After a triumphant return at 2012’s 70,000 Tons of Metal, Metal Church decided to get back in the studio and work on what would become Generation Nothing. Released last month via Rat Pak Records, it is a really solid blend of older and newer sounds, while keeping its identity. I got the chance to sit down with vocalist Ronny Munroe and we discussed all things Metal Church as well as his solo endeavors and the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. Take a look:
Amps: How’s everybody feeling? You all fired up about this record? The early buzz is really good.
Ronny: Yeah, everybody’s really happy with what’s going on so far. It just hit the streets yesterday and the reviews thus far have been really good. Plus, Rat Pak Records is really doing a great job for us, I couldn’t be happier with them.
Amps: You’ve played with some greats outside of Metal Church (TSO, Michael Wilton, Chris Caffery, etc.). Any plans for another solo record after this album/touring cycle winds down?
Ronny: Yes, I do actually. Before Kurdt (Vanderhoof, guitarist and founding member) called me to discuss Metal Church again, I had already written a lot of an album with my writing partner, Paul. So we are gonna release that on Rat Pak after the first of the year. It would’ve come out sooner, but the Metal Church thing happened, and that’s always my number one priority. It will be called Electric Wake, but we’ll talk more about that when it’s out.
Amps: How did you guys know it was time to come together in 2012?
Ronny: Kurdt just felt it was the right time. I was kind of waiting around to see what would happen. We’re all good friends, Kurdt and I talk just about every day. It was just a matter of timing. He felt that this was it, and I agreed with him. You know, the 70,000 Tons of Metal cruise was great for us, and there was just something in the stars.
Amps: Have we talked about a tour yet? What would be a good package for you?
Ronny: To be honest we’ve got some people working on a tour that will go from mid-February to mid-March for a first leg in the U.S. We’re also gonna go over to Belgium and Finland in June. We’re playing Graspop Metal Meeting in Belgium and Tuska Open Air in Finland. That will be the first time in the band’s history that we’ve played Finland, so we’re excited about that. The record just hit the streets yesterday and we’re just gonna wait a little bit and see what kind of offers we get, too.
Amps: So, I have to say you guys won me over. I’m now going back through some of the older stuff for the Hell of it, and my iTunes bill is showing that!
Ronny: (Laughing). That’s great, love to hear it!
Ronny: Yeah, when Kurdt started playing me some of the things he’d been writing it really got me excited. Stuff like “Bulletproof” and “Scream” really harkened back to the old days without chasing the past. He wrote some great, dark stuff that really inspired me vocally with a renewed sense of purpose. I went in there and screamed my ass off! Everybody did a great job on this record, performance-wise, so we couldn’t be happier.
Amps: Especially on “Noises In the Wall” What a song!
Ronny: Every record, Kurdt has a “magnum opus” as he calls it, and that is it on this record. The parts really blend well together. It’s a well-written song.
Amps: “The Media Horse” though, is far and away my favorite on the record. And you wrote the lyrics to that one. Tell me about it.
Ronny: Well, thank you. And yes I did. That’s a cool song, man. That’s basically about the media and how they dangle the carrot in front of us and make everything sound worse than it is, and we follow right along. Most people, not me (laughing)! But the average Joe, they fall for that. And some of it’s true, but a lot of it’s not. I just don’t like how the media uses scare tactics. I’m not into that.
Amps: You’re a trained vocalist. What do you do to best take care of your instrument?
Ronny: You just have to take care of yourself. You can’t be partying like crazy, doing this and that. You’ve gotta get sleep. I try to take care of myself, eat correctly, take my vitamins, and don’t do too much screaming outside of the stage. Keep it quiet, that’s what I do.
Amps: So, you’re Washington State born and raised?
Ronny: Yep, Tacoma, Washington, born and raised.
Amps: I’ve thought about moving to the Pacific Northwest. Do you recommend it?
Ronny: Yeah, it’s beautiful here. Yes, there’s a lot of rain and cloud cover, but if you wanna see all four seasons, this is the place to be. I’ll send you some photos.
Amps: Ronny, what would you like to say to the Metal Church fans out there who’ve been waiting for this?
Ronny: Thank you, thank you very much for sticking with the band this long. And we hope everyone enjoys the record. We worked our asses off on this, we really did. We put a lot of love and effort into it, and tried to put out the best possible record we could for the fans. That’s all we can do, so I hope you guys really dig it, and please visit our sites and drop us a line.
Metal Church is back in a big way, people. Not only that, but Ronny Munroe is one BUSY guy! In addition to the solo record next year, he’s also got a great partnership with Biohazard Apparel that you can check out HERE. You can also see what else he’s up to at ronnymonroe.com, and be sure to check metalchurchmusic.com for all things Metal Church. Tour dates are starting to come in, including a show here in Dallas on February 23 at Trees. Hope to see you there!!