By Grant Lawrence
Unbelievably Bad Contributor
The wait is finally over. The debut full-length for Melbourne sludge lords The Ruiner is here to ram our earholes to the brim with doomy, filthy noise. Fuckin’ aye!
The Ruiner began life as a one-night-only bunch of mates known as Dirtypunkmutha paying tribute to their guitarist Craig Westwood and vocalist Jason Vassallo’s old nineties band – and one of this old timer’s fave Aussie bands – the bowel-rumbling Christbait.
UB had a chat with all-round top cunt bass player Jason Fuller (AKA Jason PC – Blood Duster/Dern Rutlidge), who also helms the kickarse Goatsound Studio – responsible for recording some seriously crazy and nasty tunes from some highly respected bands. We also got him to cough up some answers about why The Ruiner album took so bloody long to be released, and why you’ll have to go to Melbourne to see them play.
How did the Dirtypunkmutha show go, and what made you guys think: ‘shit, that was pretty cool, let’s get our own name and write a bunch of songs’?
Well, myself and Craig have pretty much been in bands together since Christbait broke up. First we did Dern Rutlidge together, then we did Young Breeder, which was essentially the same band – and that kind of merged into The Ruiner I guess. I think it was inevitable. The show we did as Dirtypunkmutha was a blast. I was the biggest Christbait fan in the universe I think, so it was cool to play those songs. I didn’t really see it coming as a show but was glad that it happened. We have spoken about doing it again someday, when we can find the time I guess.
Were Jason V and Craig W (founding members of Christbait) keen to be involved from the word go?
They were pretty keen to do it. I mean, neither of them were the instigators but they were not against it. I guess because it wasn’t being presented as a ‘Christbait reunion’ – it was a new band doing the Christbait songs. I doubt that a full-fledged Christbait reunion will ever happen, they are too different in personalities I think. But really Craig wrote every note that band played, and Jason V was the frontman and voice, so I guess this is about as close as anyone could get to the real thing. The timing just worked as well.
After teasing the world with a song or two online since recording the full-length two or three years ago, out of the blue you jerks finally decided to release it. Give us the ins and outs.
It was recorded in bursts, most of the drums were tracked at Toyland a couple years ago and we just added guitars at Goatsound when we decided what songs from those sessions were good. Then we added stuff here and there and did a song or two at a time. It always kind of went to the back of the line as I was always finishing up someone else’s record… having your own studio always hurts your own band. That said, I really liked recording this way as there was no pressure to ‘do an album’ in one hit, we just compiled what worked into a ‘thing’. I think it’s a pretty cohesive album at the end of the day.
The album has been worth the wait, the production is huge, songs are awesome. Were there any Christbait covers recorded at the sessions that are yet to see the light of day?
Thanks for the kind words about the record… I think it sounds good too… but no, we didn’t record any Christbait stuff, we pretty much ditched the Christbait stuff right after the gig we did. We struggled recording our own shit let alone worrying about their stuff.
We did do a song the other night at the album launch though, just to let people know where we came from I guess… that and the songs are still fun to play.
Gotta ask, what’s the hold up with this well overdue Christbait discography you had a hand in compiling that I’ve heard about the past few years? Is it ever coming out?
Yeah, it’s coming. I think it will be three vinyl records in a box with tons of info.
Everything has been remastered and it’s all ready, we just have to put up a pre-order to get it over the line. It’s going to be super expensive for us to make so hopefully there is enough demand for it. It will also be super limited too…
As well as relocating Goatsound to its new and bigger home, you have also started a label now, releasing a bunch of sweet Australian bands. What made this come about, and have you got anymore releases coming up?
Yeah, I have fuckloads of shit coming out next year. The biggest thing is the Blunt Shovel album, look out for them, they do kind of traditional death metal but with lots of really cool riffs and shit. They don’t take themselves too serious and are pretty much metal dorks but they are pretty rad at what they do, and I’m really looking forward to seeing what they do over the next couple years. That comes out in mid January. I’ve also got a ton of older shit coming out, a bunch of re-releases and also some vinyl like the Christbait box I have been talking up for a couple years. Actually, there will probably be about 100 releases next year, lots of them will be digital-only, and lots will be stuff that no-one gives a fuck about anymore, but all of it is shit that I think needs to be out there so it doesn’t just disappear forever. Check the Goatsound website for info more about all this stuff.
I was surprised to see The Ruiner album released on the quality fellow Melbourne label Desert Highways. What’s the go there, why not release on your own label?
A few years ago I had absolutely no intention of doing a label again, so when I ran into Anthony from Desert Highways at a gig I said something to the effect of, “You have terrible taste in music – you should put my band out.” He agreed that he should. Now I wish I had’ve done it myself; it would have made much more sense.
So since recording it all that time ago, what has The Ruiner been up to?
We have a done a few local shows including, an album launch that was fucking awesome with Horsehunter, Watchtower and Bunyip. That was a really good and fun show. Our drummer was suffering from appendicitis and we had to have a back up guy in case it got too bad. I don’t know if the tension of maybe his guts exploding on stage was what did it, but it was a really fun show. I am slightly disappointed that an ambulance wasn’t called.
Any plans to tour the album? Has Ruiner toured much yet since starting?
The Ruiner haven’t toured anywhere, and we don’t really have much intention of doing much of anything. We just don’t feel the need to go anywhere. We get offers for this and that but I’m constantly recording someone else so it makes it really hard to do our own thing. We may do some festival stuff if it comes up and is worth it, but after playing in touring bands for 20-plus years it gets a bit tiresome I guess.
No doubt you guys have a shitload of new material. What’s on the horizon for Ruiner?
We will be doing more recording, we love writing and playing and I can’t see that changing anytime too soon.
Have a squizz at Jason’s Goatsound stuff here: goatsoundstudios.bandcamp.com
And listen to The Ruiner, too: