Since Will Ramos joined Lorna Shore in 2021, the US deathcore band have been on a mission that’s seen them leapfrog to the forefront of their scene. Will’s mind-boggling vocal abilities have turbocharged them, and Hammer crowned last year’s sprawling symphonic fourth record, Pain Remains, “the most essential deathcore album of the decade”.
Last summer, Will sang with a camera down his throat so we could all see what the hell was going on in there, but now, in his biggest challenge yet, he takes on your questions…
What’s your favourite type of scream to do?
“They’re called ‘tunnel screams’, like if you’re going through a tunnel. But I like calling them ‘goblin screams’. It’s like two different tones going on at the same time. It sounds really cool.”
What bands got you into metal?
Ben Ryan, Facebook
“Linkin Park was definitely one of them. Meteora… freaking Hybrid Theory! I listen to albums from my childhood all the time – I still love them and they still hold up; Bullet For My Valentine, Lamb Of God, AFI… I had a couple of friends that listened to metal that I used to play videogames with, and one of the bands they played me was AFI. One song, Affliction, was just straight-up screaming the entire song. I was like, ‘This. Is. Crazy.’ Then my friend said, ‘Dude, here’s a bunch of bands that you should check out.’ It was Lamb Of God, Whitechapel, Linkin Park.”
How long do you think you’ll be able to maintain your iconic screaming voice? Ten years? Thirty? Forever?
“I haven’t fallen off yet. I don’t know. Hopefully forever, but every day I make a joke, I’m like, ‘This is the one. This is going to be the last one, this is it!”
What other genres do you love?
Jordan Bonvicino, Facebook
“I don’t listen to a lot of metal so much anymore. I was looking at my Spotify Wrapped from last year… It was rap, psychedelic rock, indie music, and metal was fourth. I love bands like [Japanese singer-songwriter] Joji. I love Mac Miller. I love Drake. And I love sad music, so stuff like [post-hardcore artist] Bilmuri. They’re metal, but they’re also very sing-y. And I like that because now that I’ve been doing so much screaming in my life, I want to get better at something that’s not screaming – so, singing. That’s the next tier for me right now.”
Are Lorna Shore bringing deathcore back?
Ed Burns, email
“I don’t know if we’re ‘bringing it back’. We’re doing really good for ourselves, and I love that people are hopping onto the train. That’s incredible. I love that it’s inspiring other people to even do more metal music. I just do what I do and I can’t think about what I’m doing. I still can’t look at myself in the mirror and be like, ‘That’s one of the big guys.’”
Hammer: Who were ‘the big guys’ to you?
“The ones that inspired me were [late Suicide Silence vocalist] Mitch Lucker, Phil Bozeman [Whitechapel] and Trevor Strnad [late Black Dahlia Murder vocalist].”
Do you avoid certain foods before singing, and if so, which ones?
Matt Doherty, Facebook
“I’d say eat light foods – if you eat something crazy heavy, you’re going to feel very tired. I have maybe a slice of pizza, but you won’t see me eating five or six slices. I love ramen and ramen is something that I’d have all the time when I’m on tour just because it’s spicy, so it clears your nasal passages and it’s soup, so it’s good for your stomach.”
What’s your favourite Lorna Shore breakdown?
“I think it would be Hollow Sentence off Immortal [2020 album, featuring ex-vocalist CJ McCreery]. If we’re talking about the newer stuff, Sun//Eater is definitely my favourite breakdown. It’s the hardest song in the set. We have a sample of a katana [samurai sword] coming out and slicing something open. This specific sound is the unsheathing of the sword. It’s halfway in, where the breakdown gets even heavier, so I just imagine a moshpit of people with inflatable swords killing each other.”
Would you ever re-record Immortal?
Corey Hunter, Facebook
“I have, and I’m doing it for myself. I made a Patreon, and I told myself, ‘I’m going to start redoing all of the old Lorna Shore albums.’”
Hammer: Would the band ever re-release the older albums with you on vocals?
“As a band we wouldn’t – we want to have forward momentum. Art is always going to get better as long as you don’t go back and start fixing things. We’re like, ‘What’s the next thing?’ I’ll put out Immortal on my own, but that’s it.”
What is your favourite song on Pain Remains?
Alex Chiczewski, Facebook
“Pain Remains I: Dancing Like Flames. It’s the saddest one. I told you, I love sad music! You get to a point where you listen to breakdowns so many times, you become a little numb to them. For me, the only thing that holds me onto music after the breakdowns, is how do I feel about it? It’s not about the melody or the breakdown. It’s hearing the lyrics and I feel what this person is feeling and that it feels real. That’s why I love Pain Remains I – it’s the most genuine.”
What is your best advice for dealing with crippling depression?
Zare Ralof Karadzin, Facebook
“Distract myself. Everyone always sees me as Labradoodle Will. That’s great, but I’m just like everybody out there and everybody gets sad sometimes. I dealt with depression a lot when I was a little kid, and if there’s anything that’s helped me, it was trying to distract myself with things I like to do, whether it be screaming or my little RC [remote control] cars, or playing Minecraft. Take everything day by day… conquer this day. Then you know tomorrow is another day, and you beat that day. Eventually you start putting yourself in the cycle where you’ll have more good days than you have bad days.”
What bands would you like to collab with in the future?
“I’d love to collaborate with Sleep Token. They’re my favourite freaking band right now. They are so incredibly good; Vessel and I have very similar singing ranges, too. Also, I Declare War, because they’re just so incredibly heavy… In Flames… and I love Oceano – their vocalist Adam Warren is so good.”
Hammer: What do you think a Sleep Token/Lorna Shore collab would sound like?
“It’d be insane. I don’t know if our fans would love it, but I would. Let’s go!”
What does it mean to you to be the Latino/Hispanic representation of deathcore and heavy music in general?
Shaun Fontanez, Facebook
“It’s incredibly stressful! I don’t speak Spanish, so a lot of Hispanic people will come up to me just like, ‘Yo, dude, I’m so happy that you’re here; you’re Hispanic, I’m Hispanic!’ I’m like, ‘Thanks, man, I appreciate that. I’m going to tell you right now I don’t speak Spanish’ and see that shock on their face. I do wish to speak more Spanish. I am a bad Puerto Rican… Or maybe I am the perfect Puerto Rican, because if you know anything about Puerto Ricans, half of them also don’t speak Spanish. So, shout out to Puerto Rico.”
How does it feel to have such a sudden and rapid growth in notoriety? Christopher Andrew Ryman, Facebook
“It has been very big. Honestly, it’s an incredible thing to see. We’re very happy that we’re all able to live off the art that we’re putting out, not a lot of people can say that. We’re so caught up in the race, though, we’re focused on what’s next so that we can stay up here. If we fall off, you can only get to this point once, and then you lose it. We’re trying to ride it for as long as we can.”
How difficult was it singing with a camera down your throat?
Andy Pierce, email
“I didn’t think it was going to sound good at all because I was so numb and mucus-y. When you’re doing vocals, you don’t want mucus because it gets in the way and you can’t even feel anything down there. It’s almost like if you sang out loud and you just covered your ears, and you couldn’t hear what you’re putting out. That’s what it felt like! Hopefully it’ll be better next time [now I know what to expect].”
Pain Remains is out now.