As Vinnie Caruana recently reminded us on this very website, Long Island has produced a great number of quality hardcore bands throughout the years. Rule Them All should be included in that sentiment. "Bits of Silent Majority, Capital, and Mind Over Matter can be heard here echoing all over the EP," wrote No Echo's Adam Yoe in his review of Rule Them All's recently released EP, Dreams About...
The EP is an exhilarating listen, stuffed with uplifting melodies and anthemic parts that are all bookended by driving arrangements that never let up. Since we're such big fans of the record, No Echo asked the Rule Them All guys to tell us about some of the more unlikely influences that inspired the music on Dreams About...
Jon Gusman (vocals): I've had a pretty strong love for Prog Rock since I was 12 which I'm definitely a lot more open about now than I was in past years but for any prog head, Rush is as good as it gets. When Richie and I started fleshing out the ideas he wrote for the songs on Dreams About..., I started noticing that he was sneaking in some odd time signatures and tempo changes. I obviously had no issue with that because I felt that we were exploring new ways to make our song structures more stimulating.
I think the amount of time I've spent listening to Permanent Waves and 2112 really shaped the way I think about lyrics as well. Not that I'm writing full concepts like "Bytor and the Snowdog" but I really like the idea of imagery in my lyrics. Not to mention, being a drummer first, Neil is God.
Richie Armour (guitar): I’m obsessed with trying to incorporate open strings and chords into every song we write and Alex Lifeson is the king of that. He has a way of finding unique voicings to make all his chords sound huge and his style has been imbedded into my guitar playing DNA. Rush rules.
Jon Gusman (vocals): Smashing Pumpkins are pretty essential to this band. Richie and I became friends over the fact that Siamese Dream was our mutual favorite album. Abbas and I talk all the time about how [drummer] Jimmy [Chamberlain] is also God. A lot of the rock stuff on our EP definitely follows in the wake of the groovy loose guitar sounds on both Gish and Siamese Dream.
Richie Armour (guitar): What Jon said.
On the Might of Princes
Andy Laurino (bass): On the Might of Princes is incredibly influential to me as a musician and a hardcore kid. Their music helped me come to the realization that playing bass guitar in a hardcore band can be more than simply following along with the guitar player. A concept that I try to keep in mind when writing. Their music was also influential as an entry point into hardcore music in general.
When they played their final shows in 2007, I was 16 and could not get into the 21+ venue. My friend Pete and I reached out to the bass player of On the Might of Princes via a message board (Viva la Vinyl) asking if he could sneak us in, which he happily did. The set they played that night cemented my love for LIHC and probably set me on a course that ultimately led to my playing in Rule Them All.
Richie Armour (guitar): Johnny Marr is another guitar hero of mine and, similarly to Alex Lifeson, seems to just have an endless arsenal of cool/weird open chords. Also, all of their art rocks and for our last EP I told Kyle to make it look like the Smiths.
Andy Laurino (bass): They gave me the confidence to play weird and wonky riffs because it sounds awesome every time they do it.
Abbas Muhammed (drums): Helmet is one of my favorite bands and I was on a huge strap it on kick when we were writing for it. I was completely trying to ape John Stanier’s style for the intro of "Teacher."
Honorable mentions: Faith No More, Inside, Guided by Voices, John Frusciante, Dinosaur Jr., Hum, Failure, The Stone Roses, the Rolling Stones
Rule Them All's new EP, Dreams About..., is out now via Flatspot Records and available on both vinyl and digital.
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