Plastic Smile – A SCALPED Interview

logo curvedBy Tieuma

scalped nate zoeller 2

Is SCALPED a supergroup, with all the members playing in all the bands
around (Face The Rail, Effluxus, Caged Animals…) ?

JEREMY: Hahaha.. We all play in a lot of bands for sure. Currently
these are the active bands we collectively play with: Face The Rail,
Profile, Busted Outlook, Joyride, Condition, Fatigue, Synthetic ID,
Fossor House, Winter Hill Gang, Hey Hallways, Permanent Ruin.. I might
be missing some. Supergroup is a funny term. We just like to play.

MAX: I think with punk, you just spend so much time playing because being in bands is a lot more like hanging out and having fun than, say, being in professional band so you tend to form new stuff with people you legitimately want to hang out with. Supergroup is a deceptive term. I grew up with the people in Scalped and that’s why we still play together.

Do you all play in YADOKAI ?

JEREMY: Four of us played in YADOKAI. The band is dead now and thats
actually how Scalped formed.

ZACH: YADOKAI was actually the first band and only other band I have ever been in. It was great to play in a band that sounded quite different compared to other styles or genres of hardcore punk at the time. Also, nothing beats playing in a band with my friends and progressing to another with the same people!

MAX: Me, Jake, Jeremy, and Zach all played in YADOKAI with our close friend Daiki but he moved away and so our friend Tony filled in for a while. By the time YADOKAI was near it’s end we had developed more of an interest in trying to blend our Japanese influences, bands like LIP CREAM and DEATH SIDE, as well as more current bands like KRIEGSHOG, with our love of Hardcore and Metal.

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What is this band for you then ? Another project or you wanna put
something more serious into it ? Is it punk to do so ?

JEREMY: For me this band is my main squeeze. I think we have a good
thing going here and I want to take it as far as we can. Is it punk to
do so?.. I have no idea and am not the least bit concerned about that.

ZACH: SCALPED is my only band and I plan to keep it that way.

MAX: I take SCALPED very seriously. At its core, SCALPED is a core of people with a common goal. As I stated earlier, Jake, Zach, and I grew up together from a very young age and, when we met Jeremy, it became very apparent that we found somebody that vibed with us. SCALPED is serious because we found people that play very well with each other. Also, musically we get to explore our love for D-Beat, Burning Spirits and mix that with our love of NYHC and OBITUARY and create something really cool. Also, the idea of something being “punk” has long been lost on me. I’m truly floored/impressed when people are individuals and do things for themselves.

In most of your bands you release EPs, is it because your affraid of
crossing the line of the LP ?

JEREMY: Funny you ask this because we are actually working on an LP
right now. Almost all of the songs have been written and we are hoping
to get into the studio early 2016 for tracking.

ZACH: I personally really like it when bands release multiple EPs before moving forward with an LP. It really represents progression as a band in regards to sound- through each record, one can hear a band’s evolution. An LP seems perfect for when a band steadily finds their sound and wishes to highlight it. I feel that SCALPED is at that point.

MAX: EP’s are a lot easier for people to put out. It’s much easier to make a great record on that format. It’s concise and when done well, can be much more enjoyable than listening to an average LP. It’s also much cheaper for labels to invest in an EP. It’s really fucked up how DIY pretty much kept vinyl alive in the 90’s and early to mid 2000’s and now we’ve been pushed out. Vinyl gentrification if you will. That being said, we are working on an LP and are releasing a single from it early in 2016.

Do you define yourselves as punk anyway ? Is the leather jacket a
crucial item for you ? Patched or not ?

JEREMY: I don’t care for fashion. Im a comfort enthusiast. Wearing
some article of clothing can’t define you as punk or not. Punk looking
clothes are actually in high fashion right now. Im a punk and have
been sense I was 12. Clothes can’t change that.

ZACH: As much as I may change as a person as I grow older, I’ll always hold onto some parts of my punk upbringing. I’ve been involved in the local DIY punk scene for over a decade now and it’s hard to change some ideologies! Back when I was a kid, it was easy to see someone walking down the street with a Discharge patch or Varukers shirt and instantly know that you could relate to them at some level. Today, as JEREMY said, punk looking clothes is the fashion and anyone who has the right jacket or buttons can try to say they are a punk. Wearing the right band t-shirt doesn’t make you a punk.

MAX: Definitions are weird, or labeling yourself, but yea, in the end, I consider myself a punk. I’ve lived for over a decade in the world of DIY. There’s something about DIY punk that still moves me and I don’t think I’ll ever wanna stop seeing kids playing inn fresh bands. What makes punk great is its accessibility. If I didn’t play in shit punk/d-beat/hardcore bands when I was in my teens I would have never met most of my friends. I don’t think the clothing makes it though. That’s why, at the same time that I was listening to CRUCIFIX when I was a teen, I was listening to MADBALL. There was less pretense in Hardcore. You draw from many different things, not just one.

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You received good feedback on your last 7″, does this motivates you to
continue with this band or you’ll stop it without warning one day ?

JEREMY: As far as I’m concerned we won’t be stopping or slowing down
anytime soon. We want to get this LP sorted out and do more touring.
Looks like we will be doing some stuff in 2016 for sure.

ZACH: Any feedback, positive or negative, motivates us.

MAX: Some feedback is better than no feedback at all I guess but if you’re not playing Hardcore/Punk for yourself, it doesn’t really matter in the end.

Does playing in so many bands helped you to be signed on Video Disease and Warthog Speak records ?

JEREMY: LOL. These labels are run by friends of ours. VD put out a
bunch of Yadokai stuff, thats why we worked with them and WS is local
to us and run by a good friend.

MAX: Every single record that I have ever been on has been released because we knew the people first. I’ve known Branden from Video Disease for close to (if not more than) a decade. I was in a band with Justin who does Warthog Speak. I’m not saying that’s the only way we’ll release records, but the process of putting out records creates lasting friendships.
On the pestilence clutch picture on your tumblr, the fist you used
looks the same than the one on the BLINDSIDE USA last E.P cover, where
does it comes from then ?
JEREMY: I was unaware of this till now. I looked up the image you
speak of and it is slightly similar but not the same. A iron glove
coming out of a wave. What we have in common with these images are the
iron glove. The image we used comes from a WWII era red cross poster
depicting the death grip of the nazis onto the people of Europe. Its a
striking and strong image that I believe fit good for our music. Its
something all people can relate to. The iron glove could be literally
anything.. depression, oppression… anything that puts a strain on

How does it feel to do a west coast tour with Batallion Of Saints,
play with Ceremony or Trapped Under Ice ? Do you think it’s linked to
the fact you played in a lot of other projects ?

JEREMY: I think Max will have the best response for this question.

ZACH: I think it is great that we have the opportunity to play with many different types of bands and that different bands wish to play with us. I love all genres of the music, so it is nice to interact with others that span the spectrum. We’ve all become friends with people in different scenes and we all support each other.

MAX: If you limit yourself to playing with one group of people you’re doing yourself a disservice. Honestly, just like it feels good to set up your own thing, it feels great to be asked to play with someone as well. CEREMONY and TRAPPED UNDER ICE are bands made up of amazing people, not to mention talented musicians. For me, playing shows with different people is a great way to broaden your horizons and meet people that share the same worldviews as you. Being asked to join Battalion of Saints on tour is awesome, as well, because when me and ZACH and JAKE were in our teens we would go wild listening to “Fighting Boys”.

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That being said, how the gig with TRAPPED UNDER ICE/TWITCHING TONGUES was set up ? You don’t really play the same type of hardcore right ? Do you feel like there’s a difference of attitude between bands (and the audiance) like you, with your type of sound and the bands fore mentioned ?

JEREMY: I think we do a pretty decent job at bridging the gap between
Hardcore, Punk and Metal. I don’t think we were out of place on that

ZACH: The TUI/TWITCHING TONGUES show was one of the most fun shows I have played with in SCALPED! The energy from the crowd was amazing and I felt that we were received well! I feel that we are at a time where fans of modern Hardcore are becoming interested in obscure Punk and vice versa, which makes for quite the crossover. I do feel that we bridge the different genres and scenes together.

Is really everyday the worst day of your fucking life ? Do you think
bands like YOUTH OF TODAY were wrong to try tro be positive ? What is
for you the fine line between positivity and naivety ?

ZACH: I can only speak for myself, but I feel that hardcore punk has been and should always be negative and angry. Punk is ugly and angry. There is nothing wrong with trying to be positive in life, but that aspect does not relate to me when it comes to how I feel when I am playing with this band.

MAX: I’m in to Punk and Hardcore because I was a disaffected teen without many friends. I was angry. I didn’t now how to relate to people. In a lot of ways, yea, everyday is kinda the worst day. It’s definitely somewhat of an oversimplification, but it’s that mentality that has pushed me to throw myself out in to the world by pursuing what makes me happy touring, meeting people, seeing friends, my job). I can’t really rely on anyone else. Also, I don’t think POSI bands are wrong, but I don’t remember DISCHARGE having very many happy tunes and SLAPSHOT or JUDGE weren’t overwhelmingly bubbly either. I’ve always liked that stuff more.


Aside hippies, what is the worst thing about San Francisco ?

JEREMY: Uber, Lyft and googles.

ZACH: Non-natives moving in and making beer and food expensive haha. I love San Francisco with all my heart and I am proud to say that I was born and raised here.

MAX: Hippies aren’t even close to the worst thing SF has to offer (I listen to all types of “Hippie” friendly stuff). Honestly I get along way more with someone that jams the BYRDS than someone who walks around with a Nazi Youth haircut sporting all black clothing. Its those folks, and the young, hip, urban professionals driving up my rent. Hippies just wanna smoke herb.

Zach – Vocals
Jake – Guitar
Max – Bass
Jason – Guitar
Jeremy – Drums



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