At Capacity

The Ritualists

An Interview by Ellie McIntyre

You’ve just released your first album on August 2nd, Painted People, next you have your release show, what has it been like preparing for the show tonight and if there is a ritual, if you will, on how to prepare for a show?

Christian: Well usually, being the singer, I usually don’t speak at all before I have to sing, especially in loud bars, so this is my first time doing interviews before, so this is a new thing, as far as preparation, you know it’s been great. Our management and PR have been fantastic setting up these things and really making it an event. We have these wild MC’s that are going to be telling jokes in between the sets, so it’s gonna be a real party. 

Pat: Also it’s cool because we came back from a little southern tour, so playing shows down there and getting the material out to different crowds in addition to NYC, just to gauge the temperature helps us to prepare too.

Have you performed any teasers of the album yet and what has the response been so far?

Pat: Yeah we have. It’s been very cool.

As more people encounter your band and your music, if there is any, what kind of message would want to show them or even hint to them as you play this album?

Christian: That Rock N’ Roll isn’t dead, haha. That you can play something that has heart and is real and that’s not a corporate project, that people can gravitate towards.

Pat: Just that, even if it may sound cliche, but that “the dream” is still possible, whatever that is. We’re not doing the thing that’s not the most popular, or the most mainstream, but we’re doing what we believe in and we’re starting to see the benefits and the rewards of our hard work.

What was the writing process like for this album, did you know from the beginning what was gonna be on it or was that a whole other process?

Christian: For most of the songs the process has been pretty much like I will write it and then present it to the band and they’ll put the icing and the cherries and the candy on top to make it pretty because I have no technical background in musical theory, so what works musically and what doesn’t that’s all Jeff and Dave, they’re like the scientists making sure that I’m not too out of control. It’s usually a pretty rewarding process. There have been very few times where we’ve tried something that doesn’t work, it usually works, fingers crossed. 

David: Or sometimes it’s even the opposite, it’s like “I didn’t even do anything” but everything seems to work and fall into place.

So you had a music video come out in June for your song Ice Flower, what was the inspiration behind the song and music video and how they interact with each other? 

Christian: Well… the inspiration for the song was quite different than the music video.

Oh, did you have a say over that? That’s what we want to know!

Pat: She’s a journalist, she wants the story.

Christian: The enemy! Now you're asking the right questions. The song is originally about dealing with someone who you’re trying to get to their heart and figure out what’s inside, “melting your disguise” and it’s not working and you’re sort of banging your head against the wall, so to speak. I referenced some romantic poetry for it and it stuck. The video, was presented to us, and the label liked the song, and they sent it to a few different companies, and a video company came and had an idea for the song and we sorta worked together, and this speaks to corporate culture and we went in that direction. As long as people don’t think that those guys in the video are us, which I don’t think is the case.

If one of your songs could be featured in a tv show or movie from any time which would that be? 

Jeff: Hitchcock

David: Twin Peaks, definitely Twin Peaks.

Pat: That’s a good question. Our song Starry Night, in an episode of the Twilight Zone.

Jeff: Maybe even Tarantino, or even Rosemary’s Baby.

Christian: I was gonna say Flash Gordon, but I wouldn’t wanna screw that up because Queen did such a great job, so I’m gonna say Blade Runner and the song would be Ice Flower.

What does a dream tour look like for you? 

Pat: Stadiums and Arenas everywhere!

Christian: U.K., it’s where most of the music we love comes from and anytime we’ve played for people from the U.K. their reactions have been great. It’s just expensive to get over there.

Our Zine is called At Capacity and it was inspired by the different crazy concert experiences, do you have a memorable concert moment that that name what is your favorite concert experience that sticks with you, either that you performed or whether it’s a concert that you’ve attended?

Pat: My very first concert was from when I was. thirteen and I saw The Who perform Quadrophenia at Madison Square Garden, and that was my first ever rock concert my dad took me to. I just remember the stage being black and then the track came on and the lights came on. I saw that and was like “I want to do that!”

Ignacio: Roger Waters for me, just… yeah so amazing.

Jeff: Radiohead at Liberty State Park, honestly it wasn’t my first concert, but it was pretty cool.

David: I would say Kiss, it was liking seeing four comicbook heroes actually exist in real life.

Christian: Um so many, Suede, one of my all time favorites. It was so amazing, Brett Anderson jumps off the stage, screaming in my face, it blew my mind. 

Pat: There was one time where we were doing a Lou Reed birthday bash, and we were doing a bunch of Lou Reed, Velvet Underground songs, and Lenny Kaye who was on the bill jumped on stage with us. I just remember one second I’m playing the drums and I look over and Lenny Kaye is on stage with us.

These guys definitely know how to make an entrance, that is in the form of their debut album, Painted People. The Ritualists really know how to ride the rock and roll wave straight into their listener’s ears. Their songs, which are often energetic and emotional rock ballads, have mellow undertones but are completely unafraid of waking you up. It may just from the excitement that this quintet radiates when they enter the room but The Ritualist’s album sounds like a slew of celebratory anthem after anthem. With the victorious melodies and synth openings flooded throughout, the album could fittingly make an appearance in the next season of Stranger Things.  Each transition of the songs takes us somewhere new but in just the right way. The Ritualists know how to add balance to a dynamic sound.

If you have a taste for the nostalgic with a more modern twist and want to support a NYC based band, definitely check out The Ritualists and their album Painted People, out now and available on all streaming sites!

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