With controversy overshadowing the true nature of musicians, it’s difficult to target artists who exemplify an act of passion for what they do. Georgia outfit THE CHARIOT produced a rare occurrence on the opening night of their Canadian tour; the crowd wasn’t extravagant so the group made it intimate, claiming the floor as their stage and emancipating a carnal side of music. Before traveling north of the border, vocalist Josh Scogin touched on how the hardcore act wrote their latest record and how it’s tightened the bond between them and forced them to put effort into making something beautiful.
Why is it the best art comes from the inside?
I think it is just because it is more realistic. I mean if it comes from the inside then it has to be real, it has to be tangible. You can see through art that has been fabricated
Do you think creating art is more of a conscious or unconscious thing?
Both, totally. There are times when I “accidentally” write like three or four songs in a row. Then there are times when I struggle for months on a song that I know can potentially be beautiful. Sometimes you do have to “work” for it, you know?
That’s because songs derive from feelings you didn’t know you had. What sort of emotions did the band experience while piecing together the new record?
This was a very impulsive record. We mainly made sure we we’re walking through new doors and keeping things fresh for us so we would never get to a point where we’re burned out or anything. We are always just excited to be able to write and create.
Do you think the release has inflated your chemistry and made you even more tight-knit as musicians and friends?
Every album we do and ever tour we pull off kind of makes us get tighter and tighter. We learn more and more about each other with every show and practice that takes place. It does get easier to read each other and make magical moments more often.
Can you elaborate on how the new tracks were written in an impulsive way?
We have one song, “The Heavens”, that was completely created as a spur of the moment idea that we just traveled down and it worked. “The City” is another song that seems to be a popular favourite on the record and the choir parts on it were completely impulsive. The song ended in a completely different way early on and as we were recording the song, we just had a general idea of ending the song “epically”, so we ran with it.
Why did you choose to include different instruments and musicians on the new release?
We try to give every record a different feel when we can. Everything Is Alive, banjo. Fiancee, harmonica. We just always want to hear different things so we don’t become bored.
Is the reason for going outside of the box more personal than professional?
Both, I guess. I am an artist so that is personal, but I guess I am able to do this professionally so that makes it professional.
What about your work as a lyricist? Most of the material features songwriting that compels the listener to be quiet and actually listen
Good, I hope that happens. I spend a lot of hours thinking and diving into my lyrics. I am not one of those singers who writes a one-liner and doesn’t care about anything else. Every set of lyrics is an opportunity for me to say what I want to say, so I try to take full advantage of that.
Da Vinci once said “poetry is a painting that is felt rather than seen”.
I like that. I have definitely seen some paintings that I have “felt”.
For this release, why do you think listeners should clear their minds and expect nothing?
Well, the biggest tragedy of being in a band is that you only have one chance to have a true first impression, meaning every other record you ever put out will force people to have some form of preconceived notion about what is going to happen. I would love to be able to get the listener to clear their mind and expect nothing. That would be great.
Maybe expectations are why fans don’t buy CDs anymore.
I am not sure. I think people just are too content with not waiting and not spending any money which is why they just download music instead. I can relate though. I still buy albums to help out bands I like.
Long Live: a work of art or a sign the band isn’t disappearing anytime soon?
Hopefully both. Time will tell.
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