Full disclosure: I've known Lauren Boquette of Lords of Ruin for approximately seven years and I consider him a friend. But the first time we met, I wasn't so sure we'd have much in common. Allow me to explain.
Without ever meeting him, I hopped in a van with Boquette, my friend Gabe, someone who I think played in Dread Zeppelin and the only man who knew everyone in the vehicle, the one, the only, Alfunction.
I'm an introvert who doesn't do well with people (but I'm amazing with animals). I'm also a pipsqueak and a nerd, so you can imagine my trepidation when I first saw Boquette. Dude is at least 6'3'' and one of his arms is as wide as my entire body. Add a bunch of visible tattoos into the mix and I was certain he figured I was a total lame ass not worth talking to.
Keep in mind, I am a total lame ass not worth talking to, but by the time we hit Baker, Boquette was not only keeping the van in good spirits, he was actually engaging me in conversation. Turned out, my fear was nothing but my often-irrational belief that no one will like me because about 14 hours after we left Orange County, our party ended up at downtown Las Vegas' Glitter Gulch, where Boquette got us in for free and all of our drinks comped. Later that night, someone who wasn't me puked outside a car while it was moving. I'm not saying who, but he knows who he is.
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Anyway...I write about Boquette's musical endeavors as often as I can for a few reasons. First, dude's a powerful frontman. He commands attention and goes for the jugular. I know that sounds totally cliche, but it's the truth. Next, out of all the musicians I've interviewed over the past decade or so, Boquette is one of the most sincere and passionate I've met. No joke, the guy's into what he does, but even more importantly, he's a genuine fan of those around him. I remember talking with him about AC/DC at length and instantly I knew he was an even bigger music nerd than I am.
Boquette spend the '00s fronting SiX, a hard rock/hardcore hybrid that should have ruled the world. SiX called it quits for reasons we still don't quite understand, but from the ashes of SiX comes Lords of Ruin, a quartet -- comprised of Boquette on vocals, guitarist Corey Bush, bassist Travis Dunn and drummer Daniel Martin -- making its Orange County debut Saturday in Orange.
OC Weekly (Ryan Ritchie): Tell me about the morphing from SiX to Lords of Ruin.
The band evolved out of in 2010. We got to a point after releasing three albums independently and touring for years that it was time for a change. Founding member guitarist Alfunction left the band to focus on his full time gig working for Clutch, so Corey and I starting writing with our buddy producer/engineer Daniel Martin in his studio, Beehive Recording in Costa Mesa. The material had a different feel to it and that, combined with some other elements at the time, we decided to call it something else.
How does a band get its first show opening for Korn?
You gotta be badass! Kidding...that was another factor that pushed us to go ahead and change the name. In the middle of writing all this new material we were offered a show with Korn by our good friends at Jagermeister. We've been sponsored by Jager for years and they were cool with letting us launch our new band at that show. We saw that opportunity as a time to just go for it, so Lords of Ruin was born! What a killer night it was to do it!
Why has it taken you so long to play OC?
For the first time in years I've wanted to stop touring and just write. With SiX it was always tour, tour, tour and that doesn't leave a lot of time to write and just focus on new material. With this band we are taking a different approach by recording and releasing more music as opposed to running around America supporting just one album at a time. Work smarter not harder, I guess. It's helped with my sanity, too.
You said you are playing all new songs. Can you tell me about the tunes? What do they sound like?
We took what we felt was the best material off the last SiX album and released those 10 songs on iTunes as the Lords of Ruin debut album while we continued to write. The first three new Lords of Ruin tracks became what we named our Beehive EP that we released that on iTunes as well. We have been evolving our sound and have been trying to write as much as possible. We are not trying to totally reinvent ourselves or jump on some new trend or anything -- we're just working to refine what we do. I've always been a product of classic metal and punk rock. Those influences will never leave me, but the focus lately has been on better songwriting. Corey has such a varied musical background that it's really wide open. We love to cook up jams that will rock a crowd, so that won't change but this time around I guess it's a mix of classic metal, west coast punk, east coast hardcore and straight up rock & roll.
On your website, you mentioned changing the name from SiX to Lords of Ruin because of having a hard time with an online presence. Can you talk a bit about that?
Like I said, SiX toured constantly and released three albums, all during the time when the world starting buying music online. With such a simple name, it became harder and harder to find online. Also, during that time a few other bands named Six popped up; then the final blow was when Nikki Sixx launched Sixx AM. It was like, are you kidding?
What's next for Lords of Ruin?
We recently signed on to be part of a new Sullen Musik compilation album. The clothing company Sullen is launching a music side of their brand and we are honored to be a part of it. Our song Life is a War will be featured on this album along with B-Real from Cypress Hill, BMX legend Rick Thorne's band and a handful of other Sullen sponsored artists. It is great to be working with real people who have built their company from the ground up for over 10 years and have always been a part of the SoCal lifestyle.
Your website also mentions that you are writing a book. Is that true? If so, what's it about? Can you give me one good story that you will include in the book and one you won't?
This first book titled The Birth, Life and Lies is really a collection of poems and short stories that is sort of my story as an artist who was saved by music. I won't lie, it's a dark book but I come from a dark place. I want the world to see that just because you come from a fucked up place doesn't mean you have to grow into a fucked up person. Our lives are our choices and it's easy to change and move forward as long as you really want to. Some people just love the misery. I'm not one of them. The second book will be more crazy stories from tours and rock & roll madness. That one will spill some dirt.