Ripped to Shreds began as guitarist/vocalist/founding member Andrew Lee’s solo endeavor to prove to himself that he could grind it alone—including on the drums. Now, after just six years, Ripped to Shreds have become a singular force in modern underground death metal.
Since the Bay Area deathdealer’s 2018 debut, the full-length 埋葬 (Mai-zang), Andrew has considered it also his mission to gain more recognition for Asian-American metal musicians. His intentions with Ripped to Shreds were “to increase the visibility of ABCs (American-born Chinese) in extreme metal by being very blatantly Chinese.”
Does this mean Ripped to Shreds are a political band, then? We know that alongside his band’s fiery rise, Andrew has stood up as a vocal opponent against racism. “Being a minority in America is inherently political,” Andrew says. “The way that we present ourselves live, our album, our artwork, our titles, our lyrics . . . all of it needs to show elements of Chinese culture. That’s been the whole concept of Ripped to Shreds since the very beginning.”