Doom. The one genre where four letters can be as vast as all of the oceans on this planet and invoke emotions as varied as the colors around us. In the wrong hands it can fall rather flat but in the right hands — as is the case with Ripis — it can move mountains. Rolling sound waves, crushing riffs, tar thick atmosphere and lyrics that are the epitome of doom are just a few of the things you can expect on Shadow Dies In Morning Light, the band’s recently released second effort. Hues of Bell Witch color the pacing and shades of YOB highlight the songwriting but for over forty minutes Ripis OWNS this genre, period. This is doom metal in its purest form and it kicks all sorts of ass. After a chance email from the band and subsequent listen(s), we had to know more so we sat down with them armed with our set of Profile questions which you can find immediately below — and PANCHO. Be sure to click the links contained within and support this band in as many ways as you can afford!
How did you first get into playing music, and have you achieved the level of success that you hoped for?
We got into music because we were chubby little kids that weren’t good at anything else. Eating cheesy bread doesn’t work as a hobby. We have had our own little successes, sure. We’re happy that anyone wants to listen. We don’t have huge goals of making it big or anything like that. We want to have fun making honest music, and that’s about it. It’s hard to measure success, I guess. Maybe if we ate more cheesy bread.
What’s the most you have ever debased yourself to get your band onto a show, into a magazine or otherwise promoted, covered, and praised? (If you don’t have a story, please tell us any funny/embarrassing story.)
Debasing ourselves isn’t really on our list of things we’re willing to do.
What do you see as some of the great things happening in metal and what are some of the worst things happening inside the scene right now?
The best thing about metal right now is how supportive the community can be. We were able to get the funds to have vinyl printed all thanks to the support of metal folk. There’s also such an openness to think outside of the box in a lot of metal subgenres. The worst thing about metal is the elitism or forms of gatekeeping that surround certain metal scenes. Music should always be inclusive. It’s fucking art, ya dummies. Also, fuck racists in any scene.
It seems that now everyone has a passion for some cause and that those people are very open about displaying their passions. This is probably a very, very good (and progressive) thing socially. What are some of the most important issues (social/political/humorous/etc.) for you and how do you insert those issues into your music?
Our latest album is meant to open a dialogue about depression and suicidal ideation. In the US, we are conditioned to just shove anything that isn’t bright and shiny to the side. You’re supposed to deal with your own shit, or whatever, but what happens when your mind won’t let you do that? “Swallow what can’t be seen.” It’s impossible. One of us is a recovering addict and another has major depression/anxiety. How are we supposed to shove that shit down? How is anyone?
What, or who, got you into metal and how old were you? How did your family take the news?
There was this guy down the road named Pancho, and he had a motorcycle and a chainsaw. He would stand outside with his chainsaw and listen to Iron Maiden while swinging the saw around in the air. He said he knew the devil. Pancho was so cool and also ten years old. He had his own vinyl shop in his playhouse in the backyard. He printed that dopesmokin’, devil-worshippin’, nasty riffboy music. We met him three years ago. He told us to get the fuck outta his yard. Our parents don’t like Pancho, but they say he’s older than time.
What advice do you have for aspiring music critics and outlets out there? How can we all better serve the genre in the eyes of a hard-working musician?
In anything you do, make sure you love it and that you’re contributing something that you feel confident in. Don’t do the same old shit.
What’s your goal? You guys thinking world domination? Maybe saving a continent? Maybe invading one? Any interest in starting a cult? Do you guys have day jobs or hobbies you want to share? Whatever it is, please let us know.
Our goal is move as far away from Pancho as possible. He’s so scary. I can hear his saw sometimes when I’m alone at night. For fun, we come up with Home Alone type schemes to keep Pancho out of the house. We have burned his hands with doorknobs, smacked him with paint cans, and made his head look real silly with feathers.
When you’re not obsessing over your own material, what are some of your favorite albums to listen to currently? (Feel free to include non-metal)
We’ll all answer this one. Asher (Johnson, guitar) has been listening to Gorillaz, Death Grips, and Curtis Mayfield, Andy (Hannaman, drums) has been listening to Phoebe Bridgers, Carly Rae Jepsen, and Zeal & Ardor, and Blake (DeWitt, bass & vocals) has been listening to Freddie Gibbs, Nothing, and very specifically Total Eclipse of the Heart by Bonnie Tyler.
What is the 12-month outlook for you or your band? Any specific events on the horizon that the masses should be aware of?
We printin’ vinyl, baybee. Pre-order here once our Kickstarter is over – ripisdoom.com. Because we just finished this album and life is busy, we haven’t thought that far ahead yet. We make doom for stoners, you expect us to plan a full year ahead?
Summarize your band in exactly one word. (Disclosure: If you include additional words, we will select our favorite for the final publication.)
Many thanks to Ripis for their time!