JUSTIN PEARSON INTERVIEW: UNBROKEN, THREE ONE G AND SAN DIEGO

Before the Locust, Some Girls and Retox, Pearson was a San Diego hardcore kid who started in Struggle and then moved onto Swing Kids, playing with guitarist Eric Allen from Unbroken. This relationship led to Pearson putting out the Unbroken "And/Fall on Proverb" seven-inch as a one-off idea, but which would metastasize into Pearson's still baffling and continuously innovative label Three One G. 

Now to celebrate what started it all, Three One G is re-releasing a gold version of the 7" on September 11th. You can order it here and read a more in-depth and fascinating look at the evolution of the label and Unbroken's inspiration on Pearson, but here is our own brief talk with him:

How did this first release influence the path you followed with subsequent Three One G releases?

Justin Pearson: At the time, I was not aware of any influences. I was 19, and just doing whatever I could on a daily basis with no real long-term vision for anything. In retrospect, it was the basis of what the label was bound to be come, having the Unbroken 7” and then the Swing Kids 7” come out just after, both having Eric Allen on each record. It was a precursor to the somewhat incestuous way the label would appear in the future. Also, it was the groundwork to create something more along the lines of a community or family. Three One G was to release albums by friends and family, all people who are interconnected in some way or another.

What is the biggest difference between the San Diego scene today and back in 1994?

JP: At times it seems the “scene” will thrive and also have its lows. But for me, San Diego, and more importantly than the music scene but more so just being from here, taught me about diversity and the roots of what has now become know as DIY culture. But to answer the question properly, I would say that the biggest difference is the world as a whole. So for instance, the Internet has changed everything, and maybe in conjunction with the over saturation of art might also come into play as well. I’m sure there are other elements that are relevant, but those things seem to be prominent and certainly present.

Is there any specific accomplishment through Three One G that you feel most proud of?

JP: There are lots. A general one would be the fact that the label has managed to stay alive for so long, even with many other labels folding and calling it quits. That is definitely something to be proud of. On a much more specific level, but certainly a grand accomplishment would be the fact that I have managed to get both cover albums we have released into the hands of the artists who we were covering and didn’t get sued. Came close with one of the two, but managed to avoid it
somehow. I’ll just say, “Thanks Mute!”

Eric (Allen passed away in 1998) is still being memorialized. Would you like to talk about some of how he has influenced you and your friends through the years?

JP: Well, Eric is still with me to this day, and is part of what I do and who I am. His influence carries into how I write, how I perform, and is there on every record and on every stage with me in some way. He was my best friend, so it only makes sense that he would still carry on within me.

What do you wish you'd known when starting the label that you know today?

JP: What a pain in the ass it would be.

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