Pumpehuset, Copenhagen, DEN - 21/4
The ChariotPrevious Next
author AP date 15/06/12
Back in mid-March, when Norma Jean brought an impressive tour package to Copenhagen, we had the opportunity to sit down with The Chariot's vocalist Josh Scogin to chat about what's been going on in the band's camp over the past year or so. My sincerest apologies for this being psoted so late - the real life has well and truly been suffocating in the past few months, what with exams and the like demanding my full attention. But here it is at last, the long-awaited transcript of my interview with Josh Scogin of The Chariot.
RF.net: Does it ever give you a sense of nostalgia to see Norma Jean on stage given your history with the band?
Josh: Not really. We've played together enough times that I kind of forget. But I love the band musically, so the ability to see them every night is really fun.
RF.net: Do you have any crazy or strange stories to share from the tour so far?
Josh: This isn't crazy, but it's fun for us. We're all on the same bus - us, Dead and Divine and Norma Jean - so we've been doing question-and-answer sessions most nights. For instance if it's my day: there would be a sheet of paper hanging out, and every time somebody thinks of a question, they'd write it down. Then that night they'd hand me the sheet of paper, I'd read them, and then I'd answer - no matter how crazy the question is, I'd have to answer it. It sounds funny, especially since I've known some of these guys since middle school. It's hilarious, the things you learn about someone when you have the ability to ask whatever you want. Cory, the vocalist of Norma Jean, has actually got his sheet up there right now... But yeah, that's been fun for us because we've never done that before, and it's something that - if we share buses with other bands in the future - we will take into consideration because it's a good time, and you get to know everybody - plus it's really funny.
RF.net: Do you have anything that you want to share that's come up from the sheet?
Josh: A lot of the things that have been interesting to me have been questions like "if you weren't in this band, what would you rather be doing?" and "if you weren't in this band, what would most lilkely be doing"? Those have been pretty interesting because you find out things that you didn't know, even about people in my own band or people in Norma Jean that I've known for years. Like Chris, who's played guitar in Norma Jean since the conception of the band, said he would like to be a marine biologist, and were like "what!?". I've never known that about him, and I've known him since middle school! I've never known that because we've always just been in a band together. So yeah, little things like that, that aren't really a big deal but just really funny to discover about people you've known for a long time.
RF.net: I'd like to think that one of the people whose place you have crashed in the past had the full Guitar Hero or Rock Band kit. Are your Guitar Hero / Rock Band sessions just as energetic as your live performances?
Josh: We've played Guitar Hero a couple of times, though we're not really gamers very much. In fact, I've only played Rock Band once in my life when we were staying at somebody's house and there was a lot of people there. But those sessions are maybe not as chaotic as our live show, because I have no idea what I'm doing in the game - I'm not a gamer so I'm doing everything I can just to hit the right notes.
RF.net: When on tour in Australia last year, you actually played at a fan's house, in his livingroom after the venue pulled the plug on you! I'd be interested to know what the story behind that incident was and how it came to be that you moved the show to his place?
Josh: Well, basically, long story short: There was really a kind of older gentleman that was running the show, and I guess he just didn't know what we did or whatever so he pulled the plug. There was a bowl of pears that was out, just kind of like in the way there - nothing fancy - and they fell over, and I think he thought we did it so he pulled the plug. At first I was concerned that someone had gotten hurt, or that something broke. He said, "yeah, that bowl of pears broke", and we were like, "did you just stop the show because of a bowl of pears?". We've never hurt anyone or broken anything that wasn't ours, so we were offering to pay for that bowl of pears because we just wanted to play, you know? We had never been in Australia at the time, and we were talking to people who had been wanting to see us for six-seven years, and here's this guy pulling the plug after like three or four songs. So we were just trying to get the show to go on.
I think he kind of just pulled the plug and then he realized that even though it might have looked kind of crazy, but no one got hurt, and nothing happened. It was a sold out show, so there were a lot of angry kids after that to say the least. We actually helped the situation after this guy said "come play at my friend's house". We were just like "we will...! Don't say unless you mean it, because we will!" and he said he meant it. So we actually helped the situation a lot because if we wouldn't have done that, I don't know if these kids wouldn't have rioted or something like that. There was enough people there for that and he wasn't giving refunds. It was a really shitty thing because he'd pulled the plug after like three-four songs; people had been waiting for like six-seven years, and he wasn't trying to remedy it. That's just crooked. That just wasn't cool in any way. So I'm glad that we were able to play at his house and ease the situation. But it's a real shame that it even had to get to that point just because the guy didn't quite understand passion.
RF.net: Did you manage to get out of that incident without any broken vases or damaged paintings?
Josh: Yeah, we actually played more songs than we would otherwise have because we thought it was hilarious just being at a person's house and they were so cool with it.
But it was awesome that it worked out, even though we were making huge changes minutes before recording. Because, as I said, we were winging it, the whole thing. We didn't know what we were doing; we would try one thing, and then Matt Goldman would be like "oh, I don't have enough mics for that, so let's do this instead" and then he'd be like "I don't have chords for that, but I can go buy some chords." So he was in on it too; he was very willing to try and make it happen. It was awesome, and at the end where I walk out and we all start cheering - that wasn't planned. When I walked out it just erupted because we couldn't believe we made it that far. The cool thing with recording it live and doing it in one take is that we could watch it right htere without having to edit it. When we went ahead and watched it, we were like "I think this worked, I think we really pulled it off!". So we were really proud of it at that point. Because you know, everybody's gotta do their thing - I might have done my part right but then we might go back and listen to it and dude's not playing the right part. You know, we just wrote that song weeks before, so it's not like it was a song we'd played a hundred times before. So it was very interesting, and it could easily have ended with no one ever seeing or hearing it, but we felt like it came out good, so we kept it. Our guitarist's headphones and got all around his strings at one point - you can hear it because it's being played live - but we thought it was kind of cool because that way people know we're playing it live.
RF.net: So it's not even overdubbed?
Josh: No, we recorded it right there! That was the magic of the video. If we hadn't done that, it wouldn't have been worth doing. You know, when we're all in that big room, all those guitars and drums and mics go into the control board, so what you see is what you hear. It's all live and done right then and there. That's what I mean about thinking it went good and going back to notice that one of the guitarists pulled a string or something, but it went pretty well, so...