Ruth is releasing a brand new EP today called “Payola” via MTV/Hype Records and our good friend Dustin Ruth was kind enough to answer a few questions for us about the album, touring and just what the guys have been doing since the Covers EP a few years back.
CMZ. Hey Dustin, thanks for answering a few questions for us, what have you been up to the last couple years?
Dustin Ruth: A lot of fishing. Haha. That’s true, but we’ve been up to a lot of other stuff as well. We are all working day jobs, I work at my dad’s auto repair shop, Jesse is a painter and Ryan and Nick both do freelance design. Our jobs and families keep us pretty busy. But we’ve been blessed to still find time for music.
We’ve been working at Payola for about a year, so that has soaked up a lot of our time. I put out a solo project Learn How to Love Someone in 2010 and did a little bit of touring with that.
Dustin Ruth: I spent some of the down time recording a solo record, Learn How to Love Someone, with Chris Keene, from the band Surrogate and released it in 2010. Around that time I was trying to settle a balance with our former booking agency, WME. There was some confusion (I kept getting notices saying I had a balance due, when I’d call to pay, they couldn’t find a balance on our account), eventually I ended up on the phone with a guy there who asked what the band was up to. I sent him the solo record and he loved it and passed it on to his friend who is a music program director. That friend helped me secure some TV placements, including several on MTV. When we finished up Payola I sent the program director the tracks, hoping it would lead to more TV placements. he got Payola in the hands of some people at MTV and here are. They are really focused on TV/Film placements, much more than a traditional label (where the focus is primarily sales and touring) which lined up perfectly with where we are at as a band.
Dustin Ruth: For one, we just love the word. It’s a great word. Back when we were touring Anorak we just decided kind of tongue in cheek that our next album was going to be named Payola. There is a huge amount of work that goes alongside radio promotion. Prior to signing with T&N we didn’t realize how much wining and dining (all legit & legal) is involved with getting songs on radio. There is nothing wrong with it, but man, it’s a big job. So, yeah, we just loved the name and decided we were going with it.
Dustin Ruth: We do plan to do some touring with Payola, but honestly with gas prices the way they are – it’s most likely we’ll be limited to the West coast. We’d love to get back out to other areas of the country, but we just have to wait until we can justify the expense. The best way to keep up to date on our shows is to “Like” us on Facebook.
Dustin Ruth: We definitely have the material for a full length Ruth album, and we’d love to keep at it and get it recorded. Payola was a dream of ours for quite some time, but without a label behind us, it took some time to gather the resources to record it. We actually bartered services for most of the cost of the album. We knew we wanted to get this music out there, so we just got creative. It would be awesome if Payola opened a door for more Ruth music. We honestly are so grateful to still be doing this, we just love playing music together.
Yes, absolutely. I’m actually working on the follow up to Learn How to Love Someone with Chris Keene (Surrogate) this month. I also have another set of songs for the solo stuff I’ve been working on with Jesse Ribordy (Falling Up). I hope to get both of those projects out this year.
Dustin Ruth: We’d just like to thank everyone who has supported us along the way, and enjoyed our music. I think we approached Payola with more hopeful hearts than ever. Coming off of our Tooth & Nail experience we were all trying to catch our breath a bit and gain our bearings on what mattered most to all of us. When we decided to move forward and keep working on another record, it was an exciting time. We are so grateful to have these talents and that we get to play this music. We hope you enjoy Payola.