Scamp

author PP date 01/09/08

Denmark's Scamp appeared from seemingly nowhere with their debut album "Mirror Faced Mentality", surprising everyone in the Danish scene in the process. What these four dudes have done is released one of the best albums from Denmark this year, and an album that doesn't really sound Danish at all, a trait seldom seen in the Danish scene obsessed on sounding as heavy as possible. Scamp are heavy as fuck, but at the same time their sound is incredibly tight, allowing for full scale The Dillinger Escape Plan style destruction on record. I figured it was about time we'd speak to the band, so here it is, an email interview with Mikael Rise. Enjoy.

RF.net: Hi and thanks for doing this interview! Can you please introduce yourself and describe the style of music you play to the readers?
Mikael: Of course I would. Scamp is an 4 piece ensemble consisting of Morten Christensen, Mads Christensen, Kristian Bruun and I, Mikael Rise. Morten is the autistic drummer who can handle 4 limbs totally separately at the time and tell them to bang the drums in rhythm patterns. Mads is the right hand God, who has obviously jack'd off a bit too much cause his right hand has no speed/precision limit. Kristian knows both his right and left hand and is the big buff guy who brings in the young blood in Scamp. I am the lyrical mind who has always got something in my throat and constantly try to scream it out.

As for our style of music imagine a drummer with a hint of autism who has had too much time on his hands and decided he wanted to get into shape! We like it aggressive and this is what we try to achieve when writing music. Our writing is very maticulous. Mads, Morten or kristian usually come up with some riffs and then we play puzzle until we have a ground model we can elaborate on. This is reflected in our music, cause we tend to the smallest details, or as you say in Denmark, we have the ability to fuck flies and this is a basic requirement to write and perform with this kind of music. We try to incorporate the rhythms into a universe of emotions. As the genre dictates it is usually some boiled up feeling that gets its release through one of our songs so most of the songs emanate aggression. Of course it's not all bad feelings cause that would just send us down a negative spiral so we use clean guitar and solo guitar to create an island of ease in an ocean of anger.

RF.net: Could you also give a brief history of the band from the formation until the day you started recording the new album?
Mikael: We started up with the present line up back in 2003 where Kristian Bruun, the guitarist, and I joined the band. Mads christensen and Morten Christensen had been playing together for 10 years before that and their efforts to create music resulted in the demo "The New Groove Complex". When Kristian and I heard their music we had to try out and were lucky enough to be accepted into this machine. The first creative result of our work together was the demo "Redraft" which was recorded at Jacob Hansen's studio and Ziggy's studio and finally mixed by Tue Madsen. This demo established our name among the many young rising bands on the Danish scene. Our live audience kept getting bigger and bigger and we went from small clubs to metal festivals in Denmark.

Then, in 2007, we decided it was time to record our first debut album. We weren't about to compromise on the quality of the sound, so we booked a month at Ziggy's studio and hired Tue Madsen for mixing. This resulted in the album we have now released through Scarlet Records. Basically, Scamp has now grown to become a tight machine who delivers the goods live as well.

RF.net: So you've just released your debut album "Mirror Faced Mentality", a damn fine album I must add. How do you feel about the album yourself?
Mikael: Very good actually! We really worked our asses off when we wrote the songs and recorded them and it cost a lot money, so the one thing we aren't satisfied with, is the big hole in our wallets. Of course we can hear that there are some mistakes here and there, but a recording process has a time limit and we couldn't have done it better within that time limit. Every song is perfect to us, they now have a life of their own, it is up to the listener to suck them in and digest the whole lot.

RF.net: The entire album sounds impressively tight and aggressive. So tell me a little bit about the atmosphere while you were recording the album in the studio, while also going in detail about the recording process overall?
Mikael: Thank you very much! The atmosphere during the process of recording was very intense. Time was short because all sorts of problems you haven't added to the equation appear. We were on the clock and luckily Ziggy let us use the studio after hours, that helped a lot. Every little riff was butt fucked about a million times before we said: Ok, guess it's tight enough now” and Morten is always the one who gets out the anger in you. His ears are a little bit more sensitive than ours and he can hear when it's not tight even though it's just a picosecond off. On top of that he is a perfectionist to the bone. In the end it all came out pretty well and we were glad we had Ziggy, John and Kenneth by our side.

RF.net: I'd personally compare the intensity of the record to the stuff written by bands like The Dillinger Escape Plan - what's your opinion? And where does the intensity stem from?
Mikael: We don't really notice that it's that intense any more. We have gotten used to our songs and to us they sound pretty straight forward. This is something we have to be careful of, so it doesn't turn into a handicap. I guess it's pretty complicated fucked music we play, but we just tend to forget it some times. It is only when we come up with a new riff that's fucked up that it occurs to us how intense it all is, but then when the riff is placed on the backbone we don't really notice it any more. I think the intensity stems from us of course and the lives we have lived. Everybody goes through pain and agony at some point and we are able to collect this pain and put it into our music.

RF.net: You name a bunch of inspirations on your Myspace page; Meshuggah, Pantera, Fear Factory, Tool, A Perfect Circle among others. What kind of influence did these bands have on Scamp and the new record?
Mikael: Everything and nothing!! They are all inspirations from our youth and up till now and being that they have of course shaped our way of writing music. We listen to these bands because we love their music and we also want to make music we love, so it all adds up, we are very influenced by other bands but we don't strive to sound like any other band. We write music to write our favorite music. Haven't you ever listened to some music and thought, "I would to be able to create my own favorite music?" well we have the ability and the means to do that and we are doing it.

RF.net: The artwork for the album features a man smashing his face against the mirror, and the title of the album is "Mirror Faced Mentality". Can you tell me a little bit about both, what they mean, and what were the reasons for choosing them in particular?
Mikael: The cover refers to the way we reflect on our lives. It is to depict a person who sees everything by setting the world up against himself as you do when you look in a mirror. It has a lot to do with the way you see yourself, if you are feeling bleak then the world probably looks bleak to you too. In the words of Nietzsche, we can no longer retain a universal perspective on things and with it any coherent sense of truth. The world has become subjective and the title is to imply that you have your own unique image of the world amongst an infinite numbers of images.

The man on the cover is a man trying to break out of this world because he is lost, there is no one who has the same truth and view points of the world as he does, so he tries to break out and create an objective truth. We chose the cover and the title because the lyrics deal with the activity most of us have in our heads and the title and cover encompass the theme of the album.

RF.net: You've obviously had the chance to read some feedback of the new album already - how it's shaping up to be and are you pleased with it?
Mikael: We are very pleased. We haven’t seen a bad review yet, so it´s all chocolate!

RF.net: Currently you've only got the Present Fest scheduled in your tour dates. Do you have plans to tour at all to promote the album later this year?
Mikael: We have a couple of gigs, but no tours yet, our fall plans have only reached the planning process. But yes, we would like to get out there and play across Denmark and Europe, we love playing live.

RF.net: That's it from our side. Congratulations on the album once again, and if you have any final comments you'd like to give to your fans and the readers, here's your chance to do so:
Mikael: Well, thank you very much for your time and I can only encourage the reader to go to the nearest record shop and buy our shit ;)

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