Massachusetts Deathcore band, Within The Ruins, have made their rounds with infectious breakdowns and melodic riffs that have deemed the guys as one of the genre’s frontrunners over time. Switching up the routine and giving fans a taste of clean vocals for the first time, ‘Halfway Human’ is a change of pace for Within The Ruins that has proven to be worthy of praise and recognition. In celebration of the fifth studio album, I caught up with guitarist, Joe Cocchi, to discuss how this release showcases the band’s growth as musicians, touring the country, what’s in store for the remainder of 2017, tattoos and more.
Congrats on the release of your fifth studio album, ‘Halfway Human’. How does this album stand out from the rest and showcase your growth as musicians?
Thank you! We are stoked on it. Our goal is to progress with every album, and in our eyes, we attempt to “beat” the last album. Besides the obvious addition of clean vocals by our bass player, Kyle, I think that the songs are a bit more cohesive and easier to listen to in comparison to our older stuff. There is a lot more orchestrated stuff, layers and just as much epic stuff as possible. The production is a bit more “real” sounding. The last albums were all great, but we were trying to have it not sound as “perfect” and as produced.
Totally. Is the songwriting process a collaborative effort or does one of you take charge of it?
As far as songwriting, it is basically myself. I usually send the music to the bandmates as I complete stuff. But, it’s not until we get into the studio that we adjust and begin with our patterns. It is generally myself, and it’s been that way for awhile because we all live in different places.
Nice. Let’s talk tattoos. Do you have a mixture of black and gray and color and/or any that stand out amongst the rest?
I mainly have color pieces of random stuff that I’ve gotten tattooed over the years, and a lot of them were free pieces that I’ve gotten on tour. And you know that some of my stuff is not that cool because of it being free while on tour! Either way, each tattoo is a memory for sure.
I actually have a “Dad” tattoo on my leg. There is about two dozen people that we’ve toured with over the years that had this “Dad” joke going on. The main “Dad” that started it, Griffin Kolinski, was in Knights of the Abyss; he passed away over a year ago. We all got the “Dad” for him.
That is awesome that all of you guys came together and got that piece for Griffin. Do you have any words of wisdom that you can share with kids just picking up an instrument with the intent of starting up a band?
Yeah, absolutely. It takes work and commitment. Sometimes, you just get lucky and stuff happens. For example, it has been a very long road for our band. It’s been a steady yet slow progression. All you can is network with people and get some other good guys to play with. It is easy to get discouraged, we still do sometimes. Touring is hard. And when you are touring in a van like we are on this tour, it’s a lot of work. At the end of the day, playing the show is worth it, though.
If you don’t mind me asking, and this is good information for bands getting accustomed to the tour life, are you guys showering and working out at gyms to stay clean/healthy on the road?
Yeah. We definitely do that. That is one of the only things that we do during the day because it is very important to exercise here and there and stay healthy on the road. We will do hotels whenever we can, but on the tour that we’re on right now, we are doing a lot of driving, and a lot of overnight driving. We hit the gym as much as we can, and maximize the perks of the gyms as well.
Totally. You guys are currently on tour right now, how have the crowds been receptive to the new material so far?
It’s been amazing. We haven’t toured the states in over a year. Last year, we took a lot of time off and did some international stuff in Mexico and Europe, but we had a very light year. We were so looking forward to this tour. Our response has been sick, kids are buying CD’s like crazy; we can’t complain.
That’s awesome. Last but certainly not least, any closing messages for your fans?
We always say that we wouldn’t be here without our fans. It’s impossible for a band to succeed without having the support of the fans. We have made a lot of fans that are very loyal and support us no matter what. Keep supporting and we will continue to be here.