RYL: At the end of October, you will release the new album “A Damn Fine Mixture”, lyrically speaking, what does it represents for you? How was the reaction of your fans on the new songs?
THE PESTS (http://therealpests.com): It represents the culmination of an awful personal four year run, but a great musical one. So far the fan reaction has been all positive.
RYL: Among the new songs released is “Vince”….What inspired its lyrics?
THE PESTS: Vince is a based on all factual events from a guy we went to high school with.
He basically went off the deep end after school (can’t remember if he graduated or not) and has been in and out of court and jail.
We’ve run in to him and some of his bizarre behavior a few times over the years, but the inspiration for this song in particular came from a news report about him going nuts in the courtroom and telling everyone that they were “disbarred”, which you can hear in the lyrics of the song.
RYL: Is there something that ties all the songs of the new album? A common theme?
THE PESTS: For the most part, yes. Songs like “I Admit It”, “I Wanna Run”, and “Fun Fun Fun” are all commonly about specific life experiences and facing up to them. “All Nighter”, “Pants on Fire”, and parts of “Meaningless” are also part of that theme, but from a different perspective.
Then of course you have “Pissed and Menacing”, “Kill Her Some More”, “Vince” and “Meat Cleaver” which really are only part of the broader insanity/rage theme of this album.
RYL: Do you remember how you wrote “Woe is Me”?
THE PESTS: There are some songs that I have written over the years where I can recall exactly what inspired me, how long it took to write and other specifics.
I don’t think “Woe is Me” necessarily fits in to that category, but it was definitely written about a girl and her shitty behavior pushing me to the edge. As far as “how” I wrote it.. pretty much like I write everything, alone and with an acoustic guitar.
RYL: how do you, usually, write the lyrics of your songs?
THE PESTS: Usually I write the lyrics while writing the music; lyrics and music mostly come at the same time.
Then there are times when I will wake up in the morning with all of the lyrics finished in my head to where I can’t write them down fast enough and I end up finishing a song in an hour or an afternoon. Other times it will be piece by piece writing on napkins or whatever I can find over the course of a year or two just to complete one damn song.
RYL: Which is the best verse you ever wrote?
THE PESTS: Oh geez that’s tough, I have written like 100 songs. I’m not sure that I could ever pick a “best” verse.
I can give you a few that I like from “A Damn Fine Mixture”… In “Touchy Feely” I like the first verse a lot “You’ve got something on your mind, you want to get it off, that’s alright with me just speak in English not in Hallmark ‘cause touchy feely makes me want to run for the hills.
No touchy touchy feely feely hope you hear me loud and clearly.”
And in “I Admit It”, I really like “people can judge me and I know they will, but they all have closets that are skeleton filled so let’s turn on the lights and turn up the mic, it’s time for the public to meet the private.
Taking it primetime like a pay per view fight. I’m gonna tell the world what I’ve been doing ain’t right.”
RYL: Which is your favorite song of the new album?
THE PESTS: Of course I (Steve) like all of them. I like the high energy of “Vince” and “Pissed and Menacing”, and the originality of “Pants on Fire’ and “Rage Against the Vending Machine” but I’d have to say (and I think I am the only one who thinks this) “Touchy Feely”.
I like the dynamics of the song and I just think that it is a great well rounded tune.
RYL: Let’s go back to the album “Simplified”… the song “I hate my girlfriend” is our favorite, what is the meaning behind its lyrics?
THE PESTS: Most of our songs are at least partially based on actual events. In the case of “I Hate My Girlfriend”, it is based entirely on actual events. It’s about a former volatile relationship that became a vengeful situation.
At the time I really did hate my girlfriend and her friends who influenced her, she really did bathe in bad advice, and the God damn ice trays really never had any ice.
An example I can give as far as the meaning of the lyrics is “I cover my tracks and you cover your eyes”… meaning that I am fed up, I feel justified to do what and who I want to do, and I start sneaking around (covering my tracks).
You (she) doesn’t want to acknowledge that it’s happening (cover your eyes). I think you can feel the hate in this one.
RYL: You will be touring soon?
THE PESTS: Yes, hopefully we will get on the road soon.
We toured sporadically in the earlier part of the year, back and forth up north and down south. We took a break to finish the new album, but now we are ready to get back to it.
RYL: What inspired “The Pain”?
THE PESTS: “The Pain” is often misinterpreted to be about an ex as well, but it’s actually more about how I feel about myself and karma in general.
Well, ok, one part is about the ex.