Australian extreme metal project BoyEatsGirl is driven by one man – Rick ‘Cleveland’ Pinto who launched the project in late 2015. BoyEatsGirl has since been establishing itself as a favorite extreme metal project: Pinto is one of the few underground artists to offer a complete conceptual and experiential package in the genre – food for the heart, mind and senses, as intellectually stimulating as it is emotionally intense. BoyEatsGirl creates a nice balance of standard, aggressive metal riffs, intermingled with fast, monstrous, ultra-heavy, ultra-complex mechanical cyber-grinding percussion, and a crazed use of sonic extremities. Also, there is use of growling vocals, which produces a thick, beastly, darkly regal, searingly muscular tone full of white-hot passion, and seems like it’s coming out of hell, and rising out of the ashes like a phoenix.
- How long has Boy Eats Girl been going and why do you refer to your fans as ‘Girl Eaters’?
Boy Eats Girl: The idea of BEG has been around for years, but due to commitments with previous bands and projects, I was unable to make time to fully launch it. However, after things collapsed with these projects in mid to late 2015 Boy Eats Girl was in full force and dropped its first single “She Shattered Like Glass” in April 2016. I refer to my following as ‘Girl Eaters’, not for the name itself (derived from the artist title), but so they can feel more than just a fan of my music, but as part of a community and family. I want the Girl Eater brand to go beyond my own music. Eventually the idea is to link up with other artists, social groups, companies and labels to fly the same flag, instead of competing over one or the others brand and start to create something that will be much bigger and have a stronger impact.
- For anyone who’s never heard of you before, which song would you recommend to them in order to get to know BEG better/best?
Boy Eats Girl: There is no one particular song that can define Boy Eats Girl but if i was to recommend them to anything it would be “The Answer To Infection” EP. That is the foundation of everything that is Boy Eats Girl. I put a lot of thought and research into writing that EP, and everything that comes after, no matter better or worse, is just an extension of the core theme presented in “The Answer To Infection”. Monsters creating monsters, and how fast it can spread like a virus.
- We have seen you have your own website now selling your merch, whats in store for your fans, what’s to come?
Boy Eats Girl: I am always working on new and interesting things for Boy Eats Girl to bring out. So far we are building our store here in AUS, we have snap backs, crew necks, t-shirts, physical CDS, and also included digital releases absolutely free exclusive to boyeatsgirloffical.com. We also have a store in New York USA that we are in the process of building up. There are a few items now and they are selling fast, so we are working on restocking and expanding in the near future.
- Do you remember the first piece of musical equipment that you actually purchased? And which is the one piece of hardware or software you’re still looking to add to your setup now?
Boy Eats Girl: The first piece of equipment I ever bought was a guitar and it is the same I am currently using today which has recorded all of Boy Eats Girl music. Of course it has been modded since I first bought it but I haven’t seem to let it go. I keep trailing and changing most of my equipment to keep things creative and fresh within my music. The core sound remains however.
- How and where do you do most of your recording and production work?
Boy Eats Girl: I am serial studio jumper. *laughs* The first EP, ‘The Answer To Infection’ was recorded in 5 plus studios. I am very picking on finding the right sound for Boy Eats Girl, so there is never going to be one real studio it is going to be recorded in. Not only do some of the engineers that work on Boy Eats Girl music live internationally, I have physical limitations such as equipment, acoustic treatment, distance and expense, etc. I use a different studio for guitars, drums, vocals and mix and mastering as they all bring a certain feel to the song. If I went with one studio only, I would feel more restricted in my music.
- Studio work and music creation, or performing and interacting with a live audience, which do you prefer?
Boy Eats Girl: Since Boy Eats girl is a studio-based creation. I have no choice but to enjoy what I have, but from previous products and hopefully future projects it would defiantly be live interactions with an audience. It something about the live feedback that makes me go harder and drives me to perform better. In a studio I feel a lot more restricted.
- Which one of your latest original songs gets your emotion and adrenalin pumping the most, when performing it, and why?
Boy Eats Girl: All of them to be honest. Because it is a one man show, everything is very personal and there are all content in some way in the end. Although the scenes and scenarios i produce in Boy Eats Girl music are purely fictional, the emotion that carries through the progressions are very much real and are based on familiarities of incidents that occurred throughout my own personal life and lives of those close to me.
- On which one of these songs do you feel you delivered your best performance so far, from a technical point of view?
Boy Eats Girl: Alucard Infinite; It is the fastest paced, sporadic and energized song I have released to date. Structuring the track was surprisingly easy to gel together, but because of the speed and technically of the song, my guitar playing and drums had to be the tightest to retain clarity. I haven’t released anything as technical or as fast but i am looking forward to making something like that again for sure if the subject matter calls for something crazy.
- Could you describe your creative process on the basis of a piece or album that’s particularly dear to you? Where do ideas come from, what do you start with and how do you go about shaping these ideas?
Boy Eats Girl: I always have a ton of unrefined ideas and short stories on hand at all times, some derived from films I’ve watched, stories I’ve read and real cases of crimes from a psychological stand point. How I go putting together a project starts with the subject matter. I do a fair bit of research into what’s missing in the genre and what’s currently being overdone, this helps not only with my release standing out but also I can hopefully reach someone that’s currently experiencing similar situations. My new single ‘Zugzwang’ was developed greatly from my experiences talking to my audience and it felt like it was the perfect time to show them I wasn’t afraid to hit something hard so close to home. After the draft is complete I work on percussion, melodies and patterning for my vocal layers before I start actually writing any lyrics. It’s not a typical way vocalists write their music, but ill always know from off the bat it will all flow smoothly and cohesively though out. When the patterning is solid and structuring the track is completed I then write in lyrics from my first story boarded drafts to a syllable count derived from my vocal patterning. I then check for certain words that repeat too often and words that were used that aren’t as descriptive as I hoped to be and swap them out and adjust accordingly. The rest is post production work, where I experiment with different effects and layer additional instruments in the final stage to really bring the scenes to life.
- What were your main compositional- and production-challenges in the beginning and how have they changed over time?
Boy Eats Girl: At first it was a struggle as I had to learn the instruments as I was recording them. Especially vocals, seeing how my writing took me up to a certain point where I was happy, but then halted due to my technic or skill level not being up to scratch yet for that particular instrument. I feel better and better the more I write and progress with instruments, which makes writing and structuring easier.
- What are currently some of the most important tools and instruments you’re using in creating your sound?
Boy Eats Girl: Ironically, sampling. It isn’t the hardest to do but I feel as sampling is such a strong bases of Boy Eats Girl’s sound. It wouldn’t be the same without it. I create scenes that push the atmosphere and emotions in the song. I feel this is important to really draw the listener in and make them part of the world I am creating within the music.
- How essential do you think video is in relation to your songs? I notice you have many lyric videos posted on you YouTube. Can fans expect a full-on action video from Boy Eats Girl soon?
Boy Eats Girl: Absolutely. A full music video is something I have wanted to do for a long time. Especially on my first single. I felt it could add way more to the visuals and the feeling of the track. But due to hiccups in production and communication with filmographies, I was forced to cancel it. The lyric videos, to my style of music, helped visualize what the song is about to someone who is not use to those kind of vocals. But ultimately I would much prefer a full video.
- What’s your view on the role and function of music as well as the (e.g. political/social/creative) tasks of artists today – and how do you try to meet these goals in your work?
Boy Eats Girl: I’ve noticed many artists relying on just one approach when it comes to creating a story board for their albums. To me this seems way to bland to use only creative fiction or a real life based experiences of the artist themselves, its good enough to capture you initially, but over time it becomes the same thing repeating over and over again. I always wondered why not many mix writing platforms and play with different perspectives once in a while. Every track I’ve released under Boy Eats Girl has been a play on perspective and not a linear, straight forward story line. I do have some aversion to portraying my own political standpoints or personal beliefs through my music though. Not that there’s anything wrong with that of course, I just feel it’s not needed in my music, its formulated in a particular way to, in a sense, make up your own mind about what is being presented. Take ‘The Answer To Infection’ Ep for instance, not many people understand the processes during a severe psychotic break. All you would initially think is “deranged killer. A psychopath.Evil.”ect.. When reality isn’t so black and white. The story line is purely fictional but the truth remains that, this does happen. All I present to the listener, is how it can happen and what certain triggers force a certain reaction. The first step to resolve any problem, is to first understand what it is.
- With more and more musicians creating than ever and more and more of these creations being released, what does this mean for you as an artist in terms of originality? What are some of the areas where you currently see the greatest potential for originality and who are some of the artists and communities that you find inspiring in this regard?
Boy Eats Girl: When I’m creating music or visuals for Boy Eats Girl, I look a for a void within a genre that has been phased out or not been done before. So originality isn’t very hard to find. I design Boy Eats Girl to be an outlet for people. I do things that feel familiar but I offer something very different, and I think that’s what stands out. I get inspired from film, criminology, and interactions with my own fan base. Apart from my own personal feelings, it is these things that inspire me the most.
- Of all your achievements what do you think can be considered as being a high point of your so far?
Boy Eats Girl: That is a super tough question (laughs). I’ve accomplished so much more than i would have ever thought in these past 2 years. Making the cover of Jamsphere magazine, selling out CDS and merch in both stores, including the official store in Aus also stateside though Chugcore and soon to be selling out again, all definitely high points for me for sure! The biggest form of happiness I get doing this though, could also seem to be the smallest achievement to some people. I love meeting and talking to my Girl Eaters. They have all been the most loyal and supportive fan base from day one! They’re the ones that validate me on a daily basis and push me harder to do better. I love them all!
- Do you consider Internet and all the social media websites, as fundamental to your career, and indie music in general, or do you think it has only produced a mass of mediocre “copy-and-paste” artists, who flood the web, making it difficult for real talent to emerge?
Boy Eats Girl: I can see how easy it is to blame the times changing, thus effecting a potential career. But I choose to embrace it. Every change has its flaws, but I feel I can connect with my audience off the stage and in real time, get to know them and how they feel about my music. Promoting is a lot harder, but as an indie artist I feel I am in control of what I have built.
- What is the best piece of advice regarding the music business that you actually followed so far, and what is the advice you didn’t follow, but now know for sure that you should have?
Boy Eats Girl: That’s a good question. As clique as it sounds, the best advice I got is ‘the day you give up, is the day it stops’. I have come so close to giving up many times due to frustration, musical differences, financial struggles, lack of motivation, and rejection. I am glad I took that advice, as I wouldn’t be where I am with music today without it. The piece of advice that I didn’t take but should have taken a long time ago, was the belief that I could do it all myself. I took this advice too late and I feel I could have been here a lot earlier.
- Reaching audiences usually involves reaching out to the press and possibly working with a PR company. What’s your perspective on the promo system? In which way do music journalism and PR companies change the way music is perceived by the public?
Boy Eats Girl: PR and the way its handled is ever changing so it’s not something you could ever fully get used to, especially if you’re a self-managed Artist/band. Some things such as Television and radio obviously change for the worst and make your returns as a new artist not as grand as it once was back in the day. On the flip side, a lot of doors opened and offered new and unsigned artists opportunities that they would have never have seen without a label or dedicated PR Agent. So it’s a love/hate kind of deal for most artists. I personally take it like it is and adjust to the changes as they come.
- Do you have a musical vision that you haven’t been able to realise for technical or financial reasons – or an idea of what music itself could be beyond its current form?
Boy Eats Girl: Everything from a musical stand point up until now has moved forward seamlessly. The way I run Boy Eats Girl is very intentional and deliberate. If there is any technical requirements or costs involved to complete the release, it has been thought of in advance. However, there have been a lot of visual and artistic ideas separate from music that have failed to come to fruition due to continually delayed deadlines and cancellations that were not from my side, nor in my control. These included various photo shoots, filmography, and promotional production. At the time, these things played a huge role in constructing the appearance of Boy Eats Girl and enhancing the story line of ‘The Answer To Infection’. I don’t see these hiccups reoccurring in the future of Boy Eats Girl. The success and reception Boy Eats Girl has received with the EP release has gotten me a lot of great contacts, such as ZombreeFX, who has helped Boy Eats Girl with visual creations and extending Boy Eats Girl to even more contacts, such as filmographers, models, actors, etc.
- What is the next step being programmed on the Boy Eats Girl agenda? What can fans expect for 2018?
Boy Eats Girl: The next step is working on my first full length album. I already have a bunch of ideas, and it’s already in the pre-production process. I plan on working with multiple engineers. Plan on collaborating with new artists, and I’m beyond excited to create something that no one has ever heard or seen before.