“I was watching my best friend get eaten alive by heroin. It was amazing how far gone he was, physically, but he was still able to play the shows”: Failure’s Ken Andrews looks back on the fraught creation of 1996 cosmic epic, Fantastic Planet

Ken Andrews of Failure plays live in 2014 with an aluminum guitar
Ken Andrews onstage with the Failure in 2014 (Image credit: Michael Tullberg/Getty Images)

Los Angeles trio Failure were coming off a buzz-building global tour with longtime friends Tool when they set out to make their ambitious, career-defining Fantastic Planet in the mid-Nineties. 

But after playing the biggest shows of their career up to that point, guitarists/bassists Ken Andrews and Greg Edwards and drummer Kellii Scott escaped to metal god Lita Ford’s home in Tujunga, California to track their third full-length. The results were otherworldly. 

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Gregory Adams

Gregory Adams is a Vancouver-based arts reporter. From metal legends to emerging pop icons to the best of the basement circuit, he’s interviewed musicians across countless genres for nearly two decades, most recently with Guitar World, Bass Player, Revolver, and more – as well as through his independent newsletter, Gut Feeling. This all still blows his mind. He’s a guitar player, generally bouncing hardcore riffs off his ’52 Tele reissue and a dinged-up SG.