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Nightmare On Ruhl Street: Rick Ruhl Of Every Mother’s Nightmare Speaks Exclusively

By Larry Petro, News Monkey
Tuesday, January 22, 2002 @ 10:43 AM

Rick Ruhl Speaks To KNAC.COM A

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A few months ago, I had the opportunity to interview Every Mother’s Nightmare at a concert they played in Houston, Texas. Everybody was present but lead vocalist Rick Ruhl. I found out a lot about what they had been up to and how the newest configuration of this band came about. Recently I had a chance to catch up with Ruhl to get an update on the group. The follow up to their last effort, Smokin Delta Voodoo, should be out by the time you read this. Deeper Shade of Grey is a moodier, heavier endeavor from the band, yet still retains their Southern fried, Dixie sound and pop-metal hooks. It’s chock full of raw, in-your-face, straight-ahead good old fashioned American rock n’ roll, which is something I think we could all use a little of right now. Yes, Every Mother’s Nightmare is back in a big way and Ruhl was more than happy to chat about their newest CD…

But first a little history lesson…

You’ll remember that Every Mother’s Nightmare released two CDs in the early ‘90s, their self-titled debut, which contained the hit ballad "Love Can Make You Blind," and 1993’s Wake Up Screaming. The band managed to gain a loyal following, but the music scene was evolving into grunge and alternative and left the band nowhere to go but down. The band never really achieved the success they had worked so hard for. Following the brief tour supporting Wake Up Screaming, the band virtually disappeared from the rock world. And that seemed to be the end of the band. But not so fast….

The band merely went into a hibernation of sorts, waiting for the winter of hard rock to thaw so that they could reemerge. And reemerge they did, with all the hunger of a bear that's been sleeping away for months. But time had changed the band in many ways. Gone were most of the original members that made the name semi-famous, save only for lead vocalist Ruhl, who was determined not to let his band die. Over the years, Ruhl managed to assemble one of the best lineups for what is basically a cover band of a virtually unknown act…and I mean absolutely no disrespect to current members Travis Hall, Troy Fleming, Jeff Caughron and Kris “Newt” Beavers when I say that. On the contrary, the exact opposite is true. This lineup has got to be one of the hardest working out there today. They have done everything possible to break free of the labels that were put on the original members, that being a glam, hair, or sleaze band.

Well, EMN, as they are now called, recently came back to Houston once again to play a New Year’s Eve show with Lillian Axe and I managed to snag Rick at the club a few hours before the show and pick his brain about the most recent happenings with the band, including the release of their new CD Deeper Shade of Grey.

Here we go!!!!

KNAC.COM: Okay, first of all, I’d like you to tell everyone about the new CD that just came out.
RICK: The new CD is called Deeper Shade of Grey. It’s kind of a dark album. It’s really cool, it’s a little more modern than what we usually do. It’s kind of a progression of what’s going on, but still doing what we do. It’s out January 12th.

"This record has got kind of a harsh live sound to it. It’s not polished whatsoever."
KNAC.COM: So, how does it differ from your last effort, Smokin’ Delta Voodoo?
RICK: Well, it’s just another progression of anger, anger at shit that’s went wrong for us for a while.

KNAC.COM: Do you use personal experiences?
RICK: Yeah, pretty much everything this band does is [based on] something we’ve been through. We just can’t sit and write a party song or whatever. It’s usually something I’ve been through. I’ve got the most turmoil in my life.

KNAC.COM: In the wake of the September 11th attacks, you guys had to cancel the Road Dogs of Rock Tour that you were gonna do that featured you guys, Tuff and Roxx Gang. How come you guys didn’t just postpone it and start again around now?
RICK: Well, I think it was just all the band’s timing on everything, you know? Everybody’s trying to eat by playin’ and stuff and we had one little window to do that thing and it kinda came together real fast and that stuff went down. It still might happen, but I don’t know when. Right now it’s just timing with everybody doing different things. It’s like we just went and started recording since we had a break.

KNAC.COM: I hear you might hook up the same booking agent as Ratt and Warrant to do EMN. Is that true?
RICK: Uh, actually we’re not locked in, we’re working with someone new right now which I can’t even say because we’re not locked in with nothing yet, but we’re kinda in between right now. There’s a 40 date tour getting ready to be booked with like ten bands and it’s mainly gonna be festivals and stuff like that. There’s nothing on paper yet though, it’s all just talk right now.

KNAC.COM: Well, that leads perfectly into my next question. Bobby Blotzer recently posted something on the Ratt website saying that they were trying to get together a six or seven band package amphitheater deal. Have they asked you to be in that?
RICK: Well, the dude that’s putting it on has pretty much guaranteed us a spot on it, but like I said, it’s not on paper so that could all change. It would be cool, I mean my mom used to do their hair back when they were playing coliseums. My mom was friends with those guys.

KNAC.COM: So when’s the official release party for Deeper Shade of Grey?
“Pretty much everything this band does is based on something we’ve been through. We just can’t sit and write a party song or whatever. “
RICK: February 9th.

KNAC.COM: So what’s next for you guys?
RICK: Play as much as possible. We’re just gonna do basically what we did last year, put an album out and tour around until we record another one and then do it again.

KNAC.COM: When you were out on tour this past summer you had a lot of shows that for one reason or another got cancelled or the club closed before you could play there.
RICK: Well, what happened on that thing was the booking agent sent us a list of shows that he was trying to get and it got out to everywhere that these were the shows. [But those were the clubs he was trying to get] and he sent revised versions whenever he [would get something nailed down]. The first one he did, it got out. So I said, “Don’t send me anything until it’s nailed down’ cuz people get a hold of stuff and then it’s all over.”

KNAC.COM: You guys like working with Perris Records?
RICK: Yeah, Tom lets me do what I want to do. He just says, “Man, record what you like.” He’s not real keen on the heavier, darker stuff. He’s more into the, I guess, pop kinda radio-hook thing, which everybody is. We play some of the “mad” stuff we write and he’s like, “That’s pretty cool, but ya’ll are like depressed aren’t you?” Yeah, a little bit.

KNAC.COM: You guys put out three CDs in the past twelve months. Are you planning on keeping that same pace?
RICK: We’re going for a record man. We’re gonna try to put out as many albums as possible. The Back Traxx album was written and shopped in ’94. We were dealing with Warner Brothers and they loved the record but they said they didn’t know how to market it -- it’s too southern and it’s too heavy, what do we do with it? So I said, “How about just putting a little money into it and put it out.” That didn’t work. So we recorded it in ’94 and it’s been sitting around forever and we started listening to it and Tom heard it and was like, “Man, you guys should put that out.” We had already recorded it so we put it out. We used to do a lot of the songs from that album but nobody knew ‘em. The weird thing about the Back Traxx album is we put it out with no advertisement or anything, we just put it out and now we get emails and stuff all the time about it.

KNAC.COM: I noticed after the last interview I did with you guys for KNAC.COM, there were a lot of rants that were very positive saying how glad they were that you guys were finally getting some exposure again.
RICK: Nine times out of ten someone will come up and say, “Hey man, I’m glad you guys got back together,” and I’m like, “We never broke up!” This record is a lot more live sounding then the last one. It’s got kind of a harsh live sound to it. It’s not polished whatsoever. We wrote the whole album in under two weeks, recorded it in two weeks and mixed it in under a week. We had a little window to do this thing, so we went home and finished writing the record and then recorded it.

KNAC.COM: Well Rick, I appreciate you taking the time to do this. We’re looking forward to more shows from you guys.
RICK: I appreciate it.

Here’s hoping that 2002 is a much better year for EMN. Thanks to the band as always for being some of the most down to earth and coolest musicians I have ever met.

All live pictures by Larry & Lea Petro

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