Andrew Gomez IV, the head of Glory Kid Ltd, was so kind to answer our questions focused on his metallic hardcore band BURN YOUR LIFE DOWN. Check out their outstanding EP “Don’t Try”, as well as Andrew’s thoughts on it below. This interview was conducted on June 20th, 2012.
Hey. Cool to talk to you, guys. So you’re on the tongues now, huh? Lots of online magazines shouted loud about your newest EP entitled “Don’t Try”. How do you feel about it?
Hey Karol, I have to say. I am pretty surprise by the reception we have been getting on this record. Seeing that this group is not as active as others, we are all pretty taken back by the exposure. Can’t help to pet your ego a little.
Why did you limited it to only 300 pieces? Don’t you believe in success of the outing? You know, there are lots of kids all around the world loving your work.
The record/music industry is not the juggernaut that it use to be. Kids are not as willing to purchase a physical copy of a release without downloading or streaming it first. To add to that, this band does not tour much let alone play many local shows since we are spread over two states. Plus, I think pressing only 300 for an EP is the standard for smaller labels now. Its makes that release that much more intimate for the person to receives it. I know I get excited when I grab a copy of a vinyl record that is pressed in such limited quantities.
True true. The colors are just amazing. The clear blue one blew me away. Are you a vinyl geek? What were the first pieces of vinyl you owned?
First pieces of vinyl I owned was a SPAZZ / LACK OF INTEREST 7″ and a DEVOID OF FAITH LP. I remember the day I purchased them. I bought them from this stoner kid in the quad at my high school. I carried them around all day and people were looking at me weird (take into consideration this was 2000/2001. Vinyl was not on the uptrend that it is now. Kids were still into CD’s) wondering if they were laser discs or calendars. But I remember getting them and being so excited. I also remember disappointment setting in cause I didn’t own a record player at the time.
Tell us about the artwork of the new EP. Who’s behind it and what’s the meaning of it?
I do all the artwork for BYLD. This release I went for a more flash tattoo style concept. I always admired that type of artwork. Being an avid “slave to the needle” I prefer to get classic themed pieces done. For how simplistic the style can be, it sure stands the test of time, conveying more meaning than some of the most complex artwork out there. In this case I designed a cottage type home with a fixed-blade dagger running through it. The significance is a more obvious one compared to other pieces I have created. It’s meaning stems from being raised in what started out as a loving, picture perfect family to a broken, drug-ridden nightmare. Things are not always what they seem from the outside. Its until you open drapes and peek in is when you really see what’s going on.
These songs hit the mark perfectly. What are inspirations behind these tracks?
The truest art derives from the artist’s surroundings. Bukowski, Selby Jr., Pollock, Cohen. All are products of their environment. Though I am no master such as them I take their perspective on craftsmanship. Born into poverty and growing up with all the byproducts that come with it (drug use, petty crimes, domestic abuse, etc) you tend to build a better scope on how life really works, compared to kids that are sheltered from the cold, sucking on their silver spoon while their mothers wipe their backside. This EP mainly focuses on the duality of social and individual issues . I tried my best to blur the lines between the two. Having no money, being hungry, working yourself to the bone for a faceless corporation at a slave wage. These and many other are individual problems as much as social problems. I don’t see a difference between the two.
Ok, let’s go back to the physical side of this release. The EP was co-released by Panic Records and Glory Kid Ltd. Can you tell us more about the whole story of this cooperation? What’s your relationship with Timm McIntosh?
Not only is Timm a long-standing supporter of GKL, but me and him have been long friends. Heck, both labels even share the same warehouse! I think its something that was bound to happen eventually. Ever since this band started Timm has always been really into what we’ve produced. All of the the bands I am involved in are under the GK umbrella, but with the willingness to expand our network we decided that splitting the release with a household name like Panic would widen our exposure to other kids that would have otherwise never heard of us. Timm has been nothing short of awesome with the support of this release.
Well I was in another group that was short lived called AGOSTO ESPIAS. A emo-hardcore band that consisted of members of RESTRAINED, ABANDON, and MOLDAR. Anthony and Cody were in a Vegan-Straightedge group called ABANDON. Romeo was not only in RESTRAINED, but was also in a band called LIFE TYRANT. They were really, really good. Also both Cody and Buddy are currently in a band called SEIZURES. Which will be touring the west coast this fall. All bands founded in Southern California.
I don’t see any new shows scheduled for this year. How’s that? What are your touring plans for the rest of the year?
It’s hard for us to tour since half the members live in Southern California. Anthony and I live here in Seattle. We have a show with Seizures here in Seattle on November 7th. There are tentative plans to tour the east coast in March/April.
What local bands are you into right now?
So what’s coming next when it comes to your heritage. Are you readying fresh meat for a full length release already? [smiles]
With this band, its hard to forecast. All I can say is that the future is infinite.
I’ll be probably hitting American roads sometime soon, so you need to advertise your local happenings [smiles]. What’s attractive about the Inland Empire culture? Would you recommend any local art movements, venues and events?
Well, Inland Empire has been, and always will be the dark alleyway of Southern California. If there is one thing my old town does, is that it builds character. Check out the Blood Orange Infoshop located in downtown Riverside, CA. Its ran by local punks and provides and great source to radical literature and DIY all ages shows. The Dial is also another awesome example of what the DIY spirit can produce. Located in Murrieta, CA, The Dial is a new and upcoming venue ran by a few awesome kids. One including Wayne that also runs a solid music review blog called Toxicbreed’s Funhouse. Big things are starting to happen there. Of course the main staple, and lifeblood of the current punk/hardcore show happenings. Aladdin’s Jr Restaurant. They have been doing almost all the most relevant shows in Socali for punk and hardcore for quite a few years, thanks to Nate, Scott and others that run SOS Booking.
Do you go into the desert to brood in solitude [smiles].
I hate the desert, I hate the heat and most people. The closest thing I can get to solitude is staying in on most cloudy days here in Seattle. hence why I moved here.
Hmm.. I wish I could compare both places. Seattle sure is one the places I would love to go to.
Thanks so much for the chat. We wish you all the best with the band and the other stuff you do, Andrew.
As to you. Be well.