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Ghost Canyon

'90s - Urge Overkill   (2011) '90s - Urge Overkill (2011)

‘Resisting The Urge No More!'

Over 15 years since their last album, the two-headed rock ‘n roll behemoth that is Urge Overkill has finally made its return!

Their new album, Rock & Roll Submarine is now out on their own label UO Records. The band’s mixture of arena-ready hooks with punk rock ferocity is as potent as ever, as apparent on the rip-roaring new track, 'Effigy.'

As fans who crowded NYC’s Mercury Lounge this past October to witness the reunited group can attest, UO’s live show is in top form as well. The guys kick off a brief US tour in May, where they will be tearing through their new and classic material.

The reformed line-up is made up of original singer-guitarists/songwriters Eddie “King” Roeser and Nash Kato, along with drummer Bonn Quast (Polvo; The Cherry Valence) and bassist Hadji Hodgkiss (Gaza Strippers).

As always, the chemistry between Kato and Roeser is at the driving force behind each song. Whether it’s the haunting way in which their voices blend or their striking, intertwined guitars, the dual frontmen exude a unique and magnetic presence that has been sorely missed.

Exclusive Magazine recently sat down with Eddie “King” Roeser and discussed their CD, their back-in-the-day opening spots for Pearl Jam and Nirvana, about tattoos, and, of course, ... Penguins!

Taking it from the top and it's been said that the bands name originated from a phrase in the lyrics of the Parliament song 'Funkentelechy'! But was that always to be the only choice for the band's name at that time? "Yes, that was the name from the get-go. We were convinced it sounded "hardcore" at the time (which was sadly the "music" around which our collective head was wrapped). Go figure?"

In your early days you opened for Nirvana and Pearl Jam on their sold-out tours - what stories/memories do you have of both those tours that you can quickly relate to us now? "Those were wondrous times. Both singers were out of their respective tree (tho the dead one in a decidedly more taciturn fashion). We found ourselves in the eye of some formidable storm that, unbeknownst to any of us, was to alter the course of musical history."

Indeed, it was your cover of Neil Diamond's 'Girl, You'll Be a Woman Soon' (from the film Pulp Fiction) that became your biggest hit back in 1994. Around that time, and with all that media exposure on you, what was it like being a member of Urge Overkill? "It was indeed a dream come true. We quickly came to fully appreciate the sheer power of a 3-minute pop-tune, as it quite literally trotted us around the globe (in a most 4-star fashion)."

The brand new 2011 album, Rock & Roll Submarine is now upon us, and is the first album you've released since 1995! Being that you had to reform to get this done, why was it time to come together again in the first place?! And how long will it last this time?! "As a band, you just know when it's "Rock O'Clock. We took a necessary (albeit well deserved) hiatus that lasted perhaps too long in hindsight, but we always knew the other proverbial shoe would eventually drop."

And, with all the songs on this new album to choose from, which is the most personal to you - and why? "Without a doubt, 'Quiet Person' - as it's a stark confessional from the darkest of times."

And, for the record, why was it titled Rock & Roll Submarine? Does that title have a hidden meaning that, as we're not called Exclusive Magazine for nothing, you can finally reveal here today?! "As we've been on a black ops mission for the last 5 years, we grew accustomed to nautical life (tho that's about all we're at liberty to disclose). You're not the only "exclusive" one here."

The cover artwork for the new album is great, but who created it and was it always to be this imagery even at the drawing board stage? "Our brother-in-arms Martin Cimek is a true graphic visionary, and simply ran the [UO] ball we handed him into the endzone (and beyond?)."

The Urge Overkill sound has been one that has (kinda) fluctuated from album to album - so to your mind today, can you nail down (in five words or less) just what YOU believe your sound is? "Rock & Roll Submarine!"

Do you have any tattoos and, if so, and (again) as we're not called Exclusive Magazine for nothing, which is your latest and where is it located?! "We beleve that tats and/or body piercings are for assholes!"

Who is the most famous person in your cell phone today? "Bradley Manning- although our calls have not been returned as of late?!"

Lastly, and throwing you a journalistic curve ball, Exclusive Magazine love penguins ... do you, perhaps? "Depends on how they're seasoned...?!"

Interview: Russell A. Trunk