re decomposing a new album. Deadmask and Generic Death will release new vinyls soon. Dishammer split up seven months ago.
Lasse: When the inspiration strikes things can happen quite fast. You just find time and use it efficiently. Hooded Menace is gonna start recording the new album "Effigies of Evil" (out 2012 on Relapse) any time soon. We also got Teemu Hannonen, my old band mate in Phlegethon, in the 2nd guitar for Hooded Menace´s live line up, so we´re been busy practicing a bunch of old and new songs.
What plans do you have for Ruinebell in 2012? plug available merch! many thanks for answering by questions!
Dopi: Haven’t talked about any plans yet, by the way I think we need to focus in those Hooded Menace and Machetazo albumes for 2012. You’re welcome Kat, thanks for the support! Anybody into buying the 7” go to www.facebook.com/ruinebell
Lasse: Yeah, gotta get the main bands´ new albums out of the way first and see what happens then. Thanks for having us!