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An Interview With Guitar Player Joe Cocchi of Within The Ruins

Photo of Within The Ruins

Band Photo: Within The Ruins (?)

Massachusetts based metal band Within the Ruins just recently signed with Victory Records after years of playing together and putting out two EPs on their own. The band is currently recording their first full length album which is due out in February. Their guitar player Joe Cocchi shared with us some insight into the band's beginnings and their upcoming album.

xFiruath: Hey Joe, are you at home or are you in the recording studio now?

Joe: We’re at the studio today.

xFiruath: Congratulations on getting signed to Victory Records, how is it working out for you guys so far?

Joe: Oh thanks man, it’s been going awesome. Its added real meaning to our lives now, we’ve been waiting for this for awhile you know. They are doing a lot for us, just promoting the hell out of us with endorsements and all that shit.

xFiruath: Has this allowed you to become full musicians now or are you still working day jobs too?

Joe: Well we just signed two months ago and we all got a month off to do this CD, which is cool as they are taking care of us with the money and stuff. But it’s still going to be day jobs for a little while.

xFiruath: Tell me how you would describe your music to someone who had never heard Within the Ruins before.

Joe: It’s interesting metal. It’s a pretty fresh sound, very progressive. I think it’s fun to listen to. The new CD has a lot of interesting kind of weird parts that are actually kind of comical to us. I guess just plain “interesting.”

xFiruath: So what first got you into music and made you want to be a guitar player?

Joe: I guess just like everybody else I started out when I was like ten playing the guitar. I was a big fan of Metallica, that was the band that got me into metal. I would just sit around and figure out the songs, a wannabe James Hetfield you know. We started out covering Metallica songs for a good four or five years as we learned to play our instruments. We never even made a decision to really be musicians, we just stuck with it for so long that we decided to say “Fuck College, let’s keep doing this and see what happens.”

xFiruath: How is the recording process going on your first full length album and what have you got done so far?

Joe: It’s going awesome. We’re working with Eric Arena and we actually did an EP with him back in February, which was the one that we shopped to labels and shit. We’re doing this CD with him right now. We’ve done the drums and guitars and we started vocals on Monday. We’ve got like a week left of vocals and then that’s it.

xFiruath: Do you have a title picked out for the album yet?

Joe: Yes, it’s called “Creature.”

xFiruath: What’s different from this upcoming album from the EPs you’ve done before?

Joe: The EP was a huge stepping stone for us. The EP was only six songs, and for this CD we just sort of took our sound and expanded on it so it’s a little bit more in-depth. We got a little bit more creative with it. We tried to make it so that it’s not really conventional sounding at all. A lot of bands are all doing the same type of shit out there and then there are those fucking awesome new bands. We’re trying new things out.

xFiruath: What kind of subject matter do your lyrics usually deal with?

Joe: That’s funny, we are doing vocals right now and we just went over some of this shit a little bit before. Our vocalist writes all of the lyrics so I haven’t even heard what he’s come up with this week. On the last EP we dealt with just life in general. We aren’t preaching anything. It’s just about general shit that people can relate to.

xFiruath: I see that you guys are going on a tour next month with She is a Liar, how did you meet them and have you played with them before?

Joe: Yeah, we met them on a ferry like four years ago. We were both going to the same show on Long Island and we happened to run into each other. They were all cool dudes and we’ve just stayed in touch with them and played shows here and there. They were starting a tour and we wanted to start a tour. Their all good dudes just like us.

xFiruath: What’s been your favorite show or venue so far?

Joe: Favorite show or venue, I honestly don’t really have one. Those Monday night shows are always fun when you are playing in front of like four people and the bar doesn’t even know there is a show that night. We get a lot of those and then we get the VFW. Kids will rent out the VFW and those are the most kick ass shows as there are just tons of kids there and we’re playing on the floor with almost no sound. They are most fun with the most energy.

xFiruath: What about the metal scene today do you like the least?

Joe: I think it’s really pretty strong for the most part. It’s really only getting better. I hate how it’s such a competition for a lot of bands. It takes a lot to have some staying power. You’ll come out with a CD and not even a year later there is this whole other thing going on. It’s very trendy, but that’s how everything is. There are a lot of kick ass bands coming out though. It’s only getting better.

xFiruath: On your dream tour who would you guys tour with?

Joe: On a dream tour we’d like to tour with At The Gates I think, that would kick ass. They were a big early influence for us. Black Dahlia Murder is one of my favorite bands, I’d play with them. Acacia Strain, they are from our home area. In Flames I guess and Arch Enemy, those were both influential bands for us. I guess just bands that we look up to. Those would be the dream shows for us.

xFiruath: When you aren’t playing music what album do you listen to most often?

Joe: Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of The Human Abstract and Black Dahlia Murder. It’s kind of tough though because I’m frequently listening to a new CD. Nothing really keeps my attention for more than a couple of weeks. I try to mix it up. I have a ton of shit on my iPod so just whatever I’m in the mood for. Mostly metal though. I really don’t listen to anything besides metal.

xFiruath: That’s all my questions so do you have any parting words for the fans?

Joe: Yeah, “Creature” is out February 17th so pick it up!

xFiruath's avatar

Ty Arthur splits his time between writing dark fiction, spreading the word about underground metal bands, and bringing you the latest gaming news. His sci-fi, grimdark fantasy, and horror novels can be found at Amazon.

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