Q&A with Brandon Hardesty of Bumpin' Uglies
Bumpin' Uglies are the definition of a hardworking DIY group of musicians. The ska/punk band just released their new EP, Better. Faster. Stronger. in May, but are already looking toward the future, already planning to release a full length later this year on top of relentless touring throughout the entire summer. As vocalist Brandon Hardesty puts it, Bumpin' Uglies don't show any signs of stopping any time soon, and that's just how we like them!
Interview by Shannon Shumaker
Can you tell us a little bit about Bumpin' Uglies for any readers who may not be familiar?
We're a lyrically driven ska/punk/reggae band based out of Annapolis, MD. I like to think of it as Johnny Cash meets Sublime.
You just celebrated the release of your new EP, Better. Faster. Stronger. Did you have any major goals you wanted to accomplish with the EP?
We cracked the Billboard charts for the first time. Pretty proud about that one! Number 2 on the Reggae Charts.
How do you feel Bumpin' Uglies has grown or evolved with Better. Faster. Stronger.?
I feel like we're a new band. The whole point of this EP was to rerelease 3 of our most popular songs with the vibe of the new band. Bumpin Uglies is my first band and the whole ride has been a learning experience to me. When we went into the studio to record our first record it was before we were ready and I feel like the recordings reflect that. It's always bothered me. I think that the records on this new EP finally do the songs justice.
What was the most rewarding part or most memorable part about working on the EP?
We record with Ryan Cullen at Annapolis Audio Lab in our hometown of Annapolis. We have a great chemistry with Ryan and it's always a pleasure working with him and learning more about the production side of things. I did all the synth work on these tracks and I feel pretty good about how they turned out. Looking forward to going further down that particular rabbit hole!
You guys are touring relentlessly throughout the entire summer, wrapping things up in late August. What are you most excited for on your upcoming tour dates?
We're doing our biggest hometown show to date on 6/24 at Union Jacks in Annapolis. We love traveling and seeing the country but theres really nothing better than a raging hometown show with all your friends.
Are there any songs on Better. Faster. Stronger. that you’ve really been enjoying playing live?
Morning After is always a lot of fun to play. That was one of the first songs we would see people singing the words back to us when we were out of town. As a songwriter thats one of the best feelings in the world. The guitar solo in that is really fun to play as well.
What would you like listeners to be able to take away from your music or live performances?
A lot of the songs I write are about struggling to carve your spot out in life. Music helped me out a lot when I was trying to find purpose in this world so if I can do the same for someone else I think that's pretty neat.
I’ve heard that you’re already looking forward to working on a future full length, as well! Though Better. Faster. Stronger. just dropped, can listeners expect to hear any more new music before the end of the year?
Yup! We've got a full length album coming out in September through Right Coast Records. It's called Keep It Together.