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Formed in the dusty metropolis of Mexico City in 1995, Rusty Eye has never followed the rules of what they should sound like. “When we started everyone was into stuff like Guns N’ Roses and Metallica,” says bassist and frontman Mr. Rust. “Our idea was to do the opposite.” And that’s exactly what Rusty Eye has been doing ever since.
A trio consisting of Mr. Rust, guitarist Baron Murtland, and Miss Randall, a sexy drummer who sings and plays her kit with high heels faster than most dudes in shoes, it’s virtually impossible to try and sum up the sound of the band in one simple catch phrase. With their horror movie-inspired progressive metal, one might explain them as Rob Zombie in a knife fight with Rush. Motorhead singing Lacuna Coil-like arias in a seedy dive bar. Primus partying with Municipal Waste in a haunted house full of circus clowns. Cannibal Corpse on a speed binge with Type O Negative. The point is, Rusty Eye is a band you gotta hear to believe.
Mr. Rust (born Pablo Armando Salido Casanova) grew up in the 80’s and early 90’s listening to Iron Maiden and emulating the riffs of one Steve Harris. “He was my bass and music teacher, even though I never met him,” Mr. Rust says. “Listening to Iron Maiden albums, I learned how to get a grasp on the music.”
It wouldn’t be long before Mr. Rust had a band and was playing gigs in Mexico, gaining a bit of a following in the old school tradition of tape trading. “Back then it was very difficult,” Mr. Rust says, “In 1995, you didn’t have CD burners, so it was more like tapes and that sort of thing.” In 2000, Rusty Eye recorded their debut album called Rust N’ Roll with former members Dr. Eye on guitars and Leo Haze on drums. Various lineup changes ensued until 2002, when Mr. Rust met Miss Randall (born Julieta Randall) and with her production skills impressing Mr. Rust, she joined the band as their new drummer and second singer. “With Miss Randall in the band we completely changed,” Mr. Rust says. “Everything gelled together perfectly.”
The band was growing and Mexico City simply didn’t have the scene or industry they needed to keep that growth so they moved to Hollywood in 2004. They toured the area constantly and recorded a handful of releases on their own label Epoche Records. After gaining fans around the LA area for several years, they had made enough money to hunker down and go back into the studio.
In 2009 they released their most recent album, Possessor, which they recorded at ex-Fear Factory drummer Raymond Herrerra’s studio, using his drumkit, gear and engineer Jeremy Blair. Produced by Miss Randall, this album marks the strongest release from the band yet. “It took a long to make because we don’t get support from anyone so we had to save the money to go to the studio,” Mr. Rust says. “So we picked the best studio we could. One of the reasons we picked this studio was that we’ve done all the recordings ourselves for so long, we’ve learned that one of the things that slows you down the most in the studio is setting up, especially the drums. That’s the first thing you do and the most time consuming. Raymond has his Fear Factory kit already set up and mic’d, and you just jump in and are ready to go.”
Despite having a thunderous new album, the band realized it wasn’t enough. For a DIY band that makes their own rules and has to fend for themselves, they knew early on that they needed a strong website. “We were actually one of the very first bands in the world that had a website,” says Mr. Rust. “It was like when the internet was a dirt road and that was about the time that the band started, and even back then we started experimenting with that.”
Fast forward to today. Rusty Eye’s website features some of the most unique attributes a band could have: Multiple angles of each of the band members playing a handful of their latest songs. “We replaced all the interviews, the documentaries and just played ourselves,” says Mr. Rust. “We want everyone to see exactly what we’re playing, so we got a bunch of camcorders so we could achieve 12 angles each and everyone had to play the record twice. It was roughly 36 hours of footage to edit because each member is a separate movie. It took two weeks to edit. Miss Randall did the editing and I did the whole website and when it was ready, we passed it to a programmer to fix gliches and finalize stuff I couldn’t do. And it’s been a massive success. It gets a lot of hits every day.”