Interview With Ranke From Southern Cross
Asheville, North Carolina's SOUTHERN CROSS have begun to make a lot of people in the underground stand and take notice to their Pantera-influenced & Whiskey-soaked brand of metal. They have an endless stream of talent outpouring from all members and there seems to be no end in sight. They are currently working on new material and have been playing well received local shows, and I believe from the outpouring of interest going on at MySpace currently for them that this shows us only a small indicator of the big things to come. I am pleased to get some Q&A in with their bassist, Ranke.
Rocket: So are you a native of North Carolina?
Ranke: No South Carolina.
Rocket: When did you start playing the bass guitar?
Ranke: I started on drums when I was 14 then went to bass, because I just loved the sound and playing rhythm.
Rocket: Did you ever take any formal lessons or are you self-taught?
Ranke: I have taken a couple of theory lessons, but it's mostly self taught.
Rocket: What kind of basses are you playing live and in the studio?
Ranke: I stick strictly to Spector and Fernandes basses because they are comfortable for my style and they sound great.
Rocket: What brand of strings are you using currently? Is it a heavier or lighter gauge?
Ranke: Ernie Balls right now, my top string is a 110 like Steve Harris from Iron Maiden because I hit the shit out of them.
Rocket: What kind of amp rig?
Ranke: I love my Crate Head, it has a powerful sound. As far as cabs go usually an Ampeg or Peavey.
Rocket: Who are a few of your biggest influences on bass from past or present?
Ranke:Geezer Butler, Steve Harris and Cliff Burton are probably my top three, I really like Alex Webster and Dan Lilker also.
Rocket: I know that Southern Cross is working on new material right now, correct? How is that going?
Ranke: Man, it is going fuckin awesome. We have been playing one of the new songs live and it is totally Sabbath influenced! We wrote a new one last night which sounds like a mix of Eyehategod and some Agnostic Front, totally old school. We really want to bring back the feel of metal when you did'nt have to play 600 scale runs in one song. This band is the soundtrack to sit back and groove with a beer in one hand and a joint in the other and pounding pussy on a Friday night.
Rocket: What's your favorite metal album for 2006 so far?
Ranke: The new Hawgjaw fuckin rules, There is this band called Witch that I really like, Lookin forward to the new Outlaw Order, and probably the new Hank III album, but I mostly stick to old shit unless it is underground.
Rocket: What's the funniest thing that's happened to you on stage?
Ranke: Well, one night in my old band, we got a chance to play my High school, so I was so excited I went and got a pint of Jim Beam and a 12 pack of Busch. So I'm sittin in the truck talking and drinkin with my old buddies, when my guitar player says it is time to play, so I get out of the truck and I feel really how drunk I am, the whole fuckin pint was gone and 8 goddamn beers, so to top it off I take two Vicodan. I get up on stage, people's parents, school staff all waiting, so we bust into the first song, and I just kick the shit out of a moniter and it flies into the crowd, the kids all cheer and shit, throw the moniter back on stage and I do it again taking out about five people, I steal the mic and tell everyone how school sucks, fuck emo, and a bunch of other obnoxious shit, then I fall on stage over my amp, I cuss the promoter and some more people, the cops get called and my friends and I make a quick getaway only to stop for more booze and have the truck stall out, but we made it safe and it is all on tape hahaha.
Rocket: On your local music scene, who are a few of the other metal bands that impress you?
Ranke: My boys in L.T.C. from Kentucky, Thousand Year Reign out of Franklin, Dissent from Asheville.
Rocket: What are some of the upcoming Southern Cross shows we should be aware of?
Ranke: The Doom to Fall fest in Texas, and October 13th we are having a big local fest which i'm really lookin forward to.
Rocket: Give a shout out to your biggest supporters.
Ranke: Well, you and the rest of the guys at the Underground diffently fuckin rule, all the fuckin local and regional bands that promote and play their fuckin heart out, we love ya!
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