INTERVIEW BY: JEANETTE LEBLANC
INTERVIEW WITH: JUSTIN PEARSON (VOCALS)
Southern California’s heavy rocker’s Retox have been stealing attention from fans all over the globe since their release of “YPLL” last year via Epitaph Records. On April 9th, Retox are set to open up for The Dillenger Escape Plan at the Opera House in Toronto.
Help us get to know you, what’s your idea of a perfect music festival?
Well, to be honest, I am not a fan of music festivals. I suppose I enjoy playing them, but generally there are a lot of acts on any given festival that I don’t care for. However, something like how ATP would have an artist curate an event makes sense and generally is something of interest to me. In order to make it “perfect”, well that is a tall order. If you can rid of the crummy ticket prices, bad food, outdoor sound, among a few other things, we might be on the way to conceptualizing a “perfect” event.
What did you learn from previous bands (The Locust) that are now benefitting you as Retox?
I have learned a lot from previous bands and projects. But benefiting, that I am not sure about. I have learned survival techniques, how to perform better, what I can get away with, the harsh reality about creating art that is not the norm or the lowest common denominator, etc. As far as benefiting, I suppose I have not died, that is beneficial.
What producer did you work with on “YPLL”? What was that experience like?
Chris Rakestraw was the producer. I think he was fantastic to work with. He sure challenged me, which in turn, made YPLL my best vocal and lyrical work to date.
How would you describe your sound without putting a label on it?
I wouldn’t. But for shit’s a giggles, I usually use the term “Annoying”.
We are stoked to catch you guys in Toronto with The Dillinger Escape Plan this month. What are you looking forward to most about this tour? Think you’ll be able to keep up with Dillinger’s energy?
Yeah, I am looking forward to the tour. I consider the Dillinger guys family, since back when The Locust toured with them. I have so much respect for the band. Also, they are one of the best live acts I have seen. As far as keeping up with someone else’s energy, I think that is a bad thing to consider or contemplate. Each act is it’s own thing, and not a competition. For me, as a vocalist in Retox, I am not trying to compete with Greg. I mean, for one, I still to this day do not have medical insurance. So I am fairly limited with stage antics. Plus, people who see bands that I am in typically do not want me stepping on their heads. But I do enjoy watching Dillinger do their thing.
What can fans expect to see later this year? Any new releases in the works?
Yes, we are working on a split 7” EP with Narrows, which will be released on Three One G. And we are also working on a new LP as well.
What advice would you give an aspiring musician?
Good luck: http://sandiego.craigslist.org/muc/
Watch the video for “Mature Science”: