Peter Hodgson of IHeartGuitarBlog.com recently conducted an interview with SLIPKNOT and SCAR THE MARTYR drummer Joey Jordison. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
IHeartGuitarBlog.com: How did [SCAR THE MARTYR] come about? At which point did you realize, "Whoa… I have a band"?
Joey: I was accumulating so much material between bands and during off time from SLIPKNOT. On and on, I just started stacking material and I started getting so much that I was like, "Man, I need to get this on. I need to do more than just demo riffs." So I booked time up at the same studio where we did [SLIPKNOT's] "All Hope Is Gone". I think my first session was seven songs, then I came home and SLIPKNOT went on tour. I came back, booked more time, went up and demoed another eight or nine. And when I got in there, I wasn't just demoing: I had demos at home. What I was doing was I started making an album to myself, y'know? I was writing this record but I didn't have a home for it. I didn't have players, I didn't have a record label. All I had was a blueprint idea and I just started recording. So when I got home I was just, like, "I want to go and make a record. I want to make a band. It's too good to just sit here." That's when I started looking for members to complete the band.
IHeartGuitarBlog.com: So how did you get these guys? Jed Simon is a monster and it's great to have him in the mix.
Joey: If you rewind, like, five minutes ago I had his guitar right in my face! Well, first of all when I was, like, "I want to make a record," first thing I did was look for a vocalist. And I tried out a bunch of people from a bunch of demos. I sent them a song and had them put a vocal on it, and I went through, I dunno, about ten guys. And a lot of them were good but it wasn't what I was totally looking for. And a mutual friend of mine and Henry's [Derek Bonner; BLOOD PROMISE], James Murphy, got me in touch with Henry. I called him on the phone and went through the whole thing about the project, the style, and I sent him "Dark Ages", "Blood Host", "My Retribution", "Never Forgive Never Forget", "Soul Disintegration" and "Last Night On Earth", and I was figuring he'd get back to me whenever, and I was in the studio literally the next day and he sent me rough ideas. First of all, I loved his work ethic and his fire. But then I listened to it, and I'm, like, "Fucking perfect." Exactly what I was looking for. It was like finding a needle in a haystack with this guy. So I sent him the rest of my demos and we just started working day in, day out, just via e-mail, and then we set time. I talked to the label, sent them the demos and they said, "Absolutely, let's make a record." So we set a date and got in there.
IHeartGuitarBlog.com: So at what point did Jed and Kris [Norris, guitar; ex-DARKEST HOUR] come in?
Joey: So I started the record and I had to pick a producer. I went through a bunch of producers and I picked Rhys Fulber. Reason being is that I wanted to work with someone fresh. I always liked the records he produced, and I wanted to bring in someone with a little bit more of a — I hate the word, but for the lack of a better term — little bit of industrial influence and a little bit of post-punk, and a little bit of new wave influence. So I knew he would understand what I was going for. So I talked with Rhys and I settled on him and said, "I want that guy." He liked the material, lucky, so we got him in the studio. Now, Jed Simon. I talked to Rhys and was, like, "We need lead players." I was recording guitars, drums and bass, and Henry was recording some guitars, and I wanted to get a lot of the music down so Henry could have the full vibe when he sings. So I started thinking about lead players and me and Rhys were talking, and I said, "Well, what about Jed?" and he's, like, "Well let me call him." It was literally like this: "Hey, Rhys, what about Jed?" "Oh, man, that would be perfect. I can give him a call." "Yeah, call him up, man, see if he'd be interested to play some songs." So he leaves the room, calls him up and ten minutes later he's ready to come in. And same thing with Kris. I wanted a twin-guitar team. Of course, I wanted two people with different styles, but also who would understand what I was doing. And James Murphy, who I'd worked with in the past on "Roadrunner United", recommended Kris Norris. And I'd never listened to DARKEST HOUR or THREAT SIGNAL. I checked ‘em out and I was, like, "Oh, man, that guy's a monster as well." He brought a whole other lead element, and the fact that I got along with these guys was an added bonus, and they just came in like they were a member of the band already. It was really interesting. And when I had to get keyboards, I was already, like, "If I can get a keyboard player, I want to get Chris Vrenna." And I've known Chris for a while. Me and Jed have toured together but we've never hung out, and Chris has been a friend for a while. He was totally into it. And that's how I got the band together: I created the bulk of the material but it was going to sound too one-dimensional if I recorded it all myself. I wanted a band on the album. So I got Chris to add a lot of color and darkness to it overall, and he really brought that. That's when I knew the record was complete, when Chris got all his stuff on it. It was, like, "Alright, now we've got an album."
Read the entire interview at IHeartGuitarBlog.com.