It’s been nearly three decades since the members of Los Angeles based power metal unit Ruthless released a new album, but now that the band has returned with a revitalized lineup and their “kick ass” on, Ruthless is back and seemingly stronger than ever.
Known for their metal underground success with 1984’s EP ‘Metal Without Mercy’ and 1986’s ‘Discipline of Steel,’ Ruthless presents a ferocious compilation of tracks with their new offering, the aptly titled ‘They Rise.’
Centered around their indigenous combination of blistering chord progressions and seething vocals, ‘They Rise’ is simply hardcore Ruthless at it’s finest, version 2015.
Music Enthusiast Magazine caught up with Ruthless guitarist Kenny McGee to discuss the new album, the resurrection of the band, the new lineup, and their plans of touring for this year.
Music Enthusiast: ‘They Rise’ has just recently released. Congratulations! Can you talk about the new album?
Yeah, we are so thrilled to have Ruthless back in action. Only 29 years for a new album! We are so happy to have released the new album “They Rise” I feel this is where we left off. Raw, pure classic metal!!
The new album was written very quickly. We wrote 9 new songs in 6 months. We recorded a live rehearsal and presented it to Bill Metoyer. He gave us 6 weeks to prepare before hitting the recording studio. It was a bit rushed! But, we feel we captured a good raw recording. The album has only been out a few months and we are getting great reviews.
Can you tell us the meaning behind the title name ‘They Rise’?
Well, the title “They Rise” is actually about zombies… But, it also is about us. We Rise again!
It’s been nearly 30 years since your last studio album. What can fans expect from this latest effort?
I think fans can expect exactly what they were expecting! Ruthless style metal! Hard and heavy.
What made you decide that you were going back into the studio to produce a new album?
Well…. Me and Sammy were gonna just do a new project. We didn’t think that Ruthless would ever do anything again. We started writing and Sammy suggested a drummer, Jason Van Slyke, he had met at a club.
We brought him down and magic happened! We called Dave Watson [guitars] and my brother Marc McGee came down and played bass. And it sounded like Ruthless! So, we moved forward with intentions of bringing Ruthless back to life.
What’s different about the new lineup as opposed to the band’s original lineup?
The new lineup is awesome! We all get along great. We have good chemistry together. It’s a great feeling to have five guys all on the same page. The old lineups were tough, because there was always one or two members that were not fully committed.
How long did it take for you to write and record the new album?
As I said earlier, we wrote nine songs in six months. We had only been together for nine months when we started recording the new album.
How did you decide on which songs made the final cut?
We didn’t have any choice on what songs because nine was all we had. We felt all of the nine songs were great.
Are there any tracks on the new album that are personal favorites?
Yes! My favorites are “Defender,” “Laceration,” “Hang Man” and “They Rise”!
What was it like working with Bill Metoyer?
Working with Bill Metoyer is awesome. He did our first EP back in 1982. So, it was really easy to work with him again. He’s very professional and brings the best out of all of us.
Ruthless has performed over the years at festivals in Europe. After all these years, what is it that continues to keep Ruthless in demand?
We’ve only done one festival in Germany so far. But, we have HOA & HOA After party show coming up in July 2015. We also are doing Up The Hammers Festival in Athens Greece in February 2016. And hopefully more to come! I think what keeps Ruthless in demand is that we are underground cult metal! The fans we have are hardcore.
Now that you’re back with a vengeance, what’s next for the band?
Next is a lot of live shows. Lots of press to get the word out! We are currently working on new music for the next album. We know the next one has to be better than anything we’ve done. I feel like we are just getting things started again. We have a lot to do.
Do you have any final words for the Ruthless fans across the planet?