On 23rd November, the Chariot release their excellent new album, ‘Long live’. An astonishing and exciting trip that roars through punk, metal, hardcore and rock influences, it earned itself a rave review here at SonicAbuse and it would seem that it has garnered many more successful reviews from across the music press. That is not to say that the chariot are ‘the next big thing’ – that phrase is as insulting to the discerning listener as much as it is to the artists who put their heart and soul into the music and the chariot are a deeply passionate, committed and inspirational band. Thoroughly dedicated to their art, the chariot even spent time hand numbering their last release (something that must have taken countless tedious hours) and it is a sign of their belief that the fan comes first that they have carried their DIY ethos with them to their current home, Good fight entertainment. We are, therefore, proud to have had the chance to put some questions to mainman Josh Scogin, vocalist with the band and now we can present them to you as essential background reading to a fantastic record that continues to blast out of the SonicAbuse stereo day on day.
1. You take an inordinate amount of care over your albums in terms of presentation and, in the case of your last disc, hand numbering them – is that your way of keeping touch with your fan base?
Well, we want them to know that we are doing it, you know? It is not corporate world taking control of our stuff or anything. We still look at this as an art and so we are very particular about every aspect.2. I felt that with your new album it is ideally listened to as a whole rather than split up – do you feel that the wide-spread prevalence of MP3 and Ipod has damaged what many people consider an album to be?
Yes for sure. I feel the same way, when the label approached us about which song to release first, it was a very difficult thing because each song has tricks that we would love to save as a surprise when hearing the whole record for the first time, post release date, but I guess that world doesn’t exist anymore…..I think we forget that sometimes.3. One of the things that drew me to your music was the way that you add so many innovative and interesting flourishes – what inspires you as artists?
Man what DOESN’T inspire us. I know “inspiration is for amateurs” but I guess we are amateur because we see it in everything.
4. Considering the range of instrumentation and other elements used is it difficult to replicate songs from ‘long live’ live?
Maybe, but we have a rule that we have always stuck by come hell or high water. “I don’t care about your live show!” It is an echo that we always repeat while in the studio, we are there to record a record and make it the best it can be. When the time comes to play live then we will deal with that.
5. What about lyrical inspiration – what themes do you draw upon?
Just life stuff that goes on. Everything from the serious stuff of my father passing away to the fact that I don’t like the big 3-D craze that is going on right now with movies……..so as I am talking about a character in one of our songs I mention that she is only 2 dimensional but her story is great. I say that as sort of a spoof on how it seems like kids these days may not even care about the story or plot or twists of a movie………..it is just visually stunning so what else matters. It’s a bummer.
6. Given that you’ve toured with some incredibly successful bands is it difficult to remain true to your roots?
No. When money is not the force driving you it is easy to stay true to my ART. Not to say that everything is great or anything but at night when I go to sleep, I know that I performed as an artist that still believes in what he is doing vs performing for corporate money makers as a business man. I aint even trying to knock the folks that DO make money, that is an art in its self, but for me and my house we are going to do what we feel is best for the art and if money comes then let it come, but we won’t sacrifice in its name.
7. …yet it must be a thrill to be exposed to such huge audiences?
It is a blast. Even if they have that, “What is going on, I am scared” look……….which happens a lot when we play for the more mainstream audiences that doesn’t know of the world we live in.
8. Can we expect a UK tour any time soon?
Hopefully early next year.
9. Is it difficult for Josh to keep his voice in shape? Does he have any specific warm-up routines?
As long as I don’t get sick I keep my voice. I don’t do warm-ups, mainly because I don’t know if they really do anything. I think this world might revolve around placebos such as “warm ups” and “honey tea” and such………Don’t tell anyone though, I don’t think people want to hear that.
10. Are you at a stage where you can live off the band now or do you have to juggle music around day jobs still?
Little both………we basically live off the band. Not really because all of our bills get paid but because we are never home enough to get a job. Every now again, we may work with a friend or something to really help make ends meet. Or play some festivals or something.
11. Listening to your music it sounds as if a lot of practice went in to developing the songs and getting the timing and precision in place – do you work your material out on the road or is it the result of hours of practice (or are you just one of those jammy bands that click from the off?)
We are def a “jammy band” but we practice as well. Hardly ever on the road though.
12. What can we expect from The Chariot next or is it too early to tell?
We don’t even know. We are super impulsive, super spontaneous, we never know till we are rolling with it.