Detroit, Michigan is known for a variety of musical genres and artists, from Kid Rock to Motown the Michigan music scene is advancing and gaining more attention across the board. For Scattered Hamlet a few shows in Michigan have lead to a faithful fan base from the Midwest.
“I’m not surprised Michigan appreciates what we’re doing. It’s a strong blue collar all American state. It has helped too that Detroit guitar wizard Erik Kluiber of Gypsyhawk has filled in for us a few times. He introduced us into the scene there. Michigan is one of the states that welcomed us early on. There’s a regional vibe to our brand of rock, some areas seem more attracted to it than others,” said members of Scattered Hamlet.
Even though their fan base is growing the band warns that their aggressive southern hard rock sound might not be for everyone. “We’re not for everyone- for some we can be an acquired taste, like Wild Turkey.” Fans have seem to taken to Scattered Hamlet’s “wild turkey” music and are looking forward to more in the future which includes a full tour in the fall with Rhino Bucket.
I had the chance to interview Scattered Hamlet. We discussed everything from how social media has impacted their growing fan base to what musical inspirations the band pulls from when writing music. The entire interview is below.
C: When did you first discover music?
S: I can’t say the first time for sure but I think it was riding around with my parents and listening to the radio. It was probably Patsy Cline or Kenny Rogers. Whatever, I liked the way it sounded and made me feel. I likedthe way other people reacted to it, how it made them feel. I want to contribute to the memories and soundtracks of people’s lives like great music has contributed to mine. A good song can be like a time machine, it’s powerful like that.
C: What would you consider to be some of your most notable music influences at a younger age?
S: I grew up in a musical house. My dad liked the Beach Boys and the Platters. My mom was big into theater, my sister liked Queen and Barry Manilow and my brother introduced me to Kiss and Skynyrd. I liked hearing the different music for different reasons. When I got older it was metal that got me going. I liked the golden era of hip hop stuff too. When nerd rock and grunge were depressing the world and saturating the radio I dove deeper into metal, punk and the classics. No disrespect intended but I don’t like self loathing music or depressing monotonous jams. I appreciate their place in music history and I love Grohls post grunge stuff but you won’t find Nirvana anywhere in my iPod.
C: In a few words, how would you describe your musical sound?
S: Well, I call it aggressive Southern Hard Rock. It’s been called rock and roll metal southern mayhem, outlaw rock, mountain rock. It’s blues based hard rock though with some noticeable stoner rock respect.
C: What musical influences do you pull from when you are performing or writing music?
S: Wow, there’s so many. There’s good music in all genres that I think can inspire you or give you ideas. I think music that is authentic is what inspires me. I’m a big outlaw country fan, not modern Nashville, most of that is just cookie cutter crap. I also like Springsteen, Allman Brothers, Skynyrd and modern rock wise I think Down, Orange Goblin and Clutch are killing it. Live is a whole different animal, you have to put on a show and own the stage. There’s a long line of people that have done this before me and probably better, you have to respect those roots. Artists that don’t are lying to themselves and the fans. Originality is basically how you put those influences together.
C: You are gaining quite a large following in Michigan, what was the process of coming up in the industry like?
S: I’m not surprised Michigan appreciates what we’re doing. It’s a strong blue collar all American state. It has helped too that Detroit guitar wizard Erik Kluiber of Gypsyhawk has filled in for us a few times. He introduced us into the scene there. Michigan is one of the states that welcomed us early on. There’s a regional vibe to our brand of rock, some areas seem more attracted to it than others. We’re not for everyone- for some we can be an acquired taste, like Wild Turkey.
C: How would you describe the Michigan music scene?
S: I’m impressed. We played one time with a band called Red Stone Souls that’s local and they really impressed us. We have their sticker on our keg of beer that travels with us. There’s so much classic and good music that has come out of there, hell you have the MC 5, Iggy, Ted Nugent, Seager and I’m a fan of the stuff coming out of the Kid Rock camp too. I’m not much of a modern hip hop fan but I respect what ICP and Eminem have accomplished.
C: How do you feel social media has helped and will continue to help your career?
S: Social media is a great tool but I want to be clear to all the closet shredders and kids starting a band, it’s not a substitute for working hard, touring and going after it. For us it has been killer for spreading word of mouth. We embrace it as much as we can and we love interacting with fans on there. It’s a window that wasn’t there when I discovered music. I like that a kid starting out can hit us up on Facebook or Twitter and ask us a question. That’s cool and it wouldn’t be possible without social media. We used to have more time and could answer every question but it’s a little harder now. We do our best though.
C: What does your future hold?
S: The future is unwritten. I honestly don’t know. You have to live life to the fullest, tomorrow isn’t guaranteed. In the immediate future if the metal gods smile on us we’ll keep doing what we’re doing. In the fall, we have signed on to do a full US tour with the mighty Rhino Bucket, so that should fun. In between that run and the end of this one I hope to finish up some new demos and catch a shit ton of smallmouth bass. If you put too many expectations on how things should work out you’ll only mindfuck yourself.