Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Five questions with Clang Quartet!

The description on Clang Quartet's Myspace pretty much says it all: "13 years of NOISE for Jesus!!!" If you  know Scotty Irving, the Greensboro drummer who is the sole member of Clang Quartet, you know it sums him up too. Scotty loves some extreme music, almost as much as he loves Jesus Christ. Clang Quartet is his vehicle for expressing both. Clang Quartet will open for Lightning Bolt and In the Year of the Pig this Friday at Local 506.

1. How has Clang Quartet changed over the years?

When I started the show in 1997, I was still working out details on the show. I had a station wagon full of instruments and props and now I have just enough to fill a trunk of a normal car. The show is much more focused than it was. Imagine a slab of marble that is being chiseled away at in the act of making a sculpture. Each stroke makes it more like the object it is going to be. I feel the biggest change in the show occured in 2000-2001 when I truly began to trust that God was in charge and let God do the sculpting instead of trying to do it, myself. I'll watch some videos of the first few years of this show and I see a man trying to give it to God but failing to do so!

2. You once told me that born again Christians were often a more difficult audience than just your average rock club audience. Is that still the case, or are Christians starting to understand what you're doing?

I play shows for churches once in a while and sometimes Christians will come to other shows that I am performing. Overall, I still find that type of audience to be the most difficult to deal with, but it IS easier than it was! Because the show is largely based on starting my life without Christ, the stumbling blocks that I have fought to get around, and then my life WITH Christ and the much better results I feel I have gotten, many Christians can relate to what the message of the show is. Some are put off by the free-form drumming and the Noise aspects. But that can be the case with non-Christian audiences, as well. I guess it comes down to whether or not the person in question is familiar with sounds outside of their normal listening habits. Christians that come to my shows sometimes have an idea of me being a part of the Christian contemporary scene, which is not exactly what I am, eh? That said, I get e-mails, snail mail, and phone calls from people who call themselves Christians who feel that Clang Quartet has given them something to relate to as far as Christian music/sound/whatever is concerned.

3. What's your favorite underrated horror flick?

I don't think most of the ones I like are considered underrated. Some horror fans would probably feel that I am not really a horror movie fan because I have not seen some of the lesser known ones out there. That said, I am more into giant monster/dinosaur films.

4. What WOULD Jesus do?

I think the Bible says that better than me! I will add that putting Jesus first means that I look in the mirror and point fingers at myself more than I allow myself to point fingers at others for what I feel is wrong with the world. Clean up your own back yard before you start to yell about your neighbors yard! I try to allow Jesus to be an image that people see as something positive in me instead of the negative image that too many people have of him. I have met some people who told me that if they had met me early on they might have felt better about Jesus than they do now. I heard a quote from a movie that I think fits this question and I will add my own wording for the reading audience: God is perfect, religion is flawed. Why? Because MANKIND is flawed. People outside the Christian community sometimes try to blame God for the shortcomings of the followers. Christians are people. We will do things incorrectly as will all people. Like I said, clean up your yard before yelling at your neighbor about theirs! HA!

5. Any chance for a Geezer Lake reunion?

Outside of North Carolina I never get asked about Geezer Lake. Playing with Geezer Lake made me a better musician and more creative as a performer but it also became something of an albatross around my neck in the early days of Clang Quartet. Certain people acted (and still do) as if Scotty Irving now is nothing but a bad version of Scotty Irving then and I simply will not accept that. Although I could never have started the Clang Quartet show if I had never been a member of Geezer Lake, I have moved on to levels that Geezer Lake could never have taken me to. I am aware that some people will read this scornfully. Some of my former bandmates in Geezer Lake could be among them, although they probably would not admit it. As for a reunion, we did one in 2000 that I am happy to have been a part of, but I will have to admit that within five minutes of getting all of us together I remembered why I wanted out to begin with. It is amazing we managed to last eight years considering how much we could sometimes get on each others nerves. I am not the easiest person to be in a band with, so I will take responibility for my own actions as this time. I think I have said enough about this! Sorry if this answer is a let down for anyone.

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