Interview: Upon A Burning Body
Fri, 29 Mar 2013 11:41:40
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Upon a Burning Body don't fuck around. They make brain-busting metal that's eerily catchy and undeniably powerful. Their latest album Red. White. Green. is locked and loaded with that kind of aggression. At the same time, it's also tribute to filmmaker Robert Rodriguez with song titles all paying homage to the man behind Desperado and From Dusk Till Dawn.
ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino spoke to Upon A Burning Body singer Danny Leal about the album, movies, and more in this exclusive interview.
Did you approach Red. White. Green. with one vision or vibe in mind?
It took some time to get going and figure out what we doing as far as the theme goes. On the last record, we did the Al Pacino vibe. With this, we decided it was cool to do a Robert Rodriguez vibe. It's cool because he's from San Antonio, and it hit really close to home. With the colors of the record, it all worked together. We made it work like that.
Were you watching a lot of his movies at the time?
It was before the record started getting recorded. One of the members brought it up, and we went with it.
Where did "Sin City" come from?
It's hard to say. There were emotions that came out with the way I heard the song and the vibe I got. It went from there. That last line is no secret to the world. A lot of people would say it, but they wouldn't put it out front in a line like that—"Life sucks, and then you die". It's a pretty obnoxious saying.
What about "The Island of Lost Dreams"?
We did that on the last record with the "City Hall" track. It let out all of these emotions I had built up over a long time over trying to make a name in the industry and get started. "The Island of Lost Dreams" continues that line of thinking. You're trying to do the best you can in a crazy world. It's almost impossible to be successful in the industry. The entertainment industry is not what it used to be. In terms of money, it's a little harder. Keeping your head up in those tough times separates the people who really want to play music and the people who don't.
Is it important for you to tell stories in the songs?
Definitely! I try to paint it out so people can understand what I'm going through or what I'm thinking about it as I'm writing that song. It's a big part of what I try to put out.
Do you watch movies while writing lyrics?
The movies are in my head. I try to go to a place where I have been unhappy or didn't really like and use that in a way that hopefully comes out positively.
What's your favorite Robert Rodriguez movie?
I'd say my "most-watched" is From Dusk Till Dawn. We haven't met him, but we want to [Laughs].
He'd appreciate the homage.
Either that or he'd just sue us [Laughs].
What artists shaped you?
If you were to compare the record to one Robert Rodriguez movie, what would you compare it to?
I think "The Island of Lost Dreams" sums up the whole record. That'd be my pick.
What's your favorite Upon A Burning Body song?