By: Nicole Juliette Hetlyn
We caught up with up with Adam Joad (Vocals and Guitar/Harmonica) of Scattered Hamlet to talk everything from being featured in NASCAR HEAT 3, tour essentials, and the final Warped Tour. Scattered Hamlet is definitely a band like no other that you'll want to check out now. These hilarious guys are bringing "honky-tonk-meta" to the scene, and we are all for it.
You had the opportunity to play on the final Vans Warped Tour this summer. How was it? What was your favorite and/or craziest memory from Warped?
We did, it was a really cool experience. We’re glad we got to be a part of the final run. I hope they do something else with it, like maybe just a few festivals a year or something. We’re all from punk rock backgrounds, so while Scattered Hamlet may not seem like a typical Warped Tour band, we certainly came from that world and approach things that way. As for memories, I told the fellas in skinny jeans from stage that if they came to our merch tent I’d cut their nut-hugging pants into jorts with my buck knife so they can feel the freedom. Someone came by to take me up on it too. I wasn’t there though, I was chowing down on the buffet, which was nice but had way too much vegan gruel and green things for my Appalachian palate. The other thing I remember was Ashley [Black Veil Brides] drinking beer with us by our tent for most of the day at the Nashville date. That was cool, it really upped our cred with young emo girl audience, who aren’t regular consumers of the honky-tonk-metal.
Your music is classified as honky-tonk-metal. For anyone that is unfamiliar with what this means, can you fill them in on what Scattered Hamlet is all about? (I feel like Nashville [Savvage Media's "home] is the perfect place for y'all !).
It’s a name someone coined for us, I can’t remember who. We’re sort of like if you crossed Motorhead and Skynyrd watching Smokey and the Bandit having a chew of Redman and drinking Busch light cans. People that like Clutch, Hank 3 and like Texas Hippie Coalition usually dig us. Scattered Hamlet is a slang term I took from a civil war book for small rural sparse communities - we’re all from places like that. To quote Hank Williams Jr., “We came from the West Virginia coal mines and the Rocky Mountains and the Western skies....” not literally, but you get it. Nashville seems like it’s a good fit for us. We’ve been rehearsing here. Grant (drummer) lives outside of Nashville, and so does our manager. I’ve been spending a lot of time down here when I’m not scheming in my bunker.
You released a cover of “Stay Hungry,” as a tribute to Jake Delling Le Bas. It’s an awesome tribute, how did this come about?
Thanks. We were happy with how it came out. Dee really said a lot of nice things about it and SH Adam Newell ended up playing some dates as Dee’s guitar player in Europe this summer. That was really cool, to have living metal gods give you the nod is encouraging. After brother Jakes accident, we had to cut our album cycle short and we decided we wanted to put out something new as a tribute to him. We worked with his brother on the video and his best friend, as a producer, and came up with what we dropped. It got us back on the horse and ready for the next round. It’s different without Jake being around but we need to finish what he helped us start. He wouldn’t want it any other way.
"Shelter" is being featured on NASCAR's HEAT3 Soundtrack. Congrats! Tell us more about this exciting collaboration.
Thank you, yeah, it was a cool nod. I’m not sure how it came about, our manager told me a Nascar video game was looking for a song so I told him to send "Shelter" and boom, we’re on the video game. Now I have a well stoked fridge and sweet new eel skin cowboy boots. "Shelter" was literally the first SH song, it came out of a collaboration Ari from Otep and I did when we were laying the foundations for this band. So having the first SH song in our first video game makes sense. The sound track is cool, they got Greta Von Fleet on it too, those guys have been getting a lot of attention. Some video game jabronis online were yelling about the soundtrack complaining that it didn’t have like Molly Hatchet and like Skynyrd on it etc, they have no idea how much that would cost a video game company haha. I think people who like NASCAR and NASCAR video games will like SH, same world. Hell, I wear a number 3 Busch pit shirt on stage sometimes and I own a Richard Petty Charlie 1 Horse hat. I don’t know much about racing itself but I’m a fan of the culture around it. The Dukes of Hazzard went down hill though when Bo and Luke went off to race NASCAR and Coy and Vance came to stay with Uncle Jesse.
What are three must have items for touring?
I’m assuming you mean outside of music gear, because our gear is obviously important. Gear-wise I need a good vintage voice tube head and the Disco 3, those are my three Les Pauls. #1 is an 81‘ #2 is a traditional with the Ace Frehley super distortion style mod and #3 is the Bandit, it’s a 90’s The Paul #2 done up like The Bandit’s 77‘ trans am. I use it for slide, it has thick ass strings, a high action and red led tail lights.
Outside of gear, I wouldn’t tour though without my Buck 110 folder, some contact lenses, and my wranger flex fit jeans I bought at Walmart. These boot cut marvels bend and stretch and I could go off the top rope and land a buck town elbow on a fool and not rip my pants. That’s important. I’d carry my pistol but we travel through too many liberal states that would get all worked up and going to jail sucks. Maybe I’ll run for Sheriff of Greene County so I can carry my pistol everywhere - that’d be some Ted Nugent and Hunter S. Thompson type of shit. I like where this is going. Thank you for giving me this epic idea.
Money helps too. When we started we didn’t have any, that makes dumpster diving and picking fries off plates people leave behind at the bar more of a necessity. It’s how we developed a taste for Old Crow too. Crow is like the cheapest Bourbon that’s still real Bourbon and not that blended crap like 10 High or something. Now we are fortunate and have enough of a demand that we have an income, so if I need to buy a ninja star at the truck stop to throw at Rich in the van I can grab it. Having hotels now too is nice but sometimes we still roll up into a Walmart parking lot and do our best outlaw/drifter pose for old time sake.
Nashville is dubbed as “music city.” A lot of people here are either are aspiring musicians or are trying to make it in the music industry. What advice would you have for them?
Nashville is kind of a mythical city to me. Like that place the Iron Fist goes to train, K’un-Lun. I mean the Grand Ole Opry is here, and so many timeless legends came out of it. I don’t know what’s happening now, rapper bro country artists and that pop country crap makes my ears bleed but I’m probably not the target audience for that racket. Maybe I can summon the immortal power of Nashville and rid the world of the plague that is bro-country. I became a professional musician in Los Angeles, where there‘s a lot guy musicians at the boutique looking for eye liner when they should be locking themselves in a room and listening to David Allan Coe or studying Dave Gilmour’s guitar tone instead. So a lot of time there is spent on “image.” I’m sure the game in Nashville has it’s own rules, like an any major entertainment based city. I don’t live there so I’m still an outsider, I don’t know exactly how the game works and probably most people playing don’t either. SH is already a touring machine and we have a set up so it really doesn’t matter what city we’re in or where we rehearse. Grant could probably tell you more about Nashville, he played the game for awhile. There is a shit ton of talent around the city though, that’s no joke and not typical of other places. Talent is important but the smokestack lighting is more important. Smokestack lightening is what my buddy calls that “intangible” factor that I think you have or you don’t. Then it’s like a seed though, even if you have it, you still have to nurture it and grow that shit. Also work hard and make good decisions. I give all aspiring musicians the same advice, there is no blueprint for success, there is no time where you’ll be “comfortable” and transition from your day job to full time musicians and you need to have balls and thick ass skin. Stay thirsty my friend, and don’t turn your back on a jabroni.
What does the rest of 2018 have in store for Scattered Hamlet?
There’s a few things, SH Richard Erwin the artist formerly known as the Old Kentucky Bastard just signed on with Ernie Ball so he’ll be playing Stingrays next year, which are great basses. Adam Newell “The Franchise” is also an official Ernie Ball string artist now too. We have a few East Coast shows in November we’ll be announcing and we’ll be hashing out the new album we’ll cut early next year too. I’m sitting on a metric shit ton of demos and songs now. The other guys have some too. We probably have enough for a double album. I’m not sure it would make sense to do that in this new musical climate but we’ll see what comes. I’m excited to work on the new stuff though, new chapter, new era, let the games begin. Thanks for taking the time to talk with us.