Skumlove Talks Music, Porn, And More
L.A. industrial band Skumlove is currently recording their new album "Church of the New Perversion" and has premiered a song from the album titled "Anti-American Idol" at the Metalunderground MySpace page. The group has also recently embarked on a U.S. tour alongside Static-X and Seventh Void. After the
Great Falls stop of the tour front man Skum and bassist DB spoke with me about the new album and their touring plans.
xFiruath: How did Skumlove originally get together?
Skum: I just started writing by myself with a karaoke machine and a drum machine. Started writing shit by myself then I started get friends together. Some of them were from bigger bands and we’d get together and do shows but then they’d have to take off and do tours. There’s been a lot of people through the band but right now this is the most solid unit we’ve ever had. We’re like a gang more than anything else. We fight with each other, then we fucking get along with each other. We know that there is nothing better than us four together on stage. We try to get a fifth member in every once in awhile but for me these four are the best people I’ve ever played with. I’m very happy with where we are at right now.
xFiruath: How did the two of you first get into music?
DB: I’ve been into music ever since I was a little kid. My dad had my first rock records which were AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell” and Kiss’ “Dynasty.” Which is funny you know because the first Kiss record I liked was the disco record. Then you know when you grow up and you go through high school you start putting bands together. You just keep going in garage bands, your punk bands, your metal bands. Each band you kind of form the direction you want to go in. It just led me here.
Skum: His brother actually answered my ad for a drummer.
DB: Yeah Rattan, he’s actually my brother and he answered his (Skum’s) ad for Skumlove. He told me “hey, Skumlove needs a whole band and their looking for a rhythm guitarist.” So I came in with Rattan. Gina (Skumlove’s guitarist) also answered the ad and we all knew Gina previously. I tried it out. We had another member come in too but we couldn’t really find a bass player so I just said “Ok, I’ll do it, whatever.”
Skum: I started music because my cousin gave me a RATT CD and Van Halen and that sort of thing. A friend of mine give me a cassette with like 7 Seconds and TSOL and Suicidal Tendencies on it. He was like “You like that?” and I’m like “I love that, it’s fast and crazy” and he says “No it’s not.” This one is called Slayer, it’s “Reign in Blood.” For lack of a better word it just gave me a hard on. Now I’ve caught myself going back to the older rock stuff though just because it was fun.
DB: When you’re a kid your full of adrenaline and angst. You just want to blast it through, but now you’ve got something to prove but it’s more strategically structured and less chaotic.
Skum: As a band we don’t ever sit around and go “did you hear that one band? We should do a song like that!” We don’t do that.
DB: We definitely keep new things in mind though because we don’t really want to sound dated.
xFiruath: Tell me a bit about your new album “Church of the New Perversion.”
Skum: We had so many different names for it. First it was “Church of Sin” and then the label said that we we’re going to start promoting it under the name “Church of the New Perversion.” So we were like fuck it, we’ll call it that. It has a song called “New Perversion.” Our street team is also called the Church of the New Perversion so they were like “Dude, name it after the street team.” OK fine, we’ll keep it. On some of the older songs people were like “It’s AC/DC with keyboards” but now it’s like we’re a punk band with keyboards. We went a little faster and harder. We didn’t really care what the trend was, we just wanted to go out and hurt people. This is a more aggressive album. More in your face. We let the electronics take a back seat instead of being the main stuff.
DB: On the first album we proved we could do a hard electronic kind of dance one but this is like a more rock one.
Skum: When we started writing it all of the songs just started sounding really fucking rock. It was heavier and had a metal tinge to it but it’s still going to be a great rock album. He’s writing shit so fast. With the first album it was just me.
DB: Now he’s got two other guys to write stuff.
Skum: It’s great because the arguments we have are like “should we do this, should we do that?” but it’s good because all of us listen to a lot of the same stuff but also some different stuff. We all play differently too, so all these things come together and clash and it’s made a great album. We love all the new tunes. A lot of the new songs we played tonight was stuff we’ve been playing for the last year to try out and see how they sounded live. “Anti-American” idol and “Sun of a Gun,” which we just re-wrote for the album. It’s really good now. He re-wrote it and made it much faster. They added in a couple little things here and there and just made that song fucking fast.
DB: I like playing it a lot better now. Before I didn’t like playing it.
xFiruath: So I heard that you had some of your music in the horror porn movie “Grub Girl.” How did that whole thing come about?
Skum: Yes. I’ve known Glen Danzig for a long time. The story came from one of his Verotik comic books. He produced it or whatever and was like “Hey, I need some music.” He liked some of the songs I’d done. I gave him a CD of four songs and he ended up using all of them. It was pretty cool but at the time it was funny because I’m watching it and I’m like “Great, a fucking dead body getting fucked with all this blood everywhere to my music.” There’s a dead corpse getting fucked to our songs. We did that but we want to get our music into more stuff, more movies and shit. I signed at Fangoria convention this year and that was fun. We all had a good time there. Glen has helped us out with a lot of stuff. He got me my first record deal which went sour and kind of put a problem with us, but we’re over that. He’s helped us out and we’re good friends. He’s taught me a lot.
xFiruath: So I’m assuming since you signed at Fangoria that you guys are pretty big fans of horror.
Skum: Oh yeah, yeah.
DB: Rattan is probably the biggest one. He really wanted to go to Fangoria.
Skum: I watch it with my son. He loves to watch Saw movies and he took his Jason Vorhees doll to school. They didn’t like that.
xFiruath: So the dude on Metalunderground who just hates you, what’s the deal with that?
Skum: Love me or hate me, as long as you keep talking about me. If you want to know the true story the guy has a grudge for me. He got in my face, I got back in his face. He had three or four guys with him and yes, I used the “N” word, I used the word nigger. That’s fine because I’m from south central L.A. I’m fucking Hispanic, my step-father is black. I’ll use the word Nigger when I can because anyone can be that. Whether you’re white, Hispanic, Japanese, Chinese, whatever. Whatever you are if you are an asshole that’s what you are. I don’t mind using the word against those people. I’m not racist I’ve got eight fucking different nationalities in me. It’s just jealous people and their ways.
xFiruath: You guys already played in Ogden and Billings so far on this tour? How where those shows?
DB: Billings was great.
Skum: Ogden we had a lot of trouble in.
DB: It was great it was just we didn’t play good.
Skum: Everything was just going wrong. The crowd was drunk enough to love us anyway and give us an encore. But we played in a church so that ought to tell you something. So far all the fans and people we’ve met have been great. You won’t really find that in L.A. I was born and raised there so if anyone wants to get pissed off about that that’s fine. They know who they are because they always want us to put them on the list and give them free shit. We’re a struggling band. We aren’t making any money on this. We’re going all broke. We’ll probably be owing by the time this tour is done.
DB: Yeah, it’s kind of weird because L.A. sucks but Utah and Montana have been just great. It’s really cool out here.
Skum: There are some great fans in L.A. but the whole vibe is just “I could do better than you.” You know I could play a solo better or sing better, why don’t you just fucking rock out and have a good time? I’m not the best fucking singer and he’s not the best bass player. None of us are the best but we have a good fucking time doing it. In L.A. no one can do that. Everyone there has a band for three months and if they don’t get signed then they start a new band with a new sound and try to get signed on that one. So people in L.A. stick to your fucking guns and rock out. If you can’t do that then go the fuck home. Stop fucking up my scene.
xFiruath: So what’s your upcoming plans for when the tour is over?
Skum: We’re going to go home and finish the album. We’ve got about three more tracks that need vocals. We’ll start doing shows with Sixteen Volt and try to book more shows. We want to do a southern tour from L.A. to Florida and back. We want to meet everybody we can who likes our music because without them we’re nothing. Like these guys right here! (pointing to fans listening to interview). We don’t make much from this. We didn’t want to have to sell our shirts for $25 a pop but when you play with big bands you have to do that. That’s just the rules. It’s the business side of it. It’s what we do, and the money we make tonight will give us the gas to get to the next show. Maybe buy a pizza or something. We said fuck it and we’re getting a hotel tonight because we’ve been sleeping in our van in Montana in 20 degree weather. It’s like dude move over you’re too close. I called this tour for us the “make or break us” tour. We had to go out and do this because it’s either going to make us stronger or its going to kill us. I think it’s making us stronger.
DB: Through all the shit that’s been happening it’s been really good and really fun. There hasn’t really been any fights. All the fights usually happen in rehearsal.
Skum: Yeah but that’s really because everyone wants everyone else to do the best that they can.
DB: It’s all for the music. We have to make the music good.
Skum: They push me, sometimes they’ll be like “Dude you’re sucking.”
DB: It happens.
Skum: You don’t hear me go “what’s the name of the band?” though. I don’t say that, I just go “dude we’re having a good time.” Drink and have a good time with your friends.
xFiruath: Besides the bands you mentioned before that got you into music what are you guys listening to these days?
Skum: All kinds of shit. I’ve been listening to a lot of more underground rock bands and more “I don’t give a fuck” style rock. Old Monster Magnet and shit like that. Today everyone just screams into a mic and tries to play heavy dark metal and it’s like dude, you aren’t Slayer. People try to say their band is better than Slayer. Dude if I want to listen to heavy shit I’ll listen to Carcass, I’ll listen to Napalm Death or Morbid fucking Angel. Fuck any band in the last five or ten years that thinks they are better than those bands.
DB: Me I’m the complete opposite. I’m listening to stuff like Leonard Cohen and Jesus and Mary Chain. I like the heavy stuff too but I really like the melodic stuff also.
Skum: We all really like Depeche Mode.
DB: Except for their new album, I did not like their new album.
Skum: We listen to anything. Scissor Sisters, anything, it doesn’t matter. As long as it has a good beat and makes me move.
DB: It’s good to listen to all this stuff because if all you listen to is metal you are going to make boring metal.
Skum: All the songs for the first album I was just fucking around. Like one of them I was just writing to be funny, it was a total disco song. My old guitar player went “wait, play that real quick.” He started making it all heavy with the guitar and we decided to do it and make it a real song. We just want to have a good time. That’s why I started a band. Every band had like 60 or 70 percent of what I liked but I wanted something that was 100% of what I liked. I’ll make my own band. I’ve been caught driving around listening to my own CD, but that’s what I made it for. I made it so that I can listen to it.
xFiruath: That is about all my questions. Anything else you wanted to talk about?
Skum: (notices the guys from Seventh Void have walked by) Let’s talk about those guys from Seventh Void! So what did you think how did we do?
Kenny Hickey of Seventh Void: These guys are the biggest skum bags fucking west of the Mississippi. He spends more time with his pants down than playing music (everyone laughs).
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