BY AUDREY WILSON
New rock supergroup World Gone Cold is releasing their self-titled EP this March 17th which is sure to give listeners a taste of many different genres in one. The group is comprised of Traa Daniels (P.O.D.), Tim “Yogi” Watts (Demon Hunter), Mark Anthony (The Letter Black), and Ryland Raus (Attack Attack!). I got to chat with Mark and Ryland about who World Gone Cold is, and how this project was brought up. After listening to an advance copy of their debut EP, I can attest that this group experiments with many different styles, and has created a sound that we have yet to hear and become familiar with.
A: Hey? How is it going? I am not sure how many of you guys are gonna join so we will wait a minute. How are you this evening?
R: Oh, I am doing good. Had a chiropractic adjustment today which wasn’t too fun.
A: Ah shoot, I went the other day and I hate going but love the outcome, haha.
R: Yeah, I actually had not gone since last year around this time. A whole year of touring had me a little tight.
A: Understandable. I actually just did this with Cameron Perry about two weeks ago and that was a lot of fun. I told him I was doing this right now and he goes “Yeah, Ryland is hilarious”.
M: How is it going?
A: I am great, how are you?
M: I am doing good! Unfortunately, I do not think Yogi is going to make it so it is just going to be us.
A: No worries. We will get started, this will be quick honestly. So first tell me, you guys came out of nowhere, it seems. Give me the gist of what World Gone Cold is, and tell me the goals you guys have for this project.
R: It did come out of nowhere. I did a very interesting three songs for an album my friend Travis was working on. He needed someone to sing the final three songs of this thing and I was like sure, I’ll help you out, it’ll be extra money, why not. Did those three songs and all of a sudden Mark Anthony comes waltzing around probably a month and a half to two months after that. He was like, “hey, you wanna sing over some of my stuff?” and I was like yeah, shoot it over. It’ll be fun. From there it just starts snowballing.
M: Yeah, it was one of those things where Ryland was working on that and I was working on a solo project that I had been wanting to do, something totally different than what I normally do in my band Letter Black and it is just not fun doing a project by yourself, it kind of sucks because there is no one there challenging you or anything like that so I was doing it by myself at the same time Ryland is doing his stuff for our producer friend and I reached out to him and I said “hey here is some music, I don’t know if I really wanna sing because it is kinda not fun by myself” and he was like “hey, why don’t you go talk to Ryland, he’s not really touring or anything and I just used him for this other thing” and I said “do you think he would actually wanna be in a band?”. He was like “I don’t know, why don’t you ask him?”. So literally, I sent him a song and he sent back his first version of it and it was a home run. I mean, he totally knocked it out of the park and I was like well shit, he’s the guy. After that happened it was like okay, who is going to be cool to hang out with? and do music with? Not trying to overthink it. I started talking to Ryland about drummers and we talked about many different drummers. From Rise Against to August Burns Red, all of these guys that we know. It was like, I am going to call Yogi from Demon Hunter. It was funny, Ryland was like “Do you know him?” and I said “nah, I don’t know him”. I said “do you know him?” and he said “yeah from like ten years ago”.
R: I remember thinking “Ah yeah! Yogi!” We had a lot of fun just doing nothing and talking about random stuff and seemed like a super friendly outgoing guy. I thought it was the craziest thing and I was like yeah hit him up! And Yogi was all about it.
M: Yeah, Yogi got an Instagram message from me and that is where it started. Totally weird, but yeah. It kinda all pieced together from there because then it was like “well who do you want to play bass?” and I was like well I talked to Traa for years, we have done things together. I told Ryland and we were both in agreement that there was no better bass player than Trey. He is probably the best rock bass player in our genre. We don’t know anyone better.
R: At that point when he said that, I was like yeah this guy is an absolute madman. This is going crazy, completely out of hand.
M: Well, at the time we were also asking if it was even gonna happen and what Ryland didn’t know about me but does now is that I am very very persistent and determined, like I don’t like hearing no. I will turn that no into a yes somehow.
A: So did you and Ryland know each other already?
M: We did, we knew each other years ago and met a crazy weird show and had the same manager for a long time so we did a lot of shows together.
A: So I know you kind of already touched on this but tell me everyone’s role in the band and what everyone brings to the table.
R: So the main writers are me and Mark. We bounce ideas back and forth and he handles a lot of the music and we do collab here and there on it as well. I provide the lyrics and stories and melodies and he also does a lot with production so I think as a team we are really good at taking a step back and seeing the bigger picture on songs and we work back and forth and don’t put a lot of weight on anything. That is a really rare relationship to have. Mark has this signature guitar tone thing going and it is insane and his writing shows he is not afraid to step out of the box. I basically get to dabble in every genre singing in this bad. Yogi will come after we have our ideas and he will lay them down for us and Trey is always thinking outside of the box when writing his bass lines. You would never think to play what he plays. I am blessed to be able to play alongside him. Then Andrew, he is a face melter. He can basically melt your face with a solo at any given moment. You don’t know whats hit you until after its done. It kinda has this dynamic where everyone just builds and by the end of it it feels like you didn’t think it was ever gonna happen.
A: Mark do you have anything to add to that?
M: Yeah Ryland gave me some of the greatest compliments.
A: Aw, what a sweetheart.
M: No he really did. Ryland brings a totally different and amazing unique style which I call “our genre”. I don’t know, I feel like we have made up our own thing. I always tease him and say it’s “heavy pop”. I don’t really know what is is but it has these cool influences that you can hear. Alice in chains, Metallica, and you also hear some of the industrial things such as Nine Inch Nails, Rob Zombie, etc along with the new stuff like new Bring Me the Horizon and I Prevail.
A: Yeah I actually got to go ahead and listen to the EP you guys are releasing in March and I can agree it has hyper pop with heavy elements which is cool because it is different and that style is not as popular right now.
M: There are definitely no limits or boundaries. We will write a song and it is totally outside of what you think we will do. When you stick to a genre and take a band such as Metallica, you just know what their new stuff is gonna sound like and you know what you are getting. What I like is when a band puts out a record and you can tell they have evolved and I think that is why I like Bring Me the Horizon so much, because they keep pushing it and can’t be limited to one genre.
A: Yeah it is cool to see bands evolve and have a total switch up. It can get boring and overdone when everything starts sounding repeated for sure. So after looking at your website and social media I read “the bands genesis coincided with the lockdowns and restrictions of the 2020 pandemic”, can you expand on this for me?
R: Yeah the pandemic was really fun… NOT. The thing about the pandemic. I find myself happy to be home for a little bit and it really put life into perspective for me. All throughout the pandemic and whatnot, I kept writing and stayed active. I was working on songs and what I wanted them to sound like and just had fun with it. I honestly went through a dry spell of writing. I lost my job and was wondering what I was gonna do but it led me back to music. It grabbed me in a way that I could not escape. It reminded me that I love performing for people and hanging out with people who value the same things that I do. My schedule was open to do that project that led me to Mark and I think it was that same summer when I was approached by Attack Attack! and I was wondering what is going on here? It turned my life inside out and I came out of the pandemic with such great friends, some new and some old, and that was lifechanging for me. Everyone has positively impacted my life and I am truly grateful for everything I have been able to do. It was a tough time for me mentally but I feel like this is where I need to be and I got here with great people. I would do it all over again the same way if it happened again.
A: Yeah, I tend to talk to bands about the pandemic and some are positive about it and some not so much. Definitely was a time of growth for everyone though and gave us time to fuel our creativity again.
R: This literally feels like a dream and I feel rejuvenated. I feel like I can encourage others and bring good times to those who have been waiting for good times to happen. It is all about people who were stuck in their homes not being able to experience live shows. We wanna go out and make new friends and travel. That is what is so great about being a musician.
M: To add on to what Ryland was saying, for me I am also a producer and have produced a whole bunch of records and doing this during the pandemic and forming this band, it forced me and Ryland to do things totally different. We had to think outside the box. I think it pushed us. It is cool that there is no pressure and when we are together the songs we write our explosive and we push each other.
R: It is cool because Mark and I come from two different worlds of music but at the same time get where we are at.
M: I always say “the best idea in the room wins”. I don’t care whose it is, the best one wins. At the end of the day, it is the listener that matters. How does this make them feel? How does it move them? What does it do? If I can’t feel the music, then I shouldn’t be doing it.
A: So what are some common themes that we will find off the new EP?
R: Common themes, huh? Interesting. Alright, well you are going to see a lot of psychological content as far as the lyrics go. I tend to tell stories and envision them. I like to tell them like parables or an old wives tale. One of the songs for instance is about a serial killer who catches a normal citizen on the wrong week. He thought he was gonna prey on this dude but he had the worst week and had a lot of disappointment and was ready to lose it. Now picture a serial killer stepping in and thinks he is gonna take him down but the dude has nothing to lose and goes “bring it”. That’s not normally how a horror story goes. It’s crazy stuff. A couple of the other songs are about real feelings, relationship struggles, and people’s perceptions. We can find ourselves out of sorts and not knowing how to perceive things. I also like history and I am a bit of a history buff. One of the songs is about the Donner Party. It was a group of settlers that get stranded in a mountain. It talks about the situation and people’s perceptions of it. If you don’t know the story, I challenge you to look it up. Another one is where I talk about the Salem Witch Trials which was a crazy time. You could be a normal person and all of a sudden you find yourself getting burned and everyone was super crazy. The song is called “burn”.
A: Yeah I listened to that one!
R: When you get to the bridge of that song, I envision a bunch of people burning someone because they claimed that person was a witch.
A: So are we going to see any music videos for this stuff?
R: Heck yeah you are.
M: The first video is gonna be released right after the first single in the first week of february. We think it would be awesome to see a mini motion picture for it.
A: Yeah, I would be interested to see the serial killer song as a music video.
R: Yeah, I would picture American Psycho vibes.
A: What would you say is your favorite track off of the EP?
M: There is something special about the single coming out on the first. Musically it takes me on a rollercoaster and that is what I love. I get to ride the wave of it. It truly is hard to pick a favorite, though. I love the lyrical content too. It is between that one and… actually I can’t really pick.
A: I am excited for this to come out and hear everyone’s thoughts on it. That is really all that I have for you guys. Thank you for coming on and doing this. Ryland, I will be seeing you this spring at an Attack Attack! show.
R: Awesome, looking forward to seeing you again!