Interview With Skumlove
Band Photo: Skumlove (?)
Recently I had the chance to interview Skum, the singer of the band Skumlove. This was the very first interview for the site. The 40 Below Summer one was the first in-person interview, and it was posted first due to the lenth of this interview. You may visit Skumlove's Main page to check out more on them, the interview is as follows:
CorrosiveMind: What influences made you want to become a singer?
Skumlove: Well I used to listen to a lot of different music as a young kid. A lot of 80’s new wave, bands like Adam Ant, Duran Duran, and Dead or Alive. Then in my teens I discovered Punk, bands like Iggy Pop, Suicidal Tendencies, Excel and D.R.I. Then came my Misfits and Samhain phase, that’s when I knew I really wanted to sing. I had originally started out playing drums.
CorrosiveMind: What bands, if any, made you want to pursue a certain genre of music that the band plays? It’s kind of the same question but I figured the answer may be quite different.
Skumlove: Well once again, everything from new wave to punk. To my first band I sang for which was a death metal band called Abraxas. I was in a few death and power metal bands as a kid. One was called Psychosis, the other was Mr. Meaner, which was with Machine Head’s Drummer
CorrosiveMind: What was being in a band with him like?
Skumlove: He was kool, we shared a living room, he worked as a tele-marketer and I went to school.
CorrosiveMind: I could only imagine the drinking that went on in that room lol.
Skumlove: Acually I didn't really drink till I was 23. Then he left to join Sacred Reich, and I left to do my own thing. Drugs and drinking wasn’t my thing.
CorrosiveMind: That’s awesome, adding a question here, what made you decide to change genre’s of music?
Skumlove: I loved making music on my Casio keyboard and got more into Ministry and stuff and kinda left the death metal stuff. I also have always enjoyed making electronic music.
CorrosiveMind: That’s cool, did the band KMFDM influence you at all? You guys both play similar styles of music
Skumlove: Yea a little bit, but mostly bands like Ministry, and Nine Inch Nails. That whole Texas and Chicago industrial sound.
CorrosiveMind: Yea those artists influenced a lot of bands these days. Next Question: As a lyricist I find it sometimes hard to continue writing about real life experiences, so what are some of the things you write about most?
Skumlove: Sex, rebelliousness, I tend to stay closer to real life then sci-fi stuff. I hated science in school. I like the darker side of life lol. My lyrics are on the positive side. It’s like a dark party, you can see it on our site.
CorrosiveMind: What was being in a band with Dino like? and since his joining, and departure of the band, has the music changed much?
Skumlove: It was great, I’ve known Dino for maybe 15 years since before Fear Factory. When I was getting the band together is right around the same time as Fear Factory broke up. I was looking for another guitarist, and he asked if he could do it. I said HELL YEA! It was great, cause not only did I have Dino, but my main side-kick Robyn Sin (lead guitars) but also Frank Mercurio, from Cypress Hill band/ SX-10. Also Justin Bennett from Professional Murder Music, and our first show was a sell-out. After we left the stage there was like 30 people left in the club and the headliner hadn’t even played yet. It was over packed for us, but dead for them…OOPS!
CorrosiveMind: Damn that’s a great feeling to have.
Skumlove: Yea it was kool.
CorrosiveMind: To continue that question a bit though. After Dino left the band did you change the way you recorded your music, or at least change the sound at all or did you try to keep it the same?
Skumlove: Well with Dino playing live it made our songs 10x heavier and opened some doors for us, but since he has left to do Brujeria and Asesino we kept that heavy live feeling and have stayed in the same spot. So it was cool, we learned a lot from him. Dino will also probably be doing some of the recordings on the new CD. We sold 6,000+ CD’s before Dino even played with us.
CorrosiveMind: That’s awesome, can’t wait to hear it, I really liked the songs on your site. I think you guys have a unique sound, and that’s great for a band these days, everyone is started to just sound the same and it’s starting to get boring as hell.
Skumlove: Well as you know all of these so-called “Nu-Metal” bands just don’t have that special thing that made metal METAL. If this is Nu-Metal give me old metal back!
CorrosiveMind: Yea I definitely agree with that completely.
Skumlove: There are some good “Nu-Metal” bands out there though, bands like Static-X, and Spineshank.
CorrosiveMind: Yea those are a couple of great bands. It’s just a shame that Spineshank broke up, they were a great band, live or on cd.
Skumlove: Yea we toured together with Spineshank, and I’d always get mistaken for Jonny all the time, and him for me.
CorrosiveMind: That’s awesome (the touring together part). I could also see how you guys would get mistaken for each other. From looking at the pictures on the site, you guys do look a little a like. Especially when he had his hair the same way you did in most of the pictures on the site. Next question…
What is your favorite city, or venue to play in?
Skumlove: Well as performing, I love the House Of Blues (Hollywood). The Whisky, The Viper Room, and The Troubadour, have all been great! We played Brick By Brick in San Diego, California many times, the club is a bit run down, but always a great crowd! When we played as an opener for a national act, we sold out that show lol! We opened for GodHead there.
CorrosiveMind: What is one of the most bizarre, or funny story you have witnessed/been a part of while on tour.
Skumlove: Well touring, I toured with bands from Danzig, Fear Factory, Monster Magnet, Cold and Zombie. Being on tour with Danzig though is like a living porno!!! But this one time while on tour with Danzig, they were playing with Hatebreed, and it was their last night on the tour, so we played a prank on them. When they walked out onto the stage, we had it extra dark. We put a dildo on the mic stand and when they hit their spots on stage, the lights went up, and the singer was singing into a dildo!
CorrosiveMind: Haha! That’s awesome, but how did Jamey (Jasta) respond to that one?
Skumlove: He was laughing but he was embarrassed as well. Then the Danzig crew, including me, ran across the stage naked all night. Then at the last song we had a naked girl come on stage and serve them beers! Those guys would do anything for beer, so they are trying to play while grabbing for a beer lol!
CorrosiveMind: Wow, sounds like one hell of a show! At least you guys gave something back to the fans in return to the night full of naked dudes right? lol
Skumlove: LOL YEA!
CorrosiveMind: How do you feel about the RIAA suing everyone they can for downloading songs?
Skumlove: Well it’s a tough thing. For a fan like myself, I can’t afford to buy albums. But as a musician, we loose tons of money. See this is the thing, I as an independent band it costs me about $.60-$1.00 to make a full length cd and sell it. I in turn sell it for $5.00-$7.00. A major distributor it costs them maybe $.30 or less to make a cd and they sell it wholesale for around $7.00-$8.00. Then the stores double that and the fans pay around $20 a cd. If they would lowere their wholesale prices then the stores would sell it for $10-$12. That’s about the average price for a used cd. Kids would probably buy more because it’s cheaper though. See, P.M.M. (Professional Murder Music) spent $500,000 on their Geffen release. Then they had to pay back the label for that amount, plus pay back tour support and promotions. They get maybe like $.30 back a cd and have to split it between 4 members. So now, they made their second album on their own label, it sounds about 100x better then the Geffen release. After paying off the distributor now, they make about $5.00 a cd profit. P.M.M. also now produce all our stuff.
CorrosiveMind: That's awesome, so therefore you guys make more profit then you would if you were on a label like Geffen or maybe even Epic?
Skumlove: Yea, but then the exposure and favors are bigger with a label behind you. I was signed, but didn’t like it so I left. At that point it was basically just me in the band. Danzig signed me, to an internet label that has since gone under. The band I had then though was mostly Danzig’s band. Todd Youth ( who was in Murphy‘s Law), Joey C (now with Queens Of The Stone Age) and Dave Teague (Dickies).They helped me write, and Dave was even my roommate at one point. Even Blasko from Zombie sat in on bass a few times. I was also in the band called Sex Art, with a couple guys from Orgy and Adema. I joined the band shortly after John Davis from Korn left the band. I also almost joined Coal Chamber at one point. If you have the first Korn cd, a lot of those songs were Sex Art songs.
CorrosiveMind: Really? That’s a shame, did you guys at least get any kind of credit for the music on the first Korn album?
Skumlove: Well I didn’t write on the Sex Art material. Ryan (of Orgy) and Dave (of Adema) got some credit for it. The original Orgy drummer, and also Sex Art drummer also got paid big for it. They sued Korn or something, I’m probably opening a huge can of worms right now lol! Anyway back to Skumlove!
CorrosiveMind: Lol okay then, next question. What is your opinion on the rock scene becoming so big again finally and why do you think it’s becoming so big again?
Skumlove: Well I wouldn’t say the “rock scene” the music is just too safe to be called “rock”. I do like the bands like Jet, and the Vines.
CorrosiveMind: You mean bands trying to bring back that old school rock sound that Ac/Dc brought us?
Skumlove: YES! YES! That’s rock, it’s harder and more crazy then half the Nu-Metal bands out there.
CorrosiveMind: Ac/Dc were and always will be in a class of their own though
Skumlove: Yea, AC/DC ROCKS!!! In ten years no one will remember the rock bands of the 90’s, because there weren’t any. Punk these days is bubble gum.
CorrosiveMind: I agree, bands like Ac/Dc, Elvis Prestley and Jimi Hendrix will live on for a long time unlike the bands of today. Even as much as I don’t even listen to Elvis, I know music wouldn’t be where it is had it not been for him.
Skumlove: Yes. Metal these days is hip-hop with guitars and without the style.
CorrosiveMind: Yea definitely, speaking of which though, what is your feeling on the rap kind of fading away from the metal?
Skumlove: I’m not ashamed of my metal, or my punk roots. When you see a Skumlove show, even if you don’t like the cd, you’ll leave wanting more. Who put the rap in my metal!? LOL!
CorrosiveMind: Yea! Right?
Skumlove: I like rap, and I like metal. Do not like together though. A few bands can pull it of, the rest just suck though. Bands like DOWNSET and Rage Against The Machine did it well.
CorrosiveMind: You mean bands like E-Town Concrete or how Cypress Hill made the Skull and Bones cd? Or do you mean bands like Rage Against The Machine?
Skumlove: I like Cypress Hill without the guitars. Even Anthrax did it better then half of today’s rap-rock cross-overs. But hey my bassist Frank came from that. He did the Cypress Hill tour playing bass. I want music to get back to it’s rebellious side, the showmanship side. I yell at the guys in my band if they to to get on stage in street clothes. Even Dino was like “I’ll get on stage with black t-shirt and black pants.” I say you wanna wear street clothes, stay on the street, this is the stage. Make way, look like you’re ready to rock, and give the crowd a show!
CorrosiveMind: Yea man lol! Gotta show ‘em who’s boss right?
Skumlove: With that mentality we’ve gotten Monster (energy drink) and Room13 Clothing and a few other sponsors behind us. Since we play Hollywood all the time we get the tourist that walk off the street and they come up saying they were trying to find a dance club and they stayed to see us and liked us. As well as the street punk kids who showed up to beat the shit out of metal kids they are like “it’s punk with keyboards!” lol. We have punks, metal kids, satanic metal kids, ravers, all kinds of people at our shows!
CorrosiveMind: That’s awesome to have tourists say that, especially when most of the time where they came from may not have the music scene we have. It’s probably a completely different scene where they came from and to hear they support you must just be an amazing feeling. That’s also how you know you’re doing well!
Skumlove: Yes. You can see on the video on clip on our site, where we opened up for Type O Negative how respective even their crowd was, and they are totally different from us.
CorrosiveMind: I wish shows I go to where like that. I’m sick of going to metal shows, and getting punched in the face by hardcore kids, I understand they need to get their frustrations out too. I just wouldn’t mind it as much if they didn’t get all pissed when you push them away before they have a chance to hit you. But instead you push one, then you have three of his little friends around you too trying to act all tough and shit, it’s frustrating, they just flat our ruin some concerts that would’ve been amazing had they not done that kind of shit ya know? I mean I’ve been trying to get a band started for a while now. And when I do get one, and we start playing shows, if I see one hardcore kid in my pit hardcore dancing, I’d be more then happy to walk out to the pit and kick him in the face and see how he likes it!
Skumlove: If I saw that at my show, some one would feel my boot to their head. But so far our crowd has been cool. That’s why when people ask us what we call our music I say “Cyber Punk Elctro-Goth Industrial Metal”. I’ve been putting this band together for about ten years now. And our new cd will have a bunch of different people playing all over it. People like Dino (of Fear Factory), Professional Murder Music, Tripp and maybe Tony from Static-X people from Adema, Thrill Kill Kult, Erik from Murderdolls. They have all expressed interest in playing on the new cd.
CorrosiveMind: Wow, that’s quite a while...but it seems to be working for you so i hope you guys continue to grow and get more popular.
CorrosiveMind: It’s a shame bands like yours don’t get more popular, your style of music are one of the few genre’s who haven’t branched off to other styles and stay true to what the founders of the genre have made.
Skumlove: We will release it independently through us first, coming to Hot Topic, then all the other stores, and of course on our site, fuck the labels, let them come to us. I’ve sold 6,000+ cd’s without a label, they can find me.
CorrosiveMind: Last question before I’ve gotta go! What bands would you like to tour with if given the opportunity?
Skumlove: Skinny Puppy Reunion, Thrill Kill Kult, Nine Inch Nails, Manson so I can show him how it’s done! Fear Factory too. We’ll play with anyone. I’d like to open up for Danzig, as I used to Tech for him.
CorrosiveMind: I’ve been hearing rumors of Nine Inch Nails touring this spring, you guys should try to get on the bill. And you need to come to Philly as well I’d be there without a doubt!
Skumlove: Our new drummer is from Philly, he’s there now. His name is SHOK, he runs “FDA All Day“, on Newgrounds.com
CorrosiveMind: Alright I’ll check that out sometime soon, I’ve been on that site a lot, but never really took the time to look in there for a while, been too busy, but I’ll definitely get around to it.
Skumlove: Kool and thanks again for this opportunity.
cOrRoSiVeMiNd: welcome man, thank you!
Skumlove: Stay evil!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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