Solos About Touring, Band
Skart Suldo Talks About The Awesomeness Of Not Being Rich But Kind Of Famous, Yet How It Begat A Record Label And A Life Of Travel, Music, Performing And Fun
Supervillains singer and guitarist Scott (Skart) Suldo. Image by Ben Garcia.
By Ben Garcia
Special for Modern Times Magazine
June 18, 2013 — Recently The Supervillains rolled into town as part of their 21 shows in 30 days nationwide summer tour and before they hit the stage at Crescent Ballroom, Modern Times Magazine sat down with singer/guitarist Scott (Skart) Suldo.
Skart talked about the bands 16 years of being on the road, how they were able to produce their last album on their own, and the joys of owning their own record label.
MTM: How have you developed as a band from your start in the 1990s to now?
SS: You make a lot of bad decision when you’re first out touring but as you get older you get smarter. We’ve learned that when you’re out on the road a lot you really have to focus on your stuff and we’ve been out for so long that going on the road is like speaking English to us. you know it’s second nature. You know a lot of bands will buy a van but we bought an RV and if you do the budget out this is cheaper than hitting the road with a van and staying at hotels and that’s something you only figure out by having done it so many times.
MTM: Looking at your show schedule over the next month, it looks like you guys are trying to play as many shows as you can in as few days as possible ... why does a veteran band like you need to hit the road so hard?
SS: Yea you know we told our agent to just book as many shows as possible. We’ve been a band for 16 years and at this point this is what we do. We’re resigned to the fact that we’re good at it. Being on the road is like going to work and enjoying what you do everyday.
MTM: When you guys sit down and record an album, is it the same process that you went through when you started 16 years ago?
SS: When we started out back in the late 1990s if you could get a tape and record yourself, it was awesome. It’s so much different now with apps like GarageBand where anyone can just sit down and play a few chords. Back in the day you had to get a buddy to sit down with you and you’d have to tell him ‘dude, play this,’ if you wanted to record. Our last album was actually the first one we did completely and since we own our own label we even released it ourselves. Recording your own album is the coolest thing because it sounds fucking awesome.
MTM: Was being able to record and release your own album on your own record label a goal for The Supervillains when you started out?
SS: Well you know back when we started, we didn’t know what to expect because back in the day if you were good you sold a million records. You know we didn’t know what a label was back then. We thought that Sony or Atlantic Records comes down and gives you a record dead and then you’re rich and then you go through time as a band and realize that might not be the case. You know Pepper opened up a label and signed us and it was an indie label they opened up under a major label so to us, that was getting signed. We released a couple albums on Law and then we got big enough that we decided that we could do this too. We could open up our own label and sign our buddies and bring them on the road with us so that’s what we did. I would’ve never imagined that would be where we are at right now but I didn’t know that’s how it worked and fortunately for us that’s the way it is. We have a lot of fun and help our buddies out, because they helped us out.
MTM: Being owners of your own label, are you constantly scouting bands and looking for talent when you’re on the road and is there something you sit down as a band and decided that you’re looking for in a band.
SS: We don't’ have a West Coast band signed. Our label has all Florida bands but it’s not like we wouldn’t go out and sign a California band. There is talent all over the place and if we can do anything for them that would be awesome. Chances are not because we are not rich, we’re just kind of famous, and kids will understand that if we say ‘hey we like this band,’ kids will go check them out and if the band does great, then we keep moving.
MTM: So you guys are one of those band that have done some covers of songs that are better than the originals. What is the inspiration behind doing that?
SS: Well we all know each other's music taste and sometimes you just hear that one song and you think “that would make a good cover.” Like when Dom told me we were going to cover this Pixies song and Dan is already working on it, I knew a bunch of Pixies songs and when I found out it was the Fight Club song I knew we were going to kill it. We’ve always thought that if you don’t think you’re going to play that song really good then don’t even think about touching it because you’re going to have to play it every night.
Ben Garcia is a freelance writer and photographer living in Mesa, Ariz. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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