During a December 5-6 Headbangers Con live virtual panel, SOIL vocalist Ryan McCombs spoke about the progress of the songwriting sessions for the long-awaited follow-up to 2013's "Whole" album. He said: "We just started writing here recently with the SOIL guys. So that's been a breath of fresh air for me, 'cause I've been going a little nuts not having something to write for a long time.
"Not having something to write is like an artist not having use of their hands to draw or paint, or whatever their medium is. I've never been able to play an instrument for shit, so I've always been reliant on having a good music writer, instrumentation-wise, a music writer, and I've been blessed with C.J. Pierce [during my days with DROWNING POOL] and Adam Zadel. So not having one of those guys sending me musical ideas to bounce back and forth on, I feel like an artist with no hands. So having, all of a sudden, half a dozen songs in two weeks' time to write with, I feel like a mad scientist. I feel like my legs work again; I've got hands again. It's been awesome."
Ryan also talked about how SOIL might go about releasing new music and whether putting out full-length albums makes sense anymore.
"It's been about 137 years since the last album, so we've talked ad nauseam about what could be a way of working," he said. "I think one of the things that goes against us at times is Tim [King, SOIL bassist] being in the music business on the other side of the fence. Tim's on the label side of things as well, with Pavement, so he sees the problems that the business is having. And so it's hard for him sometimes to separate the fact of the artist and the shirt-and-tie. And so that goes against us sometimes, because, as an artist, we're just going, 'Let's write a new record. Let's write some new songs. Let's get a new record out there.' And he's the same way, but then he's gotta [look at it from the point of view of], 'What are we gonna do?' Because, at the end of the day, nobody is selling anything. Records aren't selling anymore. Hard copies, CDs aren't selling anymore — not at the numbers that they need to to make them worthwhile for printing. So that puts us into bouncing ideas off each other, and that's usually where things end up screeching to a halt. I think, actually, my dumb ass made the comment, 'Well, to begin with, we need material. Until we have material, there's no reason to worry about how you're going to release it. So let's get writing.' And that's when Tim finally [said], 'You're absolutely right.' And that's when he started writing the stuff. And now Adam's on fire about it."
In October 2019, SOIL released a "theatrical interpretation" of its song "One Love". Conceptually, SOIL wanted to do something different and interesting with the song since "One Love" originally appeared on "Whole". Indie filmmakers David Gregory (director) and James Morgan (director of photography) were tapped for the job. Filming was shot in the U.K. during SOIL's tour supporting STATIC-X.
SOIL's latest release was "Scream: The Essentials", which arrived in September 2017 via Pavement Entertainment and AFM Records. The effort celebrated the band's 20-year career and featured early recordings as well as alternate versions and mixes.