Q. and A. with Saints of Ruin

Saints of Ruin is a modern goth- rock band playing out of San Francisco. With a mixture of musicianship and personalities to rival any band I know of, they are a growing power both in the bay area and spreading throughout the country. This is a band that will not be denied now or moving toward the future. They recently took some time to catch up with ‘Chicks with Guns.’

Q: For our readers who may not be familiar with you, tell me about how the band came to be and what you’re all about.

A: Tommy: I moved from NYC to California, so I could form a band with Ruby. She was absolutely the singer I was looking for. So, we formed SOR. We started writing together, and then we began auditions for the other members.

Q: Your website describes the band as, “a modern Goth-Rock band, combining powerful melodic vocals and mysterious lyrics with elements of metal guitars and electronic undercurrents.” Tell me a little more about this and how would you describe the band on a more personal level?

A: Ruby: I think that’s an apt description, but of course there’s So much more to anyone’s sound. We infuse our sound with a lot of vocal harmonies and try to write songs with not only style, but with substance as well. Sometimes we resemble Alice In Chains, while simultaneously being influenced by Sisters Of Mercy.

The members of SOR have musical backgrounds in Goth, Punk, Metal, Classic Rock and Classical. It’s always interesting to blend all of these backgrounds into our distinctive Dark sound.

Q: When I’m introducing bands, I often try to compare them to someone many fans might know. In your case, I’m struggling to even begin to find a comparison (Drain STH maybe?). How about I just let you cover this one?

A: Tommy: Well, I hate to be compared to anyone. I always hope that we are unique. But, if you want some comparisons, I have been told several after some of our live shows. I’ve heard: Sisters Of Mercy meets Alice In Chains with a female singer. I’ve heard the obvious ones…Evanescence, Lacuna Coil. Of course Concrete Blonde comes up a lot, since we do our own version of their song Bloodletting”. I’m sure I’ll hear some more. But hopefully , we’ll stay unique and interesting.

Q: To state the obvious, something that makes your band unique is that you have two female members. Talk about how this came to be. Intentional choice? Just kinda happened? Friends? Proving a point?

A: Ruby: It was intentional. We wanted to get another female member. In art, for vocal harmonies and in part of overall appearance. We looked for a while, and were close to giving up, and then we found Stacy.

Tommy: Yeah, the band was a four piece, with Ruby playing the Bass and singing. Ruby is a great Bass player. The only reason we started to look for another Bassist, was because we wanted Ruby to be the Front person. Holding only a mic. She has an amazing voice and she’s beautiful. I wanted SOR to have a powerful, beautiful, female front person to command the stage. Ruby has that. Now we do.

Q: The rest of this year will see the band playing in a wide range of cities and venues (including my town of Sacramento on September 18th!). What are your thoughts on touring and the kinds of places you play?

A: Tommy: I love touring. We are planning on doing a lot of touring next year when our new album “Nightmare” is released in Europe. That’s going to be crazy fun.

We are playing some cool venues lately. Really looking forward to the show at Last Day Saloon in Santa Rosa. That one is with Meldrum. Sacramento should be a blast as well.

Q: Playing out of San Francisco, how do you think the area has affected your sound and the way you approach music?

A: Tommy SF is a very hard place to make music. There seem to be tons of people who want to go to a dance club and stare at a DJ playing records. That’s pretty confusing to me.

As for writing. I thing I’m influenced by my inner thoughts and my closest environment. But, I think I would write the same music and lyrics, no matter what city I live in. I don’t think SF provides my inspiration.

Ruby: If anything, knowing this isn’t a strong scene for live music, I strive to write music that can be danceable.

Q: In listening to some of your music, there are a lot of moody, atmospheric sounds throughout. Slow, building up sounds that lead into the music (like say, the first 40 seconds of “bloodletting” and the first 25 seconds of “end of days”). In fact, some of your entire songs fit this mold. Talk about the effect and impact of this kind of element.

A: Tommy: I would like to sum this up in two words. EPIC and DRAMATIC. That’s how I like my music, movies, hell, MY Life !!

For Ruby Ruin:

Q: To say that you are a one of a kind vocalist would be an understatement in my estimation. Tell me a bit about how you became a singer, your inspirations, what you’re trying to accomplish as a vocalist, etc.

A: Ruby: First, Thank You. I always loved singing as a child. I had informal training in Public Schools. As I got to the age where I could join a band, I felt my voice was too sweet for playing hard music. So I played Bass Guitar instead. Until, I rediscovered how much I love singing. I finally managed to develop a style that works with music that I love.

I strive to become a better singer by constantly trying to outdo myself. No matter how good I feel after a show, I will absolutely try to be better at the next one. Also, there is a lot of music in my head and in my dreams. I always try my hardest to get it out and on paper exactly the way I imagine it. To achieve the closest reproduction of the soundtrack of my mind.

For Tommy and John Paul:

Q: In this band, it seems that the guitar and keys work every bit as well as the traditional lead and rhythm guitar. You have some solos and other parts that I’m honestly not sure if they’re being played on the guitar or keyboard. Talk about this effect and dynamic a bit.

A: Tommy: I would say , yes John is a bit like the rhythm guitarist. He keep the rhythm pulsing and strong, while I do my thing. Of course , he also does a lot more. The keyboards are very important in this band. We use them, not only to set a vibe for the song. But also to create and present a hook. Something you’ll be humming for a while.

And of course, I get to do the ripping guitar solos !

Q: Q: Ok, here’s your free chance. Plug your website(s), album(s), shows, other bands, whatever ya want!

A: Ruby: our primary point of contact is www.myspace.com/saintsofruin. And you can join the RuinNation fan club at www.myspace.com/saintsofruinfans.

Also join us on Facebook at

As for shows, we are playing in and around the Bay Area through December. Including the Folsom Street Fair on Sept. 27th. Also, If you’re lucky enough to be able to join us in New Orleans, we are headlining the Anne Rice Vampire Ball on Oct. 30th. And we’re at Corrosion for the Endless Night after party on Nov. 1st. Going to be a Great Halloween.

Our first full length CD “Nightmare” is going to press next month. It will be available for pre order on our myspace page very soon. Then it will be released on Oct. 18th and available through
CDBaby.com as well as iTunes, Amazon.com and all the online stores and download sites. The European physical store release will be Spring 2010. Of course you can always order it from us. We will ship it anywhere you live.

Tommy: Don’t forget our first CD, “Fairytale” is available right now. It features the single “Labyrinth”. We hope you will purchase a copy. As so many people stop buying CDs, bands suffer. To keep the music alive and growing, we all need to get back to purchasing CDs. It really makes a difference for the struggling artist.

Tommy: thanks Jason.

Ruby: Thanks Jason. We’ll see you soon.

Look for a review of their show in Sacramento on October 18th and updates on them in the future, here as always, in the continuum.


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