"Heavily Scarred"

by MikeSOS
Sponsored In Part By
Try Me?

Taking the extreme music world by storm is a quartet hailing from New York City known as Scar Culture.  This fearsome foursome have honed their skills in the bleak NYC club scene for a few years now, and thanks to the kind folks at metal powerhouse label Century Media, they have been unleashed to the masses.  When catching up with guitarist  John and bassist Frank, they were more than happy to discuss their hybrid metal sound, what it was like to make their dastardly new disc Inscribe, as well as their feelings on the state of the metal world.

Mike SOS: How do you guys define your unique sound?

John: It's really difficult to dissect yourself. We have elements of grind, death, hardcore... I think the best way I can describe the sound of Scar Culture is quite simply a damn good, extremely heavy metal band.

Frank: Heavy, fast, groove.

Mike SOS: How has the extreme metal scene reacted to your latest CD?

John: That's a tricky question. We've been pretty well accepted by everyone. The Metal Maniacs X-Mas Ball tour was a real awakening. It was such an eclectic line up with Enslaved, Electric Wizard, Macabre, Diabolic and us. I don't think there was one show where we walked out without winning people over. Even though some of the death purists turn their noses up at us for not being "death metal" enough or "evil" enough or some nonsense. Since you can never please everyone, as long as you're doing what you want to do, what difference does it make really?

Frank: Everyone I've met has been really supportive.  Especially the bands we've toured with.  When you get along with everyone on a tour, it's beautiful.

Mike SOS: How was the overall process of making Inscribe for you?

John: We went into Big Blue Meenie studios in Hoboken, NJ, to record the CD under the watchful eye of Billy "Buzzard" Milano in March of 2000. The recording of Inscribe was one of the best times I've had. The other guys are such professionals in the studio. Everyone knows what they need to do, and they go in and do it. No fucking around. The real drain was the wait between finishing the CD and getting it released to the public.

Mike SOS: Who do you get inspired by musically?

John: Anyone who has something different to say. The new System of a Down record is just phenomenal. I was never a fan but Pheroze (lead singer) turned me onto it. I also really dig noisier things like Human Remains and Brutal Truth... they were ahead of their time.

Frank: Opeth and Fates Warning still blow my mind whenever I listen to them, no matter what album.

Mike SOS: What kind of stuff are you currently listening to?

John: Macabre, Brutal Truth, Suffocation, System of a Down, Iron Maiden, Soilent Green, Black Label Society, AC/DC, Black Sabbath, Cryptopsy, Meshuggah... also, a band from Connecticut that gave me their CD, A Thousand Falling Skies.

Frank: Crowbar, Cathedral, Opeth, God Forbid, Face Down (LFV).

Mike SOS: What do you like to do when you're not playing in Scar Culture?

John: Well, for starters I do not like dragging my ass to my day job every morning. In my spare time I just started skateboarding. I'm not good or anything, and I've fallen off twice (that we know of). But at least I haven't broken anything yet. Since it's been so damn cold lately I've just been surfing the channels with my ass planted on the couch. I'm a total lazy bastard sometimes.

Frank: Video games, mostly on the computer.

Mike SOS: Any crazy road stories yet?  Have you all been getting along on the road?

John: Hahahaha... where to begin? The obnoxious "van smell"... There is just no escaping it. It's almost like the fifth member of the band. We got along pretty well considering we were living in our van. I'm pretty sure that we all got on each other's nerves at one point or another. But what family doesn't throw down every now and then? Also, this is when you discover that you should always carry earplugs... Even if you don't want to use them at the show, when your bassist snores like Leatherface ripping through the redwoods you need them!

Mike SOS: How do you feel the state of extreme music is these days?

John: I think that the state of extreme music is stronger now than it has been for quite some time. A lot of mainstream bands like Static-X, Mudvayne and most notably, Slipknot are all citing death metal influences both in their words and music. No one starts out listening to Dying Fetus or Kataklysm. You have to start somewhere. So if someone that digs Mudvayne can turn around and dig Scar Culture then that's one more fan.

Mike SOS: What would be your dream tour to play on?

John: Most definitely Pantera. Who hasn't seen the "Vulgar Videos"?? Those Texans look like they know what they're doing and having a great time doing it.

Frank: Dream tour?  Well, Pantera would definitely be the one band, but they'd open for us and we'd light them on fire and make them do stupid things for money.  Of course, with the cameras rolling.

Mike SOS: When will you feel as if Scar Culture has made its mark?

Frank: I would say when I read somewhere for the first time that we are someone's influence.

Mike SOS: Prefer playing live or in the studio and why?

John: They're both different forms of expression. In the studio I have time to sit and actually create. But nothing compares to playing live and watching people that dig your music or can sing the songs back to you.

Frank: Live, if for nothing else, the energy.

Mike SOS: What can we expect from a live Scar Culture show?

John: Intensity. Balls to the wall. We ain't pretty, and we ain't afraid to sweat. We always give 200% when we play.

Frank: No chance to catch your breath until we're done; non-stop aggression from beginning to end.

Mike SOS: What is the most embarrassing album in your collection?

John: I'd have to say it's one of those '80s compilations. I can't help it. There were just too many fucking commercials on for them!

Frank: From a metalhead's view, there are so many I couldn't begin to say.

Mike SOS: Any new songs, tours or other endeavors you have going on?

John: Well, the Maniacs tour wrapped up December 21st. Since then we've been home for the holidays and back to work. We're working on new material, but I don't expect to release anything else for a while. I want to tour the fuck out of Inscribe. We're looking at some tours but for now all we have booked is Friday, January 25th at North Six in Brooklyn with Dillinger Escape Plan, Darkest Hour and All Else Failed. It should be a great show.

Mike SOS: Which is a better audience for you guys, Europe or USA?

John: We haven't been to Europe yet and Inscribe won't be released there until February. So I really don't know yet. We are looking forward to playing Europe though. It would be a blast to get on some of the fests like Dynamo or Wacken.

Frank: Just from the last tour we did, everyone who was there when we were on was great.  Europe is a lot more accepting of heavier music in general, so when we get to go there I'm sure it will be at least as good as it is here.

Next Page
 Back to the Winter 2002/03 Index

 Back to the Geoff Wilbur's Renegade Newsletter Homepage