Orange County rockers, Stick To Your Guns, have championed the Hardcore league through continuously stirring the pot with mature displays of musicianship that have influenced their ability to sustain a massive worldwide cult following. Years of unabashed instrumental brutality and storytelling have taken every element of their sound and live show to the next level. On the brink of the release of the band’s upcoming sixth studio album release, ‘True View’, I caught up with vocalist, Jesse Barnett, to discuss bringing the album to life, growing up in California, the band’s recent experience on Warped Tour, tattoos, and more.
Congrats on the upcoming release of your sixth studio album, ‘True View’. What technological advances were you able to maximize to upgrade your vision and sound this time around?
I don’t think there were technological advances per se. We did go in and recorded a record pretty much the same way we normally do. I think what we were able to maximize though was our efforts through our preparation and open-mindedness. A lot of bands tend to go into the studio with demos recorded and a problem that they run into is that when something is changed it sounds incredibly foreign and off-putting because you’ve been listening to the demo so many times that, in your head, it’s law. “It’s already done so why is it being fu*ked with”. I think it’s important to map out songs to your liking, but also remember that when you go into the studio that it’s important to remain open and allow things to change.
Tell us about the most meaningful track on the upcoming album and what the track means to you.
Personally, all of the tracks are part of a bigger meaning. I don’t think I could necessarily pinpoint a single track and say that this more has more meaning than that one. To me, the record as a whole was a very necessary and important, and most times, very painful journey to get me to a place of peace within myself.
What are some recent album releases that you are really diggin’ at the moment?
‘Sleep Well Beast’ by The National
‘Still Striving’ by ASAP Ferg
‘Infinite Punishment’ by Get The Shot
‘No Mercy’ by Shadow of Doubt
‘Life After Youth’ by Land of Talk
Any upcoming tour or festival appearance plans that you can fill us in about?
We are about to do some record release shows in October with Eighteen Visions, Get The Shot, STONE and Modern Color! After that, we embark on a European Headliner in November. A lot of really cool stuff to end the year with; very excited.
If you could challenge any fellow musician to a round of your favorite sport, which musician would you choose and what sport would you play?
Without question, Tom Williams of Stray From The Path for a game of hockey. He plays goalie and I would just go five-hole on him over and over and just embarrass him all day.
Growing up in California, you were surrounded by tons of creativity and lush nature. Has that contributed to your artistic endeavors growing up and how so?
California Hardcore, Punk, and Metal has always had a specific sound that was very distinct and most definitely influenced us. It’s always been pretty melodic and that’s just what I connected with most. I was lucky to have an older brother and older sister who showed me Metal and Punk when I was just a baby and since then I was in love.
Photo Credit: Carmin Edwards
If you could get any piece that you desire to get tattooed by any tattoo artist in the world, what would you get tattooed and which artist would you choose and why?
I have already been tattooed by one of my favorite artists. Tony D’annessa at PSC Tattoo in Montreal. He’s the man. His story is incredible. He’s been doing it since the 1950’s and when you go into the shop, you can see his original flash hanging on the wall. All his flash is painted on window blinds. He used to tattoo in the back of a carpet shop in New York City at a time when tattooing was illegal. He painted his flash on the blinds so that if and when cops came in the shop they could just pull the blinds up to hide the flash.
Tell us about your experience on Warped Tour. Did you play any of the new material for concertgoers? If so, how was their reception?
We didn’t play anything off of the newest record but overall the tour was cool and we received a lot of love from people. That’s always a special experience to be able to play these songs that mean so much to you and watch people connect with them in such a deep way.
What has been the most rewarding experience you have had over your years as a band?
Being the first American hardcore band to play Nairobi Kenya, East Africa. It was by far the most special experience I have had inside and outside of this band.
Last but certainly not least, any closing messages for your fans?
We always appreciate the support that we get from people who listen to us. Thank you all so much. I’m not sure what we did to deserve it but we do our best to make you all proud.