This Is Hell guitarist Rick Jimenez answered some questions about the band's new album and future plans shortly after they completed the recording of the effort.
Can you begin by introducing yourself and telling us what you do in the band?
I'm Rick Jimenez, guitar player, semi-vocalist, wrestling expert, cleaning lady, personal trainer and Metallica aficionado.
You recently currently at Killingsworth Studio working on a new album. How far along in the recording process are you? What's the vibe like in the studio?
We're done now and just sent out the finished product for mastering. The vibe here is always the best. Being in LA to begin with makes it so I can get away from any distractions that aren't self imposed; I don't have that luxury when we record at home. The studio and crew here are all amazing and always make things as stress-free as possible.
How is it working with Tomas Costanza as a producer? Do you constantly make Seinfeld references?
We've worked with a ton of people at a bunch of studios and have had mostly really good experiences, but Tomas is by far my favorite person to work with. His ears are sharper than anyone's and he always brings out the best in us. Seinfeld references are too easy. Any rib or inside joke needs to be a little harder thought out or way more insulting. Or maybe we're just too stupid to not be able to get passed quoting Jerky Boys and Wayne's World still.
How will the new album compare to your past material?
That's hard for me to answer because I'm biased. I wanna essentially say, "It's way fucking better. It's the best thing we've ever done. It kicks every cock thats ever existed," but that's all my opinion and me being siked on new stuff. There are a lot of people that still think that Sundowning is our only good album; those people will hate this new one. It's way more metal than anything we've done, even Weight of the World. Sonically, it's the best sounding record we've recorded. That fact is undeniable. Either way, I couldn't be more siked on this record. And the fact that not just the 31-year old me is so siked, but this would be in the top of the rotation for the 14-year old me also.
Your records tend to follow themes. Will the new one have a theme, and can you reveal what it is?
This one and last one had looser themes overall than Sundowning and Misfortunes, but there are definitely some cohesive topics. The concepts of equality and opportunity and the complete lack of those that exist in this day and age is a recurring theme. The ideas of looking down and judging... these things become so commonplace, and it's something we should know better than, and it's something that isn't just a periphery topic to me. Add a quart of cyanide to that and you have a bit of the record topically.
Can you give us any more details on the album?
We have been playing some songs live. "Black History" is one of them, "Mi Nombre" is another. Any other details, you'll have to just wait a little longer...
How did your deal with Rise Records come about? Were you weary of signing with them when, at the time, their roster consisted mostly of metalcore acts?
When we left Trustkill, we looked around at a few labels. The industry has changed quite a bit over the years and even since we first signed with Trustkill. It was a matter of who was interested in us and then seeing who we liked from there. It was a slight concern with Rise that we would stick out like a sore thumb amongst a bunch of swoop-haired pretty boy and mosh bands, but when it comes down to it, fuck that. Who gives a shit? There are very few labels that aren't filled with bands like that, and the ones that aren't are usually too cool to give This is Hell the time of day anyway, don't have any money to even get the band in a decent studio, let alone make a record exist in the world, or usually a combination of both of those factors. What it really came down to was the fact that Rise wanted us and we liked what they had to say and what they had planned and their way of doing things.
You're going to be hitting the road with Underoath, Comeback Kid and The Chariot after you finish recording. What can we expect from those shows?
25-30 minutes of very loud face melting. A bunch of newer songs and a few old songs. We play first and we're way different from all those bands. Will kids be into it? Who knows. We'll get up there and blast through our shit and hopefully leave people with "holy fuck, what did I just hear?!" But in a good way, not in a "why does this band continue to abuse my life with their nonsensical noise?!" type of way.
What are you plans after that tour wraps up in October?
More and more touring. We need to get to the few places in the world we haven't been yet on this record. And by need I mean we really want to because the fact that we haven't been to Japan or Africa yet is starting to piss me right off.
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
People should search the internet for the video of me letting Reilly give me three knife edge chops so I can give him one. I was so excited to chop the shit out of him that I kinda didn't even nail him so bad, but I still left a mark on him and he was a bit whiney at it. Good video. That and Dawg Army is gonna slay a few people this year.