Joey Jordison’s not one do to things by halves. The Slipknot beat-keeper’s new solo project, Scar The Martyr, have just recorded and released their self-titled debut album, and are looking to take the live show on the road for around 18 months. He says “If I’m going to do it, I’ve gotta hit everywhere. We made the record, so we might as well milk it”.
Scar The Martyr has been quite a while in the making. “I just had a bunch of songs that I kinda wanted to get on tape, and at first I was demoing some Slipknot material, and after I got those ideas down, then I just stayed in the studio, then I just started working on all this music that turned into Scar The Martyr”, he says. “I started to think I really need to get key players on this to really make sure the sound evolves and takes shape into something I hadn’t really done before, so that’s when I started looking for lead players, and definitely when I started looking for the vocalist”.
Not leaving things to chance, he’s recruited experience guitar pair Jed Simon (Strapping Young Lad) and Kris Norris (ex-Darkest Hour and God Forbid), vocalist Henry Derek (Blood Promise) and ex-Nine Inch Nails keyboardist Chris Vrenna. Joey himself recorded all of the drums, bass and rhythm guitars. Derek, Simon and Norris are touring with the group, with Joey Blush and ex-In This Moment bassist Kyle Konkiel completing the live line-up.
This live form not long ago finished a tour in the States with Danzig and Huntress. Joey enthuses, “The crowd didn’t know what to think of us, but we kinda like that, because by the end of the show, they were going nuts and everything”. He continues, “they were loud after every song, but they would just literally stand there because, they were getting pummelled with all this shit, and it’s heavy as fuck live!”.
The size of the shows are clearly no matter to the man either. “I have the same intensity no matter what the crowd is, and they all feel huge to me… It was actually more nerve-wracking with this band than going on at Download with Slipknot, that’s easy, you know what I mean?!”, he says with a laugh. ” ‘Cause we’ve been doing it for so long, (but) this is all new.”
The seeds of the Scar The Martyr project could be seen back in 2005, when Joey was a ‘team captain’ for the Roadrunner United album, where each captain could collaborate with any (and seemingly every) past and present Roadrunner Records artist. Two of the songs from the album, in particular ‘Tired ‘N Lonely’ (with Keith Mina Caputo of Life Of Agony fame) and ‘No Way Out’ (featuring Glassjaw’s Daryl Palumbo), give a glimpse to his present-day work. “Those two songs in particular, and a little bit of ‘Enemy Of The State’ that I did with Peter Steele (Type O Negative), you could kind of see the foreshadowing of what Scar The Martyr was going to be”. He says of his more heavy influences (shown on another of his Roadrunner United tunes, ‘Annihilation By The Hand Of God’), “With writing music, I can’t be in a band that’s just one-sided heavy, just straight through. I feel that a lot of like more the mellow sections can be just as heavy, just in a different way. That why every song has to be unique, and it has to speak in a different way. That’s one thing I think we really tapped on with the Scar The Martyr record. That was one of the goals”.
Adding to the dissimilarity is Henry Derek’s vocals. Jordison says of his search for a distinctive singer, “I needed someone that had a really unique voice, that didn’t really sound like anyone else, that can sing heavy, but have a really forceful growl and everything. But more importantly, I was looking for a uniqueness”. Clearly happy with the results, he adds “It’s cool listening to his vocals, especially with the riffs, it’s almost like they shouldn’t work, but they fucking work perfect!”.
It’s a good thing he’s satisfied, because he intends for the band to have a long future. “It’s a full-time band”, he says matter-of-factly. “Musically, I’m super-fulfilled in this band, just like I am Slipknot – it’s like having two Slipknots!”, he chuckles. “I’m having a blast with these guys, and the music is challenging… so it’s been great, we look forward to touring this for a while”.
And is Australia amongst the touring plans? You bet! “We can’t wait to come down there man, we’ll be there”. We can’t wait either!