Thursday, August 23, 2012
Interview with Josh Scogin (The Chariot)
How long after Long Live did you decide to just make a "weird" album?
(Laughs.) That's kind of a loaded question, since we're always writing and we never have a reason to stop doing that. We didn't set out to make a weird album, but we just don't like being restricted by boundaries or preconceived notions. We always try to do different things, and I hope with One Wing that the boundaries came down even more.
Where did the track titles come from?
When I came up with them, they were very congruent to where I am in my life and where I was when we were working on the record. The idea to forget not your first love came from all the stuff in music today and thinking about bands that should be big that aren't, bands that shouldn't be big but are, having bills to pay and making money. But at the end of the day, you have to be able to say, "Hey, I love playing shows, and that's why I'm doing this." It's just to have that reminder.
The part about "Speak in tongues and cheek" is a play on the phrase tongue-in-cheek. You have to know what's important in life, but don't take anything too seriously. Be deep when you want to be deep. I guess the song names are a stamp on this episode of my life.
How will it feel announcing some of these songs live?
(Laughs.) I love it. It's not weird at all. I don't care if people chant our name, but I'd love to hear people chanting, "And! And! And!" at a show. I don't talk much at shows, but it's just hilarious. This came up when we were writing the album, but we loved it. So there's songs like"And" or "Not."
Who is the guest vocalist on "Your?"
A good friend of the band, Angela Plake, sang the part in pretty much one take. She hasn't released any material yet, but I'm working with her on some things. I wanted like a Rolling Stones' "You Can't Always Get What You Want" vibe on the song, because that intro is so different than the rest of the song, you know? And we wanted to find someone to make it beautiful apart from my horrible rasping screams. It's more dynamic. The lyrics are from our second album, The Fiancee, and she really did a great job with it. You'll definitely hear more from her in the future.
You guys do a cool Western part on "First." Where did the inspiration for that come from?
I'm a huge Morricone fan, who wrote the music for "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly" and Westerns like that, and Francesco de Masi too. The initial challenge came from when we were on tour in Europe and watching a DVD of the Ramones. They played a Western song for like three minutes before get even went on. (Whistles theme.) So we chit-chatted about incorporating something like that in a song. There were a few times when experimenting with some things didn't work, so we say "Nope," hit delete and no one ever hears it. But it's definitely authentic and interesting. It's a change-up from out usual screaming guitar and feedback.
How about the clip of Charlie Chaplin on "Cheek.?"
Oh man, the fact that he said all of that way back when and how applicable it it today is amazing. The first time I heard that speech, I was so inspired. We went through the right channels to secure the rights instead of just slipping it in, and his daughter, Josephine Chaplin, was actually the one who signed off on it, so I geeked out about that. Even though it doesn't mean she likes us or anything.
We thought about it, like "Should we cut some of it out? Can people handle how lengthy it is in this day and age?" But that's really what he's talking about in the speech, so we left it all in there. The way he gets from Point A to Point B is brilliant. Technology is important, but it can confine you too.
What are some of your other favorite samples on the album?
The Chaplin one is the big one, but we have the little Atlanta jingle back from Long Live. It's a throwback that points to our older records, and it's fun to have little homages put in here and there. That's one of the more obvious ones, kind of like how "Your" calls back to The Fiancee.
You're touring with Every Time I Die and Letlive. soon. Are you excited?
I've toured a lot in my lifetime, and there have been very few tours I've ever been this excited for. We're great friends with Every Time I Die, and I've met Letlive a few times and they're awesome dudes too. All the factors for this tour just turned out perfectly, and that's not something you see too often.
Your last album for your solo project, A Rose by Any Other Name, came out in 2010. Do you have any plans for another solo record?
I'm always writing for those. I have the beginnings of a new record, but it's really the definition of a side project. We've been so busy with The Chariot that every time we have time off, it's not really time off. I'm actually up in New York City co-writing a short film for One Wing. But there will be another album, it's just nice that it's a solo project and there's no pressure from a label to get it out at a specific time.
Can you talk a little about the short film project you mentioned?
It's still in a very early stage, so I can't say too much yet. I'm working on writing it to sort of take the place of music videos for the album. We didn't want to just do single videos, because the album is a journey and we want listeners to feel that. We're working with director Kevin Custer, who has done music videos before, so it's very exciting and different for us. I've never really done anything like this. Hopefully, you'll get the chance to see something in September or October. Hopefully. (Laughs.)
Is there anything else you want to tell The Chariot's fans?
If you come out to a show sometime, don't be afraid to say hi. The reason we're doing all of this is because we love to play shows for our fans and we seriously can't wait for everyone to get to listen to One Wing.
Preorder the record from Good Fight Entertainment here.
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