Ruby the Hatchet | Photo: Gene Smirnov
Interview with Ruby the Hatchet's Jillian Taylor & Johnny Scarps | by Anders Manga

We're loving Ruby the Hatchet! How did all this awesome come together?

East coast winters snowed in together in a basement which later became our house. And with a lot of gear.

I first found the band through the Metal Hammer comp from 2012 that had 'Wicked Ones' on it. That track was from 'Ouroboros' which was your debut right?

Ouroboros was our debut full length. Prior to that we released a self titled EP that only exists in the form of 300 copies somewhere.

Earlier this year you released the EP 'The Eliminator' which is awesome by the way, do you feel in this short attention span world, EP's are the way to go strategically or financially? I know some bands like DOWN are going the 'only EP' route. Was it some other reason?

Both have a place and there doesn't seem to be an 'only' route when it comes to recording. EPs are fun and immediately impactful, especially when you write songs in close proximity to each other. We enjoy being able to explore our songwriting as well as recording methods and in that regard a band can achieve a lot more with a full length record.

The cover artwork for “The Eliminator” is beautiful! Was this done by someone in the band?

Thank you, we wish we were that talented. The artwork is by Portland artist Adam Burke (Nightjar Illustrations). Adam also did the artwork for our upcoming full length. It's unreal.

Is your band name in reference to something I don't know about or was it just something that came to you that had a special ring to it?

Oddly enough the band name came from drunkenly misreading an Ed Templeton Toy Machine shirt at a party. It was an illustration of Jesus and the devil shaking hands and underneath it said "Bury the Hatchet." We swore it said Ruby the Hatchet and rolled around on the floor screaming it. In sober dawn we all loved the name and we still have the shirt.

Jillian Taylor: Vocals | Photo: Robby Red Cheeks
Do people think your name is 'Ruby'? My grandma thought Robert Plant's name was Led Zeppelin.

People do think I'm Ruby pretty often which I don't entirely mind. Sometimes I tell them the dudes are Ruby and I'm the Hatchet.

How's the scene in your home town of Philadelphia for your style of music?

Lots of great bands. Lots of great venues. There's a even a mayor that watches over it all and he just decriminalized weed.

What were members of RTH doing before? Anyone in any bands maybe we've heard of?

Before Ruby was only black and dust.

Recently Gene Simmons did an interview in Esquire about rock being dead. I believe what he meant was the business side is fucked compared to the financial support they (Kiss) enjoyed in the 70's. We all know the spirit of Rock and Roll is alive and well but as a relatively new band, how much of a struggle is it really out there? What can fans do to keep the scene healthy?

We aren't the best financial advisers, but it seems the amount of struggle depends a lot on your attitude and expectations. The fans don't have to do much but be fans, and fortunately in the genres we fall into they're loyal listeners. They bleed the lifestyle, they're vinyl collectors, they drive far as hell for good line ups, and you can't really ask for more than that. Perhaps we say this because we're a newer band and not completely jaded yet, but you have to feed your fans well. If you feed them garbage they'll get sick.

On a side note, everyone should get off their asses and see more shows. It's good for you.

For our gear heads out there what is your go to fuzz pedal when you need that heavy hatchet sound? Any recommendations?

Take a big muff and splice in a toaster or two. Bounce that to VHS. Exploration is always recommended.

What's next on the calendar for Ruby the Hatchet? New recordings? Touring plans?

We are currently fishing up our debut full length for Tee Pee Records. It's due out in March and we plan to tour the shit out of it.

Please keep doing what you're doing. Great songs/great sounds! Any last words for Ruby the Hatchet heads?

Jodorowsky should have made Dune.

Visit Ruby the Hatchet on Bandcamp https://thehatchet.bandcamp.com/


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