Coming from different parts of Southern New England, U.G.L.Y. has been pushing punk rock in new and exciting directions. The quartet of Hopkinton’s Jake Harris on bass, Exeter’s Marcus Simonini on guitar, Somerset’s Jon Costa on drums and Providence’s Jack Petit on the mic provide a fresh take on the style with pure amplification and unbridled energy. The band’s name itself is an abbreviation for “Ugly Goons Live Young” and the last three words are also the title of their debut album that came out on May 15. There’s a consistent amount of riffs and rhythms in each track with “Space Heater,” “Killyourlocalcatcaller” and “Get Mad” being the highlights. There’s also some pop inklings and a huge 2000s alternative rock influence.
I recently had a talk with the band about how they got together, making the album at a local recording studio, getting amped for live music to come back and what they’ll be up to for the coming months.
Rob Duguay: Outside of U.G.L.Y., Jake used to be the frontman and guitarist for the punks No Recall while currently doing the same for the indie pop act Sporting. Marcus is the guitarist for the post-hardcore band Another One Down and Jon drums for the pop punk act Ten Cents Short. How did you all get connected to start this band with Jack on vocals?
Jon Costa: I first met Jack at a Mario Kart competition at the Natick Mall in Natick, Mass. back in 2014. Once we started hanging, we bonded over bands like The Beatles and old school video games such as Donkey Kong.
Jake Harris: I then got asked to start U.G.L.Y. after Jack picked me up from a Denny’s on a Friday night. We knew each other from local shows before that but that’s when we really started talking.
Marcus Simonini: I then texted Jack drunk on New Years 2019 asking to be a part of it.
RD: Where was Goons Live Young made, who produced it and what was the experience like working together on the debut?
Jack Petit: Our number one big homie on the south side of Rhode Island, Chris Piquette produced, mixed and mastered the album at No Boundaries Studios in North Kingstown. It was a labor of love fueled by reruns of the Teenage Ninja Turtles and drinking a lot of V8.
RD: Who made the album cover with the mice on it?
JP: Our buddy Glenn Robinson made that beauty up for us. He’s also got a great project called Pavid Verman that everyone should check out.
RD: What have you guys been up to musically during the COVID-19 pandemic? Have you been practicing remotely or have you been taking it easy?
MS: I learned a cover of “Iris” by the Goo Goo Dolls but I’ve been mostly listening to shoegaze and eurobeat lately. I’ve also been really digging The Beatles’ recent White Album mix as well.
JP: Yeah, we haven’t gotten together since the start of the pandemic. We do plan to hang sometime in July though. We’re probably gonna ease back into it with some Prince covers.
RD: Prince is awesome so doing some renditions of his work should be exciting.
JP: We’re looking forward to it.
RD: What are each of your plans for the summer?
JH: I’m volunteering at my local youth summer camp. I gotta stay grinding and support the community.
JC: Bodyboarding, man. It’s been too long of a year to go without it and I gotta get my tan, you know?
RD: Absolutely (laughs).
MS: I plan on mostly hanging with my pets at home. My dad just got a bearded dragon so we’ve been chilling.
JP: I’m growing my cucumber plants and working on my aerobics. Once we get back in the live show game, I’m gonna be flippin’ backwards and leapin’ off of every wall in sight. That’s a promise.