A 411 Underground Summer Series Interview in Partnership with FlashWounds.com: Ryan McCombs of SOiL
By Patty Seifert
I’m fresh off sitting down ~ not once, but twice…more on that a little further on ~ for a chat with Ryan McCombs (far right, above) of Chicago heavy rockers SOil, who had recently returned from touring Europe and the U.K. in support of Coal Chamber and in a few days were leaving on a third leg of touring (in support of their latest album Whole on Pavement Entertainment, which is the band’s first since 2004’s Re.de.fine and with original frontman McCombs [who returned in 2011 after spending those interim years with Drowning Pool] ~ you can watch the video for the “Shine On,” the first single released from Whole, here, and for the album’s track “My Time” here ~ and the original sound that won the band such a tremendous following and much praise) with Powerman5K, frequent visitors, especially the irresistible Spider One, on both 411 and the pages of FlashWounds. The Powerman5K tour kicked off its June through July run in Ringle, WI and brings SOiL to our region ~ the Northeast ~ for the 4th of July weekend through July 9 (just missing Ryan’s July 16th birthday) before coming to an end after several stops back in the Midwest. Ryan has earned his way onto my list of favorite vocalists ~ not only for his singing and songwriting, but also for remaining so honest, down-to-earth, and sweet (sorry, I know that’s not a terribly rock-n-roll word, but it’s the truth) after so many years in the music industry.
Case in point: I mentioned earlier that he and I had chatted twice. Our first interview was great ~ in-depth, animated, totally relaxed ~ and Ryan was sitting in his car in a White Castle parking lot the entire time. I couldn’t have asked for a more forthcoming and good-natured interviewee or a better outcome. So why a second interview? Because of one of this day and age’s most frustrating (and all too frequent in most of our lives, and always at the most inopportune moments…like this one!) occurrences, good ol’ technology basically giving me/us the finger; I’d set up as I have thousands of times for the entire interview to record, it showed as recording and then successfully recorded, but it was all an evil technological lie as what I heard upon playback was…absolutely nada. Not a single second had recorded, so not only had Ryan given a wonderful interview, putting off having his dinner (after, I learned, having to wait in a very long line for it to begin with) in order to speak with me, but it was all for nothing. I felt terrible!
All too familiar with rock star egos and time constraints, but very much wanting our audience to get to know Ryan as I had and to keep with our published show schedule, which promised the SOiL feature in just a couple of days, I crossed my fingers, reached back out to Ryan, explained the situation with my apologies, and prepared for the worst…and instead got the best when he agreed without hesitation to a “redo” the very next day. Seriously, dude? Could you be any cooler? So there you have the backstory of why Ryan ~ who is a fantastically hard-hitting, killer presence on-stage…Don’t think “sweet” as a person means anything less than magnetic, powerful, and oozing rock-n-roll attitude as a performer; just see him and SOil live or watch one of their videos! ~ with his combination of talent, personality, and, I’ve come to know behind the scenes and as you will too after listening to our interview, an awesome sense of humor as icing on the cake, forever has the spot at the top of that favorites list of mine.
But now, back to the [successful retake of] our interview. We got a chance to discuss, with conversation coming quite naturally, Ryan’s reunion with SOil, the experience of touring after his stroke (a fact that still surprises many people who didn’t realize that he’d suffered something as serious as a stroke), the Whole album, Ryan’s 7-year-itch, his upcoming book and plans for pursuing additional musical endeavors, and of course what the future holds for the band.
To find out what Ryan had to say about all those topics and more, just listen to the complete interview via this link!
And it goes without saying that if you haven’t already, you need to get a copy of Whole (available through all the usual reputable outlets, including Amazon and iTunes) and stay current with what the band ~ Ryan McCombs, vocals, Adam Zadel, guitar, Tim King, bass, and Mitch Gable, drums ~ is up to by visiting their official website and official Facebook page (from where you’ll be able to take advantage of a special limited SOil bundle offer!).
Editor’s Note: Read the whole story on the 411 Underground Rock Is Alive Summer Series in collaboration with FlashWounds.com (and get the full upcoming show schedule) here, and to have weekly episodes delivered to right to your Inbox (seriously, does it get any more convenient that that?!), sign up at 411underground.com/contact.html. To read the articles containing the full transcripts of each of our past 2015 Rock Is Alive interviews, just enter 411 into FlashWounds’ home page Search!