We lose ourselves a little bit and give in to the fact that we just play music onstage and there are times when Jason is off somewhere else in the venue picking flowers for a girl out of a gesture of kindness, and then he comes onstage and breaks something, and I have no idea anything is going on to be honest. All of us kind of zone out for a little while and let the mechanics of our body take over.
PureVolume recently interviewed Justin Pearson Mars of Retox about the band's new album, the genesis of the band, and where he think technology is leading all of us.
It's just people's people's uneducated opinions on how we sound and our uneducated opinion on how other things are. I read so many times in reviews for the Locust, "I love the keyboards" when it's actually the bass or guitar. That's not the listeners' fault or necessarily a criticism because even with RETOX it's not as obvious as a song with structure from, say, the Ramones. When the Locust released Plague Soundscapes and we kind of blew up a bit people were like, "I can do this with one hand, that's garbage." I wanted to...
I find it easier to find a sound that’s really exciting and new with things that are old and familiar. Because things that are really brand new? They sound like what the future should be like, with no surprise element to it.
The music's pretty visual. From the first time I heard it, even though it was a lot to take in, I immediately got this cinematic feeling. The music is panoramic to me. I'm looking at it, listening to it, and seeing all kinds of different images. Even with the name Palms, we didn't come up with it too late into the process. Everything gave it this feeling. I felt like it was very cinematic. A lot of the lyrics are painting pictures of landscapes. There's not too much storytelling in the lyrics. It's more or less the music is speaking to me and, I think, you guys as well in a very...
Here I am talking to my best friend and he's fresh out of a plane crash, and he's talking about the possibility of us doing another album—and I was so on board because how can you not be on board with the type of perseverance and motivation that Travis has? He's literally lying in a hospital bed with skin melting off his body in ridiculous amounts of pain and he's talking about maybe we should do another album so I was like, "fuck it, let's go." I just hate the fact that it took something as horrible as that plane crash to happen for us to...
It's a couple of years into a dystopian future and totalitarian corporation has taken over in the wake of a disaster that we're calling The Fires. We pulled from a lot of different sources [of inspiration] like V For Vendetta, THX 1138, Running Man and 1984. This corporation has taken over and it's forcing the population to take all these pills and make them roll over and do their bidding, but then there's a resistance group called Zero Collective that has decided enough is enough and wages a Robinhood-style backlash against this corporation to try to regain their freedom.
I love that we're not pigeonholed. The fact that we've been able to go out with a band like Motionless in White and then go out with Pennywise and Lagwagon—it's just mind-blowing to me. We did a tour in Europe that was us, Hatebreed and Agnostic Front and then this summer we are doing Warped Tour. It makes it a lot more interesting for us because it gets boring playing to the same types of crowds all the time and you burn out those people. One of the best parts about being in a band is playing in front of new people and having that almost nightly challenge of of "Look, this crowd has never heard of...
It was awesome. I never even got that first box, actually—I just got a sample copy. But when that sample came, I took it on home and read it immediately. And it was so cool to finally see it in the, uhh, flesh. So to speak. I guess doing comics was something I always wanted to do, but I never really thought about actually doing it. But Ben Ashton-Bell, the designer of it, he was really inro the idea, and that’s how it started, how it all kicked off. So we actually saw it through, and it’s really been a lot of fun.
It was a great song to be a part of. But you’d have to ask them how thy found me—I was told that they were really big fans of The ArchAndroid, and they reached out two times to get me to be on “We Are Young.” And I was on tour and hella busy, but I listened to it and loved it and just said yes. So there you have it.
I don’t know ... but I think that the last album was about conflicts: We had a giant battle with our record company, they sued us for $30 million, we fought them for two years and subsequently made a film about it as well, called Artifact. But it was an album about conflict and survival. And this is an album that’s much more reflective. And it was made without the burden of a giant war on our shoulders, and it was actually really a lot of fun. It was exactly how it should be.
These songs are small pieces of a personal puzzle that equate to a cathartic hole—and that hole I feel can be generationally applied so on that small scale it's a really personal record. Lyrically, it's about me. It's about my life, and this idea that I tend to make excuses for fear of failure. I had to make excuses about why I wasn't going to get any better, why I wouldn't do anything bigger, why I was okay with being okay.
From a musical point of view, this album is very much a band album and I feel like my working relationship with the Sleeping Souls is in a really, really good place these days. Beyond that, from a lyrical perspective, it's a very personal kind of introspective record. There are various reasons why it worked out that way including events in my life. I never want to repeat myself so I didn't want to write another album about England. There's an almost detached thing about England Keep My Bones and I wanted to get something that was a little more roaring this time around.
I do hope—at this point, we’re looking at fall or winter—to have those open months. I need at least three months. The good thing is that I keep writing, whether it’s lyrics or melodies or rhythms or riffs. I do require some unbroken time to record the whole thing. That’s the thing about albums—you have to make them. I’ll release it after I finish making it, I think. I was going to try to put it out before it was recorded, but people advised me that it might not be a smart idea.
Abandon Kansas have premiered a new track entitled “You+Me+The Radio” along with announcing their new self-funded 3-song EP, A Midwest Summer, produced by Dustin Burnett. It can be streamed at Purevolume where you can watch a candid interview with the band. The EP will hit all digital retailers on June 11th. The release will act as a pre-cursor to the band’s full-length concept album, due out later in 2013.