Failure lead vocalist Ken Andrews was recently interviewed by Revolver’s Fans First and talked about the band’s early days while sharing his thoughts and feelings about the hair metal bands.
Hair metal, also called glam metal, is a heavy metal subgenre characterized by the fusion of pop-influenced hooks and guitar riffs with metal and rock-oriented sounds. The genre’s pioneering bands are considered Mötley Crüe, Ratt, Bon Jovi, Dokken, Quiet Riot, and Twisted Sister.
Later, they were followed by Poison, Skid Row, Cinderella, and Warrant, which contributed a lot to the genre’s popularity worldwide thanks to their hit records during the late ’80s and early ’90s. However, the hair metal band’s success started to decline because of the rise of grunge and alternative rock.
Therefore, as a member of an alternative rock band that emerged in 1990, Ken Andrews stated that Failure was a reaction against those professional hair metal bands, and even their name was a message for them. The singer said they aimed to perform at the same clubs as those bands and show off their unique style and ironic name.
The host’s question read:
“What was the musical landscape at the time when you were starting the band, what did you see happening around you, what were you excited about as well to join that world of being a musician?”
Andrews said in his interview that:
“There were two things that I was enjoying, being creative and making art with friends basically. That was cool but there was another thing going on in Hollywood at that time which was hair metal. It was still going really strong, and so clearly like there were a bunch of bands that were not part of that, Tool, us, and several other bands…”
He went on to say:
“I always felt like part of the early days of Failure was actually a reaction against that stuff, specifically the band’s name. I don’t know how seriously we took the band in the beginning in terms of wanting to become a signed rock band that was making money. We were just like our immediate goal was to play shows at bars.
So our friends could see it and that was it. We just thought it would be so cool for the hair bands to see a band called Failure playing in the same clubs that they were because at that point, they had kind of codified and clarified what it meant to be a professional band member. It was all like you had to have the pro hair.”
You can check out the interview below.