(Rules of The Gauntlet: The artist (in this case, the hard rock band: Ratchet Dolls) is sent a butt ton of questions ranging from standard to stupid from which they must choose at least 12 to answer and return them to us with a minimum of tear stains).
Ratchet Dolls is:
Kevin Sauceda – Lead Vocals / Guitar
Eliseo Moreno – Bass / Backing Vocals
Robert Mendoza – Drums / Backing Vocals
Which voice in your head is the craziest?
Kevin Sauceda: Definitely the one that tells me I’m not good enough to do something. It’s not a good trait to have because I second guess myself a lot and it’s stopped me from doing some amazing things in the past. Although, it also saved me from doing some pretty stupid things as well… So, is it really crazy?
Robert Mendoza: The one that keeps me up at night.
Eli Moreno: The one screaming “I’m hungry” at this moment. [band laughs]
Why do you make your style of music? Why not polka? or Japanese symphonic folk metal? or..?
Kevin Sauceda: I’m a 90’s kid brought up on classic rock because of my older brother. I naturally gravitated toward that genre when composing, but I do my best to include a modern touch as well.
Robert Mendoza: I grew up on Kiss, Motley Crue, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Guano Apes, P.U.S.A. The Beatles and The Doors. It’s the music that speaks to me and comes naturally – like a soothing voice!
Eli Moreno: The fact that it’s good ol’ Rock ’n’ Roll with a touch of modern hard rock.
What was the last song you listened to before this interview?
Kevin Sauceda: Alice Cooper’s “Feed My Frankenstein”
Robert Mendoza: Turbonegro’s “Get It On”
Eli Moreno: John Mellencamp’s “Jack and Diane”
Tell me about your new album. The writing, vibe, production/producers, etc.
Kevin Sauceda: “Out Of Control” is a very rebellious single for me as I wrote and produced on my own after removing myself from a toxic relationship with my former agents and management team. I was signed at a very early age and was practically a puppet to them for four years. Toward the end of the relationship, I was presented contracts designed to scalp me of my rights as a musician which was where I walked away. The lyric “…feeling half alive and I’m ready to fly…” is a reminder to myself that I was ready to move forward even if it meant I would handle things on my own.
Robert Mendoza: Kevin wrote the debut: “Damaged.” However, many of the demos for the album were tracked at my house. We’re currently working on the follow up which will include “Out of Control.”
Top 2 stupidest things you’ve ever done.
Kevin Sauceda: 1) I once jumped off the bed of a speeding truck to try to save equipment that was falling out. Our song “Bad Situation” talks about my experience at the hospital after that accident [band laughs]. 2) Signing to a management agency at such an early age… I was extremely uneducated about the music industry which led to them taking advantage of the Ratchet Dolls. The majority of our earnings from shows, the rights to the music, and our royalties were illegally stolen for nearly 5 years. All is well now – Rock Angels Agency was fired and I reclaimed the rights to my music.
Robert Mendoza: 1) When I was young I jumped off my ex’s roof on a skateboard to impress her. I somehow landed, but then rolled a few feet until the wheels hit a small pebble. I then flew off the skateboard and ended up with a concussion! [band laughs] 2) When I first tried Wasabi I figured it would taste like guacamole. I put all of it on my Tako (octopus), chewed, and realized I messed up!
Eli Moreno: 1) Deciding to skateboard on vert ramps only after two days of “learning” how to skate. Like Rob, I also ended that day with a concussion. [band laughs] 2) I once decided to ride my motorcycle during a thunderstorm. That wasn’t fun.
How often do you work on your music?
Kevin Sauceda: Let’s just say my phone is filled with a lot of voice memos of me recording myself humming on-the-go. I have hundreds of demos that wind up eventually getting lost on my computer. [band laughs]
Peace or freedom? (You can’t have both.) Why?
Kevin Sauceda: Definitely freedom. As musicians, we are naturally creative individuals who find gratification out of being able to express ourselves. I feel like “peace” would be too organized for us to experience that.
Robert Mendoza: Freedom to raise your fists and yell!
Eliseo Moreno: I have to agree. Freedom.
What legendary musicians would you like to play badminton with?
Kevin Sauceda: Why do I feel like Alice Cooper would be good at badminton? [laughs] In all honesty, I would have so many questions and it would be an honor.
Robert Mendoza: The Soapgirls from Africa are relatively new, but they are legendary to me. I admire their hard work and the way they promote themselves with any opportunity they get.
Eliseo Moreno: Geddy Lee and Steve Harris. I could learn so much from them just talking “bass” all day.
Any tours planned?
Kevin Sauceda: Absolutely! We’ve got a couple of dates coming up for October/November that you can find on our website www.ratchetdolls.com. 2020 is also being worked on at this time.
What musicians should quit forever and never be seen or heard from again?
Kevin Sauceda: Whoever wrote that “Baby Shark” song. [band laughs]
Eliseo Moreno: What Kevin said!
Robert Mendoza: I believe everyone deserves a chance to follow their passion. Some genres might not be my cup of tea, but I just ignore them and focus on what I agree with.
What would you like to say to your fans?
Kevin Sauceda: I was heartbroken when the decision was made to disband Ratchet Dolls back in 2018. The band was dealing with a very corrupt situation between band members, managers, and agents; it felt like the only way out at the time. To each and every one of you: Thank you for welcoming us back with open arms. New music is coming 2020 and we hope you’ll be a part of that journey. See you on the road!
Eli Moreno: Thanks for the acceptance and continued support. It means everything to us.
Robert Mendoza: Thank you for your loyalty and support – We will try our best to give you our best!
Top five favorite albums? Besides your music?
- Hank Von Hell – “Egomania”
- Santa Cruz – “Bad Blood Rising”
- Sum 41 – “All Killer No Filler”
- Def Leppard – “Hysteria
- Starbenders – “Japanese Rooms”.
- Nirvana – “Nevermind”
- KISS – “Alive!”
- The Doors – “Greatest Hits”
- Turbonegro – “Apocalypse Dudes”
- Pearl Jam – “Ten”
- Iron Maiden – “The Number of The Beast”
- Rush – “Moving Pictures”
- Motorhead – “Ace of Spades”
- Megadeth – “Peace Sells… but Who’s Buying?”
- Metallica – “Ride The Lightning”