interview with Old Scratch

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Have any of you played in other bands? Alec: Yes, Zach and I founded Creaturezoid when we were in Highschool and Jack was also a member for a while.
How is it that you started playing music?
Alec: It just sort of happened I guess, Zach and I went to school together and had similar interests in heavy music. In the end forming a band was only Natural.
Zach: We always had an interest in the live shows and recordings of bands that we loved, so it made sense that we would be drawn to do that ourselves.
What are your names?/Who plays what? / How old are you? Alec: Alec Stanley, Guitar/Vox, 25. Zach Stone, Guitar/Vox, 24. Jack Geringer, Bass 22. Brandon Culbreth, Drums, 19
Have you had other previous members? Alec: We had another drummer named Evan who recorded with us and then left the band for personal reasons.
Did you make music even when you were young?
Alec: I’ve been writing songs and making music since I was a kid. Its always been an important form of expression for me.
Zach: I don't really have any visual art skills, per se, so music was the only form of expression. I always played my dad's guitars when I was growing up, and the need to play music always stayed with me. 
Where are you from? Alec: Columbia, MO, USA.
What year did the band form? Alec: I started writing for what eventually became this band in late 2012 but we didn’t get together and start really playing together until 2013.
What's your style of genre? Alec: Metal I suppose is how I think of it. I don’t put much stock in the whole Blackened Progressive Djentcore subgenre nonsense. I think we make Metal music, maybe Doom Metal if you were really into categories but even that I think is too specific and I’m sure somebody will take issue with that tag.
Zach: It's just heavy music. We take influence from a lot of different music and incorporate that to make a unique sound. 
What inspires you? Alec: I’m inspired by life. The things that happen around me all come out in my music. I can only write about what I know and how I feel, I’ve never been able to invent scenarios to write about. All experiences can be fertile ground for writing. Good, bad, it makes no difference so long as you approach it with the right attitude and state of mind.
How have you developed since you started with the music?
Alec: I think we’ve all become significantly more diverse people musically speaking. I know I’ve branched out into forms of music that were off limits to me before.
Zach: We used to pigeonhole ourselves into playing one type of music, and I feel like this band is more of a living thing. We evolve the music with our personal tastes and it makes for a more fluid sound. 
Do you have other interests of work outside the band?
Alec: I spend most of my time working on some form of music or another but I am also an avid student of history.
Zach: I'm always playing music, usually with Alec, but other than that I work on learning new languages and studying history. 
Are you looking for a booking agency, and what are your thoughts around that?
Alec: Oh boy someone to share all $0 we make with. I’d have to hear a pretty good pitch before I got into a relationship like that. It seems like everyone wants a cut of a band but nobody wants to help it grow.
Zach: We had a situation like that in a previous band, and we were promised all of these great things that were never even attempted; so I'm pretty skeptical. 
Are you looking for a label, and what are your thoughts around that? Alec: I would certainly welcome the right kind of label relationship, one that would help us grow our band and expand our music but as it stand right now we seem to be doing okay on our own.
What made you decide to make this music?
Alec: I wanted to make something that would endure. That would outlive me.
Zach: What Alec said, as well as making something that connects with someone else.
What are your songs about? Alec: This last album was a concept album about the corruptive power of suggestion. About how the things around us and the things we interact with can influence our actions and decisions without our knowing it. Its about what can happen to you if you aren’t in control of your own life. 
Who does the composing and writes the lyrics? Alec: I wrote the lions share of both this time around but as we go forward Zach and I are splitting the composition duties a lot more evenly and I’ll probably write most of the lyrics again. 
Do you start with the music or the lyrics? Alec: The music. Even if I have an idea of where I’d like to go lyrically I find it WAY more comfortable to have a sense of the song and its structure before I put pen to paper. Typically I will play a rough recording of the song over and over while I write the lyrics so I can sing them aloud and make sure they fit.
Do you compose in a certain environment?
Alec: I have a small home studio that is really great for writing music but I need to move around a lot to get good lyrics written.
Have you done any covers live? Alec: I’m kind of superstitious about that actually so we always close with a cover. Lately we’ve been playing “My War” by Black Flag
What language do you sing in? Alec: English
What are the least and most people to attend one of your gigs? Alec: At most perhaps 150 or so and at least there were exactly 0.
What ages are most of your concert attendants? Alec: Most people seem to be in their 20s I suppose
Do you always play the same songs live, or do you vary? Alec: We have a core set of songs that we play but they are almost never in the same order, we like to keep it fresh and exciting. 
What was your first gig like? Alec: Our first gig was actually kind of scary, we hadn’t told anyone our old band wasn’t playing and we showed up and played the new material guerilla style. It was a cool experience even though most of our gear gave out during the first song. Still it was a lot of fun.
What was your latest gig? Alec: We played ROXYS in downtown Columbia MO on January 11th. You can check out a video of the show actually right here: Old Scratch || LIVE || FULL SET || MULTI-CAM || Roxy's || Columbia, MO || 1/11/2015
Have you had to cancel a gig? Alec: Unfortunately after the ROXYS gig our former drummer decided he was done and we had to cancel a few gigs already on the books. Very few things suck quite as hard as not getting to play and letting people down.  
Where can people buy your merchandise? Alec: Our bandcamp page notoldscratch.bandcamp.com has all of our recordings available and when we do another printing of the t-shirts that’s where they will be available as well.
What do you think about people downloading music instead of buying records nowadays? Alec: I think people have found a way to justify stealing to themselves and its slowly rotting away the music scene. Some people have this notion that they are sticking it to the “man” by not supporting what they see as an overly litigious record industry when in fact they are bleeding the artists they supposedly love dry. The sad fact is the super rich rock stars they are “rebelling” against have enough revenue streams that they probably don’t notice while smaller, newer bands struggle to see any reward for their efforts. I can’t get my head around all these people who wear these shirts that say “music is my life” but they don’t support any of the artists that they claim mean so much to them. It makes me sick. Music doesn’t just happen, it takes time and effort and most importantly it takes a TON of money to be a gigging musician, especially in this country. People act like they are owed entertainment.
How do you think the music industry have changed because of this? Alec: I think that the people in control of the major record companies are even more risk averse than they were before and that contributes to the homogenization of popular music. The reason everything sounds the same is because there is a VERY narrow subset of popular music that can actually generate a sustainable amount of revenue for these labels and corporations.
What do you think of my work? Alec: I dig it, it shows off some excellent underground talent I may not have otherwise been exposed to.
How do you think and know that this interview will help you in the music business? Alec: I’m not sure. I’m just stoked someone wanted to talk to us.
Do you have any role models or idols? Alec: This is where I’m supposed to say that having idols is for losers or something like that right? I actually have a lot of idols, people whose words speak to me or in whose art I have found something of value. Check out this book http://www.crimethinc.com/books/evasion.html
Is it easier to find inspiration from older bands, or bands that are more active today? Alec: I find inspiration mostly in older bands but I think that’s because I trace the influences of modern bands I like back as far as I can to see what those people were getting at.
What have been your biggest obstacles? Alec: We live in Middle America. The audience for heavy music isn’t exactly gigantic here.
What advice would you give other bands or artists? Alec: Don’t get so drunk you can’t play, stick to your set time, and treat everyone with respect.
Do you have any new material? Alec: We are working on a follow up to “A Light Shining in Darkness” right now. The influences are lot more diverse this time around and I’m really excited by what we are coming up with. Hopefully that will be ready to share with people by late this year. We plan on debuting a new song or two live this summer.
What are your web sites? Alec: facebook.com/notoldscratch and notoldscratch.bandcamp.com
How can people reach you? Alec: Through the facebook but I will also answer just about anything sent to NotOldscratch@gmail.com
What are your plans for the future? Alec: Record and play music until we drop dead and die.
Do you have something to add? Alec: Thanks so much for taking the time to talk with us.
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