Randy Randall is one of those creative guys with endless energy and an idea for everything. Guitarist in the esteemed LA-based punk band No Age, Randy is also a solo artist and creative collaborator with artists in unexpected genres. Providing scores and soundscapes for film, TV, fashion designers and multimedia artists, Randy has worked with luminaries ranging from rockstars like Dave Grohl, The Pixies and Pavement to major names in fashion including Hedi Slimane and Rodarte. Not to mention, he has a new down-and-dirty punk band called Rat Fist that’s reminiscent of 80’s So Cal punk.
We love Randy’s enthusiasm for all things creative (not to mention how rad he looks in our hoodies and tees), so we dropped in on him at his recording studio on the outskirts of Downtown LA. He shared stories on what keeps him creative while writing and recording for his upcoming solo album.
How did you get your start as a musician?
I began playing guitar when I was 12 and was inspired by Jimi Hendrix, Nirvana and Sonic Youth. I got a 4-track cassette recorder at 14 and became obsessed with layering distorted guitar tracks and harmonies of squalling feedback.
Where do you feel most creative? In your recording studio?
I feel totally creative in my studio. There are no windows and no internet so I really feel cut off from the outside world. I love when I am able to feel lost down there. I won’t know what time of day it is or how long I have been working. When hours fly by, that is the best feeling.
How do you work as a solo artist versus when you collaborate with others?
I will usually start with a riff or a sound that I want to create or emulate and there is a process of discovery when mistakes or happenstance inspire a new unique result. I love getting a feel for what inspires others, so a lot of collaboration is just listening to what the other person feels excited about.
Do you think it helps your creativity to work on more than one project at once?
It can be hard juggling more than one creative style/project at once. Often times things will overlap and the previous feel from the last project will influence what comes next, either as a rejection or elaboration. It is hard sometimes to put a project down. I feel like I can get stuck in a mixing phase of recording and keep mixing a song or album indefinitely. It is important to have a deadline and know when to walk away.
Describe your personal style.
My personal style is very utilitarian and comfortable. I am used to living out of a backpack or guitar case. Spending many years on the road has allowed me the ability to identify what a practical/comfortable/versatile piece of clothing is for me. I wear mostly T-shirts, jeans, hoodies and jackets that can go from studio couch to tour van or from airplane to stage.
Check out Randy Randall’s latest tracks on Soundcloud:
Plus get his new limited-release cassette EP, streaming and downloads at Dallas Distortion Music Bandcamp.
Written by Shannon Randall
Photos by Andrew Lee