Scatter The Ashes Bio
Standing in stark contrast to rock & roll's status quo, Scatter the Ashes are about to knock the music world on its collective ear. Taking their sound to a place where vast, haunting pauses are as important as a forceful punk foundation and a gift for melody, this inventive, Nashville-spawned quartet defies easy categorization on their mind-blowing Epitaph debut, Devout/The Modern Hymn.
But Scatter the Ashes had no real strategy for world domination (other than to keep listeners guessing) when Epitaph honcho Brett Gurewitz got word of the band's MP3s on Absolutepunk.net. From the expansive, manic thrill of "Caesura" to the hard-as-nails closing opus "Hour Benediction," it is little wonder that the label boss was so spellbound by the inventive troupe.
"Epitaph has the same vision as us in many ways," says drummer Dillon Napier. "They're diversifying their sound and their image, in terms of breaking away from the punk stereotype they've built." Scatter the Ashes aid in that evolution, as punk and prog rock collide on Devout/The Modern Hymn. Pulling from the Ramones, the Cure, Rush and Radiohead, the band crafts a disc that's as invigorating as it is entirely brand new.
In a way no modern band has done before, these musical chameleons build a dream-rock destination called "City in the Sea," where atmospherics unexpectedly solder to Bob Farmer's gas pedal guitar riffs.
Elsewhere, on "Citadel (The New Fall Forest)," a lilting, ambient feel collapses; overcome by an avalanche of explosive energy. "We all have very distinct personalities from one another, and our influences and inspirations reflect that," singer Daryl Stamps explains. "We try to incorporate each of those into our instruments, to accomplish a standard of sound that we all equally feel very strongly about."
Rising up from the Nashville music scene in 2001, one-time high school classmates Stamps and Napier (the latter an alumnus of a "Mr. Bungle rip-off band") met up with punk bassist Matt McCord and resident scenester Farmer to give the group a shot. "There's as much rock music as country music in Nashville," Dillon says. "And as many kids looking to change the foundation of the scene, I guess we formed out of that motivation."
Despite the media's recent desire to lump the band into the "screamo" movement, little if anything is contrived on Devout/The Modern Hymn, "This isn't thought out, but we all find a common ground in a strange way," says Stamps of the group's unparalleled approach to rock. "Matt plays solid consistent bass lines that are the foundation of the song. Bob is the more visceral and atmospheric side, and that teams up with me melodically. Dillon brings energy and power to the sound."
The remarkable material that sustains Scatter the Ashes' debut long-player tends to originate with Farmer, who then has his mates expound on his ideas. "Matt and I will meander on a song for awhile," says the guitarist. "Dillon brings the pace to it and then we work out the final vibe. Daryl works well with perimeters and likes to hear the song in its full completion before he works the lyrical content and melody into it." The end result is artful music that is far closer to real composition than simple songwriting.
Adamant about creative control, the members of Scatter the Ashes recorded their ten-song album in New York with My Chemical Romance and Brand New vet John Naclerio. And that attention to detail pervades Devout/The Modern Hymn, regardless of whether Stamps is taking aim at the NRA on the angry, roaring "White Actress" or shredding his vocal chords to the ferocious, pulsing "Christine Daae."
Prepare to be startled and amazed in the sonic experience of Devout/The Modern Hymn. Scatter the Ashes have not only answered your prayers, they have redefined rock and roll.