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“Our Horror imagery is purely aesthetic since all our lyrics are metaphors in a way. So it’s never been about the cannibal itself, but what the cannibal stands for.” -Rusty Eye

DarkMedia Interviews Rusty Eye:

Rusty Eye is one of those bands characterized with the ability to persevere through time, and their aim from the outset was to summon a cohesive and original style of Heavy Metal; their most recent album ‘Possessor’ being a remarkable testament to this vow. The trio from Hollywood, CA is comprised by bassist vocalist (founding member) Mr. Rust, singing drummer Miss Randall, and guitarist Baron Murtland; their story goes back as far as 1995, amid the vast cultural melting-pot that is Mexico City.

Even in the early days, Rusty Eye always triggered a “You have to see this!” reaction; their DIY-assembled tapes being traded via word-of-mouth. Five years later they unleashed their debut ‘Rust and Roll’ and hammered the Mexican Metal scene in the album’s support. Once again things would shift in 2003 as drummer ‘Miss Randall’ joined as a permanent creative force, bringing with her considerable vocal and recording skills (worth-mentioning is that 4 years after picking up the sticks, she would be World’s Fastest Drummer finalist, feet scoring 728 hits in 60 seconds). This personnel change ushered the band’s decision of relocating to Hollywood, CA by the end of 2004.

Now in Hollywood, a period of creative output took place having three independent releases via their own DIY Epoché Records: ‘Cryogenic’ (2005), ‘Live at the Joint MMVI’ and ‘Stendhal Syndrome’ (both in 2006, having Baron Murtland as guitarist). The latter spawned their first serious dip into the market of big-budget video production in 2007 as its single ‘Mr. Cannibal’ – ‘Best Metal Single’ LA Music Awards  – grabbed the attention of horror director Alejandro Ordóñez during an electrifying live performance at the Whisky a Go Go. He later directed/sponsored the music video which depicts the morbidly captivating journey into the realms of Grindhouse 16 mm. moviedom.

After years of bombarding Los Angeles live, Rusty Eye opted to retreat from the public to produce a new offering with the benefit this time of a higher independent budget. The ever-present horror influence was made more evident in ‘Possessor’ remarkably engineered by Jeremy Blair (Guns N’ Roses/Fear Factory) at Temple Studios in Chatsworth, CA and produced/co-engineered by Miss Randall. The album also features renowned guests: Italian film composer “Claudio Simonetti” (Goblin), guitarist and producer “Waldemar Sorychta” (Grip Inc.), vocalist “Alex Mitchell” (Circus of Power), and the cover artwork of Joe Petagno (Motörhead).

An accomplishment in its own is their state-of-the-art website designed by Mr. Rust which reinforces ‘Possessor’ as its viewers can follow a slew of multi-camera live performances to each song.

The initial responses to the album have been astounding and it’s clear that the band’s unique ability to bridge several genres is creating significant interest Worldwide (by Mark Eglinton via rustyeye.com)

How do you think living in Mexico City has influenced your music?

Charlie Steffens Photography

Finding out about music in Mexico in the early days of the band was not an easy task, but it was possible with the help of cassette tape swapping and A.M. radio programs specialized in Rock and Metal music. I’d say that it was a good thing that there was a challenge in this because it made us (the fans) even more engaged with the product and more passionate about it. Obviously, things have changed now and music is a little easier to find with the help of the internet and mp3 and now with services like Spotify, Last.FM, or Pandora. I’d like to think that growing up in this environment helped to stimulate and train a good listener, and it influenced us in the sense that we can distill what is useful for us in our band flipping through a vast array of music that is not exclusively Metal.

You moved to Hollywood, California in 2004. Why did you decide to make the transition after almost a decade of being in Mexico? What was that adjustment like?

At that time there was not a lot of Mexican independent labels and the bigger industry would never be interested in bands that sing in English and besides that they only allow clean-cut bands that wouldn’t dare to push the envelope. Besides that Miss Randall and Mr. Rust are American citizens so moving to California was the obvious move to take our music to a bigger global audience.

What’s the meaning behind the name “Rusty Eye”? Why did you change your name from “Poltergeist”?

The name Rusty Eye represents the corrosion of traditional points of view. Poltergeist’s sound was a very traditional style of Speed Metal but never really took off because of constant lineup changes. Poltergeist went on hiatus and that’s when Rusty Eye formed, introducing the Punk and Progressive elements and everything about it was a statement so it required a name that really represented the sound and attitude, besides there was a German band named Poltergeist already.

Miss Randall, what would you say the challenges and/or advantages are to being one of the few female drummers in the music industry?

Photo by Todd Taylor

I try to stay out of the subject as much as possibly to not seem “whiny,” but I still get treated differently when doing sound checks or trying to work with a new engineer in the studio. I feel I always have to prove myself 200% most of the time, but hey… I’m still here doing it.

Which horror film has had the greatest impact on your music?

The Horror influence is so big that it would be very difficult to pinpoint one movie in particular. Genre wise, possibly most Dario Argento and Lucio Fulci films have been the most influential.

In 2006 you were awarded “Best Metal Single of the Year” for Mr. Cannibal. What kind of impact did that have on the popularity of the band?

It certainly gave us a bit of credibility. Labels rejected Stendhal Syndrome criticizing its production because it was all recorded DIY. That certainly hurt any industry opportunities we could have had since word spread out amongst insiders and to this day they refuse to check out our stuff. Naysayers were shocked when someone actually recognized our work, and it only shows how little they know about music since Stendhal Syndrome is to this day our best-selling album.

Your band has been together for almost 16 years. What gives you the drive to keep recording and performing?

We have struggled and worked very hard to be heard that our main priority is to deliver our music to the people. That’s our main drive and motivation.

How does it feel to be the first band to record a live album at the legendary Rainbow Bar and Grill in West Hollywood? What was that experience like?

It was very difficult night to do it because we were booked the same night as the Revolver Awards but we couldn’t turn down the opportunity since they gave us a 2 hour set and the most we get at clubs is 20 minutes. It was our only opportunity to play 15 years of songs in 2 hours, so it had to be recorded. Only true fans showed up so the setting was very intimate and magical. We are very proud of the DIY recording studio we set up at the Rainbow. The recordings were mixed and produced by Miss Randall. It definitely set a new standard for our history of live recordings; this is the one that sounds the best.

How has the diversity in your sound, over the years, been received by your fans?

Our true fans like it. That’s what is expected from us, diversity. Our sound has evolved, yet the essence remains the same. You can tell it’s Rusty Eye and it doesn’t matter what album the song comes in. Unfortunately being that original has been our biggest blessing and our biggest curse, since the industry doesn’t appreciate originality, only cookie-cutter stuff. These bands get the opportunities that we don’t have in order to get to the next level and reach a bigger audience.

You collaborated with Circus of Power & Grip Inc. Which artists would you like to collaborate with in the future?

With Possessor, we introduced the “cult” guest appearances and we are going to make it a constant on future releases. We already have some ideas for the next album, but are going to keep it a surprise.

You are featured on artistic genius Hal Hefner’s Gates, the first online comic for Heavy Metal Magazine’s, soundtrack, The Ascension. How and when did you meet Hal, who was once a musician himself?

We met though writer and trans-media artist Joe Matheny about the time Gates was being prepared for launch.

Even though it was just a coincidence, were people shocked that your music video for Mr. Cannibal was NOT related to the capture of Canibal de la Guerrero?

Our Horror imagery is purely aesthetic since all our lyrics are metaphors in a way. Illiterate people tend to say our stuff is campy because it’s about monsters and such. The Cannibal represents authority, it could be you parents, teachers, government, etc… you name it. And there you are so helpless on a plate that you don’t care anymore, don’t feel anymore and give in to their rules and just ask to be eaten. So it’s never been about the cannibal itself, but what the cannibal stands for.

The “Caníbal de la Guerrero” was a serial killer that got caught red handed in Mexico City when our video was released, which means he was actually chopping up, cooking and eating his girlfriend a few weeks back while we were actually shooting the video. While this guy was into the same music and movies we are, and was a horror writer and poet, there was no real link in the sense that people thought the music had something to do with it, but with all the media coverage it got in Mexico, people assumed we wrote the song and did the video because of him to climb on the cannibal trend he started, and that wasn’t the case since the song was actually written in 2003 and the video was scripted and plan a year before its release.

Mr. Rust, being the only original member, how do you see the evolution of the band from the beginning to now?

Definitely the last lineup we’ve had since Stendhal Syndrome is the best Rusty Eye line-up ever, there’s a lot of chemistry in the sense that we all understand what Rusty Eye is and where we need to take it. Prior lineups were slightly unfocused in the sense of people coming in and out contributing ideas that had nothing to do with the direction the band required at a certain point. While great music was written in the past and albums such as our debut “Rust n’ Roll” was way too ahead of its time, it lacked elements that made the band a solid unit, such as the horror influence and the singing style dynamics. Someone always had something against something, I remember some didn’t like the Horror, others didn’t like the metal but would like the punk, other’s didn’t like the punk but would like the Prog, etc… They would contribute and then just walk away because of lack of determination.

Which punk bands do each of you credit as a musical influence?

Misfits, Ramones, Dead Kennedys, The Clash

Thank you for sharing your time with us. Can you tell us three things that most people don’t know about Rusty Eye, and where they can find out more about you and your music on the web?

Our next recording will be a Rock in Spanish cover album in our style.
If you Google “Rusty Eye” you can go really deep with Rusty Eye related stuff.
The Metal website Blabbermouth has stopped posting our news since 2009.

http://www.rustyeye.com
http://www.facebook.com/rustyeye
http://www.twitter.com/rustyeye

______________________________________________

Rusty Eye can be found on DarkMediaCity, and the above links.

Many thanks to our contributing music interviewers, Annie & Kelly.

(All interviews are the exclusive property of DarkMedia, and may not be reproduced or shared without permission, excepting links to the interview.)

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