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Made Whole: SOiL Get Back To Their Roots

Wednesday, 17 July 2013 Written by Heather McDaid

SOiL have been around the block a few times. It’s been almost 12 years since they dropped the hugely successful ‘Scars’ and they're now gearing up to release a record that’s a kindred spirit of their biggest success to date. ‘Whole’ will arrive on August 19 and is the first album since 2004’s ‘Redefine’ to feature the vocals of founding member Ryan McCombs.

We caught up with bass player Tim King to talk the record, the band’s roots and to find out just what it takes to survive in the dangerous world of rock ‘n’roll.

How did you approach the writing and recording of 'Whole'?

It was a very laid back and natural process this time around. In the past, we would religiously rehearse four to five days a week for hours on end. This time it was just me, Adam [Zadel, guitar], and Ryan calling all the shots and running the show. We would go to Adam's house or my house and throw riffs and ideas around. Or we would send stuff by e-mail to each other. Then we took all the ideas and entered the studio to record them all. After that we chose songs for the album and went in and recorded them for real in Los Angeles with producer Ulrich Wild.

Going into the process, was there a particular sound or narrative you had in mind?

We just wanted to get back to the roots and essence of SOiL. We had Ryan back on vocals and it was time to get back to the foundation of what the band was about. That was about the only strategy we had. Other than that we just wrote the album from the heart. We just did what we are supposed to do: write music.

How would you compare this album to your previous work? What does it mean in terms of the band's evolution?

If we’re comparing it just to the last album, ‘Picture Perfect’, this new album has more aggression and is quite a bit heavier. With ‘Picture Perfect’ we were going for a very melodic and musical album. We had touched on many different sounds and approaches to the music. You could say that was our “experimental” album and I think every band that stands the test of time has that point where they make an "experimental” album. As for where ‘Whole’ fits in with our entire catalogue, the band and everyone that has heard the album so far feels that it is the album that could have come directly after ‘Scars’.  

Personally, do you have any favourite tracks and, if so, what makes them stand out?

My favorite song on the album is Way Gone. I think from start to finish that song just has it all. It was actually a song that was at the bottom of our list when we were demoing the material, but it rose above in the studio. Another great track in my opinion is Amalgamation, which is a song where Ryan takes song titles from his previous works with SOiL and Drowning Pool and weaves them into the lines of the song. It's a really fun song to listen to.

Why did you choose Shine On for the video treatment?

Shine On is the first single off the album and a song that the fans and radio really grabbed onto. It is a very fitting song in the regard that it is about the fans and for the fans. It's about sticking true to yourself and what you do. For us, the fans have always been there for the band through thick and thin and it is a salute to them for all they have given us over the many years.

Having been a band for over 15 years, what do you think is the secret to SOiL's success? Many bands don't last as long these days.

It's all about perseverance. You have to ride out the storm. Very few bands get successful and stay on top their entire careers. All the greats, Aerosmith, AC/DC, the Stones, have one thing in common: they had their low points but they stuck with it and kept sailing to better waters. I can't really compare SOiL to the likes of Aerosmith, for the fact that they are light years beyond what we could ever dream of, but on a smaller scale we have had our highs and lows and still stuck with it. We've survived.

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