Interview: Ronin

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Ronin Is (Band Members & The Instruments They Play):  David Marin -VOX & piano, Stone – Lead Guitar, Matt Stallions – Rhythm Guitar, Mayhem – Bass, Andrew Rohloff – Keys, samples, keytar, T. Finch- Drums

We’re Based Out Of:  South Jersey

We Formed In: November, 2014

The Story Behind Our Name: Ronin are wandering samurais with no lord or master. The bands we came from in a sense were our lords, our masters. After our projects fell apart we were like nomads, no home, no master. Fallen warriors. The name describes the state of mind we found ourselves in after the dust settled.

You’ve Seen Us Before: (Other Bands the people the band play in/have played in):  Scarlet Carson, Life Without Warning/Statik Silence, Red 13.

Our Sound Has Been Likened To:  Stone Sour, Hinder, Shinedown

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How did you guys come together as a band?

We had crossed paths before, we knew each other very well in the music scene. Stone was helping out as a temporary fill-in with Statik Silence. Once that project ended, Stone and I (David) decided to combine forces and create something new. And so Ronin was born.

What bands did you all bond over when you first formed? Which inspired your sound?

Stone Sour definitely was a a common sound we gravitated towards. although we all have very different influences, That was the one band we all agreed on to have the energy and message that we could relate to.

Can you explain why you call your fans ‘Warriors?’

We utilize the word WAR as an acronym for We Are Ronin. Warriors is an extension of war and also relates it right back to what ronin are – Warriors.

You’re playing a special show this Monday, as it’s photographer Jeff Crespi’s b-day bash. You’ve worked with Jeff before — what’re your thought on him and his contributions to the scene?

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Jeff Crespi is the fu**ing MAN! He has been around since we all started  in the Jersey scene and in a sense, he has evolved with us. He loves music and just wants to share that with the world through his photography. He has helped us tremendously by making us look like rock stars at the shows we play at! and we are more than honored to play for him at his b-day bash.

What do you love about being in Ronin?

I love the fact that every single one of us in this project all have the same goal, and determination to get there. We all work together and each have our own responsibility, but the best part is that it is fun. It doesn’t feel like just another project. In the short amount of time we have been in this band, we have made friendships that will go on for the rest of our lives.

What’s your favorite moment being a part of this band?

Best moment was being told we were going to open for Buckcherry at Starland Ballroom for our first show and then having to write, rehearse six songs in two weeks, also build a website, photo shoot and get shirts made for the show! (Laughs) It was extremely terrifying but very exciting at the same time.

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What’s the wildest concert experience you’ve had at a Ronin show?

I’d have to say the first show, at Starland Ballroom. The amount of support we received from everyone was overwhelming. Nobody knew what we sounded like but came out to support us because they trusted in us from the projects we were previously attached to. Beyond grateful for that.

There are countless bands performing in the Asbury Park scene right now — what separates you guys from everyone out there?

Umm, our keytar!!! We have a damn keytar on stage! But in all seriousness, we pride ourselves in the music we write. We are not trying to build music that’s in the moment, we are making music that is timeless. We’re bringing back that arena rock that has been put on the shelves because of so many countless bands that are just carbon copies of one another.

If someone had never heard the band before what song would you recommend they check out in order to fully understand what Ronin is all about?

‘Far Too Long.’

What do you have planned for the rest of 2015?

We will be releasing our EP in the spring as well as a music video, tour in the summer so that we can expand outside of Jersey.

Ronin performs at Happy Mondays for the special Jeff Crespi Birthday Bash along with Bobby Mahoney & the Seventh Son and Atlas Bloom.

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Bill Bodkin is the owner, editor-in-chief and co-founder of Pop Break. Most importantly, however, he is the proud father of a beautiful daughter, Sophie. He can be seen regularly on the site reviewing The Walking Dead, Doctor Who, and is the host of the site's podcast, The BreakCast. He is a graduate of Rutgers University with a degree in Journalism & English. Follow him on Twitter: @BodkinWrites