[Interview] Styles of Beyond: Uncrowned Kings
RubyHornet: You’re well into the promo for the new album, I’m just wondering, what’s been the reaction you guys have seen? Have you noticed Styles of Beyond fans coming out from the past? Are you seeing new people latch on?
Ryu: I feel like in L.A., a lot of people from our past, sometimes we forget that we did have an impact on the place that we live. We’ve been seeing a lot of support from a lot of DJ’s, they played one of our records on K-Day last week. I guess a lot of our older fans are getting recharged. I haven’t seen as much newer fans, but maybe there is, I don’t know. I’m just seeing a lot of the older fans from my perspective.
Tak: Yeah, same here. It’s definitely been a minute. It’s been a few years since we surfaced and made some noise. Definitely from my end, a lot of the loyal fans, the true SOB fans that are still around. There are a lot of people that have been waiting for this record to come out years later, and they’re still showing the loyalty and support. It’s great to see.
RubyHornet: There’s a lyric on the new album where you say, “to all the people down since the beginning, though we never wore the crown, you insist that we get it.’ That kind of relates to what you were just talking about. How much of a role did that play in you releasing this album? Is this for those people?
Ryu: That’s exactly who it’s for. It wasn’t really for us at all. To us, the record was done a long time ago and the situation surrounding the record was kind of like, it was a big blow to us with it not coming out in the situation with Warner Bros. From my personal perspective, we could have just done without the record either way. It didn’t make any difference to me, but so many fans were coming out that wanted the record and they would ask us every single day, ‘when is the record coming out.’ So we figured let’s put it out at least for them. And for us too, me and Tak, Vin Skully, Cheapshot, we put a lot of work into this. A lot of people put a lot of work into it. Apathy is another person who put work into it. In that perspective it is a little bit for us. It’s good to get it off our chest at least.
Rubyhornet: What is your relationship with the actual music with it? I read about all the stuff that happened with Warner. Are you able to still listen to the actual music and the songs and enjoy it, or is it something you can’t get through?
Tak: It’s funny because it has been some time and it’s kind of like a bittersweet thing, but I think it still kind of hits home because it’s always us. And we do have a certain unique type of formula that works with our music and it’s just one of those things that’s almost timeless. But to us, it appears to be dated, but to others, it’s on.
RubyHornet: The album has a fairly, I don’t want to say fun, but it’s pretty light. I think a lot of people may have expected you guys to have a darker or angrier sound on the album with everything that’s been going on. But it’s light. You have the bumblebee skits, which are pretty funny, and a lot of the party songs that you’ve always had. Was that a conscious decision? What shaped the sound of the music?
Ryu: Well, when you’re constructing a record, you’re basically at the beginning throwing a bunch of stuff up against the wall and seeing what sticks. From there you start crafting the overall feel and the sound of the album. Sometimes you got to put pieces together that match. You don’t want a song like the song we do with Michael Buble, if you throw that in between a bunch of hardcore Demi Godz records, it doesn’t really match. So you add a couple different elements like “The Cowboy Song” or “The Pirate Song”, “Howdy Doody”, those kind of tie the room together and make it a more cohesive record. And that is a facet of our personality too. Yeah, we can rap hardcore, we do all of that stuff too, but you know, at the end of the day we’re kind of easy going dudes, we like to drink and have a good time. That’s basically it.
RubyHornet: Is that part of the title, Reseda Beach, is that also tied into those people being down with you since the beginning? And throughout the album it’s really your crew that’s collaborating with you on it.
Tak: Yeah, we’re like a family. It’s been our crew since 2000 Fold, and we’ve kind of been crowned the kings of the valley. So, Reseda Beach kind of tied together the whole vibe and sound of the records.