Sacred Metal Page > The Interview-Section > "Listen to me" - Digital Ruin's Jump to the Top?

"Listen to me" - Digital Ruin's Jump to the Top?

With their recently released "Listen"-Album (on Siegen Records) Digital Ruin jumps right into the bunch of top bands in the progressive-scene. Some people say "Listen" sounds like Part Two of QR's "Operation: Mindcrime", but it's much more! I say: it's an unique, epic and very intensive piece of music, with many spoken parts and fantastic arrangements. Read what singer Matthew Pacheo recently told me:


1. When did DIGITAL RUIN form and how did you meet each other?

Matt: Well Digital ruin has been together since 1989. I think. I didn't join the band untill sometime around 1992. Back then we had a few differant names for the band. We didn't start calling ourselves Digital Ruin untill 94 or 95. Some of the other names were: Shattered Image and Shadowplay. We will not change the name of the band again. Digital Ruin truely represents what we are doing. As far as how we met each other, I was the last person to join the band so I can only tell you about how I met Digital Ruin (Shattered Image at the time I joined). I was taking vocal lessons from a friend of mine who also sang in a progressive metal band from Massachusettes called HAMMERSMYTHE. He told me about this band from Providence who was looking for a singer. I was already in a band at the time called ADVISARY but I had my eyes open always, just in case something better came along. I contacted Dave Souza the guitarist for Digital Ruin and he sent me a demo tape that they had recorded with there old vocalist. I liked what I heard! I went for a tryout about four days later and the rest is history!


2. Did you release any demo's before signing the contract with siegen records?

Matt: Yes we did a five song demo when I first joined the band but it never went anywhere. Then we released another five song demo with some of the songs, with different vocals, from the "LISTEN" CD. You can't find these demo's anywhere thank god. As far as I'm concerned "Listen" is our first CD. Thats our starting point for Digital Ruin and it will only get better!


3. Tell me more about your fantastic debut "LISTEN"! What exactly is the storyboard about, as I know it is a concept album? How long did it take to record such a classic?

Matt: LISTEN is a concept CD. Its not the kind of album you listen to once. I recomend a good set of headphones. Turn down the lights and make sure you have no plans for at least an hour. Or two! We are a progressive power metal band. The CD is very atmospheric. There are wierd effects, melodic vocals, rougher vocals, samples, taking voices, keyboards, heavy guitars and scary lyrics. If you buy this CD with this in mind, you will not be disapointed.

As far as the storyboard goes, I don't like to give it away. I like the idea of different people having different interpatations of it. Altough, I am open to personal questions about the concept. Just email me your question and I'll get back with you shortly!

"Listen" took about one year to record because we first recorded five songs and planned on releaseing that as an EP. But due to an overwhelming response we decided to release a full length CD instead. We went back in the studio a few months later, after writing the additional material, and finished the CD. It was worth it!


4. I've heard that journalists compare Digital Ruin to older Queensryche. Do you feel comfortable with that?

Matt: Absolutely! I love old queensryche and if I told you that Digital Ruin was not influenced by what queensryche did in the 80's, I would be lieing. Although Digital Ruin is not a clone band in any way. Digital Ruin is Digital Ruin. Anyone who has the CD can back me up on that!


5. Tell me your ten alltime favorite albums! Each music fan has a long list of very disappointing experiences concerning new albums of their favorite bands. What are yours?

Matt: Top ten! I'll try my best! In no special order!
1. Dream Theater "Images and words"
2. Sanctuary "Into the mirror black"
3. Hier apparent "One small voice"
4. King Diamond "Abagail"
5. Manowar "Into glory Ride"
6. Riot "Thundersteel"
7. Crimson Glory "Trancendence"
8. Queensryche "Rage for order"
9. Black Sabboth "TYR"
10.Judas Priest "Painkiller"
I could name 10 more that are up there!

How about disappointing albums!
Dream Theater "Falling into infinity"
Queensryche "Here in the now fontier"
King Diamond (Last three)
Manowar (newest)
Crimson Glry "Strange and Beutiful"
Riot (Last Three)
Gama Ray (anything after scheeps)
Helloween (anything after Keeper part one)


6. What kind of music do you hate?

Matt: Rap, Grunge and Alternative. Don't get me started!


7.Whats your daily job? How do you earn your money?

Matt: I'm a part time machinist. I program computeized machines that cut all kinds of metals. I work only as much as I have to. Just enough to survive untill Digital Ruin starts paying the bills!


8. Tell me more about your musical background. Who are your idols, especally in the way of singing? Who are some of your bandmates favorate musicians? Is Digital Ruin your first professional band?

Matt: I grew up in Fall River, Massachussettes. Started singing when I was about 15. I listened to bands like Kick axe, Icon, Accept, Rough cut, King Kobra and Manowar back then, to name a few. I took about two years of opera lessons but that didn't work out because I loved METAL. I played in about 6 metal bands before I joined Digital Ruin but none were as professional as DR. Some of my idols back then were: Eric Adams, Dio and Geoff Tate. Some idols of today are: James Labre (altough I hate what he did on there new CD) The guy from Angra and Russel allen (I think thats the guy from Symphony X). As far as the bandmates are concerned, aside from the BIG THREE, Dave likes old king diamond and Mike and Tim both like Marrilion alot.


9.Do you feel that you are an underground band making underground music for an underground audience?

Matt: No! We are just another metal band trying to be heard. I don't really think metal is underground right now. I thought metal was doing good in europe. At least thats what I've heard. In the USA metal is just plain old DEAD. Will it ever come back in the states? Who knows. At least POWERMAD 98 is giving it a fighting chance.


10. Why didn't you play at the powermad festival?

Matt: Because we were having problems with one of the guitarists at the time. His personal life was screwed up and he wasn't sure if he wanted to be part of Digital Ruin any longer Eventually, a week or two before POWERMAD, he decided to leave the band because of these problems. No, there is no plan to replace him. Dave Souza, our other lead guitarist will handle all guitar in the future.Yes, we will still be going for that two guitar sound and if we need another guitarist in the future we will deal with it then!


11. Hows the metal scene in theUSA today? Do you have some special tips concerning any great bands over there? Do you have contacts to other bands?

Matt: Metal is DEAD in the USA! At least it is on the east coast! Don't get me wrong, there are still a few really good metal bands that are starting to make some noise like: THE QUITE ROOM, SOUNDSCAPE, MERCURY RISING, ETERNITY X, FORSEEN, and SYMPHONY X to name a few. But overall, its extreamly hard to get a record deal, A GOOD RECORD DEAL, here in the states.

The only tip I have about metal bands from the states is: Symphony X is AWSOME! They are my FAVORITE!

I've talked with a few of these bands but we don't talk all the time.


12. Do you know something about the german metal scene? Any favorite bands?

Matt: I've heard that metal is going strong in germany. Weather thats true or not, I don't know! My favorite new bands currently are: Symphony x and Angra.Thats about it for new stuff! I still listen to alot of old metal CD's. See my top ten!


13. Tell me about your future plans! When will your music conquer the world? Have you written any new songs and has your style changed? To be honest, I would like to hear more classic songs like the song "LISTEN", which is my favorite off the album!

Matt: Our future plans are: FINISH the new DIGITAL RUIN CD! We have 14 new songs written and we are in the middle of preproduction right now. The style is exactly the same with a few small differences. More vocals, less samples, better production and more thought into the songwritting (verse/chorus/bridge). But still DARK, PROGRESSIVE, EPIC, HEAVY METAL! Still DIGITAL RUIN! We plan on finishing the new CD before the end of the year! Hopefully in time for POWERMAD 98! I think you will like the new stuff because it does sound a LITTLE more classic like the song "LISTEN". Just a little!


14. Comments on the following albums!

Queensryche (NEW): Absolutely hate it!
Metallica (NEW): Absolutely hate it!
Foreseen "A prophets Dream": I havn't heard it! But had a great time hanging out with these guys at powermad!
Savatage "The wake of Magellan": I think John should sing all the time!!!!!!! Don't like it!
Fates Warning "APSOG": One of my Favorites of 1997! Great job guys!
Sampler "POWERMAD": It was O.K., I think the POWERMAD 98 sampler will be 1000 times better!
Tribe after Tribe "Love Under Will": I Never heard of this band!
Crimson Glory "st": AWESOME!
Tori Amos "Little Earthquakes": It's interesting that you choose this album! I like this album. Don't like her new stuff!
Psychotic Waltz "A Social Grace": Never heard this CD or any CD from this band!


Michael, thanks so much for all your help with spreading the word about DIGITAL RUIN!
Lastly, for those of you who have our CD entitled "LISTEN", I hope you enjoy it!
THANKS! See you on tour, HOPEFULLY, SOON!

Farewell Matt