The Chariot are approaching a decade as a band. Renowned for an intense and energetic live show, Killyourstereo.com catches up with Josh Scogin ahead of Soundwave to talk about music, touring Australia…and, tiny pears.
Hey Josh, how’s it going?
It is going real good man, how you doing?
Yeah, not too bad thanks.
How long until you’re hopping on a plane for Soundwave? I guess by Saturday you’ll be ready to go on stage.
We leave on Wednesday…American Wednesday (laughs).
I was speaking to Keith from Every Time I Die late last year just before he went on tour with you guys. He was talking about how he was loving ‘One Wing’ and looking forward to going on tour with The Chariot. How were those runs of shows to end last year?
First of all, I love that band [Every Time I Die], they’re one of my favourite bands and I love those dudes. I’ve known them for nearly ten years at this point. It was a really good tour –really good times and the bands were great. All the bands were awesome. It was definitely one of the most looked forward to tours that I’ve done in a while actually.
2013 marks a decade since the formation of The Chariot. Irrespective of line-up changes and what not, that’s a pretty significant achievement for any band. What does that mean to you when you think of that?
I’m very grateful and very humbled. It is something I never expected to be able to still be doing it this long. Every day is a new day and every day I never take it for granted. I am very stoked to still be doing it and to be in a band that I’m still very passionate about, and proud of the music we have created, and the art that has been put forward. It is a very humbling experience actually.
Just on coming back to Australia. This might be a cheeky one to start off with, but one of my favourite The Chariot videos is when you played in Perth in 2011 – the infamous show that got cut short. Have you reimbursed the venue for the loss of those tiny pears yet?
We actually made some nice signs that say, “No Pears.” (laughs)
We’re very anti-pears down there. It is funny because that video has done some pretty amazing things for us and been pretty interesting to say the least. But, at the time it seemed very frustrating for us because that was our second show ever in Australia and it got cut short. We were talking to people in the audience that are like, “We’ve waited six years to see you guys.” And here we are only able to play three songs. At the time, it was very frustrating, like, “What are you doing cutting this show short?” It panned out really well [though], we got to play at that person’s house and it became a very memorable night and very amazing. The couple of shows into the tour, even after that, the guy that ran that venue, actually found out where else we were playing and hit those people up and said a bunch of lies about us. We actually got two or three other shows cancelled on us because of this one incident that was nothing. No one got hurt, nothing got broke, minus a silly bowl of pears. It has panned out to be a very positive thing for us, but at the time it was a very frustrating thing because we were like, “yay! We get to go to Australia.” Then all of a sudden second show in people are cancelling shows and pulling out on us and we’re like, “What are we doing here?” I love Australia and who knows if it is because of that video or not, but Australia has been very kind to us as far as the crowd response and the people that come out to the shows. I love every bit of it.
And on the topic of shows, obviously when you’re down here for Soundwave you’ve also got some sideshows with Bring Me the Horizon and Pierce the Veil. It is a bit of an eclectic line-up. What do you anticipate from those shows?
I’m really excited actually. We’ve toured with Bring Me the Horizon before and it was very well received. It was in the UK so obviously they’re giants. They’re really great people and they were really, really nice to us, and the crowd was much too kind to us. We’ve actually toured with Pierce the Veil as well on a different tour, not connected. It’s interesting they have a pretty energetic live show and so I think people can at least grasp onto our energetic live show. Whether the music is necessarily their forte or not, I think they can at least appreciate that. It will be interesting to see how they [the shows] go, but I’m really excited. I love all the dudes in both those bands, we’re really good friends with both, so I’m excited about. I don’t have any reason to expect anything less than something really fun and really exciting.
Like you just mentioned then about your energetic live shows. That’s another thing. Someone posted the entire set of a performance you did in Russia online. The Chariot have always been renowned for their intensity. Are there ever days when the body is so sore and the energy is low and you’re like “how am I going to move around for an hour”?
Every day. (laughs)
I’m definitely not as healthy as I probably should be for quote, un-quote a living. When we start a tour, if we’re in the States and we start a tour for two months, the first week is brutal. The first day you just go so hard because you’ve been sitting around home for so long and then the second day you’re paying for it and then third day you’re paying for both of those. But at the end of the day, you forget about it all when the music kicks in. I might be sore from head to toe and I might be more prepared for a nap than playing a show (laughs), but once that music kicks in, we all really feed off each other. Once I look over and see our guitarist do his thing, you just vibe off it. It is not something we fake and it is not something that is forced. It is not something where we are like, “Ok guys, don’t forget to do this tonight.” It just comes natural. We write music with the purpose of moving us every night, so maybe if you’ve had a bad day it all goes away then and there. It is very therapeutic in some ways, you know.
I was having a look at your touring schedule and it looks like with the Vans Warped tour later in the year it takes you right up until at least August. Are there plans to start writing again later in the year?
We don’t have any plans. We are always writing. If we get together and practice we’ll always share ideas and possible write a song or two if it comes natural. All by ourselves, I’ve written a handful of songs already for whatever the next record will be. So, we’re always writing, but I think this year we have Soundwave and that goes into the As I Lay Dying tour in the States and that goes into Warped Tour and we’re probably going to do a headliner after that. I’d say we’d start writing and possibly looking at what that situation might be probably next year. Probably January or February of next year because with our headliner being at the end of the year we’ll probably be pretty busy.
In terms of Australia what are you most looking forward to about coming back to Australia this time?
There are so many things. Like I said before Australia has been much too kind to us. Obviously this is a totally different scenario. I’m really looking forward to just seeing the calibre of bands play every night. It is really funny; we are all just dorks that still love music. So when we got the offer we just got stoked that we get to watch these bands play every night for free and then they told us we were going to get paid as well and we were like, “Oh, sweet…that’s awesome too.” (laughs)
I’m really looking forward to Tim Tams and Milo, and the fact that it is summer time [too]. [Also] the beaches, gosh, there are so many things, so many things. We have a lot of friends over there thanks to the couple of times we’ve been to Australia. I have nothing but good things to say about Australia and the people over there. It is a shame we can only go once or twice a year, I want to go so much more (laughs). But it is so far away from where we live. I’m just looking forward to it all to be honest.
I was having a look at the soundwave timetables recently and the time you guys are playing is the same time as Metallica is playing.
A neutral festivalgoer that is going to be attending Soundwave, what’s one reason that you could give for them to pick The Chariot over Metallica?
For one, I think Metallica are playing a two-hour set or so? (laughs).
Whatever it is, you can come over and watch us for our 35 minutes or 40 minutes. You can come watch us for a few songs and I’m sure you’ll make it back in time for Metallica. I actually saw that and I was like, “What?!” I think we may’ve gotten the short end of the stick time slot wise, no one wants to be competing with Metallica (laughs).
Oh well, there is plenty of other things to do over there. But I think they’re playing such a long set. I don’t know how far way stages are? But, you can definitely poke over and watch a few songs and try it make it back for their finale.
Fair enough, that sounds like the way to go.
What is the best bit of advice you have received as a musician during your career?
Good question. There are so many. One piece of advice, I didn’t get this as a musician, but I got this and it made me want to strive to be a musician, but I don’t believe in failure. I don’t believe it is a real thing. I think it is something that only as humans we give credit to. Someone put it the best to me – the only person that can absolutely make you fail is yourself. The moment you stop trying is the only moment you can’t make it. Everything is circumstantial. Everything else is a matter of how bad you want it. Not that there is a be all or all end all goal. It is the journey I think that is beautiful. If you can enjoy the journey and see beauty in the struggle, and find that as an adventure, life becomes really easy at that point. It is definitely something I’ve tried to live by. Sometimes it is easier said than done, but I think it holds a lot of truth.
That’s a good way to put it.
Were there any final words that you wanted to pass onto readers?
Man, I never know what to say for these (laughs).
I believe in freedom and I believe that we can experience it, maybe more so than we’ve been experiencing it. I think as artists there is a lot more freedom to be experienced as artists than some artists have had the pleasure of entertaining. I would really encourage and sort of as famous last words, dying man probably, say, really learn what that can mean and really learn what freedom can mean to each individual. Don’t try and be free like someone else’s free, just try as be as free as you can be.
Thanks a lot for the chat today Josh and I look forward to seeing you when you get here in Australia.
Awesome, thank you so much. Take care.