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|Lovin’ it Up with Some Girls
The San Diego hardcorers bring their new material to Neumos this Valentine’s Day
by Ashley Graham
Forget what you’ve heard. Some Girls performances are not crazy. At least that’s what Justin Pearson wants you to think. But maybe we should check our definitions of crazy first.
“What’s crazy these days? Someone taking a shit and throwing it at someone? Yeah, that’s kinda crazy. I’ve seen that done before, though. That word, 'crazy,' that could be the fucking band being set on fire. Nothing’s crazy to me anymore. I’ve seen it all—people have died, I’ve seen naked people, I’ve seen diapers, trash cans—Wes just said he saw someone get his throat slit. So, shit,” Pearson laughs, “What’s crazy?”
Okay, maybe Pearson’s charming description gives a little bit of “crazy” to the scene, but as he goes on to explain, the emphasis remains on the music, because Pearson, bassist for Some Girls, the Locust and Head Wound City and founder of San Diego-based 31G Records, is clearly all about the music. The same goes for Some Girls as a collective. Each member of this band—Pearson, vocalist Wes Eisold, drummer Sal Gallegos, and guitarists Chuck Rowell and Nathan Joyner—has one impressive resume, and taken as a whole, well… damn.
It’s the fourth night of Some Girls’ national tour when Pearson sits down on the other end of the telephone to chat. Their first release on Epitaph, the cheekily-titled Heaven’s Pregnant Teens has just been released. Eisold has lost his voice. And there’s a show in two hours.
Luckily the boys aren’t too worried. Wes is quick to retreat from the phone in an effort to preserve what will be left of his voice for the rest of the night, but he’s heard adding the alleged throat slitting to the above discussion on concert craziness. Pearson assures that this has all happened before (Wes losing his voice, not that “crazy” baloney, which seems a bit of a stretttttch) and that the band will just need to be ever-aware and conscious of Eisold’s predicament for the next few days. He’ll be back to normal soon. And it’s hard not to believe them, because, as it is increasingly made apparent as the conversation goes on, these guys know their stuff.
“It’s been nice getting out on this tour. I personally don’t really enjoy a lot of the older material, I’m much happier playing new songs and, of course, it’s really cool to be out playing our first full U.S. tour, playing a lot of places we’ve never been before,” Pearson says, pausing. “Well, never been before as this band.”
The Locust. The Plot to Blow Up the Eiffel Tower. Give Up the Ghost. This band’s references speak for themselves, and the combination of their parts is easily able to draw interest from a wide array of music fans. Avoiding the term “hardcore” for Pearson’s sake, and, really, the sake of the music’s integrity, Teens, and its Girls predecessors, is filled with loud, thrashing, scream-flavored delights. It’s a little surprising to hear Pearson go into detail about the painstaking efforts of the band members to maintain the quality of the recorded material on the live stage, but just because it’s loud doesn’t mean there isn’t time in it.
With the recent switch to Epitaph from smaller labels 31G and Deathwish, Some Girls found themselves in a pretty cushy position for recording Teens. Alex Newport (At the Drive In, Sepultura) came on to produce, quickly understanding the band’s aesthetics and making for a much more well-rounded recording experience, as Pearson explains. Instead of squishing in for free recording time in Sal’s basement, the band had a budget and some extra time to find their focus. Collaborative to the end, as well it should be for the contributions each man can bring to this band, Some Girls’ music is the perfect combination of each individual members’ past, including their close ties to 31G.
“This whole thing came about through common interest; we were all friends from other bands and stuff. Everyone’s touring schedules coincided and it just worked out,” Pearson says in describing the band’s history and the role that all of it continues to play in their current state. “Like, it wasn’t a hard decision to switch to Epitaph, because I’d already dealt with them with the Locust. They are really supportive of us as a band, and they even gave 31G the rights to the vinyl for the new album, so it’s a joint release—and that’s cool.”
Signing to Epitaph also brings with it a boost in profile, but these boys have pretty hefty projects with which to budget their time. So far all seems to be pretty smooth sailing, evident by Pearson’s quick jokes about the matter of being overwhelmed (he does, after all, seem to be about the busiest member of the five).
“I don’t know how I do it all—I’m a mess,” he says with a ring of sincerity in his accompanying laughter. “I don’t have a social life, for one, and then I’m a workaholic, so that’s how I do it. I find enjoyment in working! The only thing that’s hard then is when I’m away on tour—I can’t do label stuff on the road and other things like, I miss my dog, come up—but other than that that’s all I do is music-related stuff.”
Charming, hard working and loud as hell, Some Girls bring all their craziness (or not!) to Seattle on, of all days, Valentine’s Day, February 14 at Neumos. More information on the show is available at www.neumos.com, and more info. on the lovely Girls and their entire US tour (which lasts just a few days past the 14th before heading to Europe) can be found at their website, www.somegirlshaveallthefuck.com (how charming!).