Exclusive Interview: SOiL’s Ryan McCombs Returns to Band For New Album, ‘Whole.’

Ryan McCombs is returning to where he first made an imprint in music – singing for the band SOiL. The singer/songwriter, who spent the last seven years fronting Drowning Pool, returns for SOiL’s new album, “Whole,” which drops August 20, 2013. McCombs recently stopped by to talk about the new album, his experience with Drowning Pool, and how SOiL has evolved from day one.

Q – Thank you, Ryan, for chatting.

A - My pleasure. Thanks for giving me some time.

Q – You’re back with SOiL. How did that come about in regard to initiating the conversation and finally getting back on board?

A - Adam (Zadel) and I started communicating again a few years back and eventually we started even talking about writing together again someday. I don't want that to come across as Adam and I ever had issues because we didn't. I have my kids, and whatever band I'm in, and that's what takes my time. I'm really bad about keeping up with friends. Someone came to Adam and Tim (King) with the idea of a 10th anniversary of 'Scars' tour in the UK. They got ahold of me to see if I would be interested and it happen to fall right as I had some down time from Drowning Pool touring so I jumped in and said sure. I was going through my typical seven year itch at the time too so a change was needed.

Q – How did it feel to be back playing with SOiL?

A - That tour was probably too much fun. It was supposed to be that run and that would be it. It was pretty cool though to be singing those old lyrics again. Felt good. I parted ways with DP about 3-4 weeks after returning to the states and awhile after that the talk about doing another SOiL album started up. Felt good writing with Adam and Tim again.

Q – The new album, “Whole,” drops August 20th. What can fans expect from this album versus the 2004 album, “re.de.fine,” which was the last album you were a part of?

A - I like what Will (Hunt – Device, Evanescence) said when he came in to track the drums for the album. We go way back with Will. Back to his days with 'Skrape.' We did a lot of shows together back then so when he said he loved the material and that he felt like this body of work should have been the album between 'Scars' and 're.de.fine' it made me feel good. The primary writers behind those first SOiL CD's were back together again and I think that's going to be obvious when people check 'Whole' out.

Q – Your most recent project was fronting the band, Drowning Pool. Being the singer, how difficult was singing for Drowning Pool when fans identify you with SOiL when they hear your voice?

A - At first, sure. I did though spend seven years with the DP guys. The only singer to appear on multiple DP studio CD's. Actually the longest tenured singer in the band’s history so after a while it’s just what people knew. I think it was harder for me in just that I respected and loved Dave (Williams) as I did and do. Took a while to be comfortable singing his words. We did some quality work together I think. My words are the lyrics on the three highest charting DP songs to date. I'm proud of that.

Q – I read that “Whole” returns to SOiL’s earlier sound. What do you think is the main reason that band’s change sounds throughout the years?

A - Growth, experience and simply living life can create change. There are also times when people just want to experiment with something new musically. I know that I can say that if every song I wrote sounded like 'Halo' I would be pretty damn bored doing this.

Q – How do you think you’ve evolved as a singer/songwriter?

A - I know my limitations and I'm good with them. I'm a very limited singer with a limited range who has been allowed to do this for a living for nearly 16 years now. I don't know if I've grown or evolved in any other way than in just being more comfortable in that I'm me. I am able to do things my way because the fans have kept me around so long through their support because I guess they like what is naturally me. That's a pretty great thing.

Q – How do you think SOiL’s evolved from when the band first came out?

A - Older and wiser I would say. That's why we are handling the business side of everything that has to do with 'Whole.' We have some great partners in Pavement and AFM and we have put together a good group of people.

Q – That’s all I had for you. Anything you wanted to add?

A - Just a thank you to you for providing an opportunity to connect with the people out there that allow me to do what I do and a thank you to them, everyone out there that has and does give me the time of day.


Jason Tanamor is the Editor of Zoiks! Online. He also is the author of the novels, The Extraordinary Life of Shady Gray, Hello Lesbian! and Anonymous. Visit him online at www.tanamor.com. Email Jason at jason@zoiksonline.com.
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