Michelle LaRose talks with Josey Scott for Metal Masters
Photographs by Michelle LaRose
Hi this is Michelle on Metal Masters. Today I have Island Def Jam recording Superstar Josey Scott from Saliva.
Josey: How you doing Michelle? How you doing?
MM: It’s good to see you here. Josey, you’re from Memphis.
Josey: I’m from Memphis Tennessee.
MM: What’s the music scene like in Memphis?
Josey: It’s a pretty eclectic collection of different kinds of sounds. There’s Blues there. There’s a big rock scene there. There’s always been a big Rockabilly scene. Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, a huge Blues scene. You know with B.B. King and all that. Gospel is huge there. Good ole’ Southern Gospel music. Hip-Hop is big there too. Triple Six Mafia. There’s different styles of music there. It’s a music town.
MM: A lot of different influences. I think we can see that in Saliva that you go in various directions with your music.
Josey: Absolutely. We pride ourselves in having that musical freedom to be able to go anywhere with our music. It takes you a lot of different places within the forty-five to fifty minutes we have on an album.
MM: I’m a huge fan of yours. I have all two of your albums.
[Michelle & Josey laugh]
MM: But you do have an independent album that you released which is called Saliva. Your first major label release was Every Six Seconds. That went platinum for you?
Josey: Yeah. We just recently went platinum on that one. Back In Your System I’m proud to say, two or three days ago went gold.
MM: Went gold! That’s phenomenal… For your first album to be platinum and your second one to be gold. You guys are just rocking!
Josey: We still have a lot to do but we’re definitely hitting a stride in our careers and we’re really pleased to be able to continue to please our fans and the people that enjoy what we do.
MM: A big stepping-stone in your career was the Grammy Showcase?
Josey: Yeah, yeah. We played the Grammy Showcase in 1997 about six weeks after we first got together. We won the local band jam thing and ended up going to the semi-finals in Austin and won there. Then went to the Grammy’s in New York City probably two or three months after getting together. We didn’t get a record deal for about four years after that. It was still a lot of big time exposure for Saliva, really early on. Like as soon as we got together.
MM: I’d like to talk about a few of your songs. On your first album you have Superstar, it’s like, “Make me a superstar.” Your second album is like, “I’m a Superstar in the making.” I can assume we’re getting ready to hear, “I’m a Superstar damn it!”
Josey: No. I consider myself an entertainer. I’m uncomfortable at best with the term celebrity or rock star. I’m a different guy on stage. I’m a different person I guess. It’s like my alter ego or something. I think that’s part of the live show and that’s part of the way we bring it. If you walk up to the threshold of the stage, a lot of entertainers will tell you “something else takes over.” It’s almost like a split personality. I’m pretty shy and humble and bashful, you know? The guy on stage is a pretty outspoken person. It’s fun to be him for an hour and a half every night.
MM: That’s pretty neat. Famous Monsters is the last track on the new album. A note that’s interesting is it’s a little different from anything else we’ve heard from Saliva. You play guitar on that song?
Josey: The guys in the band sort of let me have free reign in the studio. They let me have the last song as my little project. My little baby. I went in by myself and recorded the guitar tracks and drum tracks. Bob Marlette played piano on it. Our producer Bob Marlette. I cut the vocals in the chamber where Jeff Buckley had recorded all of his vocals before he died. So it was a haunted studio. A really nice setting for a “Monster” song like that.
Josey: Absolutely! Me and Nikki became friends about a year and a half ago through a mutual friend out in Los Angeles. He’s been my idol since I was twelve years old. I’ve always wanted to work with him. He told be he had written this song for me and sent it to me and I was amazed by that. I played it for the rest of the guys in the band, they loved it as well. We ended up going into the studio and recording it.
MM: That’s phenomenal!
Josey: It was a very special moment on the record.
MM: It is. It is a very beautiful song, I love it. Your Disease was nominated for a Grammy. That’s really awesome, to have a Grammy nomination.
Josey: Yeah, I have three more Grammy nominations for Hero. The song I did with Chad Kroeger for Spiderman. We haven’t won one yet! I’m 0 for 4! But I don’t really care about awards and accolades as much as I care about making good music for the people that enjoy what I do and performing for the fans.
MM: On your video Click Click Boom, I’ve noticed that in some videos it doesn’t say Click Click Boom, it says Saliva. They titled it Saliva. Why is that?
Josey: We took a major hit when September 11th happened. All the song lyrics from all the radio stations were sort of cleansed of all the negative lyrics and violent songs. Our song was never really about anything violent. It was about being a little kid and having dreams and aspirations, being naked in your Mom’s mirror with a broomstick pretending you were Ace Freehley. It got pulled off the air, so when we sent it to MTV we couldn’t have the name Click Click Boom on there because everybody was so sensitive about September 11th. I can totally understand. But Click Click Boom’s karma came back in movies. It’s been in over fifteen movies. People still call every day wanting to use that song in their movies. So it’s been a special song any way it went.
MM: We’re getting ready to go into Always. There’s something with that song too… Originally the line is, “The pistol’s shaking in my hand”, but I’ve heard you say, “The anger is shaking in my hand.” Is that along the same lines?
Josey: MTV. [Snickering] Here again. MTV, you know, we have to sensor our songs for MTV because we can’t say “Boom” or “Gun” or “Pistol” or anything like that.
MM: On this video you sanctioned off eight blocks of Los Angeles. How did you do that?
Josey: Yeah. We had the LA Police Department block off eight blocks of downtown Los Angeles because we had to do a car crash in the video. The first day of the video, it was like 5:00 in the morning, they did this car crash. It was so awesome! I think every kid in the world would have enjoyed seeing that. It was a lot of fun. We sort of made it like an isolated part of downtown. Sort of like Devils Advocate or Vanilla Sky where they block off a part of New York City except it was Los Angeles. It was like the city had been abandoned and this guy is looking for himself and doesn’t find himself until the end of the video. Then he realizes that people were there all along. So it’s kind of got a story to it.
MM: Well, here it is! Always with Josey Scott and Saliva.
MM: We’re back with Josey Scott from Saliva on Metal Masters. Josey, I hear your music is making its way through video games. You’re on Spy Hunter. You’re on Tiger Woods 2003. I hear you can even choose you as a player!
Josey: You can punch in ‘Superstar’ on the password and my character will come up on Tiger Woods 2003. The people from EA Sports used a lot of our music for that game. They asked me if I wanted to be a character on the game and I was like, “Hell yeah!” I thought that’d be awesome. Now all the guys on this tour, Hed PE and all the guys, late at night I’ll go on their bus and they’ll be using me to play golf on their games. It’s pretty funny.
MM: That’s hilarious. Speaking of sports, you wrote the theme song for the Memphis Maniacs of the XFL?
Josey: Yeah, yeah. The XFL. We’ve done a lot of stuff for the WWF, or the WWE now. They came to us and we wrote the theme song for our XFL team. Then it disbanded. We didn’t get to use it, but it’s a great song. We’ll probably put it on an album later on. Maybe the next record we’ll put that one on there. It’s a really heavy song. We like it a lot.
MM: I heard you sang the National Anthem at NASSCAR?
Josey: On NBC at Churchill Downs right outside of New York City. That was pretty fun. It was a lot of fun.
MM: You say, “Music is like a spice rack.” What does that mean?
Josey: Because we come from Memphis, we come from so many different styles. In our music you can hear so many different styles. I think music is like a spice rack, we just take down what we feel is appropriate and what we think rocks and what we think sounds good. Mix it all up and hopefully it tastes good.
MM: It sure does taste good from here Josey!
[Michelle and Josey laugh]
MM: Now Josey, you’ve got some artwork on your arm. I’d like to see what some of this is. You see photographs but you never see anything good enough. What are some of these?
Josey: [Showing right forearm] I got this character that I used to draw when I was a kid. Sort of comic book character that I came up with when I was about eighteen years old. I’ve got Jesus on the other side. [Showing left forearm] People ask me if that’s me. I love that. I’m like, “No… That’d be Jesus.”
[Michelle and Josey laugh]
Josey: I’ve got a bunch of stuff. I’ve been getting tattoos all my life. [Showing right forearm] I’ve got the Saliva star over here. Tattoos are like Lay’s Potato Chips. You can never get just one. I’ve been addicted to them since I was a kid.
MM: That’s very cool! Ok, we’re going to rock it out with Josey and Saliva one more time here on Metal Masters.