It’s been a long 19 years, but Ugly Kid Joe are back with a new lease on life and a new record. Since reforming, the band has been particularly productive, writing and recording the new forthcoming record Uglier Than They Used Ta Be (out October 16th via Metalville/UKJ Records) and organizing a new upcoming tour. The group got together in a studio in Covington, Louisiana and tracked every day for three weeks, putting in 13 hour days. To help support the new album, we spoke to Ugly Kid Joe guitarist Klaus Eichstadt about the group’s new incarnation and music.
Ugly Kid Joe are back from a 19 year hiatus! Tell us, what got the band back together and why now after 19 years?
Eichstadt: Whit (Whitfield Crane) and I were just hanging out when Shannon (Larkin) and Dave (Fortman) contacted us and had the brilliant idea of reuniting the band and recording and EP with Dave as producer. They happened to be working together on a Godsmack album.
You sometimes hear accusations from certain artists that bands that get back together after many years apart are only doing it as a cash grab. How do you feel in your own position about views such as these?
Eichstadt: Well, we certainly aren’t rolling in cash – so there goes that theory regarding us.
How do you feel the band’s sound has evolved since you got back together?
Eichstadt: Just a natural evolution… Songs a bit more personal and meaningful maybe? Since we’ve lived life longer.
Do you find being in the band now more rewarding or fun than it was back in the mid to late-’90s?
Eichstadt: It’s about the same but very different. We definitely appreciate being able to do it again.
The new record is called Uglier Than They Used Ta Be. What is this title getting at? Is there a loose concept behind the record?
Eichstadt: It really is just paying homage to our first record As Ugly As They Wanna Be.
What was it like on that very first day you all got together to start writing and recording? Describe to us how it felt and what it was like.
Eichstadt: Magical, fun, exciting and curious… To hear what we would come up with after so long.
You used crowdfunding to pay for the recording of Uglier Than They Used Ta Be. What was it like recording an album under these circumstances?
Eichstadt: We just did what we do – we didn’t really feel any pressure from a record company which was nice, but you do feel you owe the fans your best shot.
Check out the song “She’s Already Gone” here.
The new album features a cover of Rare Earth’s version of “Papa Was a Rolling Stone.” Who brought this idea to the table to use this song?
Eichstadt: Whit and Sonny (Mayo) hung out with Dallas Frasca after our Australian tour in Melbourne and jammed and recorded with them…. And it was done.
You opened for Guns N’ Roses back in the summer of 2012 in a very special show in Tel Aviv, Israel. What did you take away from this experience? Did you get to hang out or interact with Axl at all?
Eichstadt: It was amazing being able to go to Tel Aviv and of course direct support for GnR was rad! We had a few shots of tequila with Axl. He was classic!
Congratulations on the new record and the band being back together. What does Ugly Kid Joe have in store for the near and more distant future?
Eichstadt: Touring the UK now, a few acoustic things in Germany and France, then we’ll see….