Interview With Poison The Well - 21st November 2009
Photo Of Poison The WellJoseph caught up with Ryan Primack from Poison The Well before their show at Brixton Academy supporting Rise Against and Thursday to speak about the current tour, getting their van and trailor stolen and much more.

First of all, this is your second time over in the UK this year, how is it being back?
Lovely, I love it here. The rain gets me down a little bit – just being from Florida I’m used to sunny weather, so sometimes with all the rain I might have a little cry, but overall it’s great. I really like playing shows here, the tour’s been really fun. We share a sleeper with Thursday, so it’s pretty much been like a non-stop hang-out, it’s been good.

You’ve been on this tour for a while now, how’s it been so far?
Really good, really good, can’t complain. These are the biggest shows we’ve played in Europe and the UK ever, other than Reading and Leeds when we did that, [so] it’s been really cool. A lot of fun.

How did the line-up for the tour come about? Were you all friends beforehand?
Yeah, I’ve toured with Rise Against and Thursday four times, so it was instant fun times.

You seem to tour a lot, so presumably it’s something you enjoy doing…
Yeah, I just love to play guitar. Any chance I get to do that is really welcome as far as I’m concerned.

How do you survive spending so much time on the road?
I listen to a lot of music. Lately, I’ve been listening to a lot of surf music, like the Ventures, Laika and the Cosmonauts, Man or Astro-man?, Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet – just surf rock. Good stuff, though!

As a lot of people will know, a couple of months back while on tour in the America you had your van and trailer stolen. Can you tell us what happened?
We just parked our van at the hotel we were staying at for the night, by the Detroit airport, and we woke up in the morning and it was just gone. Everything we owned – everything important to me that’s not a person – was in there, and it’s now gone.

Was it hard to keep yourself motivated for the rest of the tour?
Yes. It’s still hard to keep myself motivated right now, thinking about everything that I lost, you know, really personal stuff. But, I don’t know, I don’t like crying over spilt milk. I just figure, it was bound to happen one day, [and] I’m still really lucky with what I get to do, so might as well just keep my chin up and not be a little bitch.

How have you gone about replacing what was stolen?
[We] haven’t. After we finished that US tour on borrowed equipment, we just came home. We knew we had all overseas stuff for the rest of the year so [the equipment] was all rental anyway, so when I get home I’ve gotta figure out how I’m gonna buy an amp.

You released a t-shirt after the incident, the proceeds of which would go towards replacing what was lost…
The proceeds went to helping us rent a van, so we could finish that tour.

What was the reaction to that from your fans? Were they supportive of it?
Yeah, a good number of people bought the shirt, it was really cool.

Earlier in the year Poison the Well released ‘The Tropic Rot’, which a lot of people saw almost as a return to form. Was that your take on it?
No, I just saw it as the next logical step. I mean, ‘Versions’ was really scatterbrain, and [there was] something sort of cool about it for that. But then I think it’s kind of cool to take a step back and really, y’know, make things a one-fist punch instead of, like, 30 small fists coming at you.

So it wasn’t a conscious effort to make music more along the lines of what you’ve done before?
No, it just kind of happened. I think all of us were a little more collaborative this time around.

Poison the Well have been around for over a decade now, and although you’ve been in the band since the beginning, there have been a hell of a lot of members come and go in that time. How do you feel the current line-up compares to previous incarnations of the band?
I think this as solid as any of the long [lasting] line-ups that we’ve had. Like, the ones [that recorded] ‘Tear from the Red’ and ‘You Come Before You’ – it’s just as solid as those. It’s different people, but it’s good times, though!

Over the last ten years there have also been a lot of changes in the ‘business’ side of music, with things like the internet and filesharing becoming more prominent. What’s your view on those kind of things?
[It] doesn’t really bother me; I would just hope that people understood that buying records does help bands. I like [the internet] because you get to preview something – you know, in this day and age everyone’s broke, so if you don’t like something you don’t gotta buy it to find out. But I would hope that [people do] as I do – if I like a band, I’ll buy the album. And I think the filesharing thing is cool too, because for me, at home I only listen to vinyl – I like my record player, I like listening to records, I just like the whole idea and the whole way it goes about. [So] for me it’s just like, if I buy it on vinyl I’ll download the digital version – I’ve bought the record, I’ve put the support in, it’s just I can’t take a record player on tour. I’ve gotta get it on my iPod somehow!

Do you feel that you’ve benefitted as a band from people being able to preview your music for free?
Absolutely, absolutely.

It’s coming up to the time of year when every publication under the sun produces its ‘Album of the Year’ lists – what’s really stood out for you in 2009?
The Thursday record….[pauses] The Carrier, from Massachusetts. [Longer pause] That’s been it so far, it’s been a dry year for me.

Finally, what are Poison the Well’s plans for next year?
We go home, we’re gonna take some much-needed time off. [We] really haven’t planned too far ahead; we never do, just kind of fly by the seat of our pants, but we’ll see what happens.

Will you be coming back to the UK?

Interview By Joseph Stephens
 Band Members

Jeffrey Moreira
Ryan Primack
Chris A. Hornbrook
Bradley Grace
Brad Clifford
 Latest Releases
Poison The Well - The Tropic Rot
Release Date - July 7th 2009
1. Exist Underground
2. Sparks It Will Rain
3. Cinema
4. Pamplemousse
5. Who Doesn't Love A Good Dismemberment
6. Antarctica Inside Me
7. When You Lose I Lose As Well
8. Celebrate the Pyre
9. Are You Anywhere
10. Makeshift Clay You
11. Without You And One Other I Am Nothing
 Band Related Links
Poison The Well Myspace