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  • RETOX Talk "Ugly Animals"

    Mon, 26 Mar 2012 07:34:21

    RETOX Talk "Ugly Animals" - Exclusive interview by ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino...

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    RETOX make hardcore the way it should be made on Ugly Animals.

    It's unadulterated, unabashed, and unique brutality in its own right. The California quartet bludgeon with each riff and lyric, and Ugly Animals roars intensely at every turn. These Animals are loose, and hardcore will never be safe again.

    RETOX singer Justin Pearson spoke to ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino about Ugly Animals and so much more in this exclusive interview…

    Did you have one vision for the album going into the studio?

    Initially, when Dave and I decided to start the band, the idea was to venture away from a lot of the stuff he and I were doing and do something a little cruder sounding. That coupled with our awareness of the world around us, the music came out the way it did. A lot of times when people put emphasis on trying to create a specific outcome or sound a certain way, they end up limiting themselves. We went in there and let it happen organically. That was the outcome. I also think working with Manny Nieto in the studio we recorded at brought a lot of the negative sound out of it. He made it sound more brutal or evil than I thought it would've sounded. Maybe he was able to harness what we were going for. All of those components factored in to the outcome of the record.

    What's the story behind "Piss Elegant"?

    We did an EP originally, and "Piss Elegant" was on the EP as well. We changed it a little bit, and the recording is a lot better.

    How do you typically write lyrics?

    A lot of the writing I do uses metaphors that I'd hope have an artistic edge. I think if you're overly political, you come off as preachy. Also, the way we think might be similar to our fan base so I suppose it would be preaching to the choir anyway. The point was to have a meaningful message with a more creative delivery. It's not like a pop lyric where it's the lowest common denominator for everyone to digest.

    Where do you cull influence from?

    Influences can come from anything—whether it's daily life, history, or the world we live in. I tend to reference the slang dictionary to have a different take on their use of words. The lyrics come second to the music. I'm always trying to find alternatives to certain words or phrases dealing with syllables that would fit with the structure of the song or the riff. At the same time, I'm still trying to find harmony within the lines I'm saying—believe it or not. For me, I want to try to avoid just following the riff. A lot of times, lyricists in this kind of music write towards a simpler structure. I'll try to find a polyrhythm that might fit with the beat or a harmony that might sync up with the guitar riff. It's about trying to find a medium for all of the different aspects involved.

    What are some of your favorite movies?

    I always reference Holy Mountain, something that has an artistic edge to it and is a bit obscure at the same time. I think that's always good because it keeps you thinking and there's a bigger meaning of the film you could ponder after. I really liked that movie Beginners that came out about a year ago with Ewan McGregor. He had this little dog that would talk to him. It's pretty interesting.

    Rick Florino

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