Guitarist/Vocalist Ian Fleming Explains The Reforming Of Ritual
California based on again, off again black metal act Ritual has recently reformed under the direction of vocalist/guitarist Ian Fleming, after the departure of Robert Nusslein, who did an interview with Metalunderground last year. Ritual's new lineup is set to release an album by the end of the month, and is also currently gearing up to take their brand of black metal to the live scene.
Describing Ritual's upcoming new full-length album "The Resurrection," Fleming stated "It’s been a long time so it’s going to be a lot different. The sound quality is going to be a lot better than the previous Ritual records. It’s not going to be a basement/garage recording sounding black metal, it will be a quality recording. There’s a really killer intro that starts the record off dark and depressing and it comes in full force. It’s going to be a really cool record." He also went on to explain the lyrics of the new album and the recent changes in Ritual.
xFiruath: Let’s start with a little history and background. When did you first get involved in music?
Ian: I started playing bass when I was 15. I was really into metal music at that time, like Metallica and Anthrax and stuff like that. Metal sort of made me actually want to play music. It really drew me in and so I started in bass and took off from there.
xFiruath: What projects have you got going besides Ritual right now?
Ian: I also have another band Ian Fleming and the Secret Agents, which is more straightforward rock music.
xFiruath: On to Ritual, it seems there’s been some confusion and contention about who has the band name and who is really in the band. What’s the story behind the issues there?
Ian: There was always a certain amount of pay off involved with Ritual. The first record, I really worked hard on that and put a lot of time and effort into that record. The second one too. I hadn’t been in contact with Robert or Mike for almost 10 years and then Robert and I started talking about writing some new Ritual stuff and making a new record. I was down to do it. I started writing more and more stuff and Robert and I had different ideas about the direction to take it. He started doing his own thing and calling it Ritual. That was the only confusion. He does a lot of interviews and talks to people, so his word is what gets spread around, and I’m just writing music like I always did. He was working with this other guy that I didn’t even know. I don’t know what he was thinking about doing. I just wanted to make another record that was akin to the first one in that sort of vibe. I wanted to make a real Ritual record and give the fans what they want.
xFiruath: Is Robert still continuing with the name Ritual?
Ian: No, no we’ve worked it out since then. He’s working with our friend Scott of Xasthur. He agreed with me that I should handle this record like the first one and just let it happen.
xFiruath: What specific genre would you place Ritual in?
Ian: I guess it would be black metal, that’s what everyone calls it. I’m not very good at describing my music. It’s black metal, but it’s definitely got its own style and character. I’m not too big on getting into semantics on things like that. I just like to make good music and that’s all I really want to do.
xFiruath: How far along is the new Ritual album and do you have a title yet?
Ian: It’s going to be called “The Resurrection” and it will be 11 songs. They are all pretty much complete. I’m just finishing up mixing and mastering now so the record should be out in late August hopefully. I’ve got a new lineup and I’m doing guitar and vocals. There’s three other guys, a guitar player, a bass player, and a drummer. We’re rehearsing and getting a live show together, so some Ritual shows will go along with the new album.
xFiruath: Has this version of Ritual been out live before now and are there any specific dates lined up yet?
Ian: No, it’s were still in the rehearsal stage and getting everything worked out. We’re mostly working on brand new songs right now. We’re doing a lot of preparation to get everything ready by the time the album is done.
xFiruath: What are the lyrics about on the new Ritual album?
Ian: It’s a pretty broad spectrum. I talk about war and vampires and all sorts of different dark things. There’s a song about drowning in the ocean. It’s sort of angry, dark content. I tried on this record to make every song unique and have its own personality.
xFiruath: How’s your local metal scene currently?
Ian: It’s got its spots where metal bands play. I wouldn’t say that it’s a really amazing scene or anything like that. Honestly I haven’t really been involved in the scene for a long time. I go to a show here and there, but I pretty much avoid all the drama and just focus on getting stuff done. Making music and making this new Ritual album the best it can be.
xFiruath: What music have you been listening to outside of the upcoming Ritual album?
Ian: I listen to all kinds of things. I listen to a lot of reggae actually. I listen to everything from hip hop to rock. I don’t really dig country that much or at all I guess, I can’t think of any country song I really like. Honestly I work on music so much that I don’t get a whole lot of time to listen to a lot of other things. I put on the radio in the car or someone will give me a CD from a new metal band they think is cool and I ‘ll listen to that.
xFiruath: Anything else you’d like to say about the new album?
Ian: It’s been a long time so it’s going to be a lot different. The sound quality is going to be a lot better than the previous Ritual records. It’s not going to be a basement/garage recording sounding black metal, it will be a quality recording. There’s a really killer intro that starts the record off dark and depressing and it comes in full force. It’s going to be a really cool record. There’s an instrumental on it just like on the old ones.
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