Tell me about your current lineup, where you found the players and what the dynamics of the group are like now.
Right now the line up is very solid in Saint Ridley. In fact, it’s probably as solid as it’s ever been. We’ve got a new bass player named Nathan Garcia since we last spoke and he is a monster player, for sure. We have Phil Durham on lead guitar and he is mostly holding down the guitars by himself, except on half the set. Rich Schlepper is still our drummer and I (Paul Ridley) sing and play lead guitar on half the set.
How did you come up with the name “Saint Ridley”? Were there any other names you were thinking of before settling on this one?
To be honest, Saint Ridley’s name was taken from a few different things. It was a nickname given to me when we first started out. The first bunch of shows were only for charity and we still, to this day, try to do as many charity shows as we can.
How have you seen Saint Ridley evolve since you first started?
We’ve become heavier and more well-thought-out. Our style is always evolving and every time there was a lineup change, we had to make sure we could write together. We have only changed for the better each time, thank God.
Please describe your musical upbringing. Does anyone in the band have any formal musical training?
We all have extensive training. Our drummer took lessons for many years, as well as Nathan and I. Phil is self taught but has a great understanding of theory. As for musical influences, Nathan is very thrash and punk influenced. Phil is all over the board and so is Rich. I was raised on Pantera, Metallica, Slipknot, Slayer, Lamb of God, etc. But most of all 90’s grunge rock: Alice in chains, Temple of the Gog, Sound Garden, Pearl Jam, and Nirvana.
What is your favorite part about performing in front of an audience?
Getting the crowd involved, hands down. I feel if the people are not moving then we aren’t doing our jobs. We are incredibly devoted to our stage presence. I mean, they came for a show right?
Do you have a particular song that you prefer performing live?
We have a new song entitled “Death of a Family,” which was inspired heavily by the Batman comic book with the same title. The song is really heavy with a nu metal feel and I can’t get enough of it.
Describe one of your favorite memories from a previous tour.
When we were on tour with Coal Chamber and Fear Factory, we were playing at Harpos in Detroit and it was sold out. Coal Chamber’s tour manager, Evil, gave us some extra time to fill. We had the crowd eating out of the palm of our hands. It was so nice to finally be accepted by the Detroit scene, which hadn’t been too good to us before then. To finally return to Harpos as a national act and get respect from the staff and audience was quite a proud moment.
What has been your favorite venue to play at so far? Is there a venue that you would love to play at in the future?
We have a lot of favorites actually. We love the Black Sheep in Colorado and the Observatory in California. The one we are dying to play at is Red Rocks since we finally got to play DTE in Michigan, which was a dream come true for us.
Where would you like to see yourselves as a band in five years?
We have a lot of goals. Some are realistic, some are more of dreams. But what it all really boils down to is that we want respect. We want the fans to sing along with us even more than they are now. We want the reputation of a band that never disappoints.
List some of the bands that you would love to tour with.
A7X, FFDP, Sevendust, Slipknot, DOWN, Lamb of God, Soulfly, Chevelle, Seether, Hatebreed, and many more.
If you could go back in time to any era in history, what would it be and why?
I’d go back before Napster.
What do you guys get into in between tours?
We work our asses off just like everybody else. I do custom woodwork, like building tables and doors. Phil is a Havac. Nathan is a photographer and Rich does all types of shit. But most of all we prepare for the next tour and write new tunes vigilantly.
What contemporary artists do you listen to lately?
We are always passing around stuff we’ve found to each other and it definitely has quite a range, from Westfeild Massacre to the new Dirty Heads and Sublime stuff. We love everything.
What brand of gear does everyone prefer to use?
Whoever endorses us, haha.
What are some positive affirmations that you tell yourself that you can share with your fans?
We tell ourselves that sometimes you have to crawl through Hell to get to Heaven. We always get up one more time than we fall. Most of all, leave every town a better place than it was when we arrived. Stay positive, you know?
If there is anything else you would like to add, go for it.
If you are going to a show to see a band you like, bring your friends. Do your part to keep the scene alive and thriving. And remember, bands do not make any money off album sales anymore and they rely on merchandise sales to eat and live. Support your local scene!!!!!!