Justin Pearson of Retox: "Nihilism Is the Part of Punk That Is Dead."

As not-punk as the term sounds, Justin Pearson has an extensive curriculum vitae. He's probably best known for his work in The Locust, the grindcore/noise rock group that had a tendency to attract those seeking the strange and elicit cries of "that's not real music" from squares during a good part of the previous decade.

He was also involved in '90s hardcore bands in San Diego such as Swing Kids and Struggle, both of which have a kind of cult status among record collector and punk historian types. On top of this, he has appeared in a ton of other musical projects such as Some Girls, Holy Molar, and All Leather to only name a few. His current band, Retox, plays the kind of short and abrasive music he seems to gravitate toward, but with more of hardcore punk focus with weird guitar parts, a sound jokingly described by the band in a recent documentary as "surfer caveman." I talked with Pearson about Retox and how it ties into the rest of his C.V.

Up on the Sun: How's the tour going right now? Pearson: It's good. It's not too bad, I guess. We had some problems with the label getting our record out on time, so we're touring before the record actually is officially released, which is kind of a bust, but it is what it is, so we make the best of it.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Mike Bogumill
Contact: Mike Bogumill