I'm talking to Rob from Ruiner
You guys just played in Canberra at Bar 32, how'd it go?
It was good, wish it could have been a house, but you know, it's good not having to take the night off.
Have you always had this infatuation with George Michael?
No, I just the video on the screen while we were playing, I was entranced!
Ruiner toured Australia at the end of 2008. How did this tour compare to that one?
Pretty similar so far. The booking and managerial side of things was very different though. A friend of ours over here did all the bookings and another friend helped us with the paperwork side of things. There's no hostels this time around, no guaranteed accomodation.
Where are you guys staying tonight?
Somebody's friends house...I believe.
The band has put out an album pretty recently...how do you feel it compares to the other releases to you personally?
For me personally, I like it a lot better. I like it better than the last record. I don't know if I want to use the words “most honest”, but I guess you could say that about some of the songs. They reflect what I was feeling, what I was going through at the time.
A lot of the songs seem to have a lot of yourself put into them
I'm extremely conceited, yes, you got me. I have no other way to write a song. All the songs are from my experience. Writing something topical, I don't really like it, it's more likely to be scrapped. I may touch on politics but it's not something I actually write about. Apart from religion, there's no other topic I really like to pick at.
What's your political mindset?
I'd be pretty liberal. When it comes to gay rights, back home it's a big deal. Things like gay rights, it's incredible there's even conversation that it should be illegal. I guess I get a little iffy on things related to capital punishment. I see certain crimes in certain ways. Most of my family are from a police background. I guess some people might say that some of my views in regards to areas of the law are not so liberal.
What does your police family think of you being in a hardcore band?
My father is extremely liberal. As a matter of fact, some might say I'm more conservative than him. Everyone in the family has been very supportive of what I do most of the time. My Dad gives me shit, cost I'm always broke. I come home from tour, have to go to his house and find some way to try and get out of debt.
How does Ruiner fund their tours
We book all our own tours. Pretty much, when you're in Ruiner, the band will cover you to get there, then you're on your own from there.
When you come somewhere as far as Australia, how do you fund something like that?
The band will pay for it. We're pretty good with money as a band. As individuals, not so much. As the entity “Ruiner” we are good with money, we know what we're after. We can pull something together to go somewhere.
What's been the highlight of the tour so far?
We just hung out in Melbourne for a couple of days. We barbequed, I play basketball, we just hung out. When you've been on tour for a while, it's good to have days like that sometimes. On this tour so far I had my ipod stolen, I had food poisoning for two days straight. Asia just whooped my ass.
Where in Asia did you go?
We went right through South East Asia. Shows were amazing, but every day was getting on planes, off planes, up and down, all around.
Would you recommend other bands go to Asia?
Yeah, I would say if you're a band wanting to see what you're made of, go to South East Asia. See what you can deal with as a band. The shows are amazing, but it's the rest of the things you're dealing with. We've done a lot of touring, that was definitely one of the more strenuous tours we've ever done, and that's nothing against the people putting on the shows. It's just the travel really, getting on a plane every day, waking up at 3am to get on a plane at 6.
What happens once you finish in Australia?
We fly back to California, pick our van there, we've got a couple of weeks in North America. We zig zag in between the US and Canada. Then we go home for a month or two, then off to Europe with Carpathian, from here. Well, you know, from Australia. After that, who knows, we'll figure it out.
Any plans for a new album or anything like that?
No, not at the moment. After the Europe tour, we have no plans at all.
When is the Europe tour?
It'll be in July and August. The last show is on my birthday actually. It should be a good time, there's a whole heap of other bands in Europe around that time as well. I think the last show is in Berlin.
I saw Propaghandi in Berlin last year, that was pretty sweet
We got to play with Propaghandi last year, it was amazing. Probably one of the highlights of my life.
What's on high rotation in the van at the moment?
I don't know really, everyone just puts on their ipod, but I haven't got one, it got stolen. So I've just been sleeping most of the time. I have no idea.
What are you expecting from the rest of the tour?
If it keeps going the way it has been so far, it should be great. I'm not really expecting anything bad at all.
I guess the key question for the evening is...what song will you sing at karaoke?
My parents are actually karaoke Djs, they run the show at the karaoke. I've been around the karaoke world since I was about 13, I know all about it.
What's your karaoke special?
When I was young...I've never said this in an interview before, but I guess, I've never been asked about karaoke...I used to sing “I Would Do Anything For Love” by Meatloaf, with my mother. I love Meatloaf, I love that band, I love that man.
What's your favourite band of all time?
Nine Inch Nails...that's where “Ruiner” comes from. Nine Inch Nails are my all time favourites, they've stuck with me the longest. In more recent years, maybe Lawrence Arms would be my go to band.
Do you have anything to add or anyone to thank?