We Interviewed Ninja Gun/Suburban Home Recording!

Fest 7 in Gainesville, Florida brought opportunities to get up close and personal with some incredible acts and record labels. On Saturday, November 1st, I had a sit down in the Fest Flea Market with Georgia-based Ninja Gun and Virgil of Suburban Home Recording. 

 

Billy T of UTG: We are here at the Fest with Ninja Gun. Why don’t you go ahead and introduce yourselves and say what you do for the band?
 
COODY OF NINJA GUN: I’m Coody, I play guitar and sing, and this is Virgil from Suburban Home.
 
VIRGIL DICKERSON OF SUBURBAN HOME RECORDING / VINYL COLLECTIVE: Yep, I’m the mastermind behind the craziness of Suburban Home and Vinyl Collective.
 
UTG: So what went into producing this album?
 
NG: About a year and a half worth of recording on and off, just a lot of studio time and just basically trying to be meticulous and getting it as close to what our initial vision was for the album. It took a while, it took a year and a half, but we are really happy with the results. I sent the roughs about halfway through to Virgil just to see if he liked it or whatever, wrote me back and said he liked it. 
 
UTG: So Virgil, what was your full responsibility in putting this record out?
 
VD: Well, basically, we try not to mess with the production of the record, we try to let the band have artistic control and as much of a say of how they want the record to end up. They got us a master and what we went ahead and did was coordinate the artwork. My buddy Jeff is here somewhere and he laid it all out. Coody had a friend who drew a peach, and they knew they wanted to have a peach on the record. They had a friend who was going to lay it out and it didn’t work out. We got Jeff Allen to lay it out and we pressed it on vinyl, we pressed it on CD, and we offered it digital as well. It looks amazing, sounds amazing, pretty bad-ass all around.   
 
NG: Buddy Yerie Garcia drew the peach, actually. He did a pretty good job. He hand drew that with color pencil or whatever.
UTG: So the peach is because you’re from Vadosta, Georgia, right?
NG: Yep, mhm. We’re from South Georgia and we kind of wanted something that was somewhat indicative of where we were from as album art but it wasn’t like the end all be all of what it was, but I think it turned out pretty cool.
UTG: What’s the full instrumentation of Ninja Gun?
NG: Its two guitars, bass, drums and one vocalist. Its pretty stripped down which is kind of at odds with the album because its textured and there are layers and when we play live its kind of a straight-forward rock arrangement and that’s what we’ve heard people say they like about us, because when they come see us its something totally different than when you’re listening to the album. 
VD: When they play live they sound like 70’s classic rock. They bring the thunder.
UTG: if there is anything you would have added to the album, what would it have been?
NG: I think we spent a lot of time and put everything but the kitchen sink in there. 
VD: Once you get to know these guys, they are students of all music so they probably had a lot of late night discussions about what they could do and would do.
UTG: So the name Ninja Gun – tell me what its from and if it has hindered you at all?
NG: Actually I think its one of those things where its like a pet that’s so ugly its cute, you know? The story is pretty much unfulfilling – one of our friends was a tattoo artist and he was also a cartoonist and he had these two drawings on his window and one was of a little line ninja holding a gun and the other one was called pussy frog. 
UTG: So you would’ve been called pussy frog? 
NG: Right. Would have probably been better. We went with Ninja Gun and it stuck pretty well so far. We were initially called Watermelon Fast for our first show.
UTG: Watermelon Fast?
NG: Because Mike Love from the Beach Boys in the 60’s freaked out on a bunch of drugs and ate nothing but watermelon for a year. So that was pretty good band name and we gave away watermelons at our first show. We eventually just decided on Ninja Gun and kept that. I woke up in a cold sweat the other night and realized I was in a band called Ninja Gun. 
VD: I gotta admit at the label I was not the biggest fan of the name. But you know growing up I was way into ninjas and matial arts movies so I was at odds. 
UTG: To me the name almost doesn’t fit with the music, so its almost like you think you’re about to see some kind of pop punk band but – 
NG: Really? I’ve heard people say they think its either really brutal metal, or yeah, pop punk. I like that though. As I’ve said in another interview, peoples lives are littered with predictability. We thought we’d throw a curveball and keep people on their toes.
VD: One time we were looking to get screen printed chinese throwing stars with Ninja Gun on them and we thought about it and were like whos hands would those go into? And we didn’t want a disfiguring scar for life, so we decided not to.
UTG: So yesterday was Halloween. What was your costume if you had one or what would it have been?
NG: We went as squares because we are too lazy and we just got off tour a day or two ago and couldn’t get stuff together, but when I went to Fest 3, might have been the first one we played, my girlfriend and I went as Fred and Wilma Flintstone. What would I have been? Maybe next year I will go as Virgil and we’ll dress up as each other. 
VD: Why don’t you guys dress up as ninjas? 
NG: We could, that’d be an idea. one year I went as my dad. I just wore all his clothes. 
VD: My worst costume was when I dressed up as a Hooters girl and I had the shirt and the short shorts and I don’t have the best figure to be wearing that kind of stuff. We went to a Hooters and they let me serve some guys and those guys were not stoked. They were like you’re the ugliest Hooters girl we ever seen. But yea, that was fun.
UTG: What is recent news for Ninja Gun besides the album? 
NG: We’ve been on tour for the past couple months. We have one unreleased track for Delicious Vinyl which is Vinyl Collective’s best comp. The song on there is actually called, “Hey Man, You Wanna See A Rainbow?” And I wrote it for my niece, but on there it is listed as “Rainbow”. Virgil said, I’m gonna name your song. We did that song and another one. Virgil put us in the studio in Denver and we did a Cake cover, “This Is Where I Belong.” Its going on a split series that Suburban Home is doing, the Under The Influence Series and its a split with Whiskey & Co. 
UTG: They’re here at the Fest! 
VD: And there’s a Pogs cover of Tuesday morning. It’s going to be a great split. They’re going to be done in about a month.
NG: So thats what we have coming down the pike as far as recordings, and we’re playing with Hot Water Music on New Years Eve in Atlanta at the Masquerade and the 27th of December.
UTG: So Under The Gun doesn’t have final questions, we just let you have the floor and wrap it up.
NG: Thank you readers for reading, check us out when we come through your town. We live in Brooks County, Georgia in a double wide trailer called the Trailer of Tears and its down a dirt road. We have a camo golf cart, if you want to come there and hang out with us. 
VD: They showed us a pretty damn good time. Yeah, and I like to tell people when they are thinking about how to spend their hard earned money, consider supporting independent businesses whether it is a mom and pop record store or a small coffee shop. When they support local indepedent businesses that money gets recirculated into our economy rather than the mega conglomerants where the CEOs get way too much money. Support your local record labels, you local bands, small businesses and we’ll be better off that way. 
NG: Thank you so much for interviewing us. 

*Written By: Billy Table* 

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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