The Sonic Metalcore Devastation of Sentinels
The Sonic Metalcore Devastation of Sentinels
Sentinels present their own explosive brand of sonic metalcore devastation – now on full display with the unveiling of the almighty Collapse By Design. Empowering and cathartic, Collapse By Design by Sentinels is yet another very amazing release from the SharpTone compound whose other bands on the esteemed record label include Holding Absence, Of Mice & Men, and Caskets! Sentinels has opened for the likes of Bleeding Through and Lorna Shore, and are ready to slam into the New Year in nothing short of an epic way. Highwire Daze recently interviewed Sentinels’ drummer Dave Rucki to find out more about their exhilarating Collapse By Design magnum opus. Read on…
Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Sentinels, and how long the band has been together.
My name is Dave Rucki, I’m the drummer in the band, as well as a vocalist and lyricist. The band started in 2012. I joined in the summer of 2015, and we’ve been going at it ever since.
Where is the band based out of and what is the local music scene like there?
The band is based out of different parts of central New Jersey, with the exception of our vocalist who is located in Dallas, Texas. The local music scene in NJ is pretty tight-knit and supportive of each other. They also go hard at shows.
How did you wind up signing with SharpTone?
We were being pitched for radio play on Sirius XM by our managers, and one of the label reps was in the room and asked who we were and expressed interest in us. SharpTone has always been our goal label if there ever was one for us, and they’ve been everything we could’ve hoped for.
Is there any overall story or concept behind the Collapse By Design title?
Yes. It actually comes from a lyric in the song ‘Atlas’. It‘s basically a look at all the failed and toxic relationships and situations discussed throughout the lyrics. It’s the idea that everything that’s happened here was almost so disastrous that it was almost designed to happen this way. It was unbelievable to me that one person can encounter so much heartbreak and loss.
Select two songs from Collapse By Design and what inspired the lyrics and/or music.
‘Desecration (Isolation)’ started off as one of the heaviest songs we ever wrote, but it also has a lot of melodic and ambient parts that sound full of sorrow. So lyrically, it shows two sides of being the “black sheep” in an overzealous religious household. The heavy parts detail the anger for the judgment of having different beliefs, and the melodic sections discuss the sadness and depression from feeling like a failure in the family’s eyes.
‘Atlas’ being the most prominently melodic song on the album and the closer took me to a more positive mindset, and discusses leaving all the harbored hatred and negativity behind.
Who produced Collapse By Design and what was it like working with them?
The album was produced by Randy LeBoeuf. Randy really helped elevate this album to a level we never thought was possible. The thing that stands out most is he really helped us bring out the ambience throughout the album and make the songs flow in such a seamless way.
Who did the cover art for Collapse By Design and how much input did you have on it?
Caelan Stokkermans. We gave him the basic ideas (landscape, colors, concept) and once we had an outline/sketch of it, he did his thing. We never once had to request revisions or anything. He knocked it out of the park. It’s the exact idea myself & the rest of the band had in our heads.
What was it like recording Collapse By Design in the middle of a pandemic?
Incredibly stressful and even tense at times. It affected us all for sure. It prolonged the recording process which definitely made things tough, but it also gave us time to make the record sound the way it does with all its layers and textures. It was a blessing in disguise in that context.
What could one expect from a live Sentinels show?
It’s hard to say from our perspective. But I’d say passion & energy (as cheesy as that may sound).
What was it like opening for the bands Lorna Shore and Bleeding Through and did you get to meet or hang out with them at all?
Both absolutely surreal experiences, but in different ways. Bleeding Through is a band I’ve been listening to since I was 12. They’re all great people too, so hanging out with and opening for them was a wild experience for me. With Lorna Shore, we’ve known those guys from our local scene for years. But being invited to open for them at such a special time in their career was incredible. They’re the best dudes and those shows were easily the craziest we’ve ever played.
If Sentinels could open for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
Vildhjarta or Meshuggah, hands down. Both bands have been incredibly influential to us over the years. They’re pioneers of the genre and make some of our favorite music out there.
Have you ever played in the Los Angeles or OC area or plan to do so in future days? If you have played out here, what was the experience like?
We’ve played throughout California in the past but never too close to LA or OC. We’d absolutely love to one day!
Are you involved with any other bands or projects outside of Sentinels?
Nope, we all are only involved with Sentinels. It’s our main objective.
What do you hope 2022 brings for you and for Sentinels?
Hopefully more sick tours and successful shows, whether that be in the states or international! We’re ready for it.
Any final words of wisdom?
I’ll put it in terms of being in a band. Work hard, stay driven, don’t be afraid to think outside of the box, and always give everything your absolute best. If you put in the work, you will see results. Also, check out our new album ‘Collapse by Design’ out now on SharpTone Records!
Josh Hardiman – Vocals
Chris Dombrowski – Guitar
Danny Cruz – Bass
Dave Rucki – Drums & Vocals
Thomas Cardone – Guitar
(Interview by Ken Morton)
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