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Thursday, August 13, 2020

Ritual Interview

1.Can you give us an update on what is going on with the band these days?
1. Not a whole lot going on right now. Looking for some new band members. Writing and experimenting with new ideas.

2.When I listened to some of the more recent albums you have a very different style from the older releases, can you tell us a little bit more about the musical progress over the years?
2. People grow and change. That's just life. We were 17, 18 when we made "The Summoning" so yeah we were just kids. The world was very different then than it is now too.

3.Can you tell us a little bit more about the direction the lyrics have gone through over the last few releases and also how would you describe your progress as songwriters over the years?
3. The lyrics have always been a combo based in fantasy and real life. Some are about how I deal with my depression and some are just hateful, some are fantasy based. Only the first and second albums had the same members in the band. So the writing has gone through a lot of changes. I feel like I have gotten better at songwriting over the years but what do I know?

4.A lot of your earlier lyrics covered Satanism and Occultism themes, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in the Left Hand Path?
4. We have always just been very anti-religion. Satanism was and is just a tool to put a middle finger in the face of this country's stupid obsession with Jesus and the bible. We never believed in any hokey pokey religious shit. We are just anti-religion. We do not believe in hell, god, satan or anything. We are basically just atheists.

5.For 12 years the band was on hiatus, what was the cause of the split and also the decision to reform?
5. We split up because we were all just at odds after the second album. Even before the second album. I got tired of arguments and beef and decided I wasn't going to pursue a third album with Robert and Mike. They went on to make "Soldiers Under Satan's Command" without me involved. To me it was basically a thrash album. I still had been writing material that was Ritual to me. In the early 00's I just thought nobody cared about Ritual anymore. Then I kept seeing interviews from the other members and somehow the internet kept the music and interest alive. A big question was always why did the the 3rd album sound so different from the first two. The answer was because I was not involved in the 3rd album at all. I was the main songwriter, keyboardist and vocalist of the first two. I felt that as the mastermind of the original sound I had to give people a proper Ian Ritual record with "The Resurrection". I asked Mike and Robert to be a part of it. Robert did actually put in a riff or two. Mike, again was not local and his material just didn't appear on "The Resurrection" although it was welcomed.

6.For a few years the band was a solo project but now has a line up, what was the decision behind working with other musicians again?
6. I like playing on stage, it's a great feeling. I just wanted to get the music out there in real life again.

7.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
7. I think every show is great to me. It's always a wonderful feeling to play with bands you enjoy and respect and that have done it all. We have been fortunate enough to do that many times. We recently played Blackest of the Black festival with a bunch of amazing bands. We played with Marduk and Incantation a few years ago. Our stage performance is pretty raw. We come out and play our asses off and do our thing.

8.The last album was self released, are you open to working with another label in the future?
8. I am open to working with labels. I released the last album on vinyl only myself just because I love records and always wanted to have a Ritual record out. We have worked with Minotauro records out of Italy and Narcoleptica Productions out of Kazakhstan recently. It's all about the deal. What does a label really have to offer in this musical climate?

9.On a worldwide elvel how has the reaction been to your newer music by fans of black metal?
9. Honestly, I do not know. I have not seen or heard much in terms of reviews or anything like that so I do not know.

10.When can we expect another full length and also where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
10. Not sure on the timing of another full length. As of this moment I am solo again, doing everything myself. Things move slowly. I am not even sure if I will ever release another album at this point.

11.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
11. I don't listen to much music anymore. I make so much of it that I just don't want to be actively involving myself in music all my waking hours. I sometimes just listen to the random people posting their music on Facebook.

12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
12. Buy physical copies of albums and band merchandise if you want bands to continue their craft. Sustaining a music career is difficult if not impossible.

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