David Ford: Vocals and guitar
Bobzilla: Bass and backing vocals
Mike Stanley: Lead guitar
Tyler Johnson: Drums
BOOTLEG METAL: So let’s get things started with the name. Who came up with the name and what’s behind it?
RIPCHAIN: No inspired backstory on this one...I wanted a ‘2 syllable’ name, so I came up with it by writing two columns of single syllable words that sounded tough or intimidating in some way. I played mix and match for a few minutes and landed on Rip and Chain. (Ironically, our sound never seemed to match our name until February 2015 when we hired Tyler Johnson on drums).
BOOTLEG METAL: Where is the band from?
RIPCHAIN: Boise, Idaho
BOOTLEG METAL: Is this the original line up and how did you guys find yourselves in the same band ?
RIPCHAIN: I am the last survivor of the original line up. Members have come and gone over the years, each time changing the dynamic of our sound. Staying ‘style consistent’ was not a strength. It led to catastrophic losses in momentum every time someone was replaced.
BOOTLEG METAL: How long has (the band) been around and how long after your first rehearsal was it before the first show?
RIPCHAIN: The band formed 12 years ago in 2004. We were a mashup of 2 defunct local bands. We pulled songs from each former project and constructed a playable set our first month.
BOOTLEG METAL: Does everyone contribute to the writing process or does someone generally write the lyrics and/or music?
RIPCHAIN: For the most part Mike and I take turns bringing a song (a piece of clay) to the table. We work them out together as a band from there.
For the first 8 years or so, it was all on me. I wrote the songs and the lyrics and presented it to the band. There would be creative tweeks along the way as we learned the material. Although i encouraged input, i rarely received any, so I usually had most of the influence on the creative process.
It wasn’t until Robert Davis stepped in on bass in 2011, that I experienced what it was like to work with a pro. It was both humbling and inspiring. He raised the bar on the whole of the band. It was his skill level and professional expectations that ultimately intimidated and challenged the lead guitarist, (a founding member) to the point where he became frustrated and unfocused. He literally couldn’t keep up. We had no choice but to let him go. It was very difficult and he didn’t take it well. We performed as a functioning 3-piece for a year or so.
It was sometime in 2013 that Mike Stanley was recommended by a local musician. He’d never been in a band. He only had 7 years on the guitar. BUT, he was a ferocious beast that was more than capable and he came packing fully written original songs. For the first time ever, I got to be in the learner’s seat. It was and still is invigorating for me.
I do still write the lyrics but I’m not afraid to borrow from the other dudes if they have an idea.
BOOTLEG METAL: What are your songs about? Fact? Fiction? Personal experiences?
RIPCHAIN: There are no limits to the topics. Nothing is taboo. I enjoy writing from personal experience and things that piss me off. I also love horror or science-fiction. From politics and religion to werewolves and hillbilly cannibals. Whatever is inspiring to me at the time. Sometimes a melodic passage can inspire a topic.
BOOTLEG METAL: What genre do you feel (the band) fit’s in the best and what influenced your writing to get you there?
RIPCHAIN: We seem to have landed on “groove metal”. We started out as nu-metal/thrash in the early days. (I brought the thrash side) Over time we evolved and collapsed and realigned and evolved again and so on. Because I made an effort to incorporate the influences of each member’s style, it always shaped our sound.
Currently our drummer brings his Chris Adler influence while Mike brings his Pantera influence. My roots are thrash so that element is always there. Bob writes bass lines accordingly. He’s a chameleon that can adapt to whatever style is thrown his way. Although, his rabid Steve Harris influence is always present in our music.
BOOTLEG METAL: What was your latest gig?
RIPCHAIN: Tomorrow night. haha
BOOTLEG METAL: Where have you played live this year?
RIPCHAIN: Spokane, Portland, Bend, Burley, Reno, Boise...
BOOTLEG METAL: Is there a favorite cover that always finds it’s way on your set list and is there a story behind it?
RIPCHAIN: Nothing specific and nothing current. We used to play Prong’s Snap Your Neck a lot. Get to the Gone by Static-X was a fun one too. These days we are digging our new shit pretty hard.
BOOTLEG METAL: Is there a past show that stands out from the rest?
RIPCHAIN: The most recent show was a battle of the bands. (Our 4th one in 12 years. We’ve never won one. Popularity at the time is ‘usually’ the dictator of the winner) We had a tremendous response and a great write up. It was one of the funnest, most energetic shows we’ve ever played.
BOOTLEG METAL: So what’s in the works for (the band)?
RIPCHAIN: Writing and performing…over and over again. We are also shooting to film our first “real” video in October.
BOOTLEG METAL: Nice. Definitely share that with us.
BOOTLEG METAL: What are your thoughts on your local music scene?
RIPCHAIN: It varies. If there’s anything I’ve learned about the fans is that aside from the diehard regulars, they can be fickle. They know that if they miss us at one show, they can turn up at another. Many have drifted away altogether while we’ve watched new faces take their place. I’ve watched our crowd change faces a few times.
BOOTLEG METAL: Is there a recent album/EP release you’d like to tell us about and where can we get it?
RIPCHAIN: We just released a 4 track Ep called “Eviscerated”. I’m not sure exactly just yet what online outlets have us. I think iTunes and maybe CD Baby. Our favorite way to sell our music is at shows!
BOOTLEG METAL: Do you have merchandise for sale?
RIPCHAIN: At shows.
BOOTLEG METAL: Where can you be found online?
BOOTLEG METAL: As far as videos, sites, merch, ect. Are you guys more of a DIY band or do you hire out?
RIPCHAIN: D.I.Y. Would love to grow beyond that though.
BOOTLEG METAL: Do you have or are you looking for a label/manager?
RIPCHAIN: We are. We will be making official submissions to viable candidates after our video for our song “The Hunt” is completed. I’m hoping for January after the Holidays.
BOOTLEG METAL: One question I like to ask. What song (if any) by another artist do you wish you wrote?
RIPCHAIN: Stairway To Heaven...for the royalties. haha
BOOTLEG METAL: Is there another artist or band that is totally not your genre that you listen to?
RIPCHAIN: Nope. Except maybe some Bobaflex. They’re like a modern day mesh of Allman Brothers, Creedence and Motley Crue. There’s no other band with their recipe.
BOOTLEG METAL: How do you think downloading music whether legal or illegal affected the music community?
RIPCHAIN: The community came out like bandits! (Pun intended!) The artists though...man talk about getting raped. Easy access to music has devalued it. BUT that’s the way it is now. Bands gotta tour and sell tickets and merchandise. The days of the high flyin’ rock star are pretty much over. It’s all good with us. Our dreams are to make a living doing what we love. We don’t need a bazillion dollars.
BOOTLEG METAL: Thanks for taking the time to talk with us and answering the questions. Is there anything you’d like to add?
RIPCHAIN: You only live once. There are no guarantees. Don’t spend a second of your life giving up.