POZ Interview: The Chariot

by Zack Zarrillo - Sep 13, 2012


PropertyOfZack had the chance to chat with Josh Scogin from The Chariot a few weeks ago for a solid interview. Josh and I discussed the making of One Wing, how critics don’t influence the band, but how their reaction to the band’s new album has been overwhelming, working with their same producer, keeping things fresh, and much more. Check it all out below!  

We’re right around the corner from the official release of One Wing. How have fans been reacting to the record so far?
We’ve been very humbled by how good the record has been getting reviewed. We never write a record based on what the critics are saying, but the fact they it’s being so well received is very humbling for us. I’m real excited. We’re excited about the record in general. It’s different than anything we’ve done before. We’re just really excited to get this one out there and to share it with everyone.

I really haven’t seen one negative review.
It’s funny. Critics usually have to use interesting words to separate their pieces, and everyone usually says our riffs are “explosive,” but these have all been deep and thoughtful ways of explaining the record. One guy reviewed it and said it probably would have been in his best interest to pull the car over when he was listening to it. There are things like that that are very humbling for any artist to have that affect on somebody.

Critics aside, have fans been equally supportive?
I feel like people who like our band are going to know what they’re going to get. It’s always a good response and something that I’m excited about, but it’s just usually the critiques that interest me. I don’t care what they say, but it interests me to hear what they have to say because they’re not there to support us. Our fans, they’re supposed to support us on tours and things. But critics have really been decent to us with this record. Everyone seems to be on the same page about this record.

One Wing has taken another step in your discography. For fans who have yet to dig into the release, can you discuss the progression?
We try to do it with everyone album. Sometimes the door is open and we step through it, and sometimes we completely shove open a door. There are new sounds on this record we’ve never done before, and you couldn’t say that we would have made those sounds beforehand, but at the end of the day, it came across exactly like we wanted. That’s a door that we forced open, but it’s not forced in a bad way. It’s something where we expand our boundaries. That’s always a struggle with art and the power of the media. You write what you need to write. I don’t care about what kind of “core” this is. We’re artists, and we’re trying to paint a picture. 

The Chariot are five albums deep now. That’s a feat in itself, but things can get stale and motives become unclear. Was there talk about keeping things fresh before writing?
We never talked about it in that context, but we always want to be fresh for ourselves. At the end of the day, our music, by nature, is kind of extreme. Having said that, if you make the same extreme thing over and over again, it becomes stale. For us, we always want to be energized and reenergized by the music we make to keep it fresh. We are always trying to step into new boundaries. We are always trying to move forward and keep it fresh, but it’s never something that we talk about beforehand. We do this very naturally.

Your bassist left the band in the summer. Did that play into writing at all?
No, not really. He had never been a writer. That doesn’t mean anything negatively, he just was always a performer live. The writing process has stayed pretty much the same. I’m not talking bad about him, we love the dude. We talked to him not too long ago. But he had just never had a large part in the writing process.

Matt Goldman was enlisted once again. As you continue to create more records with him, has his role changed?
No. He’s a personal friend of mine and the band’s and we keep going because he sees every record as a brand new art form. He’s not the kind of guy, like some producers are, where he has his thing that he does and you hire that part of him. He’s not like that. He’s very personal. He’s very able to not conform. We also love that he’ll never change his desire to keep things real in terms of the actual recordings. He doesn’t like to dehumanize elements, and that’s very important to The Chariot. I’ve dealt with producers in the past that don’t know how to get drums to sound good and just use samples. Or some that don’t want to take that extra few hours to make it sound right. It’s very much easier to play the drummer play once and fix it all in the computer. Matt keeps us on our toes and doesn’t want us to do the same thing over again.

The Chariot were gone most of the year writing and recording, but a tour was announced yesterday with Every Time I Die. Are you stoked for that?
Man, yeah. The fact that we’re good friends with the bands on that tour is great. We’re definitely stoked on that tour. I can’t think of a tour that I’m more stoked on as far as bands. Great friends and music, and I know the shows are going to be really good.

That tour doesn’t start until the end of November. Will we be seeing something announced before that?
Yes, we just confirmed a tour with For Today that is being announced momentarily. We’re only on half of that tour.

What about the next year?
We’ll be busy the next year. We’ve stayed out of the States most of this year, but we did a lot of touring in Europe this year. We kind of did that on purpose because we were hitting the same places too often in the US. 

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