Hailing from the small town of Alliance, Ohio this 4 piece is attempting to lead a new wave of music, which they refer to as "Engineering Rock". I recently sat down with Adam Ladd (bass) and he told me a little bit more about this interesting band.
Travis: Who is Kerith Ravine? How did it start, and how long have you guys been together?
Adam: Kerith Ravine is Michael Shepard, Patrick Boyle, Brian Yoder, and Adam Ladd. Michael started the band around 4 years ago, or so, and he is the only original member. I (Adam) joined around 2.5 to years ago... then came Brian, and then Patrick, who replaced James on guitar about a year and a half ago.
Travis: Kerith Ravine.....intriguing name, is their story or meaning behind the name?
Adam: The meaning behind the name Kerith Ravine comes from 1 Kings 17. Here, Elijah went to the king of Isreal and prophesied that it would not rain for the next few years until he had given the word. God then instructed Elijah to go hide in the Kerith Ravine, where he was supplied with water to drink from a brook, and ravens brought him food twice a day. It was where God kept His prophet safe during a time of judgment.
Before Brian joined the band, we were called Zero Hour. After finding out that there was a record label in New York by that name, we decided to change it. It was a perfect time for a name change, though. Brian's drumming took our music to the next level... it was after he joined the band that we really started maturing musically. So, it felt right to have a new name at that point...
Travis: What are the future plans of Kerith Ravine, any new releases to look for?
Adam: Well, we recorded three new songs recently. They're the best songs we've written so far. We're mostly using them as a demo. We'd like to get them printed up and sell them as an EP when we start touring again this spring. So, we'll see what happens. We'd like to record a new full length this year sometime. We're going to tour a bit in May, June, and July.
Travis: If I'm correct Arron Sprinkle produced your first CD, did he work with you on the EP?
Adam: Actually, it was Aaron's brother Jesse Sprinkle. Jesse was the drummer for Poor Old Lu. He engineered "Streams of Jettison", which was awesome. He's a great guy, and he and his wife were so hospitable. He didn't work with us on the EP, we were on too tight of a budget to bring anyone to Ohio for a couple weeks. It would've been fun if he did though!
Travis: Is Kerith a full time or part time thing? What else do you guys do with your time?
Adam: Right now Kerith Ravine is a part time thing. We'd like it to be full time eventually. We all hold down jobs in the meantime. Michael is a security guard at the local mall. Brian is a carpenter. Patrick and work for Starbucks. We also like to bowl, watch movies, read, write, and watch Twin Peaks and X-files whenever we can.
Travis: Half of my friends work at Starbucks, what is your view on frappuccino's?
Adam: Well.... I admit that I have enjoyed them from time to time. But, I usually avoid them at all cost. I wish people would just learn to like black coffee... it's simple, cheap, and there's nothing better than a hot cup of black coffee. I don't know what SoCal Starbucks are like, but out here almost everyone would rather pay 4 bucks for a cup of milk and sugar that almost tastes like coffee. Frappuccinos have to be the messiest drink to make, which doesn't help.
Travis: In SoCal the "Secular" and "Christian" scene is somewhat blended together, what is the music scene like in Ohio?
Adam: The scene here is really pathetic....I guess. I'm not much of a "scenester", though. I really don't even like going to shows. Sometimes, when I go to a show, I feel kind of like I'm going back to junior high. Everyone there is showing off their newest fashion, and trying to look as popular as possible. I just kind of sit in the corner and wait for it to end. There are a few decent musicians out here, but nowhere good for them to play. As far as the "Christian" and "Secular" scenes blending together.... it's happening out here more and more, too. I think more bands who are Christians don't want to get stuck in that category for the rest of their careers. We certainly don't. We had a little peek into the Christian marketplace, and it was ugly.
Travis: Does Kerith plan on touring anymore? How did the first tour go?
Adam: In May, we have a few dates with Starflyer 59, and in June we may go out with No Knife for a week or two. We'll probably be out quite a bit in July too. Our first nationwide tour went OK. We have a lot of good memories, and it was fun hanging out with Ancient of Days when they weren't off swimming somewhere. We learned a lot, too. Like... never book a tour yourself... and never play at a place in Denver called Monkey Mania. God was good, though. Our van did a complete circle around the country, and we only had to change a tire. We're looking forward to doing it again.
Travis: What's Monkey Mania?
Adam: Monkey Mania is a little club out in Denver. It was a very scary little place. The nice young emo kids at the show that night saw us and Ancient of Days praying together before the show... and apparently they were either very frightened or very offended because they all left. They must've never seen prayer before. So, we ended up playing to the sound guys, Ancient of Days, and the other band called I-Farm. Instead of getting upset at the fact that everyone left... we put on the aviator sunglasses, rolled our sleeves up, and became a whole different band that night. Anyone who saw it will probably write about it someday.
Travis: What bands/musicians influence the music of Kerith Ravine?
Adam: We each have different influences... and since I'm speaking for everyone, I'll try to remember the important ones. We're influenced by our parents, the writings of CS Lewis, Richard Foster, and Thomas Merton, by films such as Top Gun, Fight Club, Pay it Forward, Immortal Beloved, and Willow. Musically... we're influenced mostly by Radiohead, Pedro the Lion, The Flaming Lips, Beethoven, Rachmoninov, The Prayer Chain, The Smashing Pumpkins, Hum, Mike Knott, Uncle Tupelo, and Sunny Day Real Estate. I know I'm forgetting a lot... Brian, Patrick and I are also very influenced by the TV show Twin Peaks.
Travis: What's the deal w/ Twin Peaks, I know some people that have those videos in a display case, what's so great about it?
Adam: The addiction to Twin Peaks is something that must be experienced, it can't really be explained. The show deals heavily with the spiritual realm, which makes it very interesting... and very dark. At the same time, it's one of the funniest shows I've ever seen.
Travis: Is there a message Kerith Ravine is trying to get across through the music?
Adam: Each song has it's own message. We don't have any one unified message like "Jesus loves you", or "don't eat meat and dairy products". Our songs generally communicate in one way or another that life goes beyond what we can see, hear, and feel. Each song is a story and usually it's meaning hides in metaphors and symbolism.
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