What is the definition of a successful band? A band that graces the covers of mainstream magazines, or is success defined as consistent touring, playing in front of 20 kids per night? Trap Them vocalist Ryan McKenney has little concern for mainstream notoriety or association. His primary focus: hardcore bands that don’t give a fuck. “That’s what I identify with!” he exclaims. “That’s what I get excited about.”
As we chat on mild January day on the streets of West Hollywood, McKenney tells me that his ambition was never to play in front of 100,000 people. “For me personally,” he says, “[success is] to be able to take care of my wife and dog. I would consider right now to be a success.”
While McKenney continues our conversation discussing his love for bands that “just want to play [shows] to tear faces off,” Every Time I Die guitarist Andy Williams passes by. He has been handling additional guitar duties for Trap Them during ETID’s down time. Interesting enough, in a 2008 Ryan’s Rock Show interview, Williams stated that Trap Them was a band to keep all eyes on. Now, with Trap Them’s new record, Darker Handcraft, set for release on March 15, the eyes of heavy music enthusiasts are locked on the group’s anticipated record.
You’ve been in bands for 20 years. Describe how you have evolved as a person and as a musician.