Shaun Avants from retrorockers Scorpion Child talks about their self titled debut.
Where did you take the name Scorpion Child from? I guess it doesn’t mean you see yourselves as the successors of the Scorpions?
I suppose it's natural to associate the two because they were a 70's hard rock band and we're interpreted as a "70's revivalist" hard rock band. The name actually came from the 1987 album 'Electric' by The Cult. Back when we first started we were jamming that record a lot, so when it came time to come up with a band name it was kinda just there for the taking. If you research Scorpio astrology, there are many similarities between the sign and the personality of this band as well. Ambition, persistence, versatility, a desire to move things FORWARD - these assets really define who we are as a group and we really feel they've been the key to what little success we've had so far.
The cover is quite intriguing. I’m still not sure what exactly I’m looking at?
The front cover shows a man holding a mirror in front of himself but the reflection is actually the opposite continuation of the road ahead - or the road behind him - depending on how you see it. The back cover is just the same image reversed. Also, on the inside of the record, there's the phrase "I Saw The End As It Passed Right Through Me". We really wanted the cover to reflect what the album was like. It's completely cyclical from front to back.
You have a rather varied sound that goes from Led Zeppelin all the way to Thin Lizzy and back with a good measure of blues rock. Would you consider yourself a vintage rock band or how would you describe Scorpion Child?
Right now a lot of people are labeling us a "70's revivalist" band and that here's this big resurgence that we're a part of. While although we absolutely appreciate references to Zeppelin and Lizzy, we don't want to get swept up as just another one of those bands. There's imitation and then there's dedication. Some bands are trying so hard to fit into this genre and then there are those of us who are simply keeping the riff alive. What classifies as rock these days is stale, emotionless, whiny, and 'hip'. There's no swagger anymore. There's no sex. We're simply paying homage to rock that made you feel something. I think it should be said, however, you'll do your best to push the envelope further if you're truly an artist.
Who are your personal musical heroes?
There's no way I could possibly list all of our heroes. I think it's more important to understand the different genres we grew up with and recognize the impact they made on us. We're all Midwest guys so there's naturally a lot of tradition and adherence to the past simply because we're not heavily influenced by the changing fads on the east or west coasts. We definitely grew up listening to what our parents listened to. That usually meant old country or old rock and roll. However, as we grew up and ventured out into our own worlds and tasted the movements of our own generation, we saw the revolution of punk and hardcore, new wave and post-punk, hair metal and hip-hop. I remember soundtracks to movies were even a big thing. Our heroes are a mix of two basic ingredients: passion and innovation.
Is this the first professional band you’re in or are you all veterans to the music business?
We've all cut our teeth in bands before, but I'd say this is the most professional band any of us have ever been a part of. I think the most important thing any of us bring to this group is the disdain for those who aren't willing to take their talents to the limits. We all like to have a lot of fun, but at the end of the day we want to do this for a long time and we need strong team players. I think we've all found that in each other.
How did you hookup with Nuclear Blast? You’re in good company there with Graveyard, Witchcraft and co.
Some friends of ours over at Action PR passed along the record while we were on a DIY tour for two months. So one minute we're out in the middle of nowhere sleeping in the van and then we get home and we start signing papers. It was a lot more professional than that, but in the scope of the six years we've been doing this it seemed so all of a sudden. We were receiving offers from other labels around the same time, yet Nuclear Blast had the right staff history and track record. They also seem to be a label that is going to work for us and, just like any outside source we bring on to the team, they feel like family.
Your tour schedule shows mainly US dates. Any plans to make it across the pond?
There has been some talk around the camp that we may go out with label mates Orchid sometime in November. Until I'm on the plane, though, I can't confirm. That's just how it always goes. I'll believe it when I see it.