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Mike Lumer - Drums for Rites Of Ash

Date: 9/3/10
Interviewed By: Rich Catino


1. Tell us about the name Rites Of Ash?

MIKE: I didn't come up with it but as I understand, it comes from everything the band has gone through, the trials and tribulations, and rites of ash is like the phoenix rising thing.

2. Tell us about the different elements that make up your music?

MIKE: our singer 80-Two is really into electronica, his brother is a Dj, but not a radio disc jockey, he makes beast and stuff. I'm more metal than the rest of the guys but everyone is pretty much a metalhead in some way. Berry, our bass player, is really into Slipknot, Alex (he calls himself 80-Two, the singer), was once in a death metal band, and Lazzo (guitar & keyboard), is also into different kinds of metal. I wish it was like we sit down and say "O, I wanna hear something from this band in the song, or this influence from this kind of band". That's not how it works for us. We may get a cool vocal line and we want to put something behind it that meshes, or we have a really cool riff, it completely depends on the song and we could add anything into an arrangement as long as it sounds good. That why you hear metal riff, pop hooks, electronic stuff, in our music.

3. I hear even emo in a song like ‘Only Human' because of the vocal effects.

MIKE: Umm, I wouldn't really call it emo but with that song we really went crazy with the whole Lady GaGa, T Pain thing, the vocals used with an auto-tune function. On their last album (before I came into the band), they didn't do that kind of effect at all, and this time it started to become more popular and prevalent in Rites of Ash's music. And when we were going through the mix down process we thought it would sound cool on a couple songs.

4. What type of promotion and exposure has the band had?

MIKE: Quite honestly its been all from the internet because local word of mouth can only get you so far now a days. Everyone in the DC area may know us but that's not gonna get us a world tour. A couple of labels have been interested in the band now but can't talk about that yet, hahaha. Some offers hadn't gone the way we thought they were going (and we can't talk about those), and we're actually in talks with another label but can't talk about that yet. Who needs a label anyway, hahaha. But in all honesty you want a label behind if you don't get that support many times you just become another lost ship in the night.

5. ‘Burn' is one of the heavier songs on the album and sounds like you were influenced by Avenged Sevenfold. Were you?

MIKE: No I don't think so. We like the band and we just saw their show with Disturbed by us, but it's the kind of thing...I've been playing drums for gosh, 17 years now, and I've been in death metal bands for the last twelve, and if anything that song is more influenced by bands like Fear Factory than anything else.

6. Who is doing the female vocals on ‘Dead Side of Hollywood'?

MIKE: There's this girl, Debra, who's been friends with the band for many many years, she is an unbelievable talent, she does theater, guest vocals on R&B and HipHop stuff, Rock and Metal, and we were lucky enough to have her fool around in the studio, she also does a couple harmonies on a few other tracks.

7. How did you hook up with the PR company who set up this interview?

MIKE: Well we did a battle of the bands at a local venue and one of the judges was a guy, Billy Zero, he use to be a Dj and then did XM radio, now he management, getting his label off the ground, and he pointed us to Dustin who has been just awesome and great to work with. Good people.

8. Who will be putting out the album? Is the promo copy of the album (which was sent to me) the same version that will be released by a label?

MIKE: In the U.S. we don't know yet. Overseas we are not dealing with Frontiers Records (who Dustin works with), really I don't know how much I can say. The album you have is the one that is available on the internet and on our website. The album should be officially released I the fall. Go to our website and there are links to our Myspace and Facebook pages too.

9. Touring plans yet?

MIKE: We are mid Atlantic-East Coast band, things are being discussed, but actually there has been some interest coming from overseas so maybe we will hit that shore first.

10. If you could pick the bands you would be touring with who would they be?

MIKE: Personally I'd like to tour with Faith No More because they have a pretty wide range of styles like we do so I think it would be a good fit. I'm really into the harder stuff like Mnemic, Meshuggah, a lot of the Swedish bands. I like this band called Periphery, local guys from the DC area., different style from us but good band.

11. Do you do anything outside of Rites Of Ash?

MIKE: Well Rites Of Ash are releasing a DVD soon, a live show from our album local city release party. Its pro shot, the same guys who did the 'Burn' video. Looks great, we recorded it ourselves.

Official website: http://www.ritesofash.com


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