Lineup: Finn, guitar/vocals; Tim Ryan, drums; Carmine Pernini, bass
Home base: New Jersey
Label: Atlantic
Album: Revival
Producers: Billy Anderson and Core
Web site:

Q&A with Tim

Tim Ryan: Hello, what's up?
Sheila Rene': Just sitting here grooving to your CD.

SR: You guys must be pinching yourselves in disbelief of your acceptance on this project. To make it into the Top 5 with the first album is sensational.
TR: Yeah, I guess so. That's true.

SR: You've gone from four years in the family basement and three years playing the clubs to the Top 5.
TR: It is, but I really don't know what to say about it. It was totally dropped on our heads.

SR: How did the signing happen with Atlantic Records?
TR: It's like this. My friend knew someone who worked there and I went with him one time with our tape and gave it to Jon Nardachone who's an A&R guy. He was really into us and then he played it for some more people at Atlantic and it worked.

SR: What's the biggest change in your lives since you've become a working, touring band?
TR: (laughter) There really isn't a change to us. We still don't have any money. The only change is that I'm not at home. I'm in Washington State.

SR: Being away from home is the biggest change.
TR: I'm so glad though.

SR: Who's responsible for the writing?
TR: We all write the tunes and Finn writes all the lyrics.

SR: Does he write from personal experiences. Are they old or new tunes?
TR: No, we just hang around and out of the blue he'll come up with a catchy line. Not even in a musical sense, just a line of words from the recesses of his mind that's right on. The titles of the songs come from all of us. I came up with the name for "Kiss The Sun."

SR: That's the first single off Revival. I'm becoming a real industrial freak. I like the way you mix in a little of that in your music such as "Way Down."
TR: The vocal sounds, like that?

SR: Yes, and on "Face" about 15 minutes into the song ...
TR: That's our hidden track. I always get into band's who have hidden tracks on their CDs. On that track I'm playing guitar and Finn's playing drums and Billy Anderson, our producer is singing.

SR: I just interviewed Neurosis who also used Billy Anderson on their album. They couldn't say enough good things about this guy.
TR: He's awesome. He totally rules.

SR: Did you know about him before you hired him?
TR: There's a band in San Francisco called Sleep and they're just the heaviest band ever. We are huge fans of theirs and then Jon Nardachone suggested Anderson. No way, Billy Anderson? He did the Melvins, Sick Of It All, 7 Year Bitch and many more bands that we really like.

SR: Neurosis was telling me that he's a very young guy. They liked working with him because he's their age and speak the same language.
TR: Yeah, that's right.

SR: Are you out of your teens now?
TR: Well, Carmine and Finn are 19 years old and I'm 23.

SR: You're a dinosaur. The basic tracks were done in two weeks.
TR: We did everything in two weeks including mixing.

SR: Then the songs were already written and well rehearsed.
TR: Oh, yeah. These are old songs. We recorded the album a year and a half ago so now we have another album written and ready to be recorded.

SR: Is the new material along the same lines?
TR: Ohhh, it's along the same lines but it has something new added. New and better influences.

SR: You're out on the road now with Orange 9MM, Fu Manchu, Clutch and yourselves. How's that going?
TR: It's a really good show. We've been out with Clutch before. They're still teaching us things that make it easier to travel. We're following Fu Manchu all around. The band most similar to us on this bill is Fu Manchu.

SR: How would you describe your style?
TR: We like to call it heavy soul. Soul being a relative term. Heavy, psychedelic rock is another way to describe us. If Jerry Garcia played in Black Sabbath you'd capture our live shows, not so much in our albums though.

SR: That's an interesting analogy.
TR: It has to be seen to be fully understood I think. Are you coming to the show?

SR: No, I'm in Austin, Texas and I'll see you next week at the Liberty Lunch. A good friend of mine, Al works at the Lunch and he'll be a great help to you. Tell him I sent you.
TR: It was so weird because I thought they don't have these accents in Washington.

SR: I just moved here after from living in San Francisco for 30 years.
TR: Oh, wow! We'll be playing S.F. in two days.

SR: How come "Sawdust" was mixed at Hyde Street Studios in S.F.?
TR: That was because we only had two weeks in the studio things just got so tight and we didn't have time left. There was an alternate song that we recorded and mixed called "Garden." It was supposed to be our big hit single so we went in there. The label and everyone else was concerned because we massacred the song and turned it away from being a radio-friendly hit into a monster six minute freak out song. Atlantic didn't like it and told us that it was horrible. We didn't have a single and our songs are too long. Billy Anderson was asked to come to San Francisco and mix "Sawdust" and we'll use it instead.

SR: How did the name Core come about?
TR: That was just pulled out at random. We needed a name and it's all about chaos I think. Things happen to us for a reason that are totally chaotic. This tour, the way we play and the way we got our name fit into that category. Chaos not in a bad way but in a confused state.

SR: Core means the center of something and in this case your music. I'm not too crazy about long names for bands.
TR: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

SR: If you could book your own tour who would you have touring with you?
TR: This is so funny because I think the best tour we could do right now would be us, Fu Manchu and the Monster Magnet who're from our town. That would be so much fun.

SR: Didn't you open for the Magnets before you got signed?
TR: That's an error in our bio. It's not true but we're working on it.

SR: When do you leave for the next show?
TR: Soon. We're an hour away and we've got to get going.

SR: Are they keeping you posted on your great numbers on all the trade charts?
TR: I don't really like to know that stuff because if does badly, I don't want to know because there's nothing we can do about it now. We're just flying by the seat of our pants, you know. That's the only way to go.

SR: I'm curious why you didn't put any lyrics in your package.
TR: Finn wasn't into it. He's the lyric guy. Everyone is always asking him what these songs mean? Their meaning is totally subjective. If you think it means something to you, someone else may take it another way. I don't even know if they mean anything to Finn. Maybe deep in his subconscious. He doesn't even tell me. I don't even want to know because it's probably too scary to even consider.

SR: Did you get into music first and then bring your brother Finn into it?
TR: It was me. I've always played the drums and then Finn started playing guitar and Carmine started on bass. It just all came together.

SR: The old school that you guys come from are almost all back on the road again.
TR: I know. I think the revival has begun. It's like the revival of psychedelic-ness and the revival of good song writing, the revival of jamming and helping out your brothers.

SR: The name of your album just happens to be Revival as well.
TR: That was Carmine's idea. I had another great name which I still intend to use on our next album. It's just super weird. Carmine though we should have a message. The message is to bring back the good stuff.

SR: They said 25 years or so ago that rock and roll would never last. We're still rockin' along with bands that have members over 50 leading the way.
TR: I don't think they're as good. I'm glad the Grateful Dead broke up. They're my favorite band but they're not the Grateful Dead without Jerry.

SR: Have you seen a lot of the Dead in concert?
TR: No, I've never seen a show. As far as I was concerned by the time I discovered them it was '95 and Jerry wasn't rockin' like he was in '67.

SR: I guess you parents have always supported your musical endeavors and are pretty proud of your success. Are they musically inclined?
TR: Oh, yeah. They're totally proud of us. My uncle's from Norway are in a jazz band.

SR: What's hot on the radio for you these days?
TR: I love the Melvins, Beck and Kyuss.

SR: Kyuss has always been great and I was devastated when they broke up.
TR: Yeah, but I hear they're back together. I heard it from three different sources in three different states. It may be an Internet hype.

SR: Do you have your own separate page apart from the Atlantic one?
TR: I just talked to this guy in Colorado Springs who's going to make a web page for us. He said if we sent him two 7" records, he'd build our page.

SR: That's a really cheap price. Do you surf the net?
TR: As far as I'm concerned people are going to plug in and start becoming robots themselves. I've never been surfing.

SR: It's very addictive so don't get started.
TR: I'm sure it is, but to me it's just a bunch of advertising now. It's on the way. Every ad you see on TV will jump over to the net.

SR: I love communicating and gathering news tidbits.
TR: I'm sure that's true, but for now I just don't have the interest or time for it.

SR: Okay, I'd better let you get into your packing and traveling for the next show. Thanks for your time. I'll come back and say hello at the Liberty Lunch.
TR: Thank you for you interest in our band. See ya in Austin!