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Today, I’m talking with Manny and Taylor from the incredibly brutal and in your face, band Scalpel. These guys bring the noise with their twin guitar and vocal attacks. If you like your music heavy, Scalpel is for you. Check out their answeres to the XS ROCK version of 20 questions.
XS ROCK: Tell me about the latest band news? Any new projects coming out, live shows or announcements?
Taylor: We are excited to be officially releasing our most recent full length album METHODS TO DELUSION on 7/25/17. It will be released along with a lyric video for our track FEEDING THE WORM. We are filled with sickening joy to unleash our newest creation upon the living world.
XS ROCK: How long has the band been together?
Taylor: Scalpel has been a band for roughly 10 years. We’ve had many line-up changes during this time, but we have always been in the band ourselves as primary songwriters.
XS ROCK: What was your main motivation for starting or being in a band?
Manny: Bottom line, death metal is the heaviest and fastest shit there is. Mix that with the reckless nature of grindcore and an older love for rock n’ roll, you’ve got yourself one hell of a time. We didn’t have a choice, it was always too much fun.
XS ROCK: What is your music background?
Manny & Taylor: Ozzy. Motorhead. CCR. Megadeth. Carcass. Death. Pestilence. Cannibal Corpse. Cryptopsy. Suffocation. Inveracity (to name a few)
XS ROCK: What image do you think your music conveys?
Taylor: That is for the listener to decide. At times, our frantic music has both satisfied people and made them vomit. A specific image has never been pursued by Scalpel. We are storytellers of the morose and vile; conveyors of sad and savage truths.
XS ROCK: What are your immediate music career goals?
Taylor: To release our latest album and bring it to further reaches than we have toured before.
XS ROCK: What are your long-term career goals?
Manny: To consistently make progress creatively and musically, and to penetrate more areas of the country and the world with our music. We also want to be busy all the time so hire Scalpel – we will play your wedding.
XS ROCK: Which do you prefer? Writing new songs and recording or playing for a live audience?
Taylor: Both have their high points, but I can speak for everybody when I say that nothing beats a high-energy live show. The process of recording is awesome too because you put a lot of work in and you sweat all the little details, but the final product is a physical realization of all of the music that we have worked on. That album will exist lifetimes from now.
XS ROCK: What are your songs about?
Taylor: Our songs, especially on METHODS TO DELUSION, focus on themes of violent psychedelic mental states and the murderous tendencies of various perverted entities. The worst of the human spirit.
XS ROCK: Do you have any outrageous tour stories from the road?
Manny: Many outrageous things have happened on the road with Scalpel, some of which we would not be able to share here because they are too gruesome.
XS ROCK: What’s the strangest request that you’ve ever received from one of your fans?
Manny: I suppose its not that strange but one time a fan wanted to show me her tits for a T-Shirt, and I thought that was fine. After she followed through she left without getting her T-shirt, it is still waiting for her.
XS ROCK: Were your parents supportive of your aspirations to play in a rock band?
Manny: Yes but I don’t think any of them ever thought it would lead to the dark corners that it has. We started off listening to Sabbath and Maiden and next thing you know we’re writing songs at hyperspeed and growling into the microphone. It was probably a surprise at first for them.
XS ROCK: What are your favorite tracks to play live?
Manny: Most sets we play begin with a single snare hit for “The Cleaner” which is a shotgun blast to everyone’s faces. It gets us psyched up for the rest of the set. Woodsman Part I and II are always played in direct succession. Those songs are really fun to play and Taylor has a slide guitar solo in part II which is always sweet live.
XS ROCK: Which band or artist inspired you to perform? Why?
Manny: Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi made me want to play guitar in a band. When I was first diving into their music it felt like every note was perfect. Then I would watch live videos of them and see how Tony just looms ominously and fires electric guitar wizardry it was the most badass thing I had ever seen. Those guys have inspired me over and over again since the first time I heard their music.
XS ROCK: If you could design a dream tour for your band, who would be on the bill?
Taylor: Scalpel, Donna Sommers, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Ozzy, and the Big Bopper. That show would be unstoppable and spoken of through the ages long after we’re all gone.
XS ROCK: What do you consider your greatest accomplishment so far?
Taylor: This newest album is by far the best thing Scalpel has created. That to us makes us more proud than anything we have achieved so far.
XS ROCK: If you weren’t performing in a band what kind of career do you think you would have?
Manny: I would still be playing music without a doubt. I teach guitar now for work and it is really rewarding and fun. I would probably be doing the same thing if not for that.
XS ROCK: What type of equipment do you use for live shows?
Matt Bellows uses Mark Bass amplification,
Manny Egbert uses Mesa Boogie Triple Rectifier amplification,
Taylor Brennan uses Genz Benz Diablo II amplification.
Chip Fay uses a Mapex dirty pillow for a drum set
XS ROCK: What do you think of the current music scene?
Manny: The music scene for Death Metal is always full of loyal minions, and that will never change. I will say that at the entry-professional level bands deal with the kind of shit that country bands or blues bands don’t deal with as often. Because the death metal fanbase is full of active and engaged listeners and not trendseeking douchebags, you end up having to jump through hoops to do business. FOR EXAMPLE – one time a promoter decided he didn’t want to pay us when we were on tour, and so he told us that we should be selling dildos to make money. Needless to say his skin was peeled from his lifeless body and made into tender jerky.
XS ROCK: For anyone that doesn’t know you, what would they be surprised to know about you?
Manny: You wouldn’t know it from listening to the album or reading the lyrics, but we actually aren’t all sociopaths, and our drummer listens to Steely Dan.
XS ROCK: If someone had never heard you before, how would you describe your sound?
Taylor: It is the sound of a wall of chainsaws wet with bodily fluids spraying wildly onto a canvas of stretched human skin.
XS ROCK: Is there anything that you’d like to promote or say to your fans out there?
Taylor: Thank you for being a sick piece of garbage and listening to Scalpel. It means a lot that the crazy music we create can make people feel something, even if it’s nausea.
XS ROCK: Thanks again for taking the time to talk with us at XS Rock!