Interview with Vancouver's Resurgence
We Chatted With Resurgence Guitarist Ron Holloway
The talented guitarist talks band names, drummers and the monotony of the work day.
By: Mike Redston
Here at Sacred Exile, we cover all genres of music from all around the world, however, we certainly love to see great bands coming out of our hometown of Vancouver, Canada. Especially a crushing new death metal band!
Resurgence has recently surged onto our radar and should certainly be on yours wherever you are in the world. 10 years after the original band’s inception, Resurgence finally released its highly anticipated debut album, Besieged, last August. In their words: “Besieged is an 8-track onslaught of catastrophic metal commotion that is sure to grab new American metal fans by their throats and beat them into a writhing submission” – hell yeah.
We caught up with guitarist Ron Holloway, to find out more about the band and their first album.
SE: Could you provide a brief history of the band's formation and early years?
Ron: First and foremost Mike, thanks for taking the time to chat with me. Resurgence was my high school project that I formed in late 2006. We cycled through different members until 2010 when it fell apart. I was able to reform the band in 2012 and have been fortunate enough since to have a solid drummer up until very recently. We are currently looking for a touring drummer. Having someone who is able to play and commit to this project has been the bane of my existence but I’m happy I finally got to put Besieged out.
SE: Where did the name Resurgence come from?
Ron: It’s kind of funny because it really had no meaning when we picked it but here we are… You know, high school kids find a cool word. Since then, it’s now got some meaning considering we keep having to revive ourselves due to losing members.
SE: You guys have been around since 2007, were the songs on Besieged written a long time ago or did they come about more recently?
Ron: The core of this album was written a long time ago. Some of these songs we’ve been playing since the very beginning. "Sodomy By Chainsaw" was the very first song I wrote for this band. Certain songs have been tweaked and fine-tuned leading up to recording the record. I’m sure it doesn’t come as a surprise that we’re sitting on almost two more albums worth of material right now.
SE: Could you tell us about your songwriting process - is it a collaborative effort or more individual? Who does most of the writing?
Ron: I do most of the core writing for Resurgence. Basically, I’ll come into the room with a song and we’ll play it and kind of collectively adjust it as we go. Everyone adds their ideas and it goes on a whiteboard. When it comes time to record, we pick what we think sounds best together/what we like best at the time.
"We’re sitting on almost two more albums worth of material right now."
SE: Is there an overarching lyrical concept or theme on Besieged?
Ron: I would say there’s some connection with most of the lyrical content. The songs are all meant to be something everyone can relate to. The monotony of a work day, love lost, anger, redemption, self-loathing. These are all feelings that most people have felt at some point in their lives.
SE: One great thing about Besieged is how many musical subgenres are all intertwined together. There’s sections of brutal death metal, straight groove, and then also some melodic sections mixed in as well and you pull it all off. Was there a conscious effort to differentiate yourself by not sticking to one subgenre or did it just naturally come about in the writing process?
Ron: It wasn’t intentional. If it was heavy and I liked it, it stuck. I wanted to stay true to what I liked so if it was a death metal riff, it had to be a death metal riff that represented me. If it was a thrash riff, it had to be a thrash riff that represented me.
Resurgence’s debut album Besieged is out now! Listen here:
SE: How was working with Rain City Recorders in Vancouver? How did this relationship come about?
Ron: It was a lot of fun. I love that studio and working with Matt Roach was definitely an experience. We smoked a lot of weed and ate a lot of crazy food. I asked my buddy JP from a band here in Vancouver called Revenger if he knew any decent engineers. He put me in touch with Matt and that’s kind of how our friendship started.
"It’s always fun getting way too drunk to actually remember any of the shows he does."
SE: You have performed in Zakk Wylde and Pantera cover bands, and these influences can definitely be heard in some of the groovier sections on Besieged. Could you tell us about your other big musical influences in the world of metal? Who is your favorite artist outside of metal and rock genres?
Ron: I’m a huge fan of anything Devin Townsend does and I’m super bummed that DTP is no more. It’s always fun getting way too drunk to actually remember any of the shows he does. I’ve been listening to a lot of Wheeler Walker Jr. and Chris Stapleton lately… Chris Stapleton especially. The power in his voice is crazy. Oh, and Run The Jewels.
SE: What other upcoming young metal bands do you admire?
Ron: There are so many bands so I’m going to drop a handful from my hometown otherwise we could be here all day. I don’t know if they count as up and coming because their newest album is killing it right now, but I’m a big Archspire fan. I’m also a fan of Neck of the Woods, Truent, Revenger, Expain, and Nylithia.
SE: What do you think is a common misconception about heavy metal fans?
Ron: That’s something I’ve never really thought about or encountered. I’ve never really been on the receiving end of the “Oh, you’re a metal guy” thing. Maybe they’re just secretly judging me behind my back. Who knows.
SE: How is the metal scene in Vancouver?
Ron: This city is pretty crazy in terms of metal. I’d say it’s doing pretty well if you look at the talent that comes through here on top of our homegrown talent. You could go to a local show on any given night and find a sick band playing.
SE: When are you playing your next show?
Ron: July 28th in Maple Ridge, BC will be our next show. We’re playing with our homies in Neck of the Woods and West of Hell. I’m also playing Loud As Hell Festival in Drumheller, AB with Vantera on August 3rd.
SE: Thanks so much for your time Ron, is there any other specific message you would like to convey to the readers?
Ron: Support local music and also did you know that head banging snakes can sense an earthquake from 75 miles away, up to five days in advance. So if you see a snake acting all snakey, find a sturdy table. Ask Jeeves about it.
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