Formed in 1997, hailing from Chicago, Illinois, SOiL is perhaps best known for it's songs "Halo" "Unreal" and "Redefine", . In fact Halo was so awesome it led to a bidding war from labels, with SOiL being the first rock band signed to J Records (http://www.soiltheband.com/)
That is the pedigree of the band I was about to see perform live in The Live Rooms, Chester, they were that talented labels pursued them!!
First though, I was given the massive honour of being able to interview their lead singer Ryan McCombs (not at all a total fangirl moment!)
Ok, maybe opening an interview with Ryan about the fact I usually interviewed Burlesque stars was not the best introduction to my skills at the job, but it certainly broken the ice (he refuses to do it btw...cue sad face) and to be honest he's such an engaging guy it was easy to see why he's such a popular frontman.
It's always interesting to know who influences a musician, as it can sometimes give an insight into their style, so that's what I asked.
Ryan told me that Tim was influenced by Mötley Crüe, Adam by Ozzy Osbourne and he was influenced by Pink Floyd and Aerosmith.
When the album Scars was released in 2001, which was the first label debut, MTV certainly helped them to capture the attention of a greater audience audience, and as such fan base (as it did many bands of the time) so I asked him what he thought of today's influence, the Internet.
Obviously sites like Spotify etc have affected revenue, and Napstar, has influenced the downloading of music, but as far as Ryan is concerned he doesn't really have any complaints about that, he can see it from both sides. As a recording artist, and very much still a fan of music.
A song is being really nothing more than a widget, it has a ripple effect from band to audience, with the label being the "boss".
This year marks the 20th Anniversary of the band, so I asked how the music scene has changed during that time.
Revenue is very much reliant on touring and merchandise now. In some ways they are in a better position, as their name is already established, and their tour had been successful. Each show had a good turnout, and their following looks healthy.
It's awesome to know that they will be doing a 20th Anniversary tour in both the US and the U.K./Europe this year!!
SOiL has been in our lives for 20 years now (All Hail the Gods of Metal) so I asked how the band had progressed musically and how the tour was going
He was in a good place, felt lucky to be in a band with amazing musicians, and that everything that had happened musically was a natural progression.
The tour was going well, as already mentioned it had a really good turnout (I can vouch for that, The Live Rooms was packed) and Ryan spoke of how much he enjoyed the fun interaction with the fans. He feels that there is "nothing better than little moments with the crowd".
I asked if he had any message for his fans.
He told me how he always likes to end a show by thanking the fans, as he believes that "the music started and will end with the fans".
Finally I asked about his plans for the future.
Physically he's so ready for some time off, although the band has been a blast, and equally he doesn't want it to end, sadly everything must.
LUCKILY this year they will be back!!! Make sure you don't miss this tour!!! 20th Anniversary people!!!
As a point of interest, and a little insight into the man himself, Ryan is involved with ECSIA (look it up www.escia.us).
I feel so lucky to have met and interviewed someone I have admired for 20 years, and then have the chance to photograph the band (sadly a few issues with the lighting and smoke machines) and can't thank Ryan McCombs, Midlands Live, Simon Robinson and The Live Rooms, Chester enough.
Ryan McCombs (lead vocals) Tim King (bass) Adam Zadel (guitar)