One of our members interviewed Jarvis Angle and Chris Porter, the bassist and drummer from Ruins of Tekoah. This metal group, based out of Millersburg Ohio, has been seen onstage beside some of your favorites, such as MUSHROOMHEAD OFFICIAL, Born of Osiris, Chimaira, and All That Remains!
With the ambient noise of bending and grinding metal in a local machine shop, one of our own Musician Talk crew members asked Jarvis about the sounds that create the low end for Ruins of Tekoah.
Jarvis: I prefer Warwick, Ampeg, and a Sansamp DI box.
If you are just starting into music as a bass player I recommend new strings every 3 months and a tuner.
MT: What drives you to want to make music?
Jarvis: My biggest influence as a musician is life itself and my emotions. As a band our biggest influences are each other and just writing what we enjoy playing.
MT: Why is music important to you?
Jarvis: Music is important to me because it’s therapy, critical thinking, and anger management all rolled into one and it creates a universal language for anyone on the planet to understand. Music allows me to be myself, express my feelings, and when people listen for that moment in time we have a connection.
MT: Why are drums so important in writing music?
Chris: Drums give the music life. They are the heartbeat of the music.
MT: Tell us about your drums and the techniques you use when playing them.
Chris: This is a long one.
Drums – Pearl Vision birch series in Ruby Fade lacquer finish.
Sizes(from left to right) – 10″ snare, 14″ pearl competitor series free floating marching snare, 8″ rack tom, 10″ rack tom, 14″ floor tom, 16″ floor tom, two 22×18 kick drums
Cymbals(left to right) – 26″ Sabian zodiac gong, 18″ Paiste 2002 china, 14″ Zildjian z custom hi-hats, 8″ Zildjian a custom splash, 16″ Zildjian z custom medium crash, 6” Zildjian zil-bel, 19″ a custom crash, 8″ Sabian HHX splash, 20″ Zildjian z custom power ride, 9″ Zildjian Zil-bel, 18″ Sabian HHX china, 14″ Zildjian z custom hi-hats, 12″ Sabian china.
Pedals/electronics – Two Pearl Eliminator remote hi-hat stands, two Axis A21 Longboards kick pedals equipped with Axis E-kit triggers, the triggers run through a Roland SPDS-X sampler (pictured on the right)
Hardware – The Sabian gong is mounted on a Pearl Icon two tier rack, everything on the main kit is mounted on a dual set of Yamaha hex-racks, and I use different kinds of cymbal stands and tom mounts.
Some of the techniques I use while playing this kit are blast beats, double bass, and double over double fills. All are very typical for the genre of music that we perform. I chose a free floating marching snare (with a Kevlar head) specific for blast beating. It gives very good rebound when performing a blast beat and gives better definition to each individual note. Another technique is my utilization of a dual remote hi-hat set up. This is something I learned about while watching a drummer named Mike Mangini (Dream Theater). The hi-hat on my left is controlled with my right foot and the one on my right is controlled with the left foot. This opens up many possibilities of bass drum hi-hat foot techniques. Another aspect of my kit are the sizes of my toms. Having smaller rack toms allows me to take up less space at the front of the kit and gives me less distance of travel while doing fast fills with my hands. I learned that from a drummer named Danny Carey (Tool).
MT: What is something that you want your audience to know about Ruins of Tekoah?
Chris: That we have many different influences outside of just heavy metal/death metal. Also, we take a lot of pride in the music that we write. We work very hard to produce the music we do.