HT Interview: Oklahoma’s The Ugly Suit

I caught up with The Ugly Suit on their supporting tour with Umphrey’s McGee at The Pageant in St Louis, MO. The gang is stoned and weary from van travel and we congregate in their green room to get the skinny on the band’s history, the new record, their unique sound, and plans for the future. The interview, like all they do, is a democratic process.

HT: So tell us about your history as a band. How old are you? What is the OK scene like for an up and coming band?

US: We are four years old and pretty much still playing with the original lineup. Our original bass player Jimmy Nimmo can’t travel so we’re playing with Austin Steiner on bass. He’s only been playing for about a year and he thumps. The scene in Oklahoma City has always been very metal and punk based but we were lucky enough to start playing with The Non, an instrumental based band and that’s how we started developing our sound. Some of us played in a band called Kunek that also has a very earthy feel.

HT: How did you guys arrive at your current sound?

US: Well, we always write as a group. The most someone will bring to a writing session is a progression. There isn’t like a singer/songwriter who brings in tunes and the rest of us back him up. It’s a very organic thing. All of us get high, except for the drummer, which is probably a good thing, and that really opens us up to our options and each others playing. We work a lot on dynamics and think of each song as a movement in the bigger picture.

HT: Tell us about the new record and your first label experience?

US: Well, we are huge music fans and the thought of having Touch and Go want to put something out by us was awesome. However, we were less than a year into our relationship and the label was defunct. We got to work with Manny Sanchez, though, which was amazing. He produced the record and we love how it sounds. We currently play IV Labs amps out on the road with us. That’s how deep he influenced us. All in all it was a great experience to get out of the way and sort of get on with it. This was our first full length piece of art. We have an EP as well, but this is the record we want people to hear.

HT: What are your plans for the future? Where do you guys see yourselves down the road?

US: We just want to keep developing the sound and touring. This is sort of an “all in” situation for all of us and we really want to get after it. This tour with Umphrey’s has been amazing and showed us that we can appeal to a pretty large demographic, which is our ultimate goal. We’ve only got a handful of shows booked now so the road is open.

So it is, gentlemen. So it is. We here at HT are rooting for you, and if you continue to leave yourself out on that stage, night in and night out, you will find yourselves face to face with your idols and that is when they become real, you kill them, and move beyond your own pretenses of Rock and Roll, which any band is enveloped with in their humble beginnings. The fire that you show on the stage is worth more than any record contract or tour bus.

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4 Responses

  1. Great article Wade, nailed the whole sentiment of the rock ethos. This phrase sums up my 20’s thus far:
    “That’s right, junior…you belong to rock now.”

  2. Thanks for the article and interview. I picked up their album on a whim and have been recommending it to everyone within earshot ever since. Great, great band with a promising future.

    (and, uh, everyone reading this should pick up their album)

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