The Barcode Bandits – A Grind Radio Interview
Johannesburg-based rock outfit, The Barcode Bandits are set to launch their brand spanking new EP I Don’t Want You tomorrow at Oakfest. I figured that it would be absolutely kick ass to have a quick chat with the guys last week to find out a few things. Ryan, Marc and Barry were more than happy to oblige, and this is what went down! Crack a cold one for the boys and enjoy!
Gugu: Super excited for the EP to come out! What can we expect from this bad boy?
Ryan: Marc made a crazy sick design incorporating everything that we are. This EP holds most of our power songs. Its holding tracks that are our most current and most relevant. The EP still has that dirty sound, even though we have done a lot more post production. It still has that raw rock sound like our Shut Your Mouth EP had. The EP consists of 7 tracks and each song stands out in its own way. All three of us have put some crazy amount of hours aside for this, and we’re excited to let it go now.
Marc: This is all in your face, fast-paced rock ‘n roll, baby! There is onto or 2 semi chilled ones but with a dark twist t them! You will love it!
Barry: I think what you can expect is a better finished product, with some good songs, for which we are hoping will out perform our previous release, as well as a reworked version of our most successful release to date. I always think a bands second release is its toughest, so I’m excited to see how people think we did.
Gugu: Your previous EP, Shut Your Mouth, makes me feel like going on a road trip. What have you guys done differently with I Don’t Want You?
Ryan: Shut your mouth was a very rushed release from our side. And it was still when we were semi acoustic. This album we have gone electric and it holds a lot more distortion and maybe some epic lead parts (shout out to Jay_Soulo). But I think the biggest difference is the pre – production. We took time with this one and we went into studio with open minds
Marc: It will make you feel like you ready to party at a massive music festival, it has huge guitars, distortion and solos that will melt your face off.
Barry: Well if the last record made you feel like taking a road trip, this one might make you feel like riding through bat country with the windows down and the music blasting.
Gugu: I really love the cover art for your new EP. How did the concept for I Don’t Want You come to be?
Ryan: The name of the EP came from one of the songs called I Don’t Want You To Know. We wrote that song in January this year. And it really just put everything together. But we didn’t want the EP to be so specific, so we just called it I don’t want you…
Marc: This was a pretty difficult creative process as we had the title, but no idea on a visual, but we left the “to know” out of the title to leave it open for the listeners own interpretation. We liked the idea of a door hole and the Eye to look back at the viewer so it’s almost like looking into someone’s soul and they looking back at you! Then I just played with bright colours so it will stand out on music shelf.
Barry: I was just really glad we went with some colour this time. I really think Marc pushed himself this time and tried something very new, hopefully no one will buy it thinking it’s a death metal album this time…
Gugu: Haha. Well, I don’t think they will! My mom always used to say that she never had a favourite child between me and my sister, but I’m pretty sure that as a muso, there is always that one song that you absolutely love to perform. Is there a particular song off the EP that is your absolute favourite?
Ryan: Parents definitely have favourites. I know I’m my Mom’s favourite ☺. For me it’s a toss-up between Rest of The World and I Don’t Want You To Know. But without giving anything away, I think there’s a track on the EP that people will find to be a gem.
Marc: Dam Skippy, I have 2 favourites, being Rest of The World and I Don’t Want You To Know, but it also depends on the day and mood I’m in, as Let Me Breathe is so much power and energy live that it can sneak in there too.
Barry: I definitely have favourite songs, though sadly I have to break it to Ryan and Marc, that I’m their mothers’ favourites. 😂
Gugu: You guys have such a great energy and presence on stage, and having interviewed Marc and Barry a few months ago (One of the most fun in-studio interviews I had done, might I add!), I can honestly say that you guys are always having a blast. Do you guys a favourite moment from during the making of I Don’t Want You?
Ryan: Handing the final disc in for printing, lol just joking. Look we do everything ourselves, and with deadlines it can make these processes stressful. But I must say when we are together it’s always fun. We don’t just work. We catch up. We live far from each other now and we are all very good friends. So recording sessions or practices are a really good bonding session and a pick me up.
Marc: Thanks, we appreciate that, and it was our best one as well! We had many crazy nights recording the EP, late nights and drinking Whiskey, I think for me it was just working nonstop on the drums for about 5 weeks and bonding with my band mates to get this beast done. Loads of hangovers in the process.
Barry: I really enjoyed our interview last time, one of my favs. Marc might agree except that he lost our challenge. I think like any production there have been high points and low points along the way. Perhaps the most memorable moment was hearing the songs for the first time when they were starting to take shape.
Gugu: During our last chat, you mentioned that some people are surprised that your band consists of three, slightly older gentle-dudes jamming out like 20-year-olds. Do you think that has in any way played a role in your performances or even the song writing process?
Ryan: With age comes experience. We might be a little matured, but The Barcode Bandits is still a baby and its growing. And we have only touched the surface of what we really want to do.
Marc: I think the band is what keeps me young and focussed in life, it makes me feel like that young teenager every time I get behind the drums and on stage. We are always interacting with today’s youth and trends to stay in the game so I just feel like I have to rock out every night and give it my all!
Barry: Look the pensioner’s discounts are amazing! On a more serious note, I think lots of things influence our songs and playing. I guess it possibly does have us sounding a little different from younger bands out there but I do think it has also given us some freedom to do what we want and to be less focused on what is currently popular. We seem to also be getting some gigs at venues we never did before, perhaps we are looking more respectable with age.
Gugu: You guys are set to launch your EP at Oakfest on the 16th of this month. Besides yourselves, who are you most keen to jam with and see perform?
Ryan: We have formed a strange relationship with the guys from No Regret. They are always making us laugh so it’s always good to see them. Some bands jamming I haven’t seen, but I’m sure it’s going to be epic.
Marc: I’m looking forward to seeing Deadline. Also an amazing drummer called Mark, with a K, he he. But we have not rocked together in a while and I’m super excited to see his new project!
Barry: Ryan will most likely be hoping that Neil from No Regret will notice him in the crowd… I’m always keen to see them play and feel that they are one of the most underrated bands around at the moment. I’m also keen to see the Fismits. I’ve seen them once and really thought they were cool. I was asked to fill in on bass for them too! Last but not least, I’m keen to finally see Deadline live! I’m been wanting to do that for ages. They also have an album launch coming up soon.
Gugu: Besides at Oakfest, where else can we buy your kickass new EP?
Ryan: Physical copies are exclusive to us ☺ you need to come see us if you want it means ha ha ha! Other than that. Most digital formats like iTunes, Google Play and so on.
Marc: It will be available at all the upcoming gigs after the launch, you can also contact us and buy on our site, and it will be available on all online platforms like, Google Music, iTunes, Deezer and many more!
Barry: I’m actually really hoping that we can find a pirated version of our new CD online. The last one was and I thought it was a huge compliment that someone had cared enough and gone through the effort.
Gugu: Ok final question. And this might prove controversial, but the people must know! Pineapple on pizza: yay or nay?
Ryan: NAY NAY NAY NAY NAY NAY NAY NAY NAY NAY NAY NAY!
Marc: I love Pizza but not a great fan of pineapple. It does work now and again, but then you need to add blue cheese and then it rocks, ’cause there’s only 12 things that matter in life and that is cheese, cheese, cheese and any kind of cheers!
Barry: The 11th and missing commandment was “Thou Shalt Not Put Pineapple On Pizza!”
Catch The Barcode Bandits rocking it out live on stage at Oakfest on the 16th of September at 5pm! You can check them out on the interests at the following links!
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