Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Thoughts on the New Scattered Hamlet Album 

So it’s that time again, time to make a new album and put a permanent stamp on where we are right now. We introduced ourselves with “Skeleton Dixie” with all the subtly of a pack of coyotes. We kept it simple, straight up, raw and all that good stuff. Now 2 years later, several hundred shows later (lost track) and a few minor line up adjustments, the diesel is idling and ready to go- and so are myself, Jake, CB, Crash and Rich. To say we are exited would be an understatement. 

The winds of fortune are on us this time. Thanks to y’alls support we’ve got more cred, more cash and more backing this time. That means we have more at our disposal to make this a better album. We have a killer production team that’s worked with badasses like Rob Zombie, Band of Horses, the Murder Dolls and they even have a few Grammy nods in there. Our producer said to me awhile back, “Joad, I want to make an album that doesn’t sound like all the radio rock garbage that keeps copying itself these days...The kind of album that people can sing along with and make them feel the way we did when we heard our favorite rock tunes back in the day.” 

......Well, that notion lit my ears up because that’s exactly the album that I wanted to make. Rock today is too safe in my humble opinion, a bunch of suits and business men have been worrying about all the hype about rock being dead and the industry is dying. Scared people play it safe so they keep making a clone of something else that was successful. The problem is you end up with a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy blaring in your ears. Anyone knows the more you do this it fades and gets worse each time. Think of the movie Multiplicity for example... Ok, so this album probably won’t buy me a jet, but who cares, worry about buying jets wasn’t and isn’t what attracted me to music in the first place.

I had a chance to talk to one of my favorite guitar players and song writers awhile back, Tom Keiffer. He was explaining to me how the industry now doesn’t let vocalists have a voice these days. There’s no character when all singers sound the same and all tones are the same. He’s right, you can’t tell a band apart by listening to the singer half the time anymore. I like that observation because I don’t want to sing like a third rate copy of Chad in Nickleback - but I also didn’t want to limit myself to sounding like Lemmy’s drunk hillbilly cousin either (No offense to Lemmy, who is and always will be king or Chad either, it’s not his fault every radio rock band has copied their model). 

Getting it Done, Putting in the Work!

All this is well and good, but in order to pull this off some things had to happen. First, I had to learn to sing better and learn to play guitar better, this took some time away from catching Bass and Muskie - I didn’t hit my 200 fish catch mark this year - put I was damn close; got about 190. I also didn't get to train my MMA and Jiu Jitsu as much as I wanted - though I still think with proper motivation, I could cut to 185... Now I'm way off topic so let's get back here - Second, we rolled back off the gain to let our fingers make the tones. AND, we have to record this sucker mostly live as a band because that’s how Skynyrd, The Allman Brothers, Thin Lizzy and all them folks did it. So, we have to get really really tight to pull this off, which is the way pro bands should be in this saturated market where every Tom, Dick and Harry make a Facebook page, play out once and are waiting for their million dollar record deal. We also have to grab some vintage amps and push them to the brink with some American made badassery courtesy of Fender and Gibson. 

Getting away from my tech nerd rant, above all, we need good songs. Right now, we’re poking and prodding at 11 or now 12 stories for y’all. They are stories, our stories, my stories, stories of people who grew up just like us. People that like “To drink and dance all night” who “when it comes to a fix ain’t afraid to fight,” just like Ronnie said. The same people that come alive when the gitar strings are bent just right, when that throttle cracks its sweet spot on a big V-twin, when that bass explodes on a top water lure while the frogs are singing their songs on moonlit summer night and  most importantly, those who have as much in common with Hank Williams 1-2-3 as they do Black Label Society and Black Flag. 

                    "Got in some fights and I broke some laws, Knocked to my knees where I had to crawl.   
                     My strike it rich and I might not  land, I come alive in a guitar band" (SH “Green 

I named songs after my uncle’s hunting dogs, we wrote about my Buck Knife, we wrote about country boys trying to navigate hollywood, we wrote about bitch ass promoters trying to rip us off, we wrote about ridge running the back roads of Greene County, but most importantly, we wrote about what we know. We did it with a double guitar attack, harmonicas and in your face down and dirty country rock or probably even metal at times. Unless you’re a metal elitist that paints your face, likes cookie monster vocals and burns churches, then this probably won’t be metal at all. I’m ok with that and not fond of labels anyway - I’m the same fella that gets misty eyed every time I watch Hank Jr.’s “A Country Boy Can Survive” video:

Those are my people. Those are the things I do when I’m not on tour... that’s where I came from. If you don’t get it, that’s fine, but don’t put down what you don’t understand. I don’t get gang culture or the mood in the streets back in the early 90’s South Central Los Angeles but I still like NWA’s album “Straight Outta Compton.” It was honest and sincere. 

So be patient, we want to get this right. We called on our friends across all kinds of genres to get their input and ideas. We have  a handful of friends from metal bands, country bands, punk bands and even hip hop backgrounds prodding at the demos giving us input so we can make them as good as possible. There will be guest appearances, humor, magic and all that you’ve come to expect from the Hillbilly Side Show Extravaganza. We’ll be on the road again in May and June, look for a late summer release of this album and you can let us know if we pulled it off. 

                        "Crossroads hoo-doo magic by the rail road tracks" (SH "White Trash")

Freezing in a bunker in Appalachia,

Adam Joad  

SH is: "The Irish Thunder" Jake Delling Le Bas (Drums), "The Old Kentucky Bastard" Rich Erwin (Bass, Vocals), "The Legendary Chicago Bluesman" Adam Newell (Lead Guitar, Vocals), "The Applachian Apostle" Adam Joad (Lead Vocals, Guitar, Harmonica) and "The General" Johnny Crash (Vocals, Whiskey, Hype, percussion). 

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