With their new album ‘Phenomena’ out, Within the Ruins have been out on the road supporting the disc. At a recent New York stop, we had a little fun with guitarist Joe Cocchi, who indulged us in a game of ‘Would You Rather?’ Cocchi talks about being a perfectionist, his fondness of touring and reminiscing about the ‘80s. Check out our latest installment of ‘Would You Rather’ with guitarist Joe Cocchi of Within the Ruins.

Would you rather be really late for the show or mess up onstage?

I’d rather be late for a show. They both suck, being late is stressful as hell and everyone messes up but when I mess up -- particularly when it’s noticeable it just kind of ruins most of the rest of my night. I’m a perfectionist, it’s not a bad thing but it definitely works against me. [Laughs]

Would you rather be in the studio or on tour?

Oh man, that’s pretty even. I’m going to say I’d rather be on tour because it’s about interacting with people and fans. Nothing beats the live environment of doing what we do. The studio is awesome but after 30 days in the studio versus 30 days on tour, touring’s more of a vacation for me.

Would you rather have a massive bank account or a massive fan base?

I think it’s pretty clear that we’d rather have a massive fan base at this point. [Laughs] It’s clearly not about money. In the industry in general, it’s tough. I could go home and stop touring and go to work any day but why? We enjoy it while we can.

Would you rather tour with a band you didn’t respect or tour with a band that didn’t respect you?

That’s weird, I would rather -- see I don’t know why I wouldn’t respect a band. I’d rather tour with a band that didn’t respect me because then I would just really give them s--- and kind of be a d--- about it. I would embrace it. I’m the kind of guy that likes to get to know everyone and be on the same page. It would be a challenge for me to figure out what their problem is.

Would you rather live in a world where people break into song or people break into mosh pits and/or crowd surfing?

I would say break out into song, even though I enjoy the mosh pits and crowdsurfing but not everyone does. It’s generally a small percentage of people that do enjoy it. If I go to a show I’m not out there going nuts and running around and crowdsurfing personally. I’m in the back watching and listening to the band I enjoy. A lot of bands get the wrong idea and they’ll get off stage and be like “this crowd sucked, no one was moving” and it doesn’t mean that. People are still there enjoying it. It doesn’t have much to do with who was moshing or crowdsurfing.

Would you rather be an ‘80s band in present day or would you rather be Within the Ruins in the ‘80s?

[Laugh] I would rather be Within the Ruins in the ‘80s by far. I mean an ‘80s band in present day is cool and we’d probably make a better living at it than what we’re doing right now. It’s probably made to look cooler than it was but the ‘80s was pretty f---in’ awesome. It was an awesome time for the industry and metal. Within the Ruins in the ‘80s, I don’t think we would necessarily succeed, per se, but it would be crazy, a 30-year difference in the evolution of music. People would be like, “What the hell is that?”

Our thanks to Joe Cocchi for the interview. See Within the Ruins' fall tour dates here, and pick up their new album, 'Phenomena,' at iTunes.

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