New Hampshire metal act Death Rattle recently released their second full-length album Volition, a gritty piece of hard rock that encapsulates themes of aggression, hardship, and excitement. With Volition having dropped on October 20th, Death Rattle are currently touring across the U.S., putting on their memorable live performances. Here, lead guitarist Ryan VanderWolk took the time to answer some questions and discuss the band’s recent album, the underlying meaning behind their music, and what their plans are for the future.
ME: Your sophomore LP, Volition, was just released on October 20th. What can you tell us about this album?
Ryan: We feel great about Volition. We worked very hard on it for a long time. A lot of groove on this album.
ME: What is your favorite song off of the new record?
Ryan: My favorite song would be “Love and War.” We chose that to be our first single and we did a music video for it. Chris and I wrote this song musically during a very dark time in the band’s history when we were really trying to hold it together when things were really rough. We felt this needed to be the first single and also we feel it’s one of the most powerful songs.
ME: Death Rattle have gained a reputation for putting on energetic, memorable live shows. How do you approach your performances? Do you have any pre-show rituals?
Ryan: We always work hard to put on the best show we can. We are big believers of bringing the album to the stage and then some. We really appreciate when bands do that.
ME: You’re currently touring throughout the U.S. Is there a specific place/venue that you’re looking forward to the most?
Ryan: Too many to count, but we are looking forward to Texas and Florida in particular. Texas holds a special place in my heart. My favorite band of all time is from Texas (Pantera), and we also do well there, which makes it fun. We have some really special support in Florida as well, although we will be playing there on this tour for the first time!
ME: You’ve said that your style of metal attempts to capture the aesthetic of New England due to the grievances faced in that area. Can you elaborate more on this notion? How do you feel your sound encapsulates this meaning?
Ryan: We are proud to come from an area where you can find a ton of great bands. I think New England has set the bar very high and a lot of our influence comes from right where we are and we love that.
ME: Who are some of your biggest musical influences?
Ryan: Pantera, Lamb of God, Gojira, Soilwork, Down, Tool
ME: What is your favorite record of the year thus far?
Ryan: The Haunted! Strength In Numbers is such a killer album. It’s been a long wait from them but it is such a solid album.
ME: If you could collaborate with any current artist, who would it be and why?
Ryan: That’s a tough question! There are too many to list, but a dream come true would be with the guys from Lamb of God. They are the band that brought us together. They are our favorite mutual band collectively.
ME: When you aren’t focusing on music, how else do you spend your time? Do you have any hobbies?
Ryan: Football! Skateboarding a bit, although not much anymore, hiking and camping etc. It’s kind of hard to enjoy hobbies when we are so busy with our favorite hobby and passion which is music.
ME: Now that the album is released and you’re currently on tour, what is next for the band? Do you have any other plans for the future?
Ryan: When we get home we will get right back to work on the next album! We already have a lot of ideas to get going on!
Death Rattle Tour Dates:
Oct. 21 – Placerville, CA @ PJ’s Roadhouse
Oct. 22 – Los Angeles, CA @ Five Star Bar
Oct. 24 – Phoenix, AZ @ Joe’s Grotto
Oct. 25 – Albuquerque, NM @ Blu Phoenix Venue
Oct. 26 – El Paso, TX @ Rockhouse Bar & Grill
Oct. 27 – San Antonio, TX @ Jack’s Patio Bar
Oct. 28 – Del Rio, TX @ The Brown Plaza
Oct. 29 – Arlington, TX @ Diamond Jim’s
Oct. 30 – Houston, TX @ White Swan Live
Oct. 31 – Pensacola, FL @ The Handlebar
Nov. 1 – Jacksonville, FL @ Jack Rabbit’s
Nov. 2 – Panama City, FL @ The Dungeon Tavern
Nov. 3 – Tampa, FL @ The Brass Mug
Nov. 4 – Winter Park, FL @ The Haven
Nov. 5 – Greenacres, FL @ Piper’s Sports Bar
Nov. 6 – Raleigh, NC @ The Maywood
Nov. 8 – Trenton, NJ @ Championship Bar
Nov. 9 – Attleboro, MA @ Patterson’s Creations
Nov. 10 – Manchester, NH @ Bungalow Bar
Nov. 11 – Albany, NY @ The Low Beat
Nov. 12 – Brooklyn, NY @ Kingsland
Nov. 13 – Buffalo, NY @ Mohawk Place
Nov. 14 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Smiling Moose
Nov. 15 – New Haven, IN @ Carl’s Tavern
Nov. 16 – Warren, MI @ The Ritz
Nov. 17 – Kalamazoo, MI @ Papa Pete’s
Nov. 18 – Englewood, OH @ The Courtyard