If you’re not a believer in the phrase “hard work pays off,” then maybe you should take a look at the Ugly Club. After developing a reputation as a hard-working DIY band at SXSW, where band members passed out handwritten flyers and personally burned CDs on street corners, the New Jersey quintet was recently handpicked by Entourage star Adrian Grenier for a recording session at his home studio, Wreckroom.
While the Ugly Club won’t press record with Vinny Chase’s real-life counterpart until later this summer, the band did recently release its debut full-length album, You Belong To The Minutes. From that album, we have the premiere of the track “Wasted On You,” a melodic, love-frenzied pop-rock anthem with sweeping horns and a treble-boosted lead guitar tone that calls to mind Brian May’s solo on “Killer Queen.” We recently talked to Ryan Egan of the Ugly Club via email about being picked to record with Grenier, using Kickstarter to fund the new album and the inspiration for “Wasted On You.” See what he had to say, along with the premiere of that single, below.
Adrian Grenier recently handpicked the band for a session at his Wreckroom home-studio. How did that happen?
That was actually really cool for us because our publicist, Amber, signed us up, and I didn’t even know. So when we got selected to be a part of the competition it was a total surprise. It was an honor to be selected by Adrian and his team, and we’re glad to say we’ll be working with them sometime before summer is over!
Did you guys ever watch Entourage, and if so, are there any Entourage moments you might hope to reenact in studio?
Yeah, I have always been a fan of the show, and being one of the remaining single dudes in our band, I’m gonna have to say I’d most enjoy having a Vinny Chase scenario with a bunch of unspeakably attractive women. Hopefully that is the kind of entourage that hangs around Wreckroom.
“Wasted On You” seems like an obvious love song, but there seem to be some sub-themes there as well, like physical distance. What were you thinking about when you wrote this song?
It’s really a song about being absolutely overwhelmed by love and committing fully to it. I don’t feel corny saying that because if you know that feeling there is nothing like it. It was a great time in my life, and I have great memories about writing the song. It’s basically saying, no matter the conditions, I’ll be there. Ya know? There’s a few songs like that on the record but also a few darker ones from a later point in the writing process.
You Belong To The Minutes, which dropped July 13, was funded by a Kickstarter campaign that more than doubled its initially pledged goal. Because you raised so much more money than you first intended, was there anything special you were able to do with that extra money?
Absolutely. We really didn’t anticipate all the expenses ahead of us with the release, and right after our Kickstarter campaign ended we hit the road for a Southeast tour down to SXSW. Touring is (unfortunately) super expensive, and the funds helped with that. We also ended up re-recording about 75 percent of the record months into the process, and the money allowed us to do that and create the record you hear today. It was a great experience, and we’ve never been so moved by our people than in that month of February.