Tag Archives: featured

Forces Of Production: Remix

17 Sep

At long last, Forces Of Production is available to the masses. We’ve been working on this for over a year, but we’ve been talking about doing something like this for even longer — since our first record came out in 2007. As fans of experimental, dub, and electronic music, we appreciate the recontextualization of art in our current cut-and-paste culture. Who’s to say that the only versions of our songs are the ones we’ve released?

So we imagined the individual tracks as raw material — merely starting points for new compositions. We enlisted friends and fans and assembled radically different versions of songs drawn from all of our records. Some of these songs are unmistakably United Sons of Toil songs; others bear little resemblance.

Download or purchase Forces Of Production at Bandcamp.

Like all our records, Forces Of Production is available for free download. In addition, the Super-Deluxe Limited-Edition CD Package includes an exclusive bonus 4-track disc, mini-poster, and over-the-top packaging including riveted asset tags, ribbon, and a custom wax seal. Limited to 100 copies.

Interview: Punk Rock Politics

11 Jan

E-mail interview with Rockstar Journalist blog.

Photo by Michelle Damitz

Do you feel that the style of music reflects the lyrical content?
There is a lot of rage and desperation in both our music and our lyrics. We try to tie all of our political themes to the human experience — how societal and economic pressures affect the individual. That said, we primarily operate as an instrumental band when we’re writing songs. After a song is more or less complete, we try to figure out how to fit some vocals in. We tackle some fairly heavy themes because there’s nothing worse than a good song with dumb lyrics.

I ask because songs like “ILO Convention 169 and the line “ancestral lands now have to earn” are certainly both stark in terms of throbbing music, and political discourse.
This song has always had a sort of a mournful and desperate cry to my ears. The song is about how indigenous peoples around the world are facing more and more pressure by governments and corporations to allow their homelands be exploited. In particular, this song deals with a 2009 clash in Peru. When face-offs turned violent, 23 police officers and at least 10 indigenous people were killed. Riot police used tear gas and shot 82 protesters.

The musical influences are little easier to parse (I certainly hear a lot of Fugazi in “The Concept of the Urban Guerrilla”), but from what sources do you draw lyrical inspiration?
Musically, Fugazi has been more of idealistic influence but certainly part of our musical world view. (Our bass player has some beautiful nods to Hoover’s Fred Erskine.) I’ve always seen the songs as based on Amphetamine Reptile noiserock filtered through chaotic hardcore and more recent post-metal textures. Lyrical inspiration is primarily drawn from current events, historical research, and authors like Chomsky, Zinn, and Marx. The expert wordplay of Jawbox’s J Robbins has long been a roadmap about how to map concrete ideas into more abstract language.

What sort of response does United Sons of Toil receive in Madison? I know it’s a pretty liberal town, but it’s still the Midwest.
We have a small but loyal audience here in Madison. Sometimes we feel a bit like we’re preaching to the converted, but we try to push people away from the passive left-leaning liberal Democrat mindset towards more of a radical reconstructionist viewpoint. But we don’t lecture on stage. We try to draw people in with the rock and let them discover what’s behind it later. We do try to keep our politics in the foreground through our social media presence though. It may turn some people off, but we don’t really care. In our experience, people who are attracted to extreme music aren’t really willing to accept reactionary politics or feel comfortable with the status quo.

Is When The Revolution Comes, Everything Will Be Beautiful your first release? If not, what else have you put out?
Actually, it’s our third full-length. Like our first two records, this one was tracked live in the studio and then completed at home with guitar and vocal overdubs. We mixed the records ourselves and sent them to Carl Saff in Chicago for mastering. All our records are available as name-your-own-price downloads at Bandcamp or can be purchased on vinyl.

Any plans for an upcoming tour?
We’re still recovering from a pretty grueling European tour last summer. I think we’re going to start writing new songs soon and if that happens, we’ll be touring regionally in the Midwest for most of the year — possibly East and West coast tours in 2013?