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Interview - Joe Cocchi (Within The Ruins / Tin Bridge)

Interview with Joe Cocchi from Within The Ruins / Tin Bridge
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 11 September 2014, 11:28 AM

Joe Cocchi has been a very busy man as of late, working full time on WITHIN THE RUINS, and also starting up his brewery Tin Bridge. Nevertheless, he found the time to speak with Steinmetal. All about music, beer, and the fact that it's never too late start something new.

Hello Joe, greetings and thank you for your time for this interview for Metal Temple. How have you been?

Ive been busy as hell but cant complain!

So first things first, who is Joe Cocchi? Please introduce yourself.

I am guitarist and co founder of the Massachusetts metal band Within The Ruins.

Before heading towards your alcoholic venture, let’s hear from you as a musician. Recently you finished touring with your band Within The Ruins in the lineup of this year’s Summer Slaughter, headlined by Morbid Angel. How was it? Any moments that you can talk about?

It was a pretty incredible tour, great attendance each night, great dudes on the tour, and on top of all that we were out in support of our newest release ‘Phenomena’ which came out late July. I have to say the workload on a tour like this is overwhelming sometimes, long drives, early 10am load ins, lots of waiting around until you play your set. Overall very worth it though!

Was it the band’s first year on the tour? Will you be wishing to be booked for the same tour next year?

We’ve been touring for about 7 years now. This was our second time being a part of this tour (last time was 2011). It as great to be back in the line-up, proud to say we were apart of this tour once again.

How long have you been a guitarist? Who has been your inspiration?

I started the band with our drummer back around 2002 or 2003. We’ve been at it ever since. It’s just something we love to do and something that has continually been progressing in every aspect since we started. I always cite metal bands like Metallica, Pantera, Megadeth as my very early influence.

How do you find yourself in Within The Ruins? Do you feel that you are fulfilling yourself through the band’s music?

Absolutely. That is why we are still here. This band is a 24/7 full time passion/job. Playing and creating music will never go away for me.

Talking about fulfillments draws us to the next in line subject, and also a personal venture in your life, Tin Bridge Brewery. Other than the production of alcohol, what was the idea behind the foundation of the brewery?

The idea was to start something new from the ground up that I am passionate about, like I did over 10 years ago with the band. The best part is if you had asked me 10 years ago “Where will this band be years from now?” I’d have had NO clue how to answer that and NO idea we’d be where we are now. The band has become a business and it is smooth sailing now. We have management, label and a team of people behind us. I never knew a thing about the music industry when we started. Now I feel like I know everything. We just learned through experience. So that all makes me miss the whole “struggle.” That 4-5 year or so of struggling so hard to get ourselves signed, or out on tour, or whatever it may have been. Just figuring it out as you go and learning a trade. I want that again. It keeps life challenging and interesting.

How did it all start? Did you partner with others to complete the foundation of the brewery or was it all by yourself?

My partners, who are my brother and a close family friend, were out one night enjoying some craft beers. We got back to the house and said “Dude, lets order one of the beer making kits, we could just make it ourselves!” Figured it’d be one of those things you wake up and forget about the next morning, but we all brought it up immediately the next day. It just started too small. It was just a random idea. We got really into it though, did it for years at my house. We eventually had too much equipment to even brew at my house. Moved into a warehouse and decided “Hey, we could really make something out of this.” So here we are, with a little help from my band promotion-wise and some motivation, we’re trying to go big!

What kind of alcohol products do you guys make at Tin Bridge? Are you making just beers or other unique brands of liquor?

Right now just concentrating strictly on beer. Some of my favorites, which are up pretty high on the list for the first mass production next year are our Smoked Porter, White IPA, Oatmeal Stout and Pale Ale.

Which of your products do you deem as your flag drink, a kind of drink you would recommend others to follow?

I would say the go to beer would be our Pale Ale. It’s very balanced but has a serious citrusy hop flavor to it.

Let’s go back a bit. As a musician, and now as also a businessman / entrepreneur, have you actually expected yourself to be a founder of a brewery? How does it feel to be an entrepreneur?

No sir, I never expected my life to be anything the way it is. Believe me I plan, I look ahead, but I like to just accept the challenges, and especially take advantage of the opportunities life presents. I was never the type of person to be like “oh, I’ll graduate, go to college for this, then I’ll get X job, and then that will be my life.”

When it comes to a business, time is a factor to be considered. Will you be actively running the brewery only through down times when the band is not touring or will you be mixing it up? How do you believe that your schedule will be?

Right now it’s working out pretty great having us three involved. We just became an LLC. We are in the VERY early stages of this, so for now it’s nothing too stressful. When I’m gone, the other guys run the ship, when I’m home from tour, I step up and let the guys take some time back. It’s a balance that works for now until we start to see how big we can actually make this company.

Well Joe, I wish to thank you for the interview, I must say that it is my first time interviewing a musician with more ideas other than music. I hope for the best for the Brewery! Any last words for the readers?

Thanks so much! I appreciate your time. All that I can say is that it is never too late to start a new venture in life.


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Edited 03 February 2023

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