By Brian Terhorst
Photos by John Tiffin & Michael Crouch
Leslie and I were two hours into the swimwear shoot taking place poolside at the new Hard Rock Hotel in downtown San Diego. Justin Postin of SRH showed up with a box of fresh bikinis. “Scott and Pat should be here any minute.” He announced. Nice. Haven’t seen the boys in months. It’ll be nice to catch up and get the inside scoop on their jump to new label, Suburban Noize.
Minutes later I see Scott Russo & Pat ‘P.K.’ Kim roll up to the Moonstone bar. Scott looks every bit the part of a rockstar with oversized shades and the brim of his hat pulled low. Pat quietly slides into a chair at the bar. Both are dressed head to toe in black. I introduce them to a couple of our models. Scott’s eyebrows go up and down a couple times fast. He nods approval. I throw the company card on the bar and let the bartender know the tab is open for the lads. We sat down at the bar, and after a few shots of Patron, we are fully engulfed in a nice chat. Topics range from kids and marriage, to the band, the changes through the years, and their signing with a new label. Leslie and I take turns firing questions at the guys till it turns to flowing conversation. The bar gets increasingly noisy as the Padres Fans start overflowing from the ballpark. Padres won.
Within a few minutes they are swarmed by a group of cute girls. Hugs kisses & laughter. “Get these girls a round of drinks!” Scott yells to the bartender. “I’ve known this girl since ninth grade” He reaches over and hugs her again. “That’s Steve’s wife from Sprung Monkey.” He points to her friend. Cool. The gangs all here.
A little re-cap on the life of Unwritten Law. You’ve probably rocked out to the harmonic fireworks of Seein Red, air-scratched the turntable squeaks of Cailin, and karaoked to the staccato self-deprecation of Save Me. But guaranteed you didn’t realize that Unwritten Law were the chameleons behind all three. It’s not your fault. Over the last 14 years, labels have fought the Law, and the labels won. In true punk rock style they have left every label they have worked with. They just re-recorded 14 fan favorites, and added 2 new tracks, that are soon to be released under the Suburban Noize Record Label. The process of selecting the hit list was simple, whatever fans requested the most vociferously at shows made the cut. “If you’re making music to follow a trend, the music dies when the trend dies” stated Scott, “Shit, none of us have gotten rich off this. Scott is currently bouncing between his place in North County, and his pad in Hollywood. Time spent with his daughter Cailin is especially sweet for Scott. “She’s fifteen now, coming into her own. She’s doing some modeling. Just a really cool person, ya know? I couldn’t be more proud”. It’s obvious, he looks really happy.
Talking with Pat, who defected from Sprung Monkey in 98’ and is closing in on nearly a decade with the band, tells us “It’s taken just the right confederacy to refine Unwritten Law’s signature sound”. The guys were pretty modest about what to expect from the new album, but Pat breaks it down sensibly enough; “You know it’s gonna have a great melody to it, it’s gonna have some good heavy guitars, and a good hook”.
“Most importantly, each infectious strum and smash is a product of instinct, not pandering”. Simply put, Unwritten Law has grown up a bit, but still play by their own rules. “When we’re making music, it’s coming from a pure place, and not coming from a place where we are trying to be a part of something. I think it’s the most punk rock thing you can do” laughs Scott. “We’ve never done anything to secure longevity; we just write songs about our lives, luckily our hardcore fans have come along with us”.
They are looking forward to their upcoming San Diego show at Viejas Concerts in the Park, on May 3rd, “It’s going to be off the hook” and with Suburban Noize, “We see an amazing future with this label, I think we’ll stick around for awhile” I have to agree with Scott, Suburban Noize is blowing up a number of great acts.
With that said, we all pop down another shot of patron. The cell phone breaks up the conversation. “The photographers have the equipment ready to go & the models are up in the suite.” Time to get back to work. Yeah, if you want to call hanging out with beautiful models “work”. Another great encounter with our friends from Unwritten Law.
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