Well, well a musical get together of Faust and Samoth (both ex-Emperor), Happy Tom (Turbonegro), Cosmocrator (Mindgrinder) and you, Casey Chaos. That promises to be something special indeed, but first of all, could you inform our readers on how this special group of people exactly came together and decided to play music?
Well, Casey was the one who first had the idea of coming over to Norway to do a project. I had been talking to him occasionally for a couple of years, and he really wanted to come to Norway and jam. He was originally talking to Mortiis about it, which then introduced him to me. We met up in Norway back in 2002, where we did a little brainstorming about possible ideas at the Moonfog HQ with Casey, Mortiis, Satyr, Happy Tom and I present. It was all very lose ideas for a while, but in the fall of 2004 we just decided to book studio time and basically just go for it and see what came out of it. The album is very much driven by spontaneity.
I must say that this congregation of musical minds has led to something extraordinary indeed, if you had to describe your music to our readers, how would you do that?
Thanks! In addition to the obvious metallic edge, there are both punkrock and old-school hardcore elements to be found on the album. Obviously Casey's vocal approach creates a strong punkrock vibe, but still I would not call it punk as I see some people have referred to it as. I'm not really that concerned about a specific tag, but when I play the material I “feel” a lot of metal, and some of influences are bands like Slayer, Celtic Frost, Bathory, Discharge, Ministry, etc.
The debut album 'Gospels For The Sick' was recorded in only a few weeks. Having heard the music, that must have been a rather intense period. Could you tell us something more about the recording of the album?
Yeah, it was rather hectic, but things went pretty well and we had a good flow of energy in the studio. The mix took place half a year later, so we all had time to “digest” the music and hear the recording with new ears before we actually mixed it.
I can imagine that there are also some drawbacks on this way of going about things. Have you encountered any things you would like to have done differently or better yet?
Of course, working in such a “spur of the moment” environment, there will always be things that could have been done differently, or simply better. But the whole idea of SCUM was to let us go with the natural flow of the characters involved and see where it took us. We focused on getting some real energy going in the studio and just went for it you know. Considering all this, I think the album turned out pretty good.
As stated in the biography, all members of Scum have rather strong personalities. Did this cause any problems in creating 'Gospels For The Sick'?
I wouldn't say problems, but obviously at times there are different views on what's right and wrong, left and right, black and blue, etc. You know what I mean? But generally I think we found a way to make things work and we'd always listen to each others ideas and thoughts and have no major problem making compromises.
Aren't you afraid that people will have their opinions (be it good or bad) ready for Scum, knowing that Casey Chaos is one of the main persons in it?
Sure, but people always have their opinions, and they should. I don't expect everybody to love or understand this album. This is maybe more of a love or hate thing, at least in the metal scene. It's definitely not an album for the general epic power heavy metal dude. SCUM is pretty raw and unpolished in every sense.
A few words that spring to mind when listening to your music are chaos, rawness, true and rebellious. What are the musical and maybe even social philosophies behind Scum?
Well, you said it all really! Raw unpolished chaos with lots of “fuck off” rebellious attitude.
How does Scum view itself? Do you guys plan to be a 'full time' band, or a side project?
SCUM will never be like your everyday rock band with full tours and album every year, etc. It's more a “step by step” kind of band. Personally, I joined SCUM as a project with very lose commitments, but now I've put quite some time and effort into it, not just musically, but also with all the practical shit that comes with signing a recording deal, recording videos, arranging shows, sorting merchandise, etc, etc. So in that sense it feels like it's a band, but at the same time I have my commitments and priorities with Zyklon, and I'm a lot more disciplined and focused on the future with Zyklon.
As far as I know, you guys played one live show, during a festival in Norway. How did this go, knowing that not much people had heard the record then?
It was a festival show at a quite big rock festival here in Norway. Considering it was a very mixed audience and first show ever, I'd say it went pretty good. We also played in London last weekend. It was the release party for the album, and that was way better than the festival show. We had lots of people and press, and the audience went fucking crazy, so that was really cool.
I can imagine that it is very hard for these five different guys from five different bands to find enough time to play together. Do you guys even try to plan rehearsals together?
We don't really rehearse all that much. As a full band we've actually only rehearsed together twice. But we've had a few more with just the basic band without Casey. He's coming from LA, so it's obviously not so easy to rehearse with him.
In the same vein as the previous question, is it even possible to make any plans for touring? What are the plans?
It is possible, but it's not something we're discussing at the moment. I have my priorities with Zyklon this fall, as we're recording the new album. There might however be a few more shows with SCUM next year.
Is there some kind of transatlantic difference in attitude or something else that you notice between yourself and the European guys?
Yes, Casey has at times a different stand on things, and might be a bit mislead of the reality of the independent record industry, having being signed on various major labels with Amen in the past. Things are often more down to earth with the rest of the guys.
Will Scum be concentrating more on the European market or the American market?
Both! The album is out in Europe now, and we come of October 4th in the US through Candlelight Records USA.
Recently you guys recorded a video for 'Protest Life', did you go about it in the same way as the album? How did this go?
Yeah, pretty much. We rigged up our shit and shot it in day. It was a pretty stressful video shoot for my personally, as I had a virus affecting my balance nerve, so my head was rather fucked up during most of the session haha
What do you expect this video will do for you? How much airplay do you think it will get?
We'll see. For now it's mainly been online, but it's scheduled to be aired at various TV stations worldwide. It's still remains to see where and how much airplay it actually will get. A video, given good amount of airplay at the “right” stations, can of course give the album a push.
Well, I think I have asked almost everything I wanted to know. Besides your plans for the near future, do you have any famous last words for the readers of Lords Of Metal?
Cool! I guess this is where I tell the readers to check out our album! It's out now on DogJob Recordings and is well distributed all over Europe. We also have some official merchandise available from www.plastichead.com. And for you Zyklon fans out there, we're recording a new album this fall and also preparing a full-length DVD release.