The Ruin cult lives…

BM: Rumors of Ruin’s inception are many. From secret military super soldier experiments gone wrong to cannibalistic deep woods dwellers unleashed by Satan himself.. Hell I even heard they were celebrity bastard children sent to be raised in fight clubs. Let’s put the rumors to rest, MJS..What are the origins of Ruin?

MJS: First off, Fight Clubs are for pussies. Sticking a knife into someone, now THAT is fun! We dwell in the deep woods because we like it that way. The origins of Ruin go all the way back to 1989 actually. Original vocalist Phobic and I started jamming together with some local friends. I believe it was under a different name, something stupid. It was more Napalm Death, Carcass style grind mixed with ripping thrash stuff like old Kreator and old Sodom. We got a bit more serious with the band in 1991. Ruin was born. As the heavy death metal stuff started coming around, it blew our minds, so we incorporated that stuff into the mix along with some slow doom death thrown in. Whatever was heavy and disgusting, we were influenced by it. All of the classic Earache, Peaceville albums and also the killer demos coming out around that era.

BM: The members of Ruin past and present including yourself have their identities obscured… why?, also.. I couldn’t find any of you on Facebook, why can’t we be friends?

MJS: Some(or MAYBE all of us) have issues with having our identities out there in the public eye. Maybe to protect ourselves, or those who know us?!?! I don’t know if I should speak on it. Let’s just say that it’s better for us to remain as anonymous as possible. Speaking for myself, I need to keep out of the public eye as much as possible and stay away from certain “powers that be” that may or may not be looking for me. I will leave it at that. FUCK FACEBOOK.

We don’t speak publicly about any activities regarding any sort of “Ruin Cult”.

BM: Ruin seems to also have an obsession Serial Killer, what’s up with that?  What is the Ruin Cult?

MJS: Well, Ruin performs disgusting death metal. So what are some of the most disgusting and vile things out there? Serial Killers. True darkness should match with true darkness. We do share their ideology in many ways as well. The hatred and disgust for humanity. The lyrics are hallucinations from a deranged plane of existence. The music is the atmosphere of complete horror. So what better way to complete the circle of death? We don’t speak publicly about any activities regarding any sort of “Ruin Cult”. Let’s just say that we have our own outlook on existence, our own ways, our own “laws”. It may or may not include occult activities. Let the visions you get when you experience our death noise be the judge for you. But stay the fuck away from our dungeon, our basements, any of our properties. Our world is not for you!

BM: So while trying to scope out the Ruin Discog I saw that there are several releases in various formats. Can you give us a chronological run down of the recordings?

MJS: Unholy fuck, you are asking for too much here. Go to Metal Archives or Discogs or any of those other stupid online sites to hunt down our releases. We can barely even keep track of our song titles at this point. The filth and vomit just spews out of our sewer. We are constantly creating, or “destroying” songs. We need to do this to stay alive and also to stay out of prison. People tend to be shocked at our output the last few years. Even when we don’t have releases coming out in a timely manner(usually waiting on a record label to finish their end of the deal) we still write and record songs. We are very active in that area. I will give you a loose timeline. The original demo was done in 1991. It was just a live in the studio recording that was done in our rehearsal space at the time. The band went on hiatus after only a few months. All kinds of crazy shit happened to the various members. The “bio” that has been out there is NO joke. Fast forward to 2015, Ruin was resurrected. The ’15 demo kicked things off and it has been a whirlwind of reeking death ever since. In between the two full length albums we have done, we have a bunch of splits and EPs. We keep getting asked by labels and other bands to do stuff, so we try to make as much happen as we can. It’s a great way to spread our plague to as many people as possible. We aren’t friends with many out there, but we are tight with the bands that we have done splits with, even if the “music styles” have been a little different than what we do, at times.

BM: Memento Mori as well as other labels have taken on the task of putting out the Ruin audio filth… talk to us about them and can you also tell us what hell is wrong with these folks, why would they do this?

MJS: Memento Mori was our first “larger” label that worked with us and it was amazing to be a part of their roster for our two full length albums so far. We fucking love Raul Sampedro and owe him so much for helping to spread our plague. Same with Blood Harvest. Rodrigo has been awesome to work with. The main label and person who really helped the most was Robert at Nero One. He really stepped up and without him, we wouldn’t be where we are today! He really killed it with the ’15 demo and the killer packaging that came with it. It helped to establish us in a huge way. We owe him everything! We have been fortunate to work with so many killer labels on top of those like our brother the awesome Dylan and Headsplit Records, the mighty Josh and Wise Grinds, the killer John and Von Frost(who we have worked with a several releases!), the awesome Mike and HPGD Productions, the killer Jorgen and Snake Oil Kassette label and one of our old school heroes, the mighty Charlie Infection and Fudgeworthy. I have NO idea what the fuck is the problem with these people! Other than maybe they are as twisted and deranged as we are?!? Or maybe because we threatened them with a slow death?!?! Who the fuck knows.

BM: The music Ruin is producing I would call classic death metal foulness not to be confused with the old school death metal sickness, a moniker widely used currently. What are your thoughts on OSDM? and who are the bands that you would say inspired Ruin’s sound?

MJS: There are so many “terms” out there. But what you called it is acceptable. Honestly, we don’t give a fuck about much, let alone what terms that dumb fucks call shit these days. Who cares! Call it what you want to call it. Just buy our shit and go to the live shows we do. The old school death thing has been beaten into the ground again these days, just as it did back in the 1990s. But I guess there are worse trends. Since I’m an old fucker, the term OSDM is whatever to me. I would rather call it CLASSIC DEATH METAL. Since it came from the “CLASSIC ERA”. The bands that inspired us were Venom, old Sodom, Hellhammer, Autopsy, old Bolt Thrower, Abhorrence, old Immolation, Mortician, old Carcass, old Napalm Death, Demigod, Nihilist, old Paradise Lost, Carnage, old Grave and shit like that.

BM: Ruin has been prolific in putting out recording after recording, seems there’s one every other month.. reports have it that you have an engineer and producer chained to a Pro-Tools set up ready when ever you feel the need to be recorded. Where are these atrocities recorded?

MJS: We had an extra member for a few years that was our “engineer”. G-Slaughter was his name. He really helped to shape our sound and atmosphere. He was crucial in the putrid sound that we have developed. Due to health issues, he has had to retire from music production. But we love our brother and give him our best regards. It was a huge loss for us, but since we know “THE SOUND”, we have recovered just fine. We are used to turmoil in this band. Weird shit and cursed events have happened to Ruin since the old days. We basically record everything “in house” now. But at times in different places. But we have our close allies like John at Trench Studios and Ted Tringo at Ancient Way Mastering that help us out. And now our new secret weapon is Carsten, the new main sound engineer. We have various dungeons, cemeteries and basements that we are able to record our atrocities at. They will remain nameless.

BM: I recently dropped a fork down my disposal and inadvertently wrote a Ruin song. Can I get you to record it?.. it’s called Sunset on Sunset Blvd.

MJS: Ruin’s “music” makes a fork in the garbage disposal sound like the fuckin’ Bulletboys. Sunset on Sunset Blvd? Is that some sort of special blow job?

BM: I’m a bit of of gear head and would like to know. If I made a Ruin tribute band, What equipment should a scour Craiglist for?

MJS: I would have to kill you if I told you this. We try and keep our sound as close to the vest as we can. A couple of the members in this group are gear heads themselves. So we use a myriad of vintage gear. Mainly 70s and 80s era guitar stuff. I can say that we don’t like “mids”, just a lot of “lows” and some “highs”. We take great pride in having a totally shit sound. But we make that shit sound an art form, so we like to use GOOD equipment at least. We DO actually give a fuck about what we are playing out of. But in the end, it’s DEATH METAL. We aren’t buying stupid cheap ass piece of shit that some burned out, dip shit schlub at guitar center tries to push down you throat for way more money than what it’s worth. We also aren’t spending thousands of dollars on fancy amps to “enhance” our sound. This isn’t rocket science here. We know the sound, we plug in, tune DOWNNNNNNNN LOWWWWWWWWW and make death noise that makes people sick. Type THAT into your Craigs List search engine.

BM: Have you taken the Ruin boys on tour, if so what cities where left crime ridden and with an abundance of missing persons reports?. Any particularly memorable moments?

MJS: So far, we have been able to do some shows outside of our local area of Los Angeles. Ruin has been to Phoenix, Arizona and Oakland, California up north. Ruin also did a run of shows out on the east coast this last summer. Philadelphia, Baltimore and Brooklyn, New York. All of these shows were fucking killer and memorable in their own way. Philadelphia was the best and most memorable of the bunch for sure. Total fucking maniacs that went insane during our set. But the Phoenix show was also insane and very memorable. I would say that those were our best shows so far as a band. Looking at this list of cites we went to, These places were PERFECT for Ruin to be inside of. Scum attracts scum! hehe. What missing people do you speak of? Did they ever exist? 😉

BM: I once witness a Ruin live set, I still have nightmares. Give the reader a good description of what to expect from Ruin, live and loud?

MJS: Just pure death metal that will make you vomit. We aren’t the best band out there, but we are one of the ugliest and nastiest. The atmosphere during a Ruin set is meant to make you confused and uncomfortable. Then we aim to assault your body, mind and soul. We certainly hope that you are disturbed and you have a bunch of nightmares after experiencing our puke infested filth in the live setting. Because…….. RUIN FUCKING HATES YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

BM: Does MJS stand for Michael Jackson’s Son?

MJS: Now that question is just too ‘Off the Wall’, MOTHERFUCKER!!!!!!!!!!

BM: If I were to task you with putting together a 7 band line up that also includes Ruin and that would play at the building that once housed the Reseda Country Club, what bands would you book and why?… make it so good I would ask for a Plus One.

MJS: Hmmmmmm. I would want to book bands during their prime era. So let’s go with 1973 Black Sabbath, 1982 Venom, 1986 Slayer, 1991 Autopsy and throw in Slaughter and Nihilist in there. Those would be the bands off of the top of my head. Heavier than all shit! Some of our major influences. Ruin would open that show, then we could fucking kill ourselves after the Sabbath set to close the night! What else would we need in life?!?! NO! You may NOT have a fucking plus one.

BM: What the hell is next for Ruin in 2020?

MJS: More splits in the works. With the likes of Absconder, Thy Feeble Saviour, Rotting Grave, Morgue Rat, Bloodfiend and Anatomia. There will be a bunch of vinyl stuff coming out this year that has been delayed for a bit. The ‘Maggots’ 12-inch EP that Morbid Reality and Wise Grinds will be putting out. ‘Plague Transmissions Vol. 2’ compilation also coming out on CD on HPGD Productions and Blood Harvest. More shows I’m sure, hopefully some more out of town stuff so we can get away from our parole officers for a bit. And finally……… Full length album #3: ‘Spread Plague Death’. Going to be a busy year in the torture chamber for us. Keep track of our Bandcamp page and Storenvy merch site for all of these releases and more stuff coming along soon.

BM: Alright MJS, I gave you the interview like you asked… Can you please release my family?

MJS: Mighty Hails to you for this. I guess we will let you live…….. Wait, what family?

Interview by JS