Let's cut to the chase, SCOUR are a blistering act that recently produced a visceral soundscape of grindcore, black metal and doom. Their EP (Housecore Records Label) was released in mid July and I conducted this interview a few weeks before it's release. John Jarvis is an integral part of this project. Bassist for cult grindcore heavy weights, Pig Destroyer, he's extremely comfortable producing face pummeling music. Along with bandmate Derek Engemann (Cattle Decapitation), John wrote the material for this EP and enlisted enigmatic Pantera vocalist Phil Anselmo to helm the front man position for the band. Scour is rounded out by Chase Fraser (Guitar) & Jesse Schobel(Drums). The press was quick to tag the band as a "Supergroup" while I see the band as an original project with a highly experienced lineup. John Jarvis granted me an interview to speak about the formation of the band, EP and what we can expect from the band in the future. Enjoy the interview and definitely pick up one of the most talked about underground EPs of the entire year.
HMT: I'm completely blown away by the first track you guys have released, Dispatched. So, I know you and Derek pitched demos to Phil before he signed on as Scour's vocalist. What had been your relationship with Phil prior to sending him your tapes? I know he did guest vocals on Cattle Decapitation's album and was a fan of both your bands.
John: Thanks for checking it out! I was first in contact w/ Phil when he showed interest in signing Fulgora to his Housecore label, and shortly after he booked Pig Destroyer for his Horror Film Festival. I met him for the first time when Down played Maryland Deathfest a few years ago, and later on got to jam the "Bury Me In Smoke" outro w/ the guys. When Adam Jarvis and I stayed at his place in Louisiana for a few days to record the upcoming Fulgora 7", we collaborated on a bass line, and I got to see that the guy is the real deal. He cares for and appreciates music more than anyone I know. He could have sat back and pressed record, but he really got hands on and had great ideas. As for that Cattle D guest spot, I actually was the one that put that all together, and Phil nailed it.
HMT: How many songs have you written for this upcoming EP and what stage were they at when Phil was able to get in the studio and lay down vocals?
John: We never stop writing, and Derek had the 5 songs for this ep written beforehand, and we had the music recorded by the time Phil got into the studio. He had just gotten off of the Danzigs tour so his voice was in great shape, and he killed it. We later added the sample "Tactics"
HMT: I know that Phil had commented in a previous interview that given that the songs are shorter in duration that he would have the time to put in a full effort for these songs. Do you forsee any scheduling conflicts with getting the band together and will you be able to do a short tour to support the EP?
John: The songs are short and to the point for sure, and Phil really took the time to make them the best songs possible. As far as a tour goes, there has been plenty of interest in live shows, and with all of our different bands it will be more difficult to pull off than your average band...but we do hope to hit the stage at some point soon and have been entertaining offers
HMT: Scour is made up of enigmatic players, how do you deal with "haters" or those who want to dwell on negative attention rather than letting the music be what represents a band? Does it play a part in how you guys are currently keeping media attention rather on the low key side of things?
John: I've learned that in music, you're not going to please everyone. Not everyone is going to like or "get" my band. John Lennon said the Beatles were bigger than Jesus and everyone freaked out and burned their Beatles albums and radio stopped playing them. But they kept putting out good music and in the end, that's all that really mattered. I'm going to worry about making music that I enjoy, and hopefully some others enjoy it too.
HMT: I love EP's but from that one track alone, I'm going to be chomping at the bit for a full length in the future. Is it feasible to make full length records anymore giving the way music is distributed these days and the short attention span of listeners? Musically speaking, do you feel the strength of EP's versus LP's , is that it gives you the opportunity to tell a story in a shorter amount of time(aka like a short film) and produce more of them in the long run?
John: There are pros and cons to both, but you're right, people's attention spans are shorter than ever, and like I said we just keep writing, and with our busy schedules, a few ep's may work out better in the long run than a full length. Basically it'll get the music out faster and easier on the pocketbook.
HMT: Lastly, how far ahead do you make plans for Scour or do you play it by ear considering all of the members have such busy schedules?
John: I think ultimately the fans are going to dictate what's next for us. We are pretty early on in the inception of the band, so it could really go anywhere at this point. I'm ready to Scour the planet.
Listen to the EP in it's entirety below and don't forget to support the band by purchasing it from Housecore Records.