Everybody who gets themselves into the garden knows that in order for a healthy growth cycle in your plants and flowers, you need an excellent base of soil in which it can grow. Soil is made up of particles of broken rock which are altered over time by weathering and erosion. I can honestly state, however, without fear of an over-blown dramatic statement, this is rock that is in no way broken and has none of its impact eroded over time!
Since their beginnings in 1997, it's been a rollercoaster ride at times for these guys. Soil have certainly had their fair share of ups and downs throughout their lifespan. 2001 was the year of Soil when 'Halo' was played in heavy rotation on WJRR, an Orlando rock station, and soon after sparked a bidding war for their signature. That year also saw the inspiration for their latest tour come to life. The 'Scars' album was created and now, on its ten-year anniversary, I catch up with the guys backstage at Moho Live to indulge in Jaegerbombs, library quietness in the dressing room and random conversations. We also touch on the tour too!
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So I decide to open the to and fro with a little enquiry to Adam as to how the tour is going for the guys:
"Fucking amazing! It's been really good. All the shows have been off the hook, man, tons of people at all the gigs, fully packed and sold out. It means a lot, you know? We have been here quite a bit over the last couple of years, but to come back with Ryan and to do it, what I think is more proper, it's quite possibly the funnest it's ever been."
Now the focal point of the interview, Jon Wysocki and Jaegerbombs! Superb! I can tell this is shaping up to be a great twenty minutes! Dramatic pause for about twenty seconds to comment on the beneficial effects of Jaegermeister and the downage of the bombs.
Back to the reason I'm here, I want to discover more about how it feels having Ryan back after such a long absence. Adam enthuses:
"It's great, man. I can honestly say that I missed him a lot over the years."
Cue a little conversation about a previous video interview where they mention their £35 VIP package that they've offered, and the extra service offered exclusively by Tim for £36.50 involving him impregnating female fans as well!
So, in order for those people that have been living under a rock for the last ten years, I ask the guys to sum up Soil for us and their opinion of the band.
"Heavy American rock band!" says Adam. "Just a bunch of dudes that play hard rock music. We grew up on Metal and rock and we just kind of eventually got together and really mashed it all together! It's our 'pot of chilli' I guess."
To me, it seems like they're fans of the genre doing what they love. The excitement and enjoyment comes across in their music and performances. Digging a little deeper, I ask Adam about what prompted the guys to do this:
"We were inspired by the bands we liked as kids, and somewhere along the way we got good enough to play with other people who were good enough to put a band together. One thing led to another!"
Jon Wysocki finally chips in:
"There's a little bit of luck involved, I guess, well - a lot of luck. Getting to play with the right people and everyone has to be on the same page, all wanting to go in the same direction. There are just a lot of factors that play into the whole thing."
Pic: Judith Fisher
Prodigal son Ryan McCombs: "I missed him a lot over the years." (Adam Zadel)
This leads to a lengthy discussion about the issue of touring and how much time is too much spent on the road. You definitely have to bear with us on at this point, because the Jaegers are freeflowing by now... Back to Adam:
"You could be gone for, like, years. Come home and see a new tree that wasn't there before. Some of the weirdest shit ever dealt with. People are older and that can be really weird man."
"Sounds funny but it's true. When I was with Stain'd we would do seventeen, eighteen tours, take a couple of months off and then do another record. Then go do it again! I probably should have waited until now to buy a house. Just felt like I was never there."
So how much is just right then guys? Adam:
"Well, I would rather do a week of shows and do three weeks off and then go do another week of shows."
"Two weeks to me is not bad either. To me, it's like the most ideal thing. We are hitting a very concentrated area. We are hitting a lot of smaller places and you can see the appreciation from the fans. A week you're just starting to fall into your groove, so a little over two weeks to me is great."
"Got to enjoy it too. Doing a bunch of shows all the time and you're fucking miserable every night; you're putting on a shit show. You're robbing the people that are coming to see you and you're just pissing yourself off. It's counterproductive."
I think the Jaegerbombs have started to kick in at this point, because right out the window goes the lovely neat prepared questions and in come the ones designed to produce some absolutely insane answers! Coincidentally, this occurs at the same moment more drinks arrive. Adam and Jon have to raise their voices to tell people in the dressing room to 'shut the fuck up!'. Jokingly of course. Asking the support act to leave the stage is also considered to mute the noise level, but that extreme is not needed.
I wanted to gauge what music these guys love so decide to throw a little question at them that's going through my grey matter: what song in the last twenty-five years do they wish they'd written?
"Star Spangled Banner!"
"You can't have that - its public domain!"
"A Led Zeppelin track. It's amazing that that band is still around, and their songs are still in heavy, heavy rotation and people still recognise them."
Adam, unfortunately, decides he can't stick to the parameters of the question and has to deviate. What a diva! That being said when I expand the question, he has an answer:
"Probably I would've liked to have written 'Iron Man'. Tony Iommi and Black Sabbath - they basically forged everything that hard rock and Metal is today. Anybody that says otherwise, I will argue with them!"
Pic: Wendy Pritchard
A little deviation from the point again whilst shots are had, and we have a brief discussion about Adam's predisposition to using naughty words. The consensus is? There's nothing like a good 'fuck' now and again!
Right, embracing the obscure I really want to know which living artist they would sacrifice to bring back a dead one, and whom would they bring back. A question that results in fits of laughter between us all, although I'm sure the alcohol is playing its part too!
"Just about anybody in country music. Anybody in country for Dimebag! I'll do that one!"
"Or for Hendrix, or like Stevie Ray Vaughan, John Bonham. I mean, if John Bonham was still alive, who knows, we might have had a Zeppelin reunion a couple of years ago. God, there's so many! Any of those popstars and that, you can have them all."
So which album is playing on repeat in Hell?
"It depends on what your version of Hell is. Is it a fatass club with fire and hot chicks and great music? Or is it Hell like Abba and doing manual labour all day? Hell is supposed to be miserable, so if you're playing Abba and I have to carry shit all day then I'm going to be miserable!"
Okay, one last question: which gig would you travel to if you could go anywhere in time?
"U2, 'Sunday Bloody Sunday' when they played at Red Rocks."
"Anything from the 'Blizzard Of Oz' tour."
||DID YOU KNOW...?
A few quick-fire pieces of personal Soil trivia:
McDonalds, KFC or kebabs?
Adam: "KFC, although I think McDonalds puts crack in their burgers making you crave them."
Jon: "Kebab. Neither of the other two. Don't eat McDonalds!"
Beer, spirits or soft drinks?
Intimate gigs or huge arenas?
Both: "Intimate gigs! Well intimate gigs pleasantly speckled with a huge one inbetween."
CD or digital download?
Jon: "I have never downloaded one single thing ever. CD."
Adam: "CD is better but for convenience I do have my iPhone."
Planes, trains or automobiles?
Both: "Bus" Time travel to the future or past?
Jon: "Past. I'm always watching History channel and stuff like that. I love that stuff!"
Stupidest question you have ever been asked?
Jon: "The one you asked just a minute ago! Hahahaha."
Thanks Jon! Appreciate that dude.
That's the end, avid Soil readers! The interview winds down with us drinking more, talking about 'Back To The Future', Ryan asking if we can do a shot of Jaegermeister for every question, and me explaining to him what a 'fittie' is! I would like to say many, many thanks to the guys from Soil (and Jaegermeister for catering for our interview!). There was just so much information that I couldn't squeeze it all in, even though this interview has stretched on quite awhile. I'm off to get my name down for the interview next time they grace our shores and preparing for it suitably!
'Scars' celebrates its tenth anniversary and here's hoping it graces your collection! If not, why not? Superb guys, fantastic night and if any of you reading this gets the chance to hang with these guys, grasp it with both hands, dig yourself a hole and cover it with Soil!