Son of Rust are from Portland, Oregon, a band with massive-incredible talent. Their music is insanely flippin’ awesome---some of the BEST tracks I’ve listened to in a while are from their album “Vicious Cycles”. Seriously though, I think their songs are laced with some kink of underground government experiment…do I care? NO! Because I LOVE their music. (; Learn more about this one-of-kind band whose artistry is brilliant in such uniquely phenomenal ways through the interview I had with Justin Coope. Thank you again Justin---your band, Son of Rust, is so gosh darn good! (:
Grave Concerns: Dark Greetings Justin, Michael, Jason and Ben, what a super-fantastic opportunity to have you here at the grave, how are you all doing?
Hey there – it’s actually gonna just be me, Justin, as the rest of the gang is off doing god knows what. I write all the music, do most of the vocals and produce Son of Rust so hopefully I’ll do. :P
Also, you may want to mention Ben who’s been in the band from the beginning… is he not on the website?
Grave Concerns: Hey Justin, it’s fabulous to have you taking care of the interview questions…we understand. We’re just super-thrilled to have your band with us. I’m sorry, I didn’t see his name listed on your MySpace page…I have added Ben’s name to your band’s interview. (:
Grave Concerns: When did you first discover that music was what you wanted to pursue? And while you were waiting for that to happen, what other jobs did you have?
LOL – You mean, what jobs do I still have? I first realized I wanted to be a musician when I heard a Tandy playing “Shout” by Tears for Fears in something called a “Tracker” on a Tandy in a Radio Shack when I was 11 or so. I was a computer geek from birth, and didn’t really have much of an interest in music until I saw a computer playing it… then I was hooked. A long with the geekiness comes the geeky job; I’m a computer consultant and run a computer repair business. Of course.
Grave Concerns: Tears for Fears is a favorite band of mine…and not too shabby…at all with your “other “job”. “Geeks” are very cool…cooler than people give them credit for. And look what it has done for your music! (;
Grave Concerns: As team collaborators, what have been the most difficult compromises to been made, regarding lyrics and music? How do you move forward, when something you’d really wanted to be considered, is not mutually felt?
Haha…well that would be a good question if I wasn’t the ruthless dictator over Son of Rust concerns that I am…although, Michael and I have run into trouble in the past due to us both being producers in fairly popular bands (check out The Slants)…we’ve had jam sessions in the studio where we turn out a hot track and then have to fight over who gets to use it for what band. Sometimes it comes to blows; usually it’s just a lot of petty name-calling and maybe a girly slap-fight or two.
Grave Concerns: So sorry about that---with such strong creative minds, I can see how difficult it would be to just let it go to the other side; but, I am laughing at your “girly slap-fight”. Hmmm, should I be insulted by that though? (;
Grave Concerns: Your band name is REALLY very nice sounding---how did you come up with it?
“Son of Rust” is from a short story by James Morrow in the book “Bible Stories for Adults”. The Son of Rust is an old broken machine that tries to prevent a new super computer from re-assembling the 10 commandments in a fictional society where they were never handed down from God. The trick is that this society is basically ideal, and the “Son of Rust” makes a pretty good argument for denying the public that holy knowledge and I think the super computer ends up committing suicide. Anyway, I thought it was a cool name.
Grave Concerns: Very cool---and an interesting story too.
Grave Concerns: I have a really BIG problem with your music---your album “Vicious Cycles”---is making me crazy! I LOVE it…I’m having a tremendously challenging time not shutting it off---are you sending out some kind of secret government signals to your fans? I think you are. I thought I was way beyond obsessed with my constant playing of “The Highest Cost”, but then you guys had to make more great songs off of your album, such as with the song, “Vicious Cycles”. I don’t even know if I have a question here. OK, here's one: Wait, one moment please…I’m at the chorus now of “Vicious Cycles”. Forget it guys---“Violator” is now playing! (;
Heheheheh…Uh-oh, you’re on to me…just ignore those unmarked vans that are pulling up outside of your house…they just want to fix your plumbing.
Grave Concerns: Hey! There’s one outside of my house now…do you see me waving?
Grave Concerns: You were featured, back in January of this year, on Rengen magazine---congratulations! Great publicity, my friends. How was the feedback for you guys after that?
I’m not sure if it was directly due to that article or not, but we were invited to play Black Sun in Connecticut almost immediately after, and have since gained a manager and a promoter. This is great news for me because although I’m a decent musician, I’ve never really gotten the hang of promotion or marketing the band or anything like that – in fact, after 6 years of tech support I get violently ill every time I hear a lucent technologies phone ringing. So, now with someone actually picking up the phone and talking to people for me, I think there are big things in store for Son of Rust.
Grave Concerns: You guys kicked ass in Connecticut? At Blacksun Festival 2008! Isn’t that kind of mean? Why did you have to kick asses…bad crowd…the people weren't nice? I’m really sorry. OK! Just kidding! Please tell us about that concert?
Well…that was interesting show, actually…none of my usual band mates could make it so my DJ friend Rob volunteered to help me out by running the computer for me, and it was the first time I busted out my hacked Guitar Hero 2 guitar that I play on stage now (it’s a midi instrument! Yeah!), and the first time I’ve played on the east coast. I was really worried about spending all that time and energy getting out there and rehearsing for it and having no one show up to the second stage of the event, and my worries were pretty much confirmed when the two bands before us played to like 15 people. Thankfully, the timing was perfect, we hit the stage right after the “crypt tour” or whatever everyone was off doing let out and the place filled up…after our third song there were probably a couple hundred people in the place and it was standing-room only. The Connecticut crowd was AWESOME and so energetic it was crazy…in Portland we’re used to getting blank stares and maybe a little shuffling back and forth, but these people were jumping and yelling and just plain rocking as a crowd. I’m thinking of moving out there just for them.
Grave Concerns: Where will your next shows be? Will you come to Boston, MA…PLEASE! I’d LOVE to see you guys live…hmmm, that is the point isn’t it? (; Boston will welcome you with LOVE.
I think it’s confirmed that we are doing a West Coast tour here in August with State of the Union, but after that we have a possible offer for a whole US tour and then possibly a Euro tour, so we’ll get there at some point if we haven’t fallen over dead by then. Hopefully by the end of the year. Er, for the tour, not the falling over dead.
Grave Concerns: It would be nice--- please keep us Boston fans posted.
Grave Concerns: Hey! You guys played on my birthday, back in June of ’06…June 16th, at the Emergenza Music Festival-Round 3 in Portland, OR. Do you remember that one? (: Not my birthday...your performance…silly band.
Yeah, unfortunately I do…Emergenza was such a joke. It was like, “Pay $20 to come hear your favorite band play for 15 minutes!”. It was basically a popularity contest where the rule was “the band who has the richest fans or the loosest morals wins!” – I guess if I had no qualms about financially raping the Son of Rust fan base we may have gone further, but I couldn’t feel good about selling those tickets. Ugh. Word of warning to any new band that hasn’t heard yet: Emergenza and Bodog are total scams. If you like having friends don’t sign up!
Anyway, uhhh…I hope your birthday was nice!
Grave Concerns: That really stinks---I’m so sorry that happened. Thanks for sharing this new with us…bands will be so glad that you did. Man, that bites. And yes, had a good birthday---thank you. (:
Grave Concerns: And let me see…ahhhhhhh, I like the sound of this one: The Halloween Fetish Ball @ Diablo's Eugene, in Eugene, OR. So you like things Fetish? Was it a good night for your guys…in regard to your music being heard? What? Did you think I meant something else?
Hehehe…yeah, that was hella-fun. We packed the house the first time we played there…I think we were dressed as zombies or something. When we showed up people were eating sushi off naked girls. Later women wearing only tire-treads flogged our guitar player Ben for a while. It was packed and awesome. The second time we went we basically broke their sound system and our whole show sounded like a frothy mix of static and feedback. We haven’t been invited back since.
Grave Concerns: Good times though, my friends! Good times! (:
Grave Concerns: So then, any fetishes?
Only the fetish to ROCK I’m afraid.
Grave Concerns: When it comes to writing new material, which do you feel comes first in the creative process--- the lyrics or the music, or doesn’t it matter?
Honestly, I’ll get a little riff in my head that’s both lyrics and melody, and I’ll catch myself humming it to myself… if I can still remember it in an hour or so I’ll try to transcribe it into a basic verse or chorus, then expand it from there. That’s usually how they start. Every time I’ve forced myself to sit down and write something specific like “I’m going to write a dance song!” it always comes out sounding like crap. ALWAYS.
Grave Concerns: You’ve been asked to create a new word defining your style of music. What is that word?
I have? Like, right now? Okay…ummm...Cybersynthrock? Err…but a little darker. Uhh…Darkcyberpoprock?
Grave Concerns: You have…yup! Sounds good Justin! See, you do well under pressure.
Grave Concerns: What do think makes your music stand out among other artists in your field?
I don’t want to sound like a prima donna here, but most other bands in the “electronic-industrial / synthpop” scene seem to rely heavily upon straight 4-by-4 drum beats (OONST OONST OONST) and very strict by-the-numbers song structure…It may just be because I don’t have a producer behind me going “no, no no! doesn’t fit the vision!” but most of my songs tend to vary wildly from one to the next… I irrationally hate 4x4 kicks, too, but I’ll use ‘em occasionally if they feel right.
Grave Concerns: What day does the trash/recycling come to town? Mine if Friday. And my family and I have more gosh, darn recycling than EVERYONE in our entire neighborhood---it’s crazy! One barrel of trash---53 barrels of paper/plastic. OK, not that many, but darn close! (;
Ummm…is that a question or did this accidently get pasted here instead of in notepad or something?
Grave Concerns: A question indeed---I guess you don’t have trash or recycling pickup then...either you have some secret government neighborhood, or a real strong air freshener. (;
Grave Concerns: You’re stuck in an elevator, with three others. Someone begins to panic (and no, it’s not you) what do you do to help calm the person down?
I’d start slapping them like in that movie “Airplane”. “Get a hold of yourself!” I’d yell.
Grave Concerns: Have you bitten your tongue, or lip recently? I have. I bit my bottom lip---it hurt, but you know what made it feel better? Sucking it---yeah, I’m glutton for pain. It’s just one of those things I can’t seem not to do, when it happens. Do you know what I’m talking about?
I do that same thing, but with emotions.
Grave Concerns: (:
Grave Concerns: I love pulling off the cheese on pizza…eating that up first, then the slices of pizza itself, finishing off with the crust…LOVE the crust! How about yourself?
I feel like this interview has gone totally off the rails. Personally, I never eat the crust…unless it’s filled with cheese…then I’ll eat it. I’ll eat anything filled with cheese…man, I need to go jogging or something.
Grave Concerns: I was hungry…sorry. Now I want pizza again. But at least I got you thinking about exercising.
Grave Concerns: You have five balloons you got at the park...orange, green, purple, red, and black. Two of them slipped through your fingers…which ones?
Orange and green, of course… I mean, what genre is this? LOL.
Grave Concerns: It’s an experimental genre. You should know about that stuff.
Grave Concerns: I love the smell of rain, especially at night, during the warm months when the windows are open, and there’s a soft breeze along with it. The sound of it touching the ground, and landing on the leaves is very calming. How about you?
Are you interviewing me or picking me up in a chat room? *squirms*
Grave Concerns: You go to chat rooms a lot then?
Grave Concerns: You’ve just created a jigsaw puzzle…how many pieces does it have, and what will the final picture be of?
Just one piece, and it’s midget dungeon porn. (I have no patience for jigsaw puzzles.)
Grave Concerns: Honestly, I can’t stand doing puzzles…I have a difficult enough time helping the kindergarteners with theirs. Hmmm, OK; whatever gets your computer geeky self feeling good…I’m all for creative expression.
Grave Concerns: Did you ever play “Spin the Bottle” or “Strip Poker”? Did you cheat to win? (;
Only by myself, and of course.
Grave Concerns: That’s tragically sad…I hope you were good.
Grave Concerns: Being a member of MySpace, how has it helped, or hindered your musical endeavors? And which countries do you feel have embraced your music the most?
Hmmm…well, it’s certainly HELPED a thousand percent…if it wasn’t for MySpace I don’t think I would have gotten nearly the response to my music that I have, and wouldn’t have met 100’s of great fans and friends. I can’t say anything bad about MySpace, except that it’s one of the most poorly coded wretched excuses for a social networking site I’ve ever seen and I swear to God if it ever crashes again after I’ve just finished typing a three page email and forgotten to copy it to the clipboard and thus had to start over I will personally hunt Tom down and dance on his genitals.
Grave Concerns: That would get a lot of MySpace hits for you guys! I wonder what song of yours then, would go well with genital dancing?
Grave Concerns: You found a penny on the ground; do you pick it up?
Sure. The copper in pennies is actually worth about 1.3 cents! The more you know.
Grave Concerns: Way to go! I have a jar that I keep all of my “found” coins in…it’s lot of fun!
Grave Concerns: You were born with eyes that weren’t human---what do they look like?
Grave Concerns: If your were to write a short story or a novel based on one of your songs, which one would it be? And if it was to be adapted to the silver screen, who would be your leading actor and actress?
“Just Once”, so that I could explain it better than the song does. That song comes across as just totally poppy and sugary, but in my mind it was much darker and stalkery. Kind of like how weird that “I’ll Be Watching You” song by Sting gets when you really start listening and go, “hey, wait, this song is really disturbing!”, but in novel form. Or something.
Grave Concerns: What are some of your favorite TV show themes?
Themes? Like, the music? The Simpons and Dilbert are awesome because Danny Elfman is some kind of effing genius. Nip/Tuck has awesome intro music but is really just an awful show. Ohhh...Battlestar Galactica. Haaaaaa-AHHHHHH-ohhhhhhh…
Grave Concerns: Danny Elfman SO IS! Yeah, Nip/Tuck does have a cool intro.
Grave Concerns: How many gumballs can you chew at once?
I dunno, like, a million?
Grave Concerns: Yeah, OK…next question.
Grave Concerns: Have you ever had to perform CPR?
Grave Concerns: Do you like jellybeans? Is so, what flavor? Now you’ve been asked to create a new flavor…what is it?
I do, but I don’t like jelly-bellys because they always taste decent on their own but you can’t just grab a whole bunch and throw them in your mouth because two of the flavors always collide badly and end up tasting like dog crap. I think I’d create one called “crap sandwich”, just to ruin those huge mouthfuls for everyone.
Grave Concerns: So you’ve eaten “dog crap?”
Grave Concerns: Do onions make your eyes water? Ever play it up? (;
LOL – nope.
Grave Concerns: Write whatever comes to your mind after reading the following:
1. Her face was sheltered from the…
...blast only by cheap two-inch thick plastic – a hollow sucking sound filled her ears as the jet engine exploded in a hellstorm of flame and ripped clear of the airplane’s shattered wing.
2. They drained him almost…
...completely of any will to peel himself off the bed in the morning and attend another pointless, soul-crushing meeting.
3.The power went out, and then…
…he heard skittering noises from the direction of kitchen. There was definitely something moving in the house, something that wasn’t quite human.
4. He saved me from the…
…cold chill of the night air and the colder, deeper chill of loneliness.
5. The man was angered by…
…his inability to rise above his meager lot in life, or justify his systemic laziness.
6. Alone for so, so long, it was not until…
…a whispering along the unseen wires made another’s presence known, and the fragile, crystalline consciousness of the emergent system finally felt the formless thought of another, alien thing.
7. Nothing will ever stop me…
…from trying, you’ve got to OPEN your heart to MEeeee, bay-beee.
Grave Concerns: WOW! Fabulous answers---So VERY creative. Truly great responses! Thanks! (:
Grave Concerns: When are your birthdays?
February 4 (me), April 20th and April. 21st (Ben and Michael)
Grave Concerns: If you had the power to live the life of any character in a movie for one-week after the end credits rolled, who would you choose and why?
It seems overly obvious but Neo from The Matrix, of course.
Grave Concerns: Have you drunk bad milk?
Yes, ughh…don’t remind me.
Grave Concerns: Now, don’t worry about that…I wouldn’t ever think about reminding you of your bad milk experience…(;
Grave Concerns: So, how’s the interview going so far? I hope not like the taste of milk gone bad…(;
Pretty awesome, but it’s tiring trying to keep my answers sounding even remotely intelligent at this point.
Grave Concerns: You just opened your fortune cookie---what does it read?
You will find true love on Flag Day.
Grave Concerns: Flag Day will be soon---good luck!
Grave Concerns: When's the last time you washed your kitchen floors?
Never… I’ve lived here for 6 months too… it’s probably time. Thanks for reminding me.
Grave Concerns: You’re VERY welcome. I’ll send you a reminder for next time…and I WILL!
Grave Concerns: Did you ever have a “York Peppermint Patty” moment?
Yup, after eating some weird mushrooms.
Grave Concerns: What ever did you mean by “weird mushrooms” Justin? I’m sure our readers are totally in a cloud over your answer. (;
Grave Concerns: After you put your foot inside of the shoe, do you tie it, or wait until you have the other shoe on?
Tie it… I’m pretty sure. Wait…yeah.
Grave Concerns: LOL!
Grave Concerns: What’s in your bathroom’s medicine cabinet? And what color are your bathroom towels?
Black and Mauve.
Grave Concerns: What’s the BEST kind of kissing?
The kind where there’s another person there.
Grave Concerns: Does a computer count? Computers have feelings too. Haven’t you seen “Electric Dreams”?
Grave Concerns: You’re making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. What kind of bread is it; what flavor of jelly; and is your peanut butter crunchy or smooth? And now for the crucial question---do you use the same knife you put into the peanut butter, for the jelly?
Sourdough, strawberry, smooth, of course! Did I mention I was lazy? I don’t want to have to wash TWO knives and I don’t have hired help yet. :P
Grave Concerns: Love strawberry…smooth rocks…well, there are no rocks in smooth, but you know what I mean. Yes, now that is LAZY! Hired help for washing two knives…you better pay the help WELL! (:
Grave Concerns: A car wash is a fun place to go through...has it ever crossed your mind to go through one…without a car?
Oh yeah, did that in High School…
Grave Concerns: So, are you telling me that my car wash question is “High Schoolish”? Do you want to take this outside? (;
Grave Concerns: If you could have a movie director direct your next video, who would it be and why? And which song would it be?
Darren Aronofsky – he proved with “Pi” that he could do old-school tech / industrial looking shots on a budget and make it look fantastic. Hmmmm… probably “strange” from the first album would be the best fit for that.
Grave Concerns: I’m giving you 13 letters to choose from, in any order; you only have to use 6 of them (you can use more if you want, but not less than 6) and you have to come up with a phrase describing your perfect robot falling in love with a human…other than you. But only with these letters...MNCBYIPORWDJL.
At this point in the interview I doubt I could come up with two words.
Grave Concerns: Well, you did come out with a complete sentence, up above. Should have just tried a little bit harder…(; I had faith!
Grave Concerns: What are some of your hobbies?
Reading, drinking and good conversation, live music. Outside of that it’s mostly music and fixing computers. Also, eating babies.
Grave Concerns: That would only seem logical…(;
Grave Concerns: Do you like the smell of Scotch Tape? How about paste?
WOW! I remember paste being so yummy smelling as a kid---ahhhhh the memories of childhood!
Paste was fucking awesome.
Grave Concerns: It sure was! (:
Grave Concerns: What comes first in your creative process of song making? Do you hear the melodies or feel the lyrics? Or do you go back and forth?
Feel the lyrics, absolutely.
Grave Concerns: What would you like to say to your fans right now?
I hope you still respect me after this interview. :P
Grave Concerns: Anything else you care to share with us about yourselves and your awesomely cool---AMAZINLING super-stunning government -controlled music? (;
Wow, thanks! No, not really, but I do want to say thanks for the interview and the entertaining questions!
Grave Concerns: You’re are VERY welcome, Justin---you guys deserve it! And I’m real glad to know the questions were enjoyed. (:
Grave Concerns: Justin, Michael, Jason, and Ben, we here at Grave Concerns, wish you so much incredible happiness, and wonderful success in your creative endeavors. Your album “Vicious Cycles” KILLS! Please keep in touch! Cheers!
For more information on Son of Rust check out http://www.sonofrust.com/ and http://www.myspace.com/sonofrust
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