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INTERVIEWS BRAND NAME COLLISION|
DON'T LOOK BACK
ULTRAPULL IS DEAD!!!
LONG LIVE BRAND NAME COLLISION
AND THEIR OVERWHELMING SENSE OF ROCK N ROLL SURVIVAL
DALE EVERETT AND GERARD GARCIA
TALK TO ROCKWIRED
WRITTEN BY BRIAN LUSHBRAND NAME COLLISION was a band made known to me through an unassuming CD. There was no packaging, and no wordy band biography with pictures taken by their girlfriends. It was simply a white colored CD with a track listing written in ink on spiral notebook paper. It's the sort of submission that I usually put aside and think of ways to let the struggling band down easy. This is not always easy to do.
Before doing so, I visited the bands website. It's almost as humbling as their submission to my show.It had your standard black background, a faint band banner with even fainter pictures and a listing of the band. I didn't have a lot to work with. All I had was the music. I put the CD into my stereo and was BLOWN AWAY. Clearly, these guys were not recording on reel to reels from 1972. The recording sounded as if it had been recorded at ELECTRIC LADYLAND. No mucking around here. These guys were the real thing!
My interest in the band was ignited. Who were they? I did a few general searches on GOOGLE and discovered that DALE EVERETT (LEAD SINGER, GUITARIST) and GERARD GARCIA (LEAD GUITARIST) were once ULTRAPULL, a four member band with a sound that was in step with bands such as FUEL and VERTICAL HORIZON in the early 2000's. Their debut CD FROM ALL DIRECTIONS was released in 2002 on GOLD CIRCLE RECORDS, a label known for signing on rock dinosaurs such as JOHN WAITE ( whom the band had opened for) and PAT BENATAR. According to old inter-net press that I had come across, ULTRAPULL had something. No one seemed to be able to put their finger on it. THE ALL MUSIC GUIDE cited that ULTRAPULL's FROM ALL DIRECTIONS was "...a step in the right direction." while www.musicemissions.com cautioned that ULTRAPULL could "...easily make it or disappear."
Sadly, the latter was true. The sun had set on ULTRAPULL once their label had folded. Not their fault. Labels folding was just something that happened in an age where rock n roll had been pushed aside by flavor-of-the-minute teen-pop and rap metal. This was also the age of downloading and SHAWN FANNING's NAPSTER had put him into a war with METALLICA over the rights of consumers and the money due to it's artists.
No one knows what's going to happen in music next. The only thing on the mind of both DALE EVERETT and GERARD GARCIA is finishing the their latest CD which they plan to release as BRAND NAME COLLISION.
I spoke to these guys the day after Christmas. This is how it went.
I tried getting to your website but I couldn't. What's up?
DALE: At the moment, we're transferring hosts. That's only been happening for the last couple of days. That's going to be up and running this week.
How did it all begin for you guys?The band and everything?
DALE: Basically, me and Gerard met eight years ago, started jamming and playing and we've just been writing ever since. Pretty simple really.
You guys were called ULTRAPULL.
DALE: Yeah, ULTRAPULL was signed and everything and we did a small tour. We opened up for JOHN WAITE and then the label folded right when we released the record (FROM ALL DIRECTIONS) so we were actually the only record they released when they folded which we were happy about. It's in stores somewhere. I still see it.
And the songs that you've sent me, are they part of a forthcoming project? Is this the first time you'll be known as BRAND NAME COLLISION?
Has their been any sort of interest as far as record labels are concerned?
DALE: We've got A&R people that have been sending us e-mails. I don't know how high up they are. It's pretty rough right now, trying to get signed you've really got to have a gigantic following you know?
DALE: That's how bands like POISON got signed. (Laughs) And I really don't like POISON!
GERARD: I think if you show that you've sold 10,000 CD's out of the back of your car the industry kinda goes "Ah, OK, I can sell these guys!" Other than that, it's like you're on your own.
DALE: Plus now, they're like hiring and firing A&R people which is the most ridiculous job on the planet. In order to be a top notch executive in the business, you've gotta come up with that one big act that makes you and if you don't you're screwed.
Because (at press time) I don't have the benefit of an official website, who are the members of the band?
DALE: Well we have HARRY MEGUERDICHIAN. He's our drummer and he's phenomenal and with bass players . we're kind of going back and forth between bass players right now. We've got this guy SEAN as our bass player but we're looking for someone a little more local so we can rehearse some more.
And where is BRAND NAME COLLISION based out of?
DALE: Studio City, California
Songwriting. How does that work in your band?
DALE: we get together and write. Sometimes he'll write a verse and I'll write a chorus or he'll write a chorus and I'll write a verse. It's really back and forth and that's the good part about it. We share it.
Is there an artist or are there several artists that influence the band at all?
DALE: It's kind of like a melting pot. I don't really listen to radio too often. I like BEN HARPER. I think he's awesome.
You guy's have been at this for eight years. Has there ever been a time where you felt like "You know what? Maybe I oughta throw in the towel." Does that ever happen? Tell me.
DALE: Well, you know, you've got to do a gig to work and we still get money in the form of BMI checks but it's not like it was back in the day because it keeps getting lower and lower so now, we're trying to exercise the publishing thing and we work in between. That's just how people do it
GERARD: I think that when we come up with a new song idea, it sort of re-lights the fire and any kind of dark moments are cast away after a good song has been written.
DALE: A musical exorcism!
GERARD: I think that everyone kind of feels that way in this business, but we do it because we love to play.
DALE: We do it because we're nuts.
I have to admit, when I first got your demo without any kind of packaging, I was under the impression that it was gonna be some kind of basement recording, but when I put it in the CD player, it's sounds pretty sharp. Where are you guys recording this stuff?
DALE: we've gone to different studios. Friends have done us favors. There was this very cool studio and I can't remember the name of the studio. (to GERARD) Do you remember the name of the studio? We did all the icing-on-the cake stuff at this one studio and I can't remember the name of the place. But they've moved now. It was like this million dollar recording studio.
GERARD: Isn't this the studio where the guy from TOOL recorded at?
DALE: We got use good studios and when we were ULTRAPULL we recorded all of our stuff at home. What they did was take the masters that we recorded at home and we re-did the drums and we did some guitar overdubs and vocal overdubs and no one notices that we basically started that at home. If you ever get a chance to hear the ULTRAPULL record (FROM ALL DIRECTIONS), I'd give it a shot
When you were ULTRAPULL, you had said you were on a brief tour. How far had that tour taken you?
DALE: We went to San Francisco, We went to Bakersfield and -
GERARD: We did a live show acoustically for POLLSTAR MAGAZINE and we opened in Irvine for-
DALE: That's the one with JOHN WAITE. That was fun! JOHN WAITE's amazing!
GERARD: He was on the same labels as us at the time.
And what label was this?
DALE: I don't even want to say it really. It's not worth mentioning. I'm not even going to plug 'em. They don't exist anymore. They had some really big artists on their label. They were kind of older artists but they were mega-million artists and we're pretty much their only pop-rock band.
GERARD: This company that we're talking about still has a film company but they closed the doors on the record label.
What would you like a listener to walk away with after hearing your music or seeing you live?
DALE: Hopefully that they will get what we're saying and have experienced it at one time in their lives. Theirs nothing too out of the ordinary in the lyrics and sometimes people can translate the lyrics the way they want to because they're kind of open sometimes, but in that way more people connect to it.
And of these new songs that you have recorded as BRAND NAME COLLISION, are there an songs that stand out for you in particular?
DALE: UNGRATEFUL and WHO I AM. I like those two.
Any particular reason?
DALE: I like the energy. I like the rhythm and the whole feel of it.
And how about you GERARD?
GERARD: I would probably pick those two as well. They definitely stick out and I think that people will remember them above the others. They'd play these songs on KROQ if we paid them enough money.
What about the future?
DALE: We're doing more writing. We're two songs short of our record right now and we're kind of being picky because we want everything to be perfect. We've been procrastinating a little bit but we've been coming up with really good pieces here an there and they're adding up to some good songs.