By their own admission, the last 18 months for New Jersey blackened deathcore band Lorna Shore have been challenging, to say the least. Controversy hit the group just as they were about to drop their monumental Immortal album with the pandemic then pulling the rug out from any touring plans.
Regrouping, the band recently announced their return with new vocalist Will Ramos who made his entrance with a jaw-dropping, inhuman display on recent single “To The Hellfire.” Following the release of the single, taken from their just-released new EP, …And I Return To Nothingness (read our review here), we had a chat with Will to find out about his part in the last year and a half, and what fans of the band can expect from him.
Hey Will, thanks for taking the time to talk to us, really appreciate it. How is everything?
Will Ramos: “Appreciate it. Things are very good. I’m trying to stay busy out here, you know, between work and music and all that stuff. Good things happening.”
So what do you do when you’re not screaming for Lorna Shore?
“Well, I actually work in the film industry. Yeah, I’m a freelancer which totally works out with the whole music thing. On the other hand, it’s one of those things where, you know, long hours, long days, and this is just another one of those days. It’s great though.”
That’s awesome. In the last few months, you’ve been officially announced as the new vocalist for Lorna Shore. We wanted to find out a bit more about you especially considering the amount of attention your vocals have been getting after the release of “To The Hellfire.”
Do you remember your early musical experiences?
“Oh, yeah, man. My first ever band that I was ever in was called Secrets Don’t Sleep and I swear to God, I had no idea what I was doing. I thought I did but it’s like, I go back now and look at the music video that we put out, what feels like years and years ago, I think it was like 2014, and I didn’t. It’s kind of cool because I can see the progress of how I was and then like, where I am now. But yeah, I can see that like, ok, you know, I thought I knew what I was doing but, no, I obviously have a better grasp of what I’m doing now.”
Do you remember discovering extreme music? Who was the band that turned you on to that style?
“This is the craziest thing. It was Lamb of God. I remember being in high school and at the time I played guitar. I didn’t even do vocals or anything. Yeah, my friend was like, ‘Oh, dude, you play guitar?’ I was playing classic rock and stuff. I was so lame. I mean, it was all sick, I’m not going to lie, but it wasn’t like what we’re doing. Anyway, my dude was like, ‘you got to listen to this band, check out Lamb of God and like, Whitechapel.’ At the time I thought these bands were a little bit too hard but I just kept listening to it and soon I was like, ‘Dude, this shit is awesome’ and I just totally jumped right into it. Now here I am. I guess that was those are literally the beginning days. I remember them like they were yesterday.”
Ok, so is there a particular vocalist who really inspires you because I know you’ve talked about being a massive Lorna Shore fan before you joined the band?
“So at the time, like, when I was younger, bands like Infant Annihilator were coming out when Dan Watson was still in the band. I remember there was nobody like it. It was one of those things where Infant Annihilator is the hardest band ever, period. So, you know what, I said, ‘I’m always going to, let me try and replicate these vocals.’
It’s one of those things where it’s easy to you know, replicate, or it’s not easy, but like when you’re replicating a vocalist that is only doing it studio, the studio people, they tend to allow fewer gaps between vocals so it just goes right into the next ones. You’re not doing it live anyway. Then, it was one of those things where, I would be doing it live anyway, regardless of the fact that you’re not supposed to do it live. That was one of those big ‘ok, like, this is definitely what I want to do.’ So, yeah, Infant Annihilator was definitely one of the biggest influences growing up.”
I’ve just seen your Spiritbox cover on YouTube recently. Have you seen the guy that’s covered “To the Hellfire” in one take?
“I’ve seen a couple there’s so many. Which one specifically?”
The one that does it in one take?
“Man, there have been so many.”
I just wonder because there’s been a lot of reaction when the single came out especially to your vocals. Do you pay much attention to that because it was all complimentary?
“I definitely do. It’s one of those things where there’s always people that are just like, ‘Oh, my God, this is awesome,’ and then there’s always that one person that’s like, ‘Oh, my God, like, this is so trash.’ For me, I love watching other people posting things for a while but I find that, even if I have 1,000 good comments, I’ll find that one bad one. Then I’ll just be thinking about like, ‘Oh, my God, what can I do better for this person?’
At the end of the day, I think we’re doing great things so I look at the comments section but don’t go super-duper deep into it, because I try and save myself, right? I’m just here. I’m doing my thing anyway. I’m just glad that people dig what I’m doing.”
Right, as we said, the big news was that you were announced a couple of months ago as the new vocalist. You’d filled in on the European dates earlier to that. What was the timescale for you joining the band full time?
“I was in two bands, you know, I was in A Monument of a Memory, which was my metalcore band, and I’m in this death metal band, which was called Euclid. Both of them are super sick so check them out, by the way. At the time I was in both of these bands that I was talking to them as both of my bands were trying to make moves, and I wanted to know what’s going on. I spoke to them and, obviously, there’s a trial run and they were going to see what happened. After the whole thing was finished they wanted to start planning studio time. In my mind I was like, ‘does that mean I’m in?’ and they said, ‘yeah dude, you’re in!’ and I was ecstatic because I’ve always listened to Lorna Shore.
I was so up for this so we ended up going into the studio, like, very shortly after March. Yeah. And like, we’ve had this stuff for a long time, to put it quite simply. I’ve known these songs, I think, for like, six or seven months at this point. In my mind, you know, you hear something so many times, you get numb to it. So, I know these songs are good, I just hope everybody likes them, you know? Then the song just dropped and everyone was like, ‘Oh, my God,’ and I did not expect it to be like that. The reaction that we got.”
Austin said he’s described the last 18 months as a trial by fire. I mean, obviously, regardless of what went on, there’s been COVID as well. Did you have any apprehensions about jumping into a fairly volatile situation with the band?
“I mean, you know, especially with like, the whole COVID thing going on, I think it was hard for everybody. Like it was very, it was definitely hard for me. I lost like my uncle and lost some family, you know, like, literally as I was going onto the plane to go to Europe, actually. So that fucking sucked but I almost tried to funnel that emotion into this album, or these three songs rather. I feel like I wanted to make something that encapsulated something that we’re all going through right now.”
That definitely leads into my next question actually, you’ve obviously had some big shoes to fill in CJ. You’ve never hidden that you’ve been a huge fan of the band for as long as you can remember. So, what does Will Ramos want to bring to the table for Lorna Shore?
“I want to bring more melody. You know, Lorna is always just like super hard, especially when Immortal came out, they were like, ‘we’re just going to fucking slam on the gas for this one.’ You know? Punch everyone in the face. Of course, I think that’s so sick but I also come from a general metalcore background. I love breakdowns, but also, more than breakdowns, I love a sick melody and something that I could jam to. I always wanted to bring that into the music.
Before I was in the band with like ‘King Ov Deception,’ they’ve got like these witchy kind of like a pitchy scream thing into it. I was like, ‘we need more of this,’ like, there’s no reason that we shouldn’t be incorporating this and the heavy elements that we already have. So, I mean, I think I think we just brought a whole new aspect to the band, that’s what I was hoping for.”
Obviously, the last record came out, and then it felt like the rug got pulled from under the band, and it all ground to a halt with everything that’s gone on, and COVID. From you talking to the other band members, does it feel like you’ve got a point to prove with this record?
“Oh, 100 percent, that was honestly like one of the most stressful things as far as joining the band in the first place. I’ve always listened to Lorna, you know, a lot growing up. Then it was like, ‘ok, now we’re going on tour,’ and now things get stressful because, now, I got to make sure that I’m perfect because everybody’s so ready. It’s the same thing when it came to recording the album. It was honestly very stressful because I was trying to overthink the crap out of everything. In my mind I knew I had big shoes to fill but, at this point, I’m like, ‘fuck it. I’ll just do what I do and hope people like it.’ So far they do. So I’m going to just keep doing that.”
More so now following the release of “To The Hellfire,” I think the next album is one of the most anticipated extreme albums of the next twelve months. Does it feel like a fresh start for Lorna?
“Sure. I think so. Yeah. I think it’s a better start. They hit a bump in the road, you know, with the whole CJ thing but, before that, they were fucking doing awesome things. Obviously, I wasn’t part of that but, you know, even Tom always killed it. I think we’re going to try and take this to the next level. We have a lot of opportunities to do it.”
You’ve got the EP coming out. What’s the plan for an album?
“Once the EP is out, we plan on just touring it a little bit. You know, make sure that people jam it know and get to know the new Lorna. That’s all that we can really do now for ourselves. We’re looking forward to coming up to Europe next year with Carnifex and Chelsea Grin.”
You’ve toured Europe already with Lorna Shore but, as a fan, how does it feel to now be able to say you’re touring as their official vocalist?
“Honestly, I still don’t believe it. It feels like it’s not really happening but it is happening. In my head, I’m thinking anything could happen but really everything’s fine. I just gotta pump on the brakes a bit in the meantime.”
Well, I’m really excited about checking out the tour when you come over. Good luck with everything EP and I really appreciate your time.
“No problem. Thank you. For the fans and anyone else jamming Lorna Shore, we really feel like this EP is going to touch upon a bunch of different things. Obviously, you know, we shot out this heavy-ass song but, some of them, maybe, won’t necessarily be so heavy. We try and have a good middle ground between heavy and melodic and I really feel that we capture that within these three songs. Hope you guys dig it and we’ll see you on tour real soon.”
Upcoming Tour Dates: (w/ Chelsea Grin, Carnifex, Varials, The Convalescence)
02/04 – Karlsruhe – Weisse Rose
02/05 – Den Bosch – Willem Twee
02/06 – Birmingham – O2 Academy2
02/07 – Bristol – Fleece
02/08 – Glasgow – Classic Grand
02/09 – Manchester – Rebellion
02/10 – London – O2 Academy Islington
02/11 – Hasselt – Muziekodroom
02/12 – Paris – Glazart
02/13 – Aarau – Kiff
02/14 – Milan – Circolo Magnoilia
02/15 – Wien – Arena
02/16 – Munich – Backstage
02/17 – Nürnberg – Z-Bau
02/18 – Ostrava – Barrak Music Club
02/19 – Warsaw – Proxima
02/20 – Berlin – SO36
02/22 – Roskilde – Gimle
02/23 – Stockholm – Fryshuset Klubben
02/24 – Gothenburg – Brewhouse
02/25 – Hamburg – Logo
02/26 – Chemnitz – AJZ
02/27 – Köln – Essigfabrik