The Chariot

Interview: The Chariot – Josh Scogin

Now you return to the studio in May.

We do.

First obvious question I am going to ask you, what made you reach out to Billy Corgan (Smashing Pumpkins) to be part of it?

Well as a big fan of the [Smashing] Pumpkins and just Billy [Corgan] in general, I’ve always really wanted to work with him. We have a couple of songs that we would love for him to produce or sing on or even just to give us his ideas. We’d love to bring in someone who is not from our world, someone who experiences music on a completely different level from us but as of right now nothing has been confirmed. We sent him the message on Twitter because it was the only way I knew how to get in touch with him and he retweeted us and I was like wow!

Yeah I also saw the main Smashing Pumpkins account retweeted it after Alternative Press posted the news online.

Yeah the official account also did it. A friend of mine is a manager of a few bands and he knows his manager so we’re trying to go down that avenue right now. Even if he says no that’s fine, it would be good to know that we were able to at least reach him instead of waiting for a response. I mean I, just as a fan, would love to work with him and see his ideas, just open that other door to something that we might not see. In our music we are just surrounded by a heavy world so it would be nice to have that fresh pair of ears from someone who is in another world but someone who has directly influenced me. As of right now there is nothing but we hope to at least travel down that road and see where it takes us.

I think a lot of people were wondering if it was serious or if it were a joke or not.

[Laughs] Yeah I can understand that. It’s definitely a goal to get involved with him at some point. We know it’s far-fetched and he’d be doing us a massive favour. We find out all of the time that certain people like our band and we’re like “what? How do they even know who we are?” On ‘The Fiancée’ you’ll probably know that we had Hayley Williams singing with us and she was a good friend of ours before they [Paramore] were big but now you look at how big they are and how pop they are, you’d never make that sort of connection. So it is nice to find out now and again that certain people like your band and you know, what’s the point of being in a band and making music if you’re not willing to push the boat out a little and attempt to work with other people and do something new.

The ChariotThen Came to Kill (featuring Hayley Williams)

Have you thought about anyone else you would try and contact if Billy said that he wouldn’t do it?

I would like to work with Jack White. We’ve actually pursued that a little bit as I know a few people linked to his record label Third Man Records. I just love a lot of the stuff he has done over the years and he’s another person that I’d love to sit down with and listen to his ideas. He wasn’t really around when I got started in music so he never influenced me from the start but I do love his work. My goal in life would be to work with someone who influenced me before I got started. I was listening to Smashing Pumpkins before I ever joined a band and I saw them live twice and it was then I thought “this is what I want to do.” There are a lot of bands like that but as far as artists, Jack White would be great and Billy Corgan would be great with the cool track record of the stuff that they have done.

I actually saw a video on YouTube and you covered ‘Seven Nation Army’ by The White Stripes while doing an acoustic show outside. I think it was in Ohio.

Yeah I have done it before so I do have my connection to their music also.

Seven Nation Army – The White Stripes cover

I know with ‘Long Live’ you waited until the first couple of days into your studio time before you really put your head down and worked on lyrics but you did have a break last year which you claimed to be your unofficial writing period, so are you more prepared this time for going into the studio?

Not yet [laughs]. We have done some pre-production of all of the songs, which I recorded, but this tour is a month and a half long so hopefully, on the bus, I’ll be able to get a good start on the lyrics and I’ll be more prepared. I kind of enjoyed the process – I’ll never do it again – of trying to write it all at once because sometimes when you write a song then wait a couple of months before writing another song, the record just becomes this timeline. You come out with the album and you look at it and think “well track six is the first track I wrote when I was feeling this but that was months and months and months ago.” With ‘Long Live’ it was all written in two to three days and it was one single timestamp of my life, every song meant something to me at that time. I hated the pressure, especially when recording as I’m very hands on and I produce a lot of bands when I’m at home, but I hate not being able to run around and be involved, I hate that pressure of being forced to sit down to finish these lyrics. I’ll never do it again but I do like that idea of just having everything done within four days, the timestamp on it is just my life at that time, it’s what I’m feeling and what is affecting me.

I suppose two months is not too long for the songs to become less meaningful to you.

Yeah two months is a good period in which I can write about something meaningful and still feel it when I get into the studio.

Do you all like to go into the studio with a good pre-production behind you and have a good idea where you are going or is that more of a guide because from listening to the records, it feels as if it is a little more spontaneous than built to a structure?

We kind of work on both sides of that scale. With ‘Long Live’ we had a lot of music written and planned out but as soon as one of us got an idea then we would just scrap it and let that idea and some creativity just build the song from the ground up again. We just don’t look back, as soon as one of us has an idea that will make what we’re doing better, we just move forward and don’t think about what we had. I think we do work better on impulse. When you start over thinking stuff and thinking “oh this is not tight enough,” then you’re going to lose a lot of the soul from your music. I think a lot of bands record an album and then spend the next album cycle trying to put all of that back into the process again whereas we’re a live band, we take what we do live and what we’re capable of doing and put that into the record. Forget what we’ve done before, we don’t think about what we’ve done before, we just take the live show energy and intensity and put that into an album. We’re ok with being impulsive and not over thinking about what we’re doing, we’ll just let it flow and see what happens. ‘Billie Jean’ by Michael Jackson was mixed something like ninety-eight times and they used the second mix they took [laughs]. That’s what I think a lot of bands do when they should just stick to their gut instinct. We work very well with that idea of just going forward and never looking back and so far we’ve had no regrets.

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Michael is the owner and creator of EspyRock. He is your general all round geek; sports fan; TV show fanatic. You can find him sharing his thoughts on his personal Twitter account. Contact Michael on Twitter or via Email.

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