Interview with Ryan Sorensen singer/guitarist with Backlash and Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: How would you describe yourself or your band as an artist?
RS: I consider us (the band) as true believers in the style of music that we create. We know the legacy and history of Metal, particularly thrash metal, and we aim to honor the great artists that paved the way before us. We are truly dedicated to the craft of writing aggressive and fast music that we are emotionally and physically moved by.
PD: Can you tell us briefly about your background – i.e. where you’re from, how you came to make music, etc.
RS: We’re all from the south Chicago-land area and though all of our paths have been different – it is interesting to see how we’ve come to the same admiration for our style of music. Vaughan and I met each other at a gig where both of our prior and separate bands played. As those bands split we knew that both of us had the same dedication and work ethic to make this band work together. We later met Tyler through his wife at a show of hers and shortly thereafter he became our bass player. As we were ready to record our debut album I found Pressure Wave Studios in a town near to mine. Shawn is the owner, engineers and producer of Pressure Wave Studios and shortly after starting recording sessions he became our drummer.
PD: Who and what inspires you to make music, both in terms of musical and other influences? What do you like to write about in your songs?
RS: Musical influences vary in scope but our common denominators remain rooted in 80’s thrash such as: Metallica, Megadeth, Exodus, Testament etc. Each person brings a different style of songwriting so we’ve written songs about World War 2, Renegade Outlaws, the current music scene and personal events that have happened in our lives.
PD: What are your aspirations as an artist?
RS: To Play music as our sole profession. To leave our stamp on the Metal genre as one of its best live acts. To honor and praise the metal bands that came before us by writing the best songs we can and bringing them to as many people as possible.
PD: What is the proudest moment in your music career so far?
RS: Playing our first sold out show with Warbringer and Cavalera Conspiracy.
PD: Promoting one’s music is such a challenge these days, especially with so many new artists emerging from bedrooms in the day of the home studio. How is that going?
RS: Promoting can be a difficult endeavor but I believe that drives the creative mind to think outside the box. We’ve started posting song playthroughs on social media, started to create video and audio content on YouTube, creating our own posters as well as promotional pictures. It’s pushed us to break way from the norms that most bands seems to be tied to and I believe we’re seeing better results as time goes on.
PD: And how do you book and promote your live shows and tours? Any performances coming up?
RS: The key to booking is networking at the local level. If you want to get your band to play venues in your nearest large city – you MUST take the initiative to meet the venue workers, bands and fans that comprise the “scene”. There is no substitute for real legwork. Social media, videos and pictures are great tools to help coast your momentum but the heavy lifting must be done in person. Our next show is January 27th at Metal Monkey Brewing, Romeoville IL.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online? What about streaming sites like Spotify?
RS: The ease of access is great as a user. I appreciate that all it takes is for someone to join one of the apps to get all of our material – I Just wish there was something in place to compensate the artists with a living instead of peanuts. Lars was right.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
RS: Blacklist by Exodus. It’s an unadulterated and an unforgiving banger of a riff that will stick in your mind for weeks. It’s an instant pump-up that I think everyone can relate to. As soon as I hear that first riff start the hair on my arms stand up and it’s time to roll.
PD: Is there anything you don’t like about the music industry, which you would change if you could?
RS: The real music industry is shrouded from public view and the people that make decisions, make or break bands and tours are the people behind the scenes. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing (probably a necessary thing) so I’m not sure if that should be changed or not.
PD: So, what are you working on at the moment?
RS: Currently we’re looking at booking shows for the rest of 2023, finishing up the preproduction of our second album and we are looking for management.
PD: Where can we learn more about you and buy your music/merch online?
RS: You can find our official website, social media, merch, live dates, music and video at ffm.bio/backlash.
Band/Artist location – Joliet, IL (Chicago)
Website – Facebook – You Tube – Soundcloud – Bandcamp – Merch –
Instagram – Apple – Spotify – Amazon – Deezer – ffm.bio – Last Fm
Check our page for Backlash